Had a lovely chicken dinner, lovely.
Though some of that might have been down to the bottle and a half of wine I'd worked through
in celebration of leaving wavy Port Edgar and making it the 50 miles to Eyemouth. Hurrah!
I followed Simon Hopkinson's instructions in
Roast Chicken and Other Stories
except that I felt the chicken wanted to keep going at 230°C for the whole time, or at least as close as I could get my boat oven to it,
so I didn't reduce the temperature. Well not deliberately anyway.
My roast potatoes (Charlottes, boiled until soft, halved, seasoned, thrown into an oven tin of hot goose fat) were (almost) ready too early,
so I scooped them out with a slotted spoon, wrapped them in kitchen paper until the chicken was cooked,
then returned them to the hot roasting tin to finish off.
And they came out perfectly. Who says you can't hold your roasties?!
I thought I already had a bunch of thyme for the chicken, but when I unwrapped it they'd gone mouldy - the trials of living on a boat.
So I used some of the coriander dressing
(with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil)
I'd made up and stashed in the fridge to stop the coriander going the same way.
A couple of tablespoons ladled into the chicken along with the crushed garlic cloves and lemon halves.
Oh, and a quartered chunk of ginger that need using up too.
how Simon makes his chicken.
I made creamed leeks
to go with and added a sprinkling of epazote to them.
Either the wine was really effective, or the leeks were really good. Here's what I did:
Fry a good heaped tablespoon of plain flour in a generous amount of butter. Add fat rings of 2 well-washed, drained, leeks. Fry until softened.
Add salt, a generous grind of white pepper, half a teaspoon of epazote. Stir in milk until you get a thick sauce.
Last weekend I cooked dinner for Chic and Nicky - not least in return for the lovely roast pork
(and whisky salad
) they'd pity-fed me previously.
My second boat dinner was somewhat more chaotic than the first, since I hadn't managed to get everything quite so well organised in advance,
what with having to sail down to Granton during the day to pick up a new gas bottle. This Camping Gaz is a bit niche, it seems.
So there was a good deal more chopping and prepping in front of the guests, but it mostly went off pretty well.
Though I thought my coriander Jasmine rice was terrible
. Chic kindly claimed that all the rice he'd had in Thailand was just the same,
but I think it would have helped if I'd rinsed the rice more thoroughly (or at all) before cooking, and avoided over-cooking it slightly so it turned to glue.
Speaking of over-cooking, my baked apples completely collapsed.
They tasted just fine (I stuffed them with raisins and chopped dates and drizzled them with Calvados), but I
should obviously have kept more of an eye on them :)