I try very hard to limit myself to two new cookbooks a year - one at Christmas and one in the summer. I already have way more than I need but not buying any new books is, obviously, unthinkable! Having said that, I had already failed by mid-March thanks to the new Clandestine Cake Club book and Paul Hollywood's Bread (both brilliant). Nevertheless, I still allowed myself my summer purchase and invested in Jamie Oliver's recent book, Jamie's 15-Minute Meals.
Both with this book and it's predecessor, 30 Minute Meals, there has been plenty of comment about how the titles are misleading. I would ignore any negativity, however, and buy this book because, so far, I've had nothing but success with it and if you get organised in advance then the timings aren't too far out. You have to have everything ready before you start the clock, pans heated, kettle boiled etc, so you will be in the kitchen longer than 15 minutes but even taking that into account you can get some great dishes on the table in a relatively short space of time.
Jamie uses some clever techniques to speed things up. In this recipe, for example, the chicken is flattened to decrease the cooking time and vegetables are finely chopped in a food processor, rather than by hand.
It's also clear that a lot of time has been spent making the recipes well balanced and relatively healthy so even the pasta dishes are served with a salad or something similar. Big flavours are also a key feature with various herbs and spices being used in most recipes to add interest.
On the negative side, Jamie does like to use a wide variety of ingredients that will leave you with leftovers to find a home for - half a bunch of dill, 2 teaspoons of harissa, 40g feta etc - so you might find you need to do a little extra research to find other recipes to use up what's left. He also uses chillis and coriander in a large number of the recipes, neither of which I like, however I've had no problems with leaving them out or replacing the chillis with a few dried chilli flakes.
This particular recipe was a real hit when I made it. The oregano and all spice gave the chicken an amazing flavour and the tzatziki was the perfect match with the warming heat of the peppers and chilli in the couscous. Once I had everything ready it took me around 20 minutes to get it on the table. I took a bit longer because I didn't want the pepper mix to be raw so fried it for a couple of minutes and I also didn't flatten the chicken quite enough so it took a little longer to cook.
I made half the recipe for two of us and the portion size was pretty much spot on.
I'll definitely be making this again and I urge you to try it too! You can find the recipe here.