Recipe 29: Saffron scented chicken pilaf

August 16, 2010 at 8:56 am | Posted in savoury | 1 Comment
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Saturday night, Louise and Caroline coming over for a chilled out evening of food and film (we watched “Up in the Air” – interesting film made me value even more my friends and the fact that I live in community with others not in isolation). Another opportunity to try out a new recipe – this time a rice dish from Forever Summer – called saffron scented chicken pilaf – which Nigella promises will lead to people gratefully strewing my path with rose petals – who wouldn’t want to try out a dish with that promise attached!

Making it: The chicken was marinated in greek yoghurt, lemon and cinnamon and then fried off in a plan. The stock (using marigold bouillon powder) was infused with the saffron threads. The the rice cooked in the stock, with added cardamom pods. Finally once all was cooked, I browned off cashew nuts, flaked almonds and pine nuts. Once assembled this was then supplemented by a sprinkling of chopped pistachio  nuts and some parsley

Eating it: Utterly delicious! I’m often sceptical about the impact of saffron – but here it created a softly scented flavour that did transport me to somewhere else. In true Nigella style the portions were generous – but we managed to eat it all!

Next time: While it was delicious, it required attention for much of the cooking process and used 3 pans.  But I loved the principle and the flavours, so i will look for ways to simplify the recipe so that it is quicker, easier and requires less washing up!

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Recipe 6: The tenderest chicken

February 19, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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For the main course – I thought I would do something pretty straightforward so that I would be able to enjoy chatting with my friends, instead of dashing about in the kitchen. Chicken pieces in a marinade to develop flavour is a winner with me (usually simple to prepare and taste good – so a fantastic effort to taste ratio) – Nigella promised that this produced very tender chicken… so it sounded worth a go.  I  served with little lazy roast potatoes (cut potatoes into small cubes, toss in lots of olive oil and cook in hot oven for an hour or so).

Making it: Simple marinade of mainly buttermilk, with a few bits and pieces to boost flavour – it only took a couple of minutes to prepare.  I put the chicken thighs in the marinade on Thursday evening, so they had about 24 hours to develop flavour. Once I was ready to cook – I took it out the marinade (this is where is started to get messy) and  I was meant to wipe off all the marinade – but that was almost impossible – so I just shook off the worst of it. They were then put in the oven for about an hour (the potatoes were already cooking). But my oven decided to have a go slow day  – so they probably took a little longer than advertised.

Eating it: Boring! I know I was doing something simple… but this didn’t really have anything to redeem it from being boring. I didn’t particularly think that it was tender. I have had much more juicy, tender chicken using other methods – mainly roasting with some liquid, such as slow cooked chicken with lemon and garlic from Forever Summer or San Tropez chicken from Feast.

Next time: I’ll do San Tropez chicken.

Recipe 2: Moroccan-ish Chicken Casserole

January 13, 2010 at 10:48 am | Posted in Casseroles | 2 Comments
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I’m very excited that I’ve had visitors to my blog… so thank you for coming – I hope it is worth the effort.  I don’t have great ambitions for the blog – there is not a master plan of becoming the next Julie:Julia – although if someone does want to pay me lots of money to write about life and cooking I wouldn’t complain – but I think I would like Cameron Diaz or Drew Barrymore to play me in the film. Mainly I want to use this as a way to talk about food and maybe a few other things along the way. It is unlikely to be life-changing or profound – I will leave deep and meaningful to others!

So to the meat of the post – this week’s recipe…  which is a variant on Nigel Slater’s Moroccan style chicken casserole. I was inspired to make it by watching Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers – it just looked flavoursome and relatively quick to make. On Monday Sarah was coming for supper and discussion on the next chunk of Jim Packer’s great book “Knowing God”. Deep conversation requires good food – and this looked like it would fit the bill. Continue Reading Recipe 2: Moroccan-ish Chicken Casserole…

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