Our Valentine's meal was kind of in two parts: on Saturday evening I cooked a delicious free-range roast chicken, with roast potatoes, carrots, mushrooms (mushrooms popped into the roasting dish are delicious because they soak up the juices and take on a beautiful flavour), and decided to use up the homemade vegetable stock I had left in my freezer, by making this onion gravy recipe. It is very easy to make and went surprisingly well with the chicken. I blended mine and it turned out quite thick, so it was almost like a sauce - yummy!
The leftover chicken then made two wonderfully succulent and delicious sandwiches for me the next couple of days. This really brought home to me how much more economical it is to buy a whole chicken than to buy chicken breasts etc. We bought a (fairly small) free-range chicken from Sainsbury's for about £5.50 - this provided us with the roast, two lots of sandwiches, and I then made chicken stock from the bones which turned into a soup.
I made the chicken stock during the day on Sunday and it turned out much better than last time. I simmered it much more gently this time and it was much less greasy. I then used the stock in a favourite soup of mine - Egyptian Lentil Soup. I first made this soup after buying lentils for the first time on a whim, and it's been a favourite in our house ever since. Simple ingredients and ridiculously simple to make, it is filling and hearty and is wonderful served with some chunks of bread.
This is the first time I had made the soup with homemade chicken stock rather than a stock cube and I really noticed the difference in colour and flavour. It looked lovely and rich. It tasted pretty good too! I love the addition of the lemon juice - it gives it a real zing.
For dessert we had pancakes. My fiancé did the honours using the batter I had made earlier.
Yes, he cheated and used a spatula to flip them. We like our pancakes served with sugar, lemon and orange. Simple, but tasty!