A fancy whole roast chicken is enough company
There are a few in my collection that I cook very often. One of them is “At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking” by Nigella Lawson (Flatiron Books; 2017; 288 pages; $35). I learned about the book through an Instagram account I started following in 2018. Deborah Balint (@raindaybites) started her first online Instagram cookbook club nine years ago with #rainydaybitescookbookclub. “I had kids at home and knew I couldn’t commit to going to a local cookbook club,” Balint told me. “(I) thought there must be other people who, like me, can’t go because of family, work, or travel issues. So I just started!” She added that the Cookbook Club has become a great way to create community with people all over the world. At first I was drawn in by Balint’s food photography, and I watched from afar for quite a while before finally joining in on the fun.
Playing along is easy. Balint selects the cookbook and then selects two recipes that will serve as the challenge recipes, as well as a third optional bonus recipe. You choose a date for each recipe photo that you post directly to Instagram, hashtag #rainydaycookbookclub so everyone can see how the dish turned out for you. Besides these three challenge recipes, you can make and share other recipes from the cookbook using the same hashtag all month long. Anyone can participate and join at any time. Simply find the cookbook ad post in Deborah’s Feed (Cookbook Cover) and follow the directions. It’s a fun way to get out of a cooking jam, learn new techniques, and make new friends online who share your passion for cooking and baking.
Being such a fan of Lawson’s work, it seemed only fitting that the first monthly challenge I decided to take on was for “At My Table.” The recipes, many of which have stories and memories woven through their accompanying footnotes, are written in Lawson’s uniquely intimate voice that also sounds a little sassy in places where I can’t help but laugh out loud. I can picture her writing titles that she described with a smile and a lively “wink, wink, nudge, nudge.”
There’s so much to love about this cookbook: each recipe has a gorgeous color photo accompanying it, with a no-fuss food design to show you exactly what the finished dish should look like; Completely clear and straightforward instructions that make you feel like Lawson is in the kitchen cooking with you; And my favorite part, organizing the ingredients list, which lists the ingredient first, followed by the measurement (pepper – fine grind; garlic – 1 fat clove; sea salt – 1 fat pinch; dill – a few fronds; olive oil – 1 tablespoon, etc.). So, with one scan, you can see the ingredients, allowing you to quickly assess what ingredients are already in your pantry.
Today’s chicken recipe was the first in the “On My Table” Palint challenge.
I’ve made a lot of chicken over the years, but this grilled and speckled chicken was the best I’ve ever made. Symbolizing Lawson’s savory cooking style, the chicken sits overnight in a bath of white miso, vegetable oil, sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, and freshly grated ginger and garlic. An hour before you’re ready to grill, place on the kitchen counter and rise to room temperature. It’s then roasted, coated, until near done, drizzled with more sesame oil, and sprinkled generously with sesame seeds before returning to the oven uncovered, until the skin is crispy golden and the chicken is cooked through. I cooked in excess of 10 minutes to get the picture perfect color – the chicken had no worse luck in that long, remaining succulent and invitingly fragrant.
Lawson’s recipe needs a little extra instruction that would be considered unnecessary for experienced home cooks but essential for beginners, so I included that in the adaptation (how to spray a chicken, for example).
This chicken may take a little too long for a midweek meal, but it’s excellent for weekend cooking—with leftovers, if any, it makes for a satisfying midweek lunch.
Butter chicken with miso and sesame seeds
Find ripe white miso at local Asian markets, Gelson’s, Jimbo’s Naturally, Lazy Acres, Krisp Beverages and Natural Foods, Seaside Market, Sprouts, Whole Foods and Windmill Farms. Tip: To keep my ginger fresh, I keep it well rinsed without peeling knobs in the freezer and use Microplane On frozen ginger for the lightest fluffiest and finest grated to cut.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon of vegetables aI
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
4 teaspoons mellow white miso
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
4 pounds whole organic chicken
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
Make the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon each of the sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic. sit aside.
Spatchcock (Butterfly) Chicken: Remove any giblets from the chicken and set aside. Place the chicken on a board with the butt side facing you. Cut along one side of the spine using a very sharp pair of kitchen shears, starting at the butt end and working toward the neck. Repeat on the other side of the spine. Turn the bird over, chest up. Place one palm in the center of the breast and the palm of the other hand on the back of your hand and press firmly until you hear and feel your breastbone snap. The chicken should now be firmly placed on the board. Save the spines and giblets in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for the next batch of bone broth.
Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken in a large resealable bag and pour over the marinade. Seal the bag tightly, flip it over a few times, and massage the chicken with the marinade until it’s coated as evenly as possible. Put it in the fridge overnight.
Preparing for the grill: Take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before roasting it. Empty the contents into a quarter pan (or any low-sided pan large enough to hold the chicken). Make sure the chicken is breast-side up and place the legs so that the thighs are flat on the pan and the ends of the legs are touching their respective corners. Tuck the wing tips behind the chicken’s neck. Leave the chicken on the counter to come to room temperature.
Grill the chicken: Place rack in lower third of oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover chicken tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. When the oven comes to a temperature, put the chicken in the oven and let it roast for 45 minutes.
final touches: Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Brush the chicken with its juices, then drizzle the rest of the sesame oil evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and return the uncovered chicken to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the skin is cooked through, the chicken is amazingly golden, and the chicken registers 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast (the top closest to where the neck bone was; make sure the probe is inserted at an angle , and avoid the bone).
Serve the chicken over sushi rice with a drizzle of the dairy juices.
Adapted from “At My Table” by Nigella Lawson. The recipe, as written, is copyrighted by Anita L. Arambula and reprinted with permission from Confessions of a Foodie.
Arambola is the director and designer of the food department. She blogs at Confessionsofafoodie.mewhere is the An original copy This article has been published. Follow her on Instagram: @employee. It can be accessed at [email protected].