Last weekend I realised that all my planned cooking projects were recipes from Nigella Lawson. So, without further ado, I present a weekend of cooking with Nigella (with bonus leftover dishes by me).
I've been enjoying the new series Nigella Kitchen on iplayer. I have my usual gripes about the pouting and peeping, the unrestrained hair, wearing a denim jacket to cook in (so uncomfortable!) and the overuse of some words (must we "tumble" "rubble" everywhere?). But even so I like her food, and I suspect she has enough insight and humour to view the sex-kitten persona as a bit of a laugh.
Nigella's food isn't original or earth-shattering. It is do-able and delicious and generally forgiving of tweaks.
Her mother's "praised" chicken was the first dish of the day. The recipe is on her website, but this computer has taken agin nigella.com so I can't link to it. Slightly flattened, then gently cooked with wine and aromatics, the chicken was incredibly tender and delicious, and the broth was wonderful. My only tweak was to use a portion of frozen mirepoix that I had stashed away, instead of chunky fresh vegetables.
I ignored the serving suggestion of pouring the chicken and broth over rice, and decided to make another one of Nigella's dishes, the rapid roastini. Basically bought gnocchi, rendered into miniature roast potatoes by cooking in some oil. I added some rosemary and garlic, and they were just gorgeous with the tender chicken.
Nigella's breakfast bars were my next venture. Oats, nuts, seeds and fruit bound with condensed milk and baked. Minor tweaks - I omitted the coconut and doubled the amount of fruit, using sour cherries and blueberries instead of the cranberries, and I used lightly salted roasted cashews and peanuts as the nuts. These bars are absolutely wonderful. Not as sticky as a flapjack, they have just the right degree of sweetness for my taste, and are very, very sustaining. I will definitely make these again. Although I will line my tin with baking paper next time - oiling it wasn't quite enough.
Something odd about the praised chicken - we ended up with much more leftover than we do normally roasting the same sized chook. So I had loads of lovely leftovers to eat during the week; a large bowlful of cold chicken and a big tub of jellied broth.
I stirfried some of the shredded meat with home made Thai Chilli Jam, then added some noodles cooked in some of the leftover chicken broth. I had some pickled beanshoots & beetroot on the side to tone down the spice a little.
I cooked some rice in some leftover broth, then added some chicken and broccoli. When it was tender, I pulled it off the heat and stirred in an egg, whisked with a handful of parmesan and the juice of a lemon, for a sort of avgolemono/stracciatella comforting bowl of soup. And I still had enough chicken leftover for a sandwich.