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Yesterday I joined Weight Watchers. Not that I'm dangerously obese or anything, but my vanity has been clamouring for a couple-inch reduction in the waistline area for a while now. So I decided to get serious with it. Anyway, in addition to their well-known point-counting diet plan (on which in theory you could eat nothing but Mars Bars), they also have a plan which is based more on having a well balanced, healthy diet. The main commitment you have to make is to eat 3 meals a day which are cooked from scratch and contain only "allowed" ingredients (the list is surprisingly generous).

Obviously this suits me better than counting points on frozen ready meals! So to celebrate my new and healthy lifestile, I made up this easy and flavoursome chicken dish. I made it with thigh portions because that's what I had, but you could use any two portions, or even a whole, jointed chicken (scale it up if you do).

Take:

  • 2 chicken thigh & leg portions, skinned
  • 1 large leek
  • .25 teaspoon ground cumin
  • .25 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I made mine from a Knorr cube)
  • Salt & pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

  2. Rub the chicken pieces with the spices & seasoning and place in an oven-proof dish with a lid.

  3. Slice the white part of the leek into medium slices and scatter over the chicken. Pour over the chicken stock, replace the lid and pop in the oven.

  4. Bake for 1 hour with the lid on. Check the seasoning then return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes with the lid off (this will give the leeks an opportunity to roast a bit and not just boil in the juices).

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then serve with mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, salad or fresh steamed vegetables. On the Weight Watchers "No Count" plan, this meal would have a net worth of 0 points as long as you didn't use butter/cream/oil anywhere; and even if you're not on a diet, this would be a great dish to make when you're tired, hungry, fed up and not in the mood for cooking... Enjoy!

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