11 February 2007

Tres Simple Chicken

Ever since my graduation from Warwick, I've been in and out of jobs, that is until last Monday. It was the first day of the rest of my life (or at least the next 6 years), and while a little nerve-wrecking, it turns out that I had absolutely nothing to worry about. I haven't done much so far, but I can just sense that it is going to be really fulfilling. There's so much I want to be involved in and so much I want to help change, that I'm actually really excited to get down to work proper.

Anyway, the great thing about this job, compared to all the previous jobs, is that I have normal fixed working hours. While working in the service industry, my working hours had been totally social life unfriendly, and had screwed up my body clock. Now, back to the 9-to-5 (or rather 830-to-6) work-day, I've had plenty of work-life balance and time to meet up with friends after work.

Determined to do even better than that, I planned a small little teeny weeny gathering for my Warwick friends, that I planned to host at my place together with Fel. The menu was simple. Just four courses, of which the dessert was to be prepared the day before.

But who would have known that I would forget to bring my key that day, have to wait for my brother to reach home after work, leaving us only an hour to prepare the other three courses?

What really saved the day was the fact that I had chosen one of Jamie Oliver's recipes for the main course. Anyone who has cooked from Jamie's Cookbook would know that his recipes are mostly fuss-free. Just toss together and bake. Or just saute all ingredients in a pan and serve.

His Roasted Chicken Breast with Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus was precisely one of these recipes that was just toss-and-bake. I switched the breasts for thighs and drumsticks and added some thyme to the dish as well. And while Jamie's proportions or timings might be a little off at times, I'm proud to announce that his timing for the dish worked. As the chicken was roasted on top of the bed of tomatoes and asparagus, the flavours of the vegetables were able to permeate the juicy chicken. It had an understated simplicity that everyone cleaned off their plates.

Jamie saved my day by leaving Fel and I plenty of time to cook the other two courses, so keep this recipe in case you find yourself in a similarly sticky situation one day. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep an extra housekey in my wallet from now on!

Roasted Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus
Serves 6 as a main course.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie

12 pieces of chicken drumsticks and thighs
24 trimmed sticks (cut into any length you desire) of asparagus
36 halved cherry tomatoes
Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
2 tsps dried rosemary
2 tsps sea salt
2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Toss everything together in a bowl.
Put the vegetables onto a tray lined with aluminium foil and place the chicken on top.
Season well and cook in the middle of the oven for 25-35 minutes.
Serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.


aPril said...

Hi Daphne, glad work's going well for you, it's encouraging to hear your optimism heh :) anyway the jamie oliver recipe looks real straightforward so i'm going to try it sometime soon, especially cos i've been trying to figure out how to use asparagus in my cooking! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi April! =) I hope you'll be joining me soon! You know how nice my colleagues are, since you've worked with them yourself. So you can imagine how comfortable I am with them. Yes, do try the recipe. Super easy! Asparagus there is really thick and fat! Just remember to break off the bottom part of the asparagus cos it gets really tough. Where it breaks naturally is how you determine how much to break off. :)

aPril said...

ooohhh yes you're indeed with great colleagues! ;) maybe i can come by and visit you when i get back in april :) yea i was expecting those thin teeny asparagus we eat with scallops back home, but I got huge ones from Tesco and just randomly cut off 3 inches from the bottom (which might be too much) so I shall break it naturally the next time! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Please do visit! Our department is also constantly in need of people, so during your deployment, keep us in mind!

Do let me know as well, how the chicken turned out for you =)