They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I'm afraid that sometimes I do. I came across this cookery book a month or so before Christmas, and I absolutely fell in love with the cover. I had never heard of Lotte Duncan, (I know, what rock was I hiding under!), but the beautiful presentation of this fabulous looking tart on it's cover made me swoon. Pink is also one of my favourite colours and so . . . I was smitten. I just had to bring it home with me.
I love cookery books. I have a ton of cookery books. I have so many cookery books that, every time I bring a new one into the house, Todd rolls his eyes in exasperation and voices his doubt that I really needed to buy yet another one . . . however . . . let it be put down for the record . . . here and now . . . that he has never once complained at having to eat the results of my cooking labours, which are the natural side effect of me having made a new purchase!
(the first basting, early on in the cooking time)
I read cookbooks like I read novels. I literally devour them from page one to the last page, and when I read Lotte's introduction to this book where she said:
“I believe that to enjoy your food, you don’t want to be so tired from cooking that you’re unable to lift a fork to eat it…”
I thought to myself . . . here is a woman after my own heart. I have always believed that cooking should be a fun and non "labour intensive" exercise . . . and delicious of course! I had enough of labour intensive when I was cooking at the manor, churning out six-course "silver service" dinners all on me own . . . and, whilst I truly enjoyed the challenge of it all, that was work and I was being paid to do it . . . at home . . . I like simple.
(the finished bird)
I've made several recipes from this book now, and I have to say, Lotte is as good as her word. There is not much in it's pages that is so labour intensive as to put you off from cooking it. There's quite a variety of recipes here as well . . . from a sensible sausage and bean casserole, on up to a beautifully whimsical syllabub trifle! The photos are beautifully presented, and the recipes seasonal. All in all, I count this as one of my favourite cookery book purchases last year.
We love Roast Chicken in this house. Most times when I cook it, I follow the same pattern . . . I start off with a good free range bird, and