Have you ever had the most amazing restaurant meal and then tried to recreate it at home? Tonight's supper was inspired by my friend Tina who described a starter she'd enjoyed during the early days of courting her now husband which she has upscaled to a main course that's become a firm family favourite in their house.
In Tina's words "Chicken breasts are cut into smallish pieces and pan fried with bacon lardons and sliced red peppers. Whilst cooking arrange a bed of fresh spinach onto each plate. Place the cooked pan ingredients over the spinach and then sprinkle feta cheese over the top. A lovely warm spinach salad".
Only one problem for the family Mathieson, none of us like feta. And I forgot to buy peppers. I also find pan frying small pieces of chicken challenging. Afraid to under cook them, they usually end up overdone and dry. So I made a few small modifications to Tina's recipe.
Instead of cutting my chicken, I pan fried it for 5 minutes then popped the breasts into the oven for 25 minutes at 190 degress (170 fan oven) and sliced them later. I toyed with using halloumi in place of the feta, but ended up opting for wensleydale due to its crumbly characteristics (and as suggested by Tina's husband). I also gently fried one small red onion, a clove of garlic and a small handful of fresh chopped oregano in the pan before adding my pancetta.
On the plate my dish lacked the colourful vibrancy of Tina's with its red peppers, but this certainly did nothing to hamper the flavour and there was general agreement around our table that it was absolutely delicious.