10 wallet-friendly recipes for January

Trying to stick to a tight budget this January? Don't worry, you can still tuck into delicious meals with these clever wallet-friendly recipes. We've got everything from hearty pies to pasta bakes and comforting soups, so you can still enjoy maximum flavour without breaking the bank.

Crispy chicken with creamy mushrooms and braised leeks
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Crispy chicken with creamy mushrooms and braised leeks

Make this rich and creamy chicken and mushroom dish ahead of time and freeze: just what you need if you're expecting a crowd at Christmas.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 15-20 mins until softened and lightly golden. Transfer to a roasting tin and set aside.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Cook for 8-10 mins until soft, then add to the roasting tin.
  3. Season the chicken thighs, add to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook skin side down for 10 mins or until the skin is golden and crisp. Turn and cook for a further 5 mins. Transfer to the roasting tin and wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper.
  4. Pour the chicken stock into the roasting tin and roast for 25 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the leeks, cut side down, and cook for 4 mins or until lightly golden. Using tongs, turn the leeks so the cut sides face up, then pour in 150ml hot water. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins until tender.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Put the mushrooms, onions and cooking juices in a saucepan, then stir in the crème fraîche, mustard and cornflour. Season to taste. Simmer for 2-3 mins until thickened.
  7. Divide the chicken and sauce between plates and serve the leeks alongside. Garnish with the parsley and a twist of black pepper.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

To freeze, prepare until the end of step 6, omitting step 5. Cover the chicken in foil, leave to cool, then put in a freezerproof container on top of the cooled sauce. To reheat, remove from the freezer the day before you want to eat and defrost in the fridge. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Put in a roasting tin, cover with foil and pierce it a few times. Heat for 25 mins while you cook the leeks, then remove the foil and roast for a further 10-15 mins until the chicken is piping hot and the skin is crisp. Once reheated from frozen, eat on the same day – do not reheat a second time.

See more Chicken recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 250g closed cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 400ml chicken stock, made using ½ a stock cube
  • 100ml half-fat crème fraîche
  • 2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley, to serve
  • For the braised leeks
  • 2 leeks, rinsed, outer layer discarded, quartered lengthways with root left intact