I love Jamie Oliver, in particular, his approach to cooking – using the best ingredients can make cooking delicious dishes easy. No fuss cooking.
I have incorporated many of his recipes from his Jamie at Home series into my everyday cooking items, and tonight I made his chicken caesar salad. The chicken and salad is pretty standard, his caesar dressing is not authentic, in that it is a mixture of anchovies, finely grated parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil and creme fraiche but his recipe for making the croutons is seriously genius.
The croutons are simply made by tearing up stale bread and laying the pieces of chicken and bacon over them while in the oven. This way, the juices, fats and flavour from the cooking chicken and bacon becomes infused into the bread. After the chicken is cooked, put it aside to rest, and pop the croutons back into the oven to really crisp up.
Makes a normal salad, something special.
We picked up a free-range, antibiotic-free and hormone-free Empress chicken from Huber’s yesterday. I haven’t had easy access to any other chicken than what’s available at Cold Storage and at $22 for this chicken, it’s about three times the price of what I can get at Cold Storage. And that’s not even an organic chicken, which I was hoping to buy yesterday.
But preparing the Empress chicken tonight for roasting really reminded me why we should all try to avoid cage-reared chicken.
It didn’t have that awful slime that I get with the Cold Storage chicken when I took it out of the bag and the chicken looked so plump-breasted and firm. Even the shape of it made me think that this chicken had to work at walking around, perching, stretching its wings, and that made a really “nice”, for want of a better word, visual in my head – that the bird had a good, natural life, before it was prepared to be cooked in my oven (I know that sounds odd, but I’m not quite ready to go meat-free yet).
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, one of our favourite TV chefs and a firm supporter (along with Jamie Oliver) of free-range chicken really made an impact with his chicken run series.
Now I am trying to find out if Sakura chicken, which apparently is only available through NTUC, and is hormone/antibiotic-free, is also free-range.
All the Christmas specials are on tellie at the moment, and don’t we just love them. Christmas came early this year with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “A Christmas at River Cottage” and Jamie Oliver’s latest Christmas special. The entire River Cottage series is just one feel-good episode after another – they always leave us with smiles on our faces.
But last night was Jamie’s Christmas special which showed you what to do with your turkey leftovers. Now remember I roasted a turkey for the first time this week and there is LOTS of turkey left over. The winner was a sweet leek and turkey pie – think chicken and leek pie – but Jamie’s tip was to roll our your puff pastry, sprinkle cooked chopped chestnuts and sage over half of it, then fold the non-chestnut bit over and roll it thin again. GENIUS.
That’s for dinner tonight – will let you know how it goes !
Hmm…I’m not convinced of the pastry – the sage was overpowering (even though I only put a few bits in) and I couldn’t taste the chestnuts…but at least all the turkey’s used up !