The Chicken Diaries (Part One)

Part One. Because I honestly don’t think you’ll read the whole thing if I don’t chop it in half with my handy blogging cleaver.


There it is. A tasty blog in two digestible chunks for your delectation. Or, you can spit it out if its not to your taste.

Not sure whether this was a mistake, but I decided to cook the chicken whole, in advance. My logic was that it’s all too easy to buy ingredients with good intentions, only to get carried away with social engagements and the like, remembering when they’re too shriveled or decayed to be consumed (the ingredients, not the social engagements).

I once lived with a girl who routinely threw out food on the ‘use by’ date and I’d forever be fishing perfectly edible produce out of the bin. My own bin! It made me feel like a scrounging scavenging bum, but then I did have the luxury of performing this task from the comfort of my own home which relieved the humiliation aspect considerably.

Anyway, I roasted the chicken for about an hour with nothing but salt and pepper and a lemon stuffed into the cavity, left it to rest, and refrigerated it once cool.

Attended a Hoe-down, complete with line dancing and bucking bronco. No time to cook. Had a few jellybeans, a bowl of Wotsits and a couple of beers for my evening meal.

Was going to cook ‘Chicken Elizabeth’ from Prue Leiths food bible, but didn’t have all the ingredients so decided to go freestyle with what I had in the pantry. It turned out really well. About a trillion times better than the picture suggests. There is still some way to go before food styling becomes a priority on this blog.

The recipe will be posted in due course, but basically what I did was fry an onion and some garlic with a bay leaf and then made a reduction with a splash of white wine, lemon and some of the jelly produced from roasting the chicken.

Good lord that jelly!

So tasty it was that I almost spooned the stuff directly into my mouth instead of the frying pan. It really go me thinking that the whole area of Aspic really needs some serious investigation. After the jelly I threw in some chopped red cabbage, cooked for a few minutes then added the chicken and served it on top of couscous with chopped apples and almonds.

Chicken, cabbage, apple and almond couscous


Art club. B. cooked Thai green (Chicken!) curry. It was so good I had four helpings. My ‘artistic’ contribution was minimal.


Chicken Elizabeth with rice and peas, and watercress

Finally cooked the Chicken Elizabeth, which, on reflection is probably best suited to warmer seasons as, like a rather less palatable dish, it is best served cold. The whole reason for making it was so that I could learn some real culinary skills. On this account I failed miserably.

The ‘ Sauce Elizabeth’ requires the cook to make mayonnaise, but I was more interested in catching up with my friend than concentrating on complicated emulsions, so just used trusty old Hellmans. I know. Shame on me. It still tasted mighty fine, but I can’t help but imagine how much better it might have been with home-made Mayo… such is the life of a curious perfectionist.

L. had brought cheese which we ate for afters with some of the quince butter and during which we enjoyed a lengthy discourse on the vagaries of successful rice cooking.

Cheeses and Quince butter



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