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Catering for a crowd for less

#morrisonsmumI tend to avoid going to the supermarket to shop – there is nothing less pleasant than dragging three unwilling children around whilst trying to avoid the requests for ‘we REALLY need this Mummy’ and them hanging off the trolley making it even harder to navigate around.  Maybe I’m just a wimp

The trouble with doing it all online is that you miss seeing the offers and have a niggling feeling that perhaps you might be spending more than you ought to because you are missing out

I’ve been finding that money is buying less when I do our weekly shop and with my maternity pay reducing dramatically this month, when Britmums asked me to be a MorrisonsMum and sent me some vouchers to go and see what Morrisons price cuts really meant it seemed like a great chance to get out of my grocery rut

Of course Littlest SCREAMED the whole way around the supermarket but fortunately fell asleep when we got to the checkout – I’d stocked up on staples as well as few bank holiday treats and, even though I’d been trying to tally up as we meandered around, I was pleasantly surprised that the bill came to less than I was expecting AND I got a voucher for 6p a litre off petrol

Yes I will be going back – fruit, veg and staples were significantly cheaper than my normal shop although the meat wasn’t and I am a little concerned about animal welfare issues

Here’s my recipe for a family favourite – I cook up a big pan of this when we’re having guests, you can add in some nice bread, salad and a plate of cheese and have a feast that the grown ups can linger over whilst the children run riot around the garden.  You can start it off in advance and then just pop in the rice about 20 minutes before you want to sit down so it’s flexible if people get stuck in bank holiday traffic


Chicken and chorizo rice feast

Feeds 2 families generously with some left over for lunch next week – costs less than 75p per portion

1kg chicken thighs

2 red peppers de-seeded and sliced

1 choizo – chopped roughly (or treat yourself to the pre-chopped)

Onion – chopped roughly

Couple of cloves of garlic – chopped or squeezed

1 litre of stock

400g standard brown rice

Sprig of thyme or rosemary

Tablespoon of oil for browning


1. Turn on the oven and heat to 200 degrees C.  Meanwhile, in a casserole dish or a large pan you can cover, heat a tablespoon of oil until hot and add the chicken pieces and cook until the outsides are nice and brown.  Remove onto a plate (if you are in a hurry you can just bung them in without browning but I think it makes it taste nicer)

2. Add the chopped chorizo, onion and garlic to the pan and fry until the chorizo is a bit crispy and the garlic and onion are just browned.  You don’t need more oil because the oil will come out of the chorizo and you can use that to keep the onion and garlic from sticking

3. Pour in the stock and give it all a good stir

4. Add the chicken pieces back in, make sure they are submerged by the stock.  Pop the lid on the pot and bring the liquid to the boil.  Once boiling pop in the oven and leave to cook for at least half an hour.  The great thing if you are having people around is you can set this off and then just keep it ticking over in a cooler oven until you are 20 minutes away from wanting to feed everyone

5. 20 minutes before you want to eat, throw in the sliced peppers and stir in the rice and return to the oven – check on it after 10 minutes and give it a stir and return for a final 10 minutes.  The stirring should allow the chicken to fall into pieces, give it a bit of a bash if not so you don’t have massive chunks

6. Serve with dried chillies for the chilli monsters to grate over to give it a kick and the rest to avoid

7. We eat the leftovers as a pot of rice in packed lunches or served in pitas for a slightly different meal – it’ll keep for a few days but you need to make sure it is properly heated through


Disclosure – Morrisons sent me vouchers for a weekly shop at my local store, all views are my own independent assessment of the experience

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