September 20, 2011
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Do you happen to know Newtons Second Law?
I was recently asked to explain this law by littlej, who is a very bright bunny indeed. Never one to admit defeat (or failings) I replied "Never Eat More Than You Can Lift" For this attempt I received a raised eyebrow, and one of THOSE looks that only a young girl can direct at her mother. Thinking this was the end of it, I thought no more about the conversation until confronted with an indignant child, with a detailed project sheet all about Newton and Rocketry. Apparently littlej had checked my answer with her science teacher- and she hadn't been impressed either.
Ungraciously declining my offer of help, little went on to receive an A for her assignment. She is doing amazingly well at school actually, and she and her school team have just won the state final of a very prestigious academic competition. This means she'll be travelling interstate to compete against teams from all of Australia and the Pacific region- and that we're fundraising like mad to support them.
Anyway, to celebrate her achievement, littlej requested one of her favorite meals 'That Lemony Chicken Thing' You can see why we are so proud, she articulates beautifully :) So to prove that I do know quite a bit about food science at least, last night I cooked up littlej's Winner Winner Chicken Dinner with Lemons,Olive and Rosemary for tea.
I'm not giving exact measurements for this recipe, it sort of grows organically depending on your families taste preferences. Mine loooves the sweet puckeriness of lemon, and the slight salty bitterness of the olives, so I add quite a lot. Your fanmily might like a bit less, that's OK too.
1 chicken, or a selection of chicken portions would be fine
A couple of fresh Lemons for slicing, and one for squeezing
A bunch of Rosemary
Some nice waxy Potatoes
Mixed Olives- I prefer the milder green ones for this, but littlejs likes black
Fresh Garlic Cloves
A glug of nice White Wine
Don't add salt, as the olives leach salt as they cook
My first job was to chop the chicken up into serving portions. This was a pretty small chicken so I just went for quartering it. O f course I could have left it whole, but I wanted it to cook fairly quickly tonight.
The easiest way to do this is to use kitchen shears or strong scissors.
Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board with the chickens tail facing you.
Find the backbone, and cut alongside of it, across the ribs, all the way to the end.
Do this again on the other side, and you can open out your flat chicken and use the bone for making stock or feed it to your dog.
Cut through the side of the chicken diagonally between the top end of the drumstick and the ribs, all the way across.
Do the same for the other half, and you have two nice portions of breast with wing, and two nice sections of thigh with the drummie.
Slice the potatoes length ways into nice thick wedges.
Same with the lemons.
Peel the garlic cloves- as many as you want.
Put the olives, potatoes, lemons, garlic, chicken and rosemary into a baking dish.
Drizzle over some oil - I was lucky enough to have some rosemary infused oil,
squeeze in the lemon juice and pour in the glug of white wine, then scrunch everything up together to mix the flavours around. You can leave it like this to marinate for a while to let the flavours infuse.
Cover the pan with a lid or some foil, and bake for about 1/2 in a moderately hot oven. This will allow the liquid to start steaming the potatoes and give them a good headstart without drying out the chicken with dry heat.
Pull the lid or foil off, toss everything around to mix well with the pan juices, then bake until the chicken is golden brown and is cooked through.
Serve this up with some greens for colour and a bit of freshness, and drizzle with any remaining pan juices.
This is very yummy. The lemon bakes down and becomes very sweet and almost jammy,but still tart; the garlic mellows, sweetens and softens so it can be squished and spread on the chicken or potatoes; the waxy potatoes hold their shape beautifully but still soak up some of the sweet, salty juices, and the chicken skin browns up for a satisfying crunch of texture.
A great meal that's easy(especially if you you use pre cut portions)yummy, and is cooked in one pan for less washing up. That's certainly worth celebrating even without winning first prize in a competition. Don't you think so?
So my Dearest Readers,
what do you like to celebrate, and were you a good student at school?
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Congrats on your kid's achievement! The lemon must have added a good balance to the chicken dinner.ReplyDelete
what a delightful dinner in honour of one smart cookie! Congrats to little j!ReplyDelete
Hehe I don't know Newton's second law either and I think I would have answered in about the same vein! :PReplyDelete
this sounds so delicious :) and it sounds like your little j is an amazing kid!ReplyDelete
Littlej got confused, she must have thought you were talking about Isaac Newton's second law, not his mother Edna Newton's! :)ReplyDelete
Personally, I think it is a very good rule not to eat more than you lift - my own personal take on that is to never eat a meal bigger than your head.
Your chicken looks supremely yummy, and congratulations to littlej and her team of braniacs! :)
yum nothing like a good roast.. unfor. ive never tried making one yet. it looks so hard and hard to get right.. im so scared that the meat wont be tender and juicy :(ReplyDelete
Wow, that's great you have such a bright daughter, and support her so much! And the wit of your answer gives me a clue where that may come from. ;)ReplyDelete
I always was a very good student and never got a bad grade in my entire life. Maybe this is why I often feel so insecure about my abilities nowadays, because my standards of comparison are so high. I've been dealing with quite a lot of anxiety regarding my (hopefully) future scientific career lately. It's hit or fail, and the psychological stress is quite high.
