Renovation Recipe: Chilli Drumsticks, Roast Veg & Garlic Baguettes

This is a great combination of ingredients, fast to prepare, very little messing and only a small amount of space needed. It’s a winter warmer on cold days and equally as hearty on a self build summer evening. One of the things I’ve found hardest during our kitchenless refurb has been the cold; preparing cold raw chicken is a finger numbing experience at the best of times but when you’re in an unheated room too – boy, that’s no fun. This meal’s a good one as there’s very little flesh touching 😉



  • Six fat chicken drumsticks. Butchers please, no thick plastic packaging.
  • Chilli flakes – 1/2 teaspoon for mild, 1 – 2 teaspoons to heat you up properly
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Seasoning – BBQ, lemon & herb, peri peri – all good with this dish
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Rock salt & pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 yellow pepper and 1 red pepper
  • 8 white firm mushrooms (floppy/old ones add too much juice)
  • 100g of black olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 chunky garlic cloves
  • Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 good sprinkling of dried Italian herbs, or freshly chopped in summer
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 plain all ready baked baguettes – the mini short ones
  • 100g good salted butter
  • 1 large handful of chopped fresh parsley, curly or flat leaf
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

Heat the oven to 180*

Put the chicken drumsticks, skin on or off whichever you prefer, in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over with the seasoning, chilli flakes, lemon juice and oil. Toss well to coat and roast for 30 mins in the hot oven on a non-stick shallow tray.

As soon as you’ve popped the chicken in to cook, roughly chop the onions, finely slice the garlic and mix with  a little olive oil in a 1 inch deep oven tray large enough to hold all the veg. Pop in the oven for 10mins to soften as the onions take a little longer to cook than the peppers and mushrooms.

Roughly chop the peppers, removing all pith and seeds. Quarter the mushrooms and halve the olives. Add to the veg tray with the tinned tomatoes after 10mins and sprinkle with the herbs. Give everything a good mix then back in the oven for the remaining 20mins cooking time.

I had some fresh parsley leftover and threw that in too. This is not an exact science, this is renovation cooking 😉 I usually freeze half tins of toms direct in the tin for the next meal which needs them… why add to the washing up?!


So, the drumsticks and veg are cooking, now to prep the baguettes. Slice them approx 2/3 of the way through like in the pic below. Soften your butter in a small bowl then beat in the garlic and parsley, with some grindings of salt and pepper.

Put a dollop of this potently fresh garlic butter in each cut and there you go, simples, your own garlic bread!

When the chicken and veg have about 5mins left to cook, chuck in the baguettes but if you’ve no space in the oven, pop them in when you take out the drumsticks / veg as the bread will crisp up and cook whilst you’re dishing up.

IMG_2995Relatively cheap, very filling, fresh ingredients and all done in 30mins. Spot on.

You might have noticed I use oil and butter fairly freely and if that’s not your thing then feel even freer to cut back a bit, but we are working hard here day after day and that plus the gym means those calories get burned off fast. Keep the butter and loose the sedentary lifestyle – far better than the other way round.


It’s a great idea when renovating / living in a small space to have some assistance and I’m not prissy about having little helpers when life’s already tough. There are some fab seasonings in good supermarkets, have some to hand for quick chicken meals. Smoked paprika’s floating my boat the moment, delicious (recipe soon) x


NB For new readers: I live in a kitchenless, hot water-less, hobless house mid-self-build & renovation, hence these simple / effective / hearty recipes and food advice for others in the same boat. This isn’t an expert blog for expert foodies with all the gadgets either, so don’t get all snotty if I use cheating additions and never boil / pan fry anything… because I can’t! x


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