Occasional recipes: chicken that is really pork with mushrooms

The first requirement for this is to get a recipe card from Waitrose for chicken with mushrooms, then note that you had chicken two days earlier and could do with a change. So what the hell, make it pork instead.

The second is to cook it on Jeans for Genes day, meaning everyone at work has a cake bake and you come home laden with pieces of delicious chocolate and coffee cake, so you can scoff them down for dessert.


  • 1 ready to cook chicken breast joint (a.k.a. 3 pork chops)
  • 250g asparagus
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 20g chopped parsley
  • 1 sweet potato

All the above quantities apart from the chops are intended for two, so to serve three, round up to whatever seems like a good approximation.

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 5 and roast chicken for 50 mins (or preheat to 175 degrees/gas mark 4 and roast chops for an hour. Put them on a rack in a shallow roasting tin, fill with water but not enough to touch the chops, and cover with foil. I’ve no idea why the water – I just looked up how to roast pork chops and that is what Mr Google told me).

2. Ten minutes before the chicken/pork is ready, drizzle olive oil over asparagus on a baking tray and add it to the oven.

3. Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms in olive oil for a couple of minutes, then add mustard and stock and stir in.

4. Add creme fraiche and stir in with the parsley.

Serve the chops with the sauce, roasted asparagus and sweet potato wedges which you have been quietly roasting for the last 35-40 minutes, having parboiled them for ten minutes before that. This is why you should always read the entire recipe before starting. I may write to whoever does the Waitrose recipe cards and point out that putting a key starting point last in the instructions would just be asking for trouble with a less careful cook …

Oh, and here’s another tip. If you have a baking tray sitting on top of the oven, and one corner is sticking into the flame beneath a saucepan, and you want to pick it up, try not to let the bit that was sticking into the flame touch your thumb. Or you may have cause to utter rude words and spend ten minutes with your hand beneath a cold water tap, then get a blister that stretches from the base of your thumb to the joint. Just saying.