On Francesca’s (Almost Italian) advice, I went to Big W and bought a couple of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. They were a bargain (on Australian standards) at $34.00 each. I bought The Cookbook and Plenty. I already had Jerusalem.
Maus was flicking through Plenty, it was still on the coffee table, and piped up, “Did you buy this for Colette for Christmas?” “No, its mine. Why?” I replied. “Its vegetarian,” she smirked. Oh dear!! Maybe I should have opened the book before I bought it 🙂 I am sure there will be some great salads in it. Yotam is famous for his salads.
Ottolenghi The Cookbook, on the other hand, is not vegetarian. I had only given it a quick flick when I spotted a couple of great chicken traybakes. Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon and roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey. Maus’ sister, Pauline, was coming to dinner so I let Maus choose which we would try. She chose the latter. It was great, and dead easy to put together. We will definitely be making it again.
I also made a wonderful salad to go with it from Jerusalem – Baby spinach salad with dates & almonds. I intended to do a post on it but my photo does not do it justice. If I don’t end up doing a post, check it out anyway. It is a great recipe. It is on page 30.
- 1 large free-range chicken cut into serving pieces. I cut down either side of the backbone (keeping it for stock) and down the centre of the breast bone. I then separate the breast from the thigh, separate the drumsticks, remove the wings (keeping them for another day) and cut the breast in two.
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 4 tbs* olive oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- a generous pinch of saffron strands
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tbs* cold water
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 100g unskinned hazelnuts
- 70g honey
- 2 tbs* rosewater
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
*These are 15 mil tablespoons.
- In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for, at least, an hour or overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Even though the recipe didn’t say to: once the hazelnuts were roasted, I rubbed them in an old tea towel to remove the skins.
- Chop the roasted hazelnuts coarsely and set aside.
- Transfer the chicken and marinade to a baking dish large enough to accommodate everything comfortably. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side up.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
- While the chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rosewater and nuts together.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and spread the nut mixture over each piece of chicken.
- Return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown.
- Garnish with the chopped spring onions and serve.