Hairy Dieters, I think I Love You

Food has been on my mind today.

It’s not ever not on my mind, but today I was rather excited about my dinner, so it has been even more distracting than usual.

The Hairy Dieter’s book has a low fat version of the curry marinaded roast chicken I made last year from Jamie Oliver’s book, which was delicious. I thought I would give the HD version a go, to see if I could taste a difference. If I could get the same kind of flavour with significantly less stuff that is bad for you, then it would be a huge win for mankind, and possibly the start of the outbreak of world peace.

Certainly the beginning of the end to world hunger.

Yesterday we had a trip to the Malt Kiln, the wonderful farm shop the girls and I discovered a few months ago.  We bought our chicken there.  We are budgeting at the moment, so where I would usually go for the organic version we plumped for the barn reared chicken, which at £6.50 for a 1.9 kilo chicken was significantly less money than its organic counterpart. I apologised to chicken kind as I was buying it, but needs must when the bank have you by the short and curlies.

I buy organic meat where I can, not just because I worry about animals having bed time stories and being tucked up at nights, but because generally, in my experience, they taste better.  I was slightly fed up that this chicken would fail me on the taste front.

Unnecessarily, as it turned out.

One of the best things about our farm shop is that the butchery department does what it says on the tin.  They butcher things, efficiently and knowledgeably, and do not look at you as if you have suddenly sprouted a new head if you ask for your meat to be prepared in a less than usual fashion.

This recipe calls for the chicken to have its back bone taken out so you can flatten it out.  It also calls for the skin and fat to be taken off.  I can do all of these things, if necessary, but for me they are fiddly and time consuming and make me swear a lot.  The nice butcher yesterday had it all sorted in less than five minutes.  He is a good man.

And I didn’t hear a single swear word the whole time he was doing it.

The recipe calls for a bit of organisation, which I am not always good at, but when it comes to the possibility of a taste sensation, I am a bit more on the ball.  I made my marinade last night and lathered my chicken freely with it. Then I popped it in the fridge until this afternoon, when I roasted it.

Like so:


I roasted it along with a tray of cumin crusted vegetables, also taken from the Hairy Dieter’s book.  In the book you use potatoes and peppers, with courgettes and onions, and add curry spices and cumin.  I wanted a bit more variety, so I added parsnip and leek, carrots, fennel, tomato and garlic to my mix.


It all tasted amazing.

The chicken tasted as good as, if not better than Jamie’s version. No word of a lie, and the veg was absolutely bursting with flavour.

For dessert I stewed some raspberries from the freezer with some rhubarb I got from the farm shop yesterday.  I don’t add anything at all to my stewed fruit. I just heat it gently through until all the fruit cooks in its own juice.  I had mine with a splodge of low fat yoghurt. The children had theirs with ice cream.



It was one of the tastiest meals we have had for months, and probably one of the most virtuous, although we may have to address the issue of portion control if the recipes I try keep turning out to be as tasty as this one.

6 responses to “Hairy Dieters, I think I Love You

  1. I’ve heard lots of good things about this book – defo going to put on my birthday list 🙂

  2. Oooh I love the masala marinated chicken. I bought myself the hairy dieters cookbook last year and can honestly say it is the only ‘celeb chef’ recipe book that I have returned to time and time again (and I have a vast collection) the recipes really work and are excellent. We had the Paprika Chicken on friday night which is delicious and so simple though I do add a pinch of chilli flakes to spice it up a bit. We haven’t had a duff meal from this book. The Cassoulet, chicken jalfrezi and sweet and sour chicken are all fab but the Coconut Prawn Curry is out of this world. It was pretty much ready in the time it took to cook some rice and is delicious! Claire

    • I love the idea of the coconut prawn curry but I think I’d have to do it with chicken instead of prawn as I’m the only one who will eat them in my house. Actually, that’s not fair. Oscar eats them too, but only in risotto, where according to him they are ‘different’.

  3. ooh, get you, you chef you.
    Well done on giving it some in the culinary department.
    I love cooking, and food, and reading recipes and reading about food and watching programmes on telly which scare me shitless into changing my eating habits. But I am a bit of a hapless do-er. Shame, but there it is. I am in awe.

  4. I love cooking, as long as I’m not under time pressure, or having to ‘perform’ for company.

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