Bread and Chicken



I didn’t think I could love an oven more than I loved my previous Gaggenau, which I used continuously for 22 years. The logical thing then would be to replace it with its current model.

Can a perfect oven get any better? We used the new oven as soon as the electrician gave the go-ahead. In under two weeks we have cooked and fed the family with goose, turkey, ham, roasted vegetables and cakes.

Yesterday I thought we should put the spit-roast function through its paces. There are times when I feel sad thinking about my dad. He really loved roast chicken and was especially fond of rotisserie chicken. He first ate this on a trip to France with my mother and he kept on looking out for it ever since. He would try anything, including the rotisserie chicken from Kenny Rogers (in KL) or Waitrose and the Chicken Shop (in London). But I was happiest when we could roast a bird for him in our oven.

I think my dad would have loved the new oven. The spit-roasting function works better, although there are no instructions given in the manual. Mr Gochugaru and I worked out the ideal chicken size and roasting time from our collective experience. Two organic chickens, each weighing 1.5 kg, were securely pinned on to the skewer. Leftover dry rub from the Christmas turkey was mixed with olive oil and applied all over the skin. The chickens were roasted at 180C fan with full grill function for one hour. We let the chickens rest for 15 minutes after removing them from the oven.



Whilst the chickens were roasting we made some vegetables: roasted celeriac with green lentils and spinach, rosti potatoes and a coleslaw of red cabbage, carrot and fennel with a citrus dressing


This morning I thought I should make some focaccia. Here is my confession: I need bread but I don’t knead it. Even in my early forays into bread making, I had a dedicated Panasonic bread machine. The reason is that good bread is easy to find in London, so home-made bread should be effortless and a better version of what you can find otherwise. There is so much good sourdough in local bakeries, but a good focaccia is harder to find.

The new Gaggenau has a bread proofing function. When I pointed this out to Shoe Lady she laughed and said that this is the one function she would not need in Singapore. In London, though, it is cold for much of the year. Having a constant heat of 38C helps remove any anxiety because, provided you have a reliable recipe and reliable yeast, the dough will rise.


The bread dough before being baked


Afterwards: a rectangular slab of golden goodness


We ate the bread for lunch with leftover chicken, which remained tender, and raw Brussels sprouts known simply as the Josh McFadden recipe. Junior 3 took 20 minutes just to thinly slice 500g of sprouts, after which he said: every time I think it would be fun to work in a restaurant I remind myself that this is what your day would be like…a bucket of this.



I hope to write about the Gaggenau full-induction electric hob soon. As I have been telling everyone, there is good news and bad news about the hob. Good news: it is so easy to use. Bad news: it is also so fun to use that the children have been hogging it. The first thing they cooked were scallops on the teppanyaki plate. It is a good thing that the cleaning is simple and fuss-free. I use water, a little Fairy washing up liquid and an E-cloth. Changing from a gas to induction hob was a very last minute decision, and I am so glad I caught the boat in time.