Chicken drumsticks were on sale in Coles.

At least they said they were organic. But they were cheap and that’s the kind of mood I was in. We just booked a skiing trip. Now there’s a cheap little hobby. I tell you, when we’re down there, we’ll be eating the snow.

Buying dinner at lunch time can be a strange past time. At 12:45pm, just as you’ve finished throwing down a sandwich, how can you really gage what you’re going to feel like consuming in 6 – 7 hours time?

The Hungry One gets it worse. He gets the “What do you want for dinner tonight?” as he’s chugging down his cereal. “I don’t know…” is usually the answer I get.

I should stop asking.

So I quickly bought the chicken drumsticks, daring myself to a little at home, “ready steady cook”. But not knowing what else I’d find in the fridge.

This is what we found:

1 sad looking zucchini
2 bags of sad looking mushrooms
Some dribblings of baby rocket which didn’t quite make it into the salad
Half a lemon, a refugee from gin and tonics
Some muscatels left over from a cheese plate
A sachet of marscapone waiting to be used
Some left over roast tomato soup from a night alone.
A box of white wine (shameful to some I know, but the Yalumba sav blanc really isn’t that bad for the first drink or last drink of a night)

In the cupboard

Some du puy lentils I bought because the packet was pretty
Some porcini mushrooms.
A red onion
Some garlic


In the spice rack

Some dried thyme
Some bay leaves

On the balcony
Some struggling rosemary.

So, 45 minutes and a glass and a half of box wine later, what do we have?

A divine smelling chicken and lentil braise, topped with rocket, a dollop of marscapone and squeeze of lemon juice.

Just what I felt like. And there’s even left overs for lunch.

Chicken drumstick and lentil braise:

Take the Le Cruesset casserole pan out from the bottom of the cupboard.
Lightly fry a finely chopped/ smushed garlic clove in a good splash of olive oil.
Add a tablespoon or whatever you can forage from the balcony of chopped rosemary.

Add 6 chicken drumsticks to the pan and let them brown.
Chop the red onion into dice, the zucchini and the mushrooms. Sautee them around the chicken pieces.
Add a tablespoon or so of dried thyme and about 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon zest.
When that all smells great and the chicken has some colour pour in 3 cups of a dry white wine. Add to that half a cup of roasted tomato soup ( or half a tin of tinned tomatoes, or a tablespoon of tomato paste, or 2-3 diced tomatoes).
Add a bay leaf or two and about two tablespoons of dried porcini mushrooms.
Shake in a cup and a half of du puy lentils and stir about until they’re covered in liquid.

Sit down and watch the news.
Slowly simmer it all together until the chicken is starting to separate from the bone, the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Serve the lentils and veg with the chicken drumsticks on top and with a dollop of marscapone and handful of rocket and a squeeze of lemon juice as adornments.