I love Bill Granger's relaxed, laid back style of cooking (catch him this week on UKTV foods Market kitchen). His books and TV shows always remind be of summer and he always inspires me to cook simple tasty food. The only down side is that they never seem quiet right during the cold British winter. It's always around this time of year I like to revisit his recipes again for the summer.
I bought his latest book (Feed me now!) a few weeks back looking forward to new inspiration for the upcoming spring/summer. However his latest book is a bit different from his previous offerings. All the photos are shot in this country and it gives the book a completely different feel. I can quiet easily see myself cooking from this book all year round. The recipes are divided in to easy to navigate sections. All the usual sections are there - Breakfast (for which he is famous for), lunch, afternoon treats, family dinners, after work dinners, budget cooking, freeze ahead dishes, entertaining and desserts.
The first recipe I tried was his baked chicken with lemon, potato & green olives. It also meant I got to try out my new poultry shears. As I was only cooking for 2 people I halved all the ingredients and only used the chicken thighs, legs and wings. This is an incredibly simple dish to prepare after work and since it is a one pot dish there is very little washing up (I cooked some green beans separately as I wanted some extra veg so this did increased the washing up by 1 pan!). The only downside is that it takes just over 1 hour from starting preparing to hitting the table. However most of this hour is oven baking time leaving you free to do other things. The result was well worth the wait and I can see this becoming a regular feature on my meal planner. The chicken was moist and the flavours worked really well together (the lemon and the balsamic flavour worked well with the salty flavours of the bacon and olives). I'm really looking forward to trying more recipes from this book.
Baked chicken with lemon, potato & green olives
1kg roasting potatoes, such as Desiree (I used baby new potatoes and the roasted a treat)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
75g green olives
50g pancetta, cut into strips (I substituted this with smokey bacon)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
120ml chicken stock
1 x 1.7kg chicken, jointed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- Cut the potatoes in to small chunks and put them in a roasting tin or ovenproof dish.
- Scatter over the onion wedges, olives, lemon slices, pancetta and bay leaves.
- Add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar to the chicken stock and stir to dissolve/mix.
- Pour the stock over the potato mixture.
- Put the chicken pieces on top.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked/golden.
- Remove the chicken pieces, cover and allow to rest.
- Turn the oven up to 220C/Gas 7 and return the dish to the oven for 10 minutes or until everything is well coloured and the potatoes are cooked.
- Place the chicken back in the dish (remove the bay leaves) and serve.