Eating and drinking with loved ones is synonymous with lazy hazy days and a sunny trundle down to the seaside or out into the country is always a leisurely joy.
Come the week-end, I’m a great picnic fan and after a late start, there’s nothing better than a preparing a meal to be eaten outside – whether it’s lunch in the park, tea under a tree somewhere, or a barbeque dinner at dusk on the beach.
Outdoor dining relies on hearty food – we all know that appetites are heightened out in the fresh air. But recipes need to be wholesome and easy to prepare. A little chopping and cooking in advance leaves you free to enjoy yourself at the picnic venue.
Transport salad dressings in lidded jars and drinks in flasks with ice. Freeze some bottles of water too and use as ice packs around the food first and thirst quenchers later. Forget unhealthy fizzy drinks, and save money at the same time, by making some lemonade or ginger beer to accompany your alfresco meal.
Last Saturday I prepared Sticky Chicken Pieces for our family picnic on the South Downs (that’s a beautiful area in southern England, UK). My daughter-in-law’s sister-in-law (have you got that?!) was running a marathon along the South Downs and a whole pile of us in the family, from 3 year old twins to seniors of 63 decided to support and meet Tanya at the end of the race. So while we were waiting, of course, we had a picnic.
We all chipped in with food and drinks and my contribution was this chicken, which is delectably sticky, so it was a good job I remembered to include the wet wipes in my picnic hamper!
Sticky Chicken Pieces
- 12 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
- 5 oz dark soft brown sugar
- the juice of one fat lemon
- 3 tablespoons of sherry or ginger wine (I used ginger wine this time)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic
Put all the ingredients, except the chicken, into a pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat, bring to the boil and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Put the chicken into a dish and pour over the sauce. Cover and leave to marinade for a couple of hours.
Then prepare a hot oven. Take the chicken pieces out of the sauce and put in a roasting tin. Cook for 10 minutes and then baste with some sauce – just enough to make the pieces sticky. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Transport in a cooler and serve cold.
On Saturday I also sprinkled the chicken pieces with sesame seeds as they came out of the oven, which added a nice touch – in my opinion anyway and nobody else seemed to object as the chicken disappeared quickly!
If you’re planning a picnic for this coming week-end then check back for more ideas later in the week – or click over now to my Picnic Site for more recipes and ideas.