Let’s talk about the weather. And clothes.
The term ‘trans-seasonal’ has been having a good run lately, with summer making a late appearance here in the southern hemisphere – and by some accounts, summer is making an early entry in some areas of the northern equatorial.
The main advantage of the similarity in weather patterns (to me, at least), is that fashions in the northern part of the world can easily be worn here in the south. As an avid online shopper, this means that a funky, mod-inspired shift dress can be bought from a European or US-based site and it can be worn straight away (when it eventually arrives), without waiting for the weather to behave. I tell you what, I’m in Modcloth/ASOS/Ruche shopping heaven at the moment (if you're a shopaholic gal like me, you'll know what goodies this holy trinity of merchandisers contains).
The same seasonality applies to recipes – instead of cooking autumnal harvest dishes full of pumpkin, carrots and parsnips, we can work with the herbs and summery fruits for a little while longer.
Here’s an easy rice dish that’s perfect for easing into the changing season, whatever it may be.
Chicken, Chickpea and Chorizo Pilaf
1 tsp olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, sliced into rounds
2 chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 cup basmati or long-grain rice
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 ¾ cups hot chicken stock
¼ cup chopped chives
2 tblsp chopped dill
Lemon wedges, to serve
1. Place the olive oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chorizo slices and cook each side for about 1 minute, until golden.
2. Add the chicken to the pan, and cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned all over.
3. Add turmeric to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat with the turmeric and oil.
4. Add the chickpeas and chicken stock, stir and bring mixture to the boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed.
5. Stir through the chives and dill and leave on the heat for another minute.
6. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Some fresh herbs, such as chives and dill, really add a great flavour to this dish.
So does the chorizo.
I've also made this dish several times without the chickpeas, so it's lighter in the tummy and all the better for fitting into that mod shift dress.
Sprinkle some more dill on top before serving with lemon wedges to squeeze over.