food with sam man­ner­ing

She’s not old enough to eat it – yet – but this spe­cial lit­tle girl was the most adorable per­son present when we tested the recipe.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

I’ll for­ever have Wellington cook and food writer Adie McClel­land’s sage ad­vice in my head: “Think about the ac­com­pa­ni­ment more than you do the pro­tein.” In­deed.

It’s my eternal habit to mar­i­nate some­thing and throw it in the fridge, to be for­got­ten about un­til at least the next day. I don’t like that pre­served lemon is of­ten pi­geon­holed in peo­ple’s minds with things like an­chovy as one of those “too strong” flavours – it is, in fact, a won­der­fully ver­sa­tile in­gre­di­ent, es­pe­cially as a mari­nade with some­thing sub­tle like chicken or white fish be­cause it im­bues ev­ery­thing with a gutsy, fra­grant de­li­cious­ness. Just make sure that you chop it as finely as you can – it means that it will go fur­ther. The purists may howl, but what I have here are most of the ideas you as­so­ciate with a tagine; ex­cept in sort of salad form.

And while I think of it, try mak­ing some aioli and fold­ing in some finely chopped pre­served lemon. It is be­yond su­perb.

If you’re cu­ri­ous about the recipe’s ti­tle, wee Molly – who, at 6 weeks old, had lit­tle to do with the prepa­ra­tion of this dish as I tested it one evening with her par­ents – was by far the most laid-back, pa­tient and, ar­guably, the cutest mem­ber of the ta­ble, so I name it for her.


Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 35 mins Serves: 6 800g chicken thighs, boned 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp co­rian­der seeds Large hand­ful of co­rian­der, roughly chopped 1 tbsp pre­served lemon, finely chopped Olive oil Black pep­per 5 or 6 small car­rots, quar­tered length­ways 2 cups of pearl bar­ley 3 fresh radishes, thinly sliced 1 head of kale or sim­i­lar, roughly chopped 3 tbsp pump­kin seeds, toasted 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted Sea salt In a mix­ing bowl, com­bine the chicken thighs with the cumin, co­rian­der seeds, half the fresh co­rian­der, a gen­er­ous sea­son­ing of pep­per (you won’t need salt, the lemon is salty enough) and sev­eral ta­ble­spoons of olive oil. Cover and leave in the fridge to mari­nade for at least a cou­ple of hours; overnight is even bet­ter.

An hour be­fore you want to serve the salad, pre­heat the oven to 200C on fan bake.

Wash the pearl bar­ley and then add to a saucepan with plenty of water. Bring to a sim­mer and cook over a medium heat for about 20 min­utes or un­til it is ten­der. Drain, rinse and toss in a lit­tle olive oil. In the mean­time, ar­range the mar­i­nated chicken thighs and quar­tered car­rots over an oiled roast­ing tray, driz­zle over the liq­uid from the mari­nade and a lit­tle more olive oil over the top, and roast ev­ery­thing quickly in the pre­heated oven for about 35 min­utes un­til the chicken is well cooked and ev­ery­thing is nicely caramelised on the out­side. Re­move and let it rest for sev­eral min­utes. In the mean­time, fold to­gether the pearl bar­ley with the chopped kale, radish and toasted seeds. Taste and sea­son ac­cord­ingly. Fold in the chicken and car­rot, with the re­main­ing chopped co­rian­der, and serve.

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