Ani at Foodie Chickie is hosting this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge, and she has chosen the theme of none other than The Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. I am a huge fan of Nigella, so I couldn't miss this event.
For my entry, I have chosen two recipes from Nigella Express, together with a tip for roasting asparagus from How to Eat.
The keynote dish that I made was Nigella's Buttermilk Roast Chicken. A marinade of buttermilk, maple syrup, cumin and garlic gives the chicken pieces a wonderful golden colour and juicy, delicate flavour. It is also quick and easy to make - the time-consuming aspects of marinading and cooking the chicken do not require your attention while they are quietly happening.
To make this dish, you need (for a half batch):
6 chicken pieces
60ml vegetable oil
1 clove skinned and bruised garlic
1/2 tablespoon crushed peppercorns (or pepper to taste ;))
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour in the buttermilk and 30ml of oil, and add the peppercorns (or pepper), salt, cumin and maple syrup. Combine everything well and coat the chicken with the marinade mixture, then allow to marinade for at least half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius, and place the drained chicken pieces on an alfoil-lined tray. Drizzle the remaining oil over the chicken, and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
To accompany this delightful chicken dish, I made Nigella's Warm Potato Salad, also from Nigella Express. To make a half batch of this salad, you need:
1kg washed baby potatoes
2 finely sliced spring onions
1/2 tablespoon oil
4 rashers bacon OR a jar of bacon bits
1/2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft and cooked through. Drain the potatoes then cut in half. If using bacon, cook it in a frypan until crispy. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle over the spring onions. Combine the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, and pour over the potatoes and spring onions. Toss the salad to coat it with the dressing. Just before serving, sprinkle over the crumbled bacon or bacon bits (to taste).
Finally, I followed Nigella's instructions for roasting asparagus from How to Eat. This simply involves spraying the asparagus with a little oil, placing on a foil-lined tray and roasting in a 220 degree Celsius oven for 15 minutes or so.
As ever with Nigella's recipes, I really enjoyed this meal, and would definitely make each component again.
Thanks to Ani for hosting this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. You can check the roundup of some really great Nigella dishes here.