Tuesday, April 15, 2008

....and now for something completely different!

Cooking for me is therapy. I get away from the strains of the workday, and once I'm in the kitchen, fortified no doubt with a glass of a good Merlot, I forget about the trials and tribulations of the office.

As Mrs Z will tell you, I'm always searching for new ways to prepare dishes, and very occasionally come up with something, following no recipe at all, which really does taste very good.

OK, this is what I did with a whole chicken.

Cut the chicken into the usual pieces, ie drumsticks, thighs, wings, breasts, ribs etc, and put it into a marinade, made as follows:
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilis with seeds
  • A large finger of fresh young ginger
  • 3 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 table spoons of Chinese rice wine (or use dry sherry if you don't have the rice wine)
  • 4 table spoons of pouring honey
  • 2 table spoons of dijon mustard
  • 1 table spoon of demerara sugar
  • Half a tea spoon of sea salt
  • Half a tea spoon of freshly ground black pepper

Blitz it all in a blender or food processor and pour into a large freezer bag, already containing the chicken. Close bag and massage it well before putting into the fridge for about 2 hours minimum - overnight is even better.

Take out of the fridge and pour it all into a roasting tin, but cover the tin with aluminium foil. Put into the oven, pre-heated to 230c (450F) for about 20 mins, turning down to 210c (400F) for a further 20 mins, then, after pouring off all the juice and retaining it, and drizzling olive oil over the chicken, put back into the oven, turned back up to 230c for a further 15 mins to crisp the skin.

Pour the juice into a pan and boil to reduce by half, adding a couple of knobs of butter to thicken, and letting it simmer for a couple of minutes.

It's all ready for serving, which I did with steamed rice, and choy sum (stir fried and served in oyster sauce).


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