Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I decided to clean up my act by preparing a couple of recipes from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer cookbook, which I'd just checked out from the library. I felt like I needed the type of balanced comfort food menu that reminds me of childhood-- chicken, potatoes, and salad. Again, I had an audience in Nour and Amy-- she was moving away from Central Florida the very next day.
For a fitting goodbye, I made slow-roasted garlic and lemon chicken, paired with a type of roasted potato I had never encountered before-- Swedish hasselback potatoes, also from the Nigella cookbook. Both recipes were incredibly easy but also tasted incredibly good-- comfort achieved. The lemons and garlic cloves almost carmelize after baking for three hours, great for spreading and dipping on a crusty baguette. The potatoes develop an intriguing crust but are still soft on the inside.
For the chicken, you will need one chicken, cut into pieces (or if you determine, as I did, that all parties prefer dark meat, buy a big package of legs). Heat oven to 300. In a roasting pan, place chicken pieces with all the cloves from a head of garlic, separated but with peels left on. Add two lemons, cut into eight pieces, and a handful of fresh rosemary (Nigella uses thyme). Mix with 3 Tblsp. olive oil, sprinkle 10 Tblsp. white wine over top, salt and pepper, and cover with foil. Roast for 2 hours.
After two hours, remove foil and crank up the oven to 400, cooking another 30-45 minutes. I turned the pieces so all sides would brown.
The potatoes can cook roughly at the same time. Take 18 4-ounce (i.e. small-ish) new potatoes about the same size and slice them at 1/2 inch intervals, but don't cut them all the way through. In a dutch oven, melt 3 Tblsp. butter with 5 tblsp. olive oil. When hot, add potatoes, turning on all sides to coat. Place in oven with chicken when you crank up the heat to 400. Cook the potatoes until done, turning occasionally, may take 45 minutes to an hour.
Accompanied with a salad and a light mango sorbet for dessert, I felt like I was eating a little healthier again...