Tuesday, September 12, 2006
After a week away & eating our for every single meal I was looking forward to getting back into my kitchen & cooking up something hopefully delicious. I decided to try this dish from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Kitchen. I used some chicken marylands instead of a whole chicken cut up as frankly I couldn’t be bothered with the chopping. Wow, this dish was amazing, unlike anything I have ever cooked before, very different. The aroma of aniseed while cooking was intense thanks to the fennel bulb & seeds. The bulghur wheat was fantastic, I haven’t really tasted or cooked with this much at all in the past & I loved it, it went all crisp & brown around the edges & the rest was just melt in the mouth full flavour. The flavours in the crispy chicken skin were gorgeous too & it all went so well together especially with that final dollop of sour cream to bring it all together.
Lebanese Lemon Chicken
1 large chicken cut into pieces
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
3 heaped tablespoons plain flour
extra virgin olive oil
1 large bulb fennel, roughly chopped, herby tops chopped & reserved
1 red onion, peeled & roughly chopped
2-3 small preserved lemons, chopped
1 small bunch fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
150g farika or bulghur wheat
1 wineglass of tequila, vodka or white wine
565ml chicken stock or water
1 small tub sour cream
Preheat oven to 180c. Bash all of the spices up in a mortar & pestle with the salt until you have a fine powder. Add the flour & mix well. Rub this all over your chicken, any flour left over, reserve for later.
Heat an appropriately sized casserole type pan on the stove and add 5 tablespoons olive oil. Brown your chicken pieces on all sides, do this in one layer. Once they are coloured, remove to a plate, turn down the heat, add the onion, fennel, lemons and rosemary to the pan. Fry for around 5 minutes or until nicely softened. Then add excess flour & farika or bulghur wheat, give it all a good stir.
Add the tequila, vodka or wine & allow to cook down. Cover with chicken stock until it reaches the same level as the grains & veg. Now make a cartouche (A piece of greaseproof paper cut to fit the size of your pan). Run it under the tap to make it flexible then rub with olive oil. Place over the grains & veg in the pan & put the chicken on top. Place in oven & cook for 45 minutes until the chicken skin is really crisp. Serve with a dollop of sour cream & the fennel tops.