Weekend Cookbook Challange #16: Something New

Yes, another blog event! I've missed a few I wanted to participate in (bread and brownies), and have been trying to get this in for awhile so hopefully I get the post finished before the event is over!

Sara, of I Like to Cook fame, is back hosting this month, with the theme of Something New. In her own words:

So pull out a new book or kitchen gadget. Or use a new ingredient you've been wanting to try. Maybe try out a new technique! Whatever you decide to do with Something New, make sure you have fun.

Even I can do that!

With that in mind, I went off to my local library and hit the cookbook section, with nothing particular in mind, no direction that I wanted to go. I ended up coming home with two Jamie Oliver books.

I've never made a Jamie Oliver recipe before, and with the exception of his School Dinner's series (of which I have the follow up on my pvr right now for me to watch), I've never been much of a fan of his either. His Naked Chef series was okay but since then I've found him to be so foul mouthed that I just could not watch him. I mean honestly, can he not keep discipline with his students and staff without calling them such degrading names and swearing every other word? To me that is a lack of respect thing and if you can't show basic respect, you aren't worth any.

Now I did find he swore alot in his School Dinner's series, but no where near as much. As though he were actually growing up and realizing that foul language is not appropriate in the work place.

So I took home two of his books and sat down to read. The first book was a bust for me (and I'm sorry to say I have no idea what book it was! Oh wait, just checked online book store, it was The Naked Chef Takes Off) It's not that there weren't any good recipes, just none that interested me enough to jot down or to want to try at some point.

The second book, Happy Day's with the Naked Chef, showed, to me at least, that he'd grown up a bit more since the last one, and did have several recipes who's page number I jotted down to go back and have a look at. One I even had time to write down before I had to bring the book back!

So for my Something New cookbook challenge, I offer this recipe: Pot Roasted Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce, from Jamie Oliver's Happy Day's with the Naked Chef.

4 ½ lb chicken

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

4 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger, grated with skin left on

2 red peppers, halved and deseeded

2 yellow peppers, halved and deseeded

4 red onions peeled

2 fresh chilies, snapped in half

1 ripe pineapple, peeled, quartered and chopped

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

preheat the oven to 350F. Season your chicken generously inside and out and stuff the cavity with the mixed parsley and ginger. Cut your peppers and red onions into quarters and put them into a cold casserole dish. Add the chilies, pineapple and crushed fennel seeds. Drizzle with 3 good glugs of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until well coated. Place your chicken on top, pat it with a little oil and cook in the middle of the preheated oven for 1 ½ hours. The chicken is ready when the bones can easily be pulled out of the thighs.

Once cooked, drain the chicken juices out of the pan. Remove the chicken to a plate with half of the vegetables and pineapple, and allow to rest for 5 minutes while you make your sauce. Put the remaining vegetables and pineapple from the pan into a food processor with the sugar and the vinegar, and correct the seasoning with a little salt. Blend to make a lovely sauce – add a little boiling water to loosen and thin out if need be. Season to taste.

Serve with stir-fried noodles or steamed rice.

This recipe was good, though how it feeds only 4 I will not know. Must be four grown men, not a family of 4 that includes 2 children, even accounting for leftovers, which we like to have for lunches the next day. At least the grown ups do. I reduced the veggies a touch, but also could not get a 4 1/2 lb chicken, ended up with one a bit over 5 lbs. What I should have done, though, is only pulverize 1/4 of the veggies, not the half called for. Half resulted in way, way, way too much sauce. So much sauce that when the chicken was all gone, I still had over 4 cups of sauce! So I stuck it in a freezer bag because it will be good later on with some chicken meatballs.

I guess it will be another new experiment for later!


Deborah said...

This looks and sounds really good. I really want to make it, but have been shying away from anything with red or yellow peppers because I can't find them for less than $1.50 a piece and I can't justify spending $6 on just peppers - maybe I'll have to wait until late summer when I can hopefully find some local, cheaper ones!

Lis said...

Mmmm I heart roasted chicken! Your's looks wonderful! I love the sauce too.. great combo and all of the extra will be terrific with chicken meatballs - you're a genius! :D


Sara said...

What a great recipe, thanks for taking part in WCC. I was a big fan of jamie oliver when he first started out, but that series when he opened the restaurant with all the swearing and stuff, I also did not enjoy and couldn't watch.