Well, summer is not quite here, but we celebrated a warm spring Sunday by invoking our first long lunch. When we all manage to be home, Sunday lunch means emptying the cold foods from the fridge for a kind of extended salad. In warm weather, we set it all up outside under the willow tree. My aim is to fit as many foodstuffs and condiments on the table as possible. It will sound totally gluttonous to tell you that we had ham, smoked salmon, olives, strawberries, home-made filo pastries, avocado, tomato, lettuce, fresh pineapple, capers, etc, etc.
And the meal just kind of goes on, and then the afternoon is spent cooking something exotic, which is what Sunday evenings are all about (when we're home!) Kylie Kwong's Heart and Soul is a brilliant Asian cookbook with all kinds of interesting twists, including this braised chicken with vibrant flavours. It's kind of Thai-Moroccan!.
We used two small chickens but into pieces (with my new kitchen snips).
Put a pinch of saffron threads in a couple of teaspoons of hot water to stand for a little while.
Coat the chicken in flour with salt and pepper and shallow fry in olive oil until browned. Place in a casserole dish.
In the same pan, fry 6 cm sliced ginger, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 10 cloves garlic crushed and 1 tablespoon sea salt for 1 minute.
Add 3 chopped carrots, 6 small red shallots, 5-6 whole roma tomatoes, and 6 bay leaves and stir well.
Add 5 tablespoons palm sugar and stir for another minute.
Add 1/4 cup fish sauce, 1 tablespoon finely slice preserved lemon rind, 10-12 fresh dates (pitted), 4 large red chillies, 1 teasppon ground cumin, 1 lime cut into quarters and saffron water. Stir to combine.
Then add 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup sherry vinegar.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes on high heat and then pour over the chicken.
Bake in the over or simmer in the pan (covered) for 40 minutes.
This is a wild mix of flavours. Really imaginative and it works.
The rest of the book has remarlable recipes such as
- bacon braised with red wine and fresh cherries
- moroccan-style meatballs with sour cherry and date sauce
- braised quail with fresh figs and green grapes
- roast stuffed shoulder of lamb with apricot and chestnut sauce
oh, and Asian recipes too!
Her Recipes and Stories is excellent too.