So Christmas has come and gone, and it’s the start of a brand new year. Usually, the new year brings lots of talk of a “New You”, “January detox”, “New Year Cleanse” and all of that waffle! When you understand the inner workings of the human body, you quickly realise that there really is no such thing as “cleansing foods”, which magically make your liver and kidneys work at full throttle to undo all of the overindulgences of Christmas. Detoxification is a process that is happening on a continual basis, and not just during a “quick-fix” 3-day juice fast. There are, however, some foods which support specific pathways that your body uses to rid itself of the by-products of alcohol, for example. So do your body a favour this January, up your intake of plant fibre, antioxidant-rich spices and coloured veggies every day. 30 minutes of walking and 1-2 litres of filtered water also help to get the pathways of elimination working well. Therefore, you will be encouraging good detoxification 365 days of the year not just after Christmas. So pop this nourishing casserole on your new meal plan for January. No starvation and no juicer required! Only whole, real food.

Chicken casserole with a twist – Serves 4
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika will work too)
1 onion, sliced
100gms dried apricots, roughly chopped
40gms red split lentils rinsed well in a sieve
400gm tin of chopped tomatoes
300mls chicken stock
4 pieces of chicken – you can use breast if you wish, my preference is thighs or leg.
Freshly chopped coriander to serve

Coat the chicken in the garlic, coriander and paprika. If time permits, cover the spiced chicken pieces and pop them in the fridge to marinate for between 1-3 hours. If not, you can cook them straight away, and it will still taste amazing. In a large casserole dish, sweat down the onion for approx. 8-10 minutes until soft. Then, add in the apricots, lentils, the tin of tomatoes, stock and chicken. Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Serve with some stir-fried or steamed green veggies and a sprinkle of coriander. This tastes even nicer the next day so double to quantity and make a big batch to pop some portions in the freezer.

Tip from the butcher’s wife…
I’m with you all the way on that one Jemma. No self-flagellation here. The thing that Jemma has told me and has made the biggest impact on how I eat is forget the guilt. If you are not eating well, you know you don’t feel well etc. but we all have to eat the cake, eat the chocolate and drink the gin. Life is so short. So if you’ve enjoyed your food at Christmas, make sure to continue to enjoy it but perhaps more of the energy boosting and cleansing type. This looks delicious and I think I’m going to fling it into the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. I’ll let you know how I get on. Onwards and upwards to you all for 2019. My resolution is to be healthy and happy as I can be but there’s still some Christmas cake here and you couldn’t throw it out!!
The butchers’ wife XX

Happy New Year to all of our loyal customers. Wishing you all the very best of health and happiness for 2019!
All at Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen