Sometimes I feel like I’ve been playing catch up. When your life stops it takes awhile to catch up and that is what I’m doing. My life had been on hold for various reasons, some of which had to do with Manservant’s travels and lack of work, or too much work. Last year began my time of catch up, which I was more than ready to do. I could wax poetic on this, but my mantra to all girls just starting out is to always keep your foot in the door. Trust me, I learned the hard way. But rather than dwelling on the past, let’s move into the present and let me tell you about why we are even talking about “catch up”.
Trust me, I have bought very few cookbooks in the last 10 years. Luckily, I have many cookbooks and the library has been a great resource, too. In the last ten years those two have kept me fed, so to speak! The truth is I love cookbooks. I devour them like novels.I sleep with them by my bed. In my opinion, one can never have too many cookbooks. If you are ever wondering what to buy me, well, flowers and cookbooks will suffice!
And so it is I found myself facing “Ottolenghi” at dinnertime. On a cold winter night. In a cold house. It was snowing outside. I was hungry for more than a PB and J! Have I set the scene properly? So I opened the book to the middle. Truly, the page I opened to is page 123 and there are only like 283 pages in the book, so that is about the middle, isn’t it? This recipe, roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey, was on that page. And on the opposing page is another chicken recipe with za’atar that I am dying to make, too!
Well, this roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey, rocks! It will knock your socks off. It will send people running from all avenues of your home to see what you are making. It is special. It is simple. It is worth waiting 10 years for, when I could have made it way back in 2008, when this cookbook was published! My intuition tells me you will love it. But my intuition also tells me that you may wonder about this odd sort of ingredients that aren’t very American, so to speak. To this I say, “It is the new year. Time to try new things. Escape your box. Live a little. Catch up. And trust me!” I have great intuition!
1 chicken, divided into pieces or quarters
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 T olive oil
1 t ground ginger or a few gratings of fresh
1 t ground cinnamon
a generous pinch of saffron threads
Juice of 1 lemon
4 T cold water
From: Yotam Ottolenghi – “Ottolenghi, The Cookbook
Keywords: chicken, saffron, rosewater, roast chicken