Lauren Chater Keeps Creating: Time saving and healthy recipes to get you back to what you really want to do.
This is a really simple, healthy meal you can knock out in around fifteen minutes, leaving more time for writing and finishing off that last scene.
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 bunch watercress
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 2 nectarines
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Baby boccicini
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
Place the chicken in a bowl with the spices and a little oil. Rub the spices in to the chicken.
Segment the nectarines and trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Lightly brush both with a little olive oil.
Heat your BBQ grill and cook your chicken 4-5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove, cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
Grill the asparagus for 2 minutes.
Grill the nectarine segments for 1 minute on each side.
Once rested, thinly slice the chicken breasts.
Place the watercress on a serving dish with the asparagus in top. Chicken goes on next with the nectarines and torn boccicini on top.
In a small bowl whisk the mustard and vinegar with a little oil. Pour over the salad and serve.ng Chicken Burger & Teriyaki Onions
Extract from one of award-winning Lauren’s stories. This story came second in the 2017 HNSA Short Story Competition:
Carr House, Lancashire
Eliza Stone was hot. Moisture pricked beneath her arms. A bead of sweat inched its way down her neck, coming to rest in the small of her back. The flames in the kitchen furnace writhed. She felt their breath upon her face, melting her skin. It made her think of hell and of Papa. He had talked a lot about hell in his final weeks. Eliza had done her best to comfort him, assuring him that the fears were merely fancy but by the time he died, his face bloated and swollen, she felt so exhausted by grief that she did not much care where he went at all.
She started guiltily and turned to find Cook glowering on the threshold between the first kitchen, where they did the prep, and the working one where Eliza stood before the vast brick oven.
“What are you doing? Hurry up! Get those pies in, then get upstairs to clear away. The family are almost finished. Do you think this is a game?” He gestured with his floured hands. Thick crusts of dried pastry flaked from his skin onto the floor. Eliza watched their descent with dismay.
Would she be asked to sweep, too?
The answer came with a rush of shame and despair that prickled across her skin; of course she would. The truth; Papa was dead and the shop, as well as their living quarters above it, had been sold to pay off the debts amassed during his long illness. Her old life was over. No amount of wishing or crying would bring it back.
Cook was still watching her, narrowing his piggy eyes. Eliza cursed him silently. He had never liked her, not from the moment she arrived at the servant’s entrance a month ago, her small bag clutched in one hand and a letter from Master Stone in the other, inviting her, the orphaned daughter of his second cousin, to come and live at Carr House and be the children’s maid. It had been hard enough, adjusting to caring for the children. And now there was this to endure; a cramping illness which had spread through the lower house last night, striking down the bulk of the servants – gardener, valet, housemaids, waiters. Even the little scullery maid and the back-of-house boy had not escaped, but now lay groaning in the servant’s sickroom where the air was rank with ordure and herbal incense. Only Cook, and Eliza herself, seemed untouched by the disease.
Turning her back on him, she hoisted up the iron hotplate with both hands and slid it in. The flames leaped higher at once, licking at the plate. But they could not reach the fragrant pies resting safely above.
She drew back, muscles aching. The hotplate weighed a tonne. Cook had arms like meat slabs. He could have offered to help, but he hadn’t, preferring to watch her suffer, knowing she was unaccustomed to such work and had not been raised to it. She turned to find him gone, returned to his task next door, preparing the meat which was destined to become supper.
Her finger throbbed. A small tight bubble was forming where she must have caught it on the lip of the stove. Eliza pressed on it, digging in her thumb as punishment for believing that Master Stone’s act of charity – awarding her a comfortable role as the children’s caretaker – was any guarantee against a bleak future of domestic servitude.
About Lauren Chater:
Lauren Chater writes fiction. After working for many years in a variety of media roles, including stints at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Diplomat magazine, she turned her passion for reading and research into a professional pursuit. In 2014, she was the successful recipient of the Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction scholarship. In addition to writing fiction, she established The Well Read Cookie, a blog which celebrates her love of baking and literature. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two children. The Lace Weaver, her first novel, was published by Simon & Schuster in April 2018. She is currently working on her second novel, Gulliver’s Wife, and Well Read Cookies, a non-fiction book based on her popular blog.