3 easy batch cook recipes for winter

Chorizo, Chickpea and Fennel Tagine. Image: Sam Gates

Chorizo, Chickpea and Fennel Tagine. Image: Sam Gates - Credit: Archant

Try these recipes from Chiddingfold foodie author Sam Gates’s new cook book

Sam Gates. Image: Andy Newbold

Sam Gates. Image: Andy Newbold - Credit: Archant

Despite spending more time at home, we seem to be busier than ever so Chiddingfold food writer Sam Gate’s new cook book couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Batch Cook Book is full of family-friendly, make-ahead recipes that are perfect for the cold and dark days of winter that lie ahead.

A busy working mum of two, Sam knows how precious time is and this new book, which she photographed herself, follows the success of her previous time-saving cool books Food for your Brood and The Tin and Traybake Cookbook.

Ahead of its release on October 22, we’ve teamed up with Sam to share her batch cook recipes for Honey soy and five-spiced baked chicken, Chorizo, fennel and chickpea tagine and One-bowl spiced apple and almond cake.

Honey, soy and five-spice baked chicken

Honey, soy and five-spice chicken. Image: Sam Gates

Honey, soy and five-spice chicken. Image: Sam Gates - Credit: Archant

Ingredients: (feeds 8 although easily halved or doubled)

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1 tsp 5-spice powder

4 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp runny honey

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

The Batch Cook Book by Sam Gates, published October 22, 2020

The Batch Cook Book by Sam Gates, published October 22, 2020 - Credit: Archant

5 garlic cloves, crushed

40g fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2kg skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

2 big handfuls of coriander leaves

2 tsp sesame seeds


1 Whisk the 5-spice, soy sauce, honey and oil together in a large bowl. Stir in the chilli, garlic and ginger. Add the chicken thighs and turn them over in the marinade, using your hands, until they are evenly coated. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas mark 6 and grease a roasting tin large enough for the chicken to fit snugly inside.

3 Place the thighs, skin sides upwards, in the roasting tin and pour over the marinade. Roast for 40 minutes, basting halfway through, then increase the heat to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas mark 7 for another 20–25 minutes until the skin is deliciously crispy.

4 To serve, scatter with spring onions, coriander leaves and sesame seeds and drizzle with any remaining sauce from the tin.


Strip any leftover chicken from the bone and store it in an airtight container with any extra sauce. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for up to 2 days and use as a base for a delicious chicken stir-fry.

Chorizo, fennel and chickpea tagine

Ingredients (feeds 6):

1 tbsp olive oil

200g spicy chorizo, halved lengthways and thinly sliced

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced, fronds reserved

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp harissa paste

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

2 tsp runny honey

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 handfuls of baby spinach

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

salt and black pepper to season

couscous or flat breads, to serve

READ MORE: Try this delicious shortbread recipe from Ruth’s Little Kitchen


1 Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on a medium–high heat and add the sliced chorizo. Cook quickly until slightly crispy, then transfer the chorizo to a side plate using a slotted spoon, leaving the reddish oil in the pan.

2 Turn the heat down and add the fennel, onion, garlic and smoked paprika and sauté for 10–15 minutes until the onion is soft, translucent and starting to turn golden around the edges.

3 Stir in the harissa and a good pinch of salt, and then pour in the tinned tomatoes and a tinful of water. Add the cooked chorizo and the honey, then stir well and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20–25 minutes until the sauce is thick and syrupy.

4 Add the chickpeas and warm through, then season with salt and pepper.

5 Just before serving, stir the baby spinach through until it wilts, add the lemon zest and scatter over the reserved fennel fronds.

To freeze:

Allow the tagine to cool completely then transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month and defrost fully before reheating.

One-bowl spiced apple and almond cake

Ingredients (feeds 8):

4 eating apples, peeled, cored and finely diced

¼ tsp mixed spice

½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for decorating

175g butter

175g self-raising flour

175g caster sugar, plus extra for decorating

3 eggs, beaten

1 tsp almond essence

20g flaked almonds


1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/Gas mark 3.

2 Grease a 24cm round cake tin (or similar) and line it with greaseproof paper or a reusable liner.

3 Place all the ingredients except the flaked almonds into a large bowl and mix well. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle the almonds evenly over the top.

4 Mix a pinch of cinnamon with a tablespoon of caster sugar and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cake.

5 Bake for 50–60 minutes until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes before serving to freeze

6. Cool completely, wrap in greaseproof paper and place in an airtight box or bag in the freezer. Defrost before serving.

Recipes from The Batch Cook Book by Sam Gates, published October 22, 2020

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