Congrats to littlej!!! Stephen's a very science-minded person too, we're looking forward to celebrating his first publication in a science journal! (Any month now, lol). I wasn't a very good student, I was too busy checking out boys in my class ;)ReplyDelete
HAHAHAHA. I happen to be quite a good student in school, too much of a perfctionist actually, but I'm trying to take it easier nowadays and to give myself more time to slack and eat hehe.ReplyDelete
You have brilliant child and I am sure you are a very proud Mum. Congrats to littlej! What a great way to celebrate with a your child's favorite dish! YUMM!ReplyDelete
Haha! My boyfriend says winner winner chicken dinner. I worked in a chicken shop when I was younger. 3 years of stuffing and tucking chickens. Funnily enough, I'm not a vegetarian!ReplyDelete
Aww congrats to littlej on doing so well. Wish I could help out by buying some freddos for the fundraising effort. They sooo remind me of home :)ReplyDelete
More gorgeous food! I make a similar chicken dish using parsnips and lemon - I love the way the lemon goes all caramelised.ReplyDelete
I was a good student - excellent at Latin and French.... which have come in very handy in Palmerston North, NZ (NOT!) LOL
Congrats to LittleJ, and I love your answer :-)
kudos to you for being able to snap step by step photos of preparing the chook! i try to take as much method photos as i can but it can be REALLY annoying to keep going back and forth to wash your hands or take a still shot with just one hand. i apologise for the over-enthusiasm/appreciation for your raw chicken photos haha. this recipes looks great, btw! youve got a very bright girl, wishing her all the best!! =DReplyDelete
There must be more and more of us taking a break from gluten and dairy. I cook chicken in a similar way but include cherry tomatoes in the baking dish. I serve it with quinoa or brown rice. Delicious mid-week meal the whole family enjoys - and they don't even know that what they're eating is good for them!ReplyDelete
It's cool and raining here this afternoon and I really wish I could smell this dish cooking in the oven right about now... hmmm, roasted lemony chicken.ReplyDelete
(And I'm always a fan of a one dish.)
You really can't go wrong with roast chicken dinners... yum. I always load mine up with veggies on the side - baked carrot and sweet potato are so good.ReplyDelete
Hello, hello My Lovelies,ReplyDelete
It's an exciting time at our house, with interviews and everything! littlej and her friends are doing quite well with the fundraising, but still a lot of chocolates to sell :( I'm looking forward to school holidays so she can slow down a little and have a break from it all. Lots of time out in the garden in the fresh spring air should give a good spring clean of the mind as well!
Tigerfish- Thankyou! I love the sweetness it brings as well, yumm..
Lisa- Thanks, so much better than takeaway!
Lorraine- Some of us have more beauty than brains, don't we? :)
Muppy- Thanks and thanks!
Celia- That's right! Us mums are full of good advice aren't we? I don't know why she doesn't take my advice more often. I was quite excited when she had an assignment on Devil's Lair, and offered to do extensive research for her, but she said the assignment was on ancient sites, not the vineyard :( Thanks Sweetie!
Dolly- this is a good one to start with, as it starts off with a steaming effect that helps keep the meat moist.
Kath- Thanks and thanks :) We've never really focused on grades, as long as she's putting in a good effort. We're quite surprised really! I hope you get through your studies without too much pressure- a little is a good thing, but you don't want it to build up too much. Give yourself permission to just do your best, that's enough for anyone. :)
JasmyneTea- Thankyou. How exciting!! What is his subject? That must be how you hit the jackpot then?
Shu Han- Good attitude, it's all about balance- and eating :)
Quay Po- Thankyou, I am! Better than takeaway for sure.
Cassandra- I know, you sort of disconnect. I worked at a fish market for a year, but it never put me off at all- despite the smell, the all pervading smell...
Girl On Raw- So do I! It's the little things you miss, isn't it, any vegemite cravings?
Ninehundredetc.- Oooh, parsnips! Awesome! Are you saying our kiwi cousins are not terribly sophisticated perhaps? Come across to Australia where you will be appreciated :)
vos es inhonoratus domi , exsisto exspectata hic in nostrum excellens humanitas
Winston- Try wrappig the back of the camera in gladwrap! I'm glad you appreciate them, it's not creepy at all :) Thanks!
Hotly Spiced- I'm in it for life, though a break would be nice now and then :) Sounds great too and sneaky, yumm..
Cityhippyfarmgirl- A quick trip back to winter here too this weekend. One dish means less washing up :)
I'm sure there are sophisticated people here... most of the ones who know Latin are lawyers.... lawyers seem to bring me out in hives... :-)
Thank You XXXOOO
wow, Go littlej!! That is amazing! My dad would be proud - he's a maths, science fanatic & sadly none of us kids developed his passion :P & littleJ has excellent food taste too. She's a star! Good luck with fundraising! Can we buy over the net? haha?ReplyDelete
I love a good chicken dinner and this roasted chicken looks amazing. There's nothing like a chicken dinnerReplyDelete