Saturday, August 29, 2015

Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken

"August 2015 IHCC Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs ((IHCC). For Potluck week, we have the option to cook with any of IHCC featured chefs (past and present) recipes. And for this month's potluck, I've made Nigella Lawson's, Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken.

Chicken pieces are slow-roasted in the oven at a moderate temperature, for about 2 hours 45 minutes. For the first two hours, the chicken pieces are covered with foil and the remaining 45 minutes, without the foil, until the chicken pieces are golden brown and the lemon chunks have begun to scorch. 

I have used an extra head of garlic, well, we love garlic, especially when roasted till they are soft, mushy and creamy, and always, the garlic cloves would be gone by the end of the meal! And I've added some salt to taste, mixing it in with the chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Nigella did not mention any use of salt, both in the recipe and the instructions, but from the photo in the book, it looks like some coarse salt is sprinkled over the cooked chicken. I do not fancy biting into coarse salt at the table, so I have added some sea salt to the chicken pieces before roasting. Thyme is used in the recipe, but I've used fresh rosemary from my garden pot instead. More than half a cup of white wine is used, and the chicken pieces are sitting in the white wine during the long slow-roasting under the foil. The chicken pieces gets cooked in the steam under the foil, and gets really moist and tender. At the end of two hours, the foil is removed, oven temperature is increased, and continue to roast until the chicken is golden brown.

The chicken is very soft and moist. Very lemony dish! I was thinking that it might be less lemony with one lemon instead of two. While this chicken dish is tasty enough, I thought that it wasn't as good as Nigella's Zaa'tar Chicken with Fattoush which I made a while back. But that being said, this makes a nice dinner.

Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken
(adapted from "Nigella Fresh", Nigella Lawson)
1 chicken (approx. 3-1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
1 head garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves (I used 2 heads)
2 unwaxed lemons, cut into chunky eighths
small handful fresh thyme (I use fresh rosemary)
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 tablespoons white wine
black pepper
salt to taste
3 potatoes, cut to chunks

Preheat the oven to 300F.
Put the chicken pieces into a roasting pan and add the garlic cloves, lemon chunks and the thyme; just roughly pull the leaves off the stalks, leaving some intact for strewing over later, (and some salt to taste). Add the oil and using your hand mix everything together, then spread the mixture out, making sure all the chicken pieces are skin-side up. (Place the potato chunks at the sides of the roasting pan).
Sprinkle over the white wine and grind on some pepper, then cover tightly with foil and put in the oven to cook, at flavour-intensifyingly low heat, for 2 hours.
Remove the foil from the roasting pan, and turn up the oven to 400F. Cook the uncovered chicken for another 30-45 minutes, by which time the skin on the meat will have turned golden brown and the lemons will have begun to scorch and caramelize at the edges.
I like to serve this as it is, straight from the roasting pan ; so just strew with your remaining thyme and dole out.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
August 2015 IHCC Potluck

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Garlicky Romaine with Croutons

"Salades et Vinaigrettes", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). It's salad/or salad dressing week with Jacques Pepin, our current featured chef. 

I've made JP's simple yet so good Garlicky Romaine with Croutons. A video of JP making this salad can be found at Rachel Ray show's website, here

It is a simple salad and takes only minutes to prepare. Recipe uses stale sourdough bread, but I have used regular white bread instead.  I bought a pack of baby romaine, and the rest of the ingredients are pantry ingredients ; whole-grain mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and I have used extra-virgin olive oil. In the video, JP has used peanut oil.

Bread is cut to cubes and then toast with a little olive oil in the pan for a few minutes until brown all over. The salad dressing is mixed together and toss with the salad leaves just before serving, top with the toasted bread cubes.

This is a simple and very tasty salad. I like the garlicky mustard dressing! And I have always love breads in salads. I've made this salad twice already and will definitely be making it again. 

Jacques Pepin's Garlicky Romaine with Croutons
(source from here)
Croutons :
3 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
2-1/2 cups 1-inch pieces stale country bread

Dressing :
1 tablespoon crushed and finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grainy mustard, such as Meaux
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup peanut or corn oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)

1 large head romaine lettuce, damaged leaves removed, the remainder cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces, washed, and dried (about 10 cups lightly packed)

For the croutons :
Heat the oil in a large skillet, when it is hot, add the bread and saute for about 4 minutes, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

For the dressing :
Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and oil in a bowl suitable for serving the salad.

When ready to serve, add the lettuce to the bowl and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with the croutons and serve immediately.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
"Salades et Vinaigrettes"

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Pound Cake : Bake-Along #85

This week at Bake-Along #85, Lena has selected to bake Chocolate Raspberry Pound Cake together with Zoe, myself and anyone who wishes to bake along with us.

It is a marble cake where the plain batter is flavoured with some raspberry jam. The baked cake is then brushed with some raspberry jam and coated with melted chocolate. I could not find any raspberry jam without seeds and there's no raspberry jelly in the supermarket shelves either. So I grabbed one jar of raspberry jam with seeds. 

I made half a recipe, and reduce the sugar slightly more. The cake is baked in a 7 x 4-inch loaf pan and took about 40 minutes to bake.

I did not wait for the chocolate glaze to really set, and use it when it was still a little loose. See the chocolate glaze collected in the plate around the cake! And the seeds of the raspberry are visible, which is not to my preference.

My cake turned out a little too dense, though the texture is moist. I must have overmixed the batter! Taste-wise, this cake is just OK for me, could not really taste the raspberry jam in it and if I were to bake this again, I would probably just omit the raspberry jam altogether. 

Chocolate Raspberry Pound Cake
(adapted from "Cake Keeper Cakes", Lauren Chattman)
Serves 8 to 10
For the cake :
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup raspberry jam

For the glaze :
1/4 cup raspberry jam
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur

Make the Cake :

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour.
  2. Put 1 inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler or a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Place the chocolate in the top of the double boiler or in a stainless steel bowl big enough to rest on top of the saucepan, and set the bowl on top of the simmering water, making sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the eggs and vanilla in a glass measuring cup and lightly beat. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
  5. With the mixer on medium low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixer once or twice or scrape down the bowl.
  6. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.
  7. Scrape half the batter into a medium mixing bowl and whisk in the raspberry jam. Whisk the melted chocolate into the batter remaining in the mixer.
  8. Scrape 1/2 the raspberry batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top, then add 1/2 of the chocolate batter. Repeat the layers with the remaining batters. Run a butter knife blade through the batter to create marbling. Do not overmix.
  9. Bake the pound cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.
Make the Glaze :
  1. Heat 1/4 cup raspberry jam until loose, and use a pastry brush to brush the warm jam all over the cake. Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, and chocolate in a small pot and heat over medium, whisking until smooth. Stir in the raspberry liqueur. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Spoon the glaze over the cake, smoothing it over the top and sides with a small metal spatula to cover. Let stand until the glaze firms up about 1 hour. Slice and serve.
  2. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature, or wrap loosely in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme : Pretzels (Yeasted)". Please do join us, and link your post to our linky which will open from  3rd till 12th September. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


A friendly reminder when linking to our linky :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.

and I'm sharing this post with :
Cook-Your-Books #26 @ kitchen flavours
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