My favourite midweek meal takes minutes to prepare. Ginger and chillies are great whatever season but when it’s cold, they’re extra comforting, whether for midweek dinners or in a weekend feast.

Total cost: £9.40

Serves 4
fresh ginger 1 thumb-sized piece
red onion 1
dried chillies 1 tbsp + 1 tsp, or to taste
soy sauce 8 tbsp
chicken thighs and drumsticks 1kg
jasmine rice 250-300g
cavolo nero 120g, sliced
runny honey 2 tbsp
butter 1 tsp + 1 heaped tsp
salt and pepper


Uyen Luu’s hot and sticky sweet ginger chicken (The Observer Food Monthly)

20 best recipes under £10 for four people

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Peel and finely chop the ginger and half the red onion (reserve the other half). Mix with 1 tablespoon of chillies, or to taste, and 6 tablespoons of soy sauce then use to coat the chicken. Place on a baking tray and roast for 40 minutes, basting halfway through.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to packet instructions and wash the sliced cavolo nero.

Ten minutes before the chicken has finished, melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a saucepan then add the honey and 2 tablespoons of soy. Reduce for a few minutes. Take out the chicken and pour the honey sauce over the chicken evenly and cook for a further 5 minutes to brown. Remove the chicken from the oven, then leave it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Finely slice the reserved half-onion and sweat in 1 heaped teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of dried chillies, or to taste. Add the cavolo nero and fry for a couple of minutes, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with the chicken and rice.


Photograph: Romas Foord for the Observer