In response to the question what is my favourite food, the answer is always chicken and rice. This combination of Miso Chicken and Confit Garlic Rice was adapted from the Ottolenghi SIMPLE cookbook.
I made my life slightly difficult by jointing two whole chickens instead of using chicken legs as suggested in the book. However the chicken carcasses are good for making stock, so I will probably do the same again in future. Two chickens will feed eight hungry people. Please see the end of the post for details of the original recipe. An online version is here.
You can serve the miso chicken with plain rice, or serve the garlic rice with fish or another meat. In order to get this Chicken and Rice to the table at the same time, there are some steps to follow:
1) peel the garlic and shallots then soften (confit) in olive oil
2) wash the rice and set aside
3) make the chicken marinade
4) joint the chicken, adding the pieces into the marinade as you go along
5) place the chicken in the oven
6) add the rice to the garlic pot, pour in boiling water
7) place the rice pot in the oven
8) cook the chicken and rice together for around 35 – 40 minutes, then check which dish needs a bit more cooking.
For the chicken:
2 large whole chickens jointed into 16 pieces (total around 1.8 kg chicken pieces made up of 4 thighs, 4 drumsticks, 8 half breasts)
120 g red miso paste
5 tablespoons mirin
5 tablespoons maple syrup
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
50 g fresh ginger, grated
40 g fresh coriander (stems and leaves), chopped
1 – 2 red or green chillies, deseeded and sliced thinly
6 spring onions, roughly sliced
You will also need a large and deep baking tin, about 28 x 40cm. Preheat the oven to 200 C fan.
How to Make:
Score each piece of chicken 2 times and set aside.
Place all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, using a small whisk to combine.
Add the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix well.
Lay the chicken pieces, skin side up, on the baking tin. Pour over all the marinade.
Place in the oven and finish preparing the rice. The chicken takes around 35-40 minutes to cook.
For the Rice (serves 8 with the chicken):
500 g cherry tomatoes, on the stem if possible
100 g garlic cloves – large sized if you can find it
200 g banana (long) shallots, cut into small pieces
120 g olive oil
450 g basmati rice
900 g boiling water
4 small cinnamon sticks or 5 whole star anise
½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
Ground black pepper
Chopped coriander or parsley, to serve
You will also need a large oven-proof pot with a lid. I used a Le Creuset casserole. Preheat the oven to 200 C fan.
How to Make:
Place the garlic, shallot and oil in the pot and simmer over a low heat for around 30 minutes, or for as long as it takes to cut up 2 whole chickens if you are also making the Miso Chicken. The garlic and shallot should not take on any colour, but simply be left to soften.
Add the rice, boiling water, cinnamon / star anise, salt and some black pepper. Give everything one gentle stir, then place the cherry tomatoes (on the stem if possible) on top.
Cover the pot and place in the oven for around 35 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the chopped herbs before serving.
I used some fat and juicy French garlic for the rice
We served the chicken and rice with: roasted carrots and beetroot with sherry vinegar and maple syrup, blistered green beans with ginger, garlic and soya sauce, wilted spinach balls with a tahini and peanut sauce.
After the dinner the children did not go their separate ways. Instead, they hopped into one car and made their way to the South of France for their own holiday in the sun. I messaged my ladies’ Bible group and asked them to pray for the children’s’ safety in their travels. One older lady shot back a reply and said that she still worries when her son aged 50 travels with his family.
Once a Mum, always a Mum.
Ottolenghi SIMPLE by Yotam Ottolenghi, published by Ebury Press, ISBN 978-1785031168. Baked rice with confit tomatoes and garlic is on page 174 and Chicken with miso, ginger and lime is on page 230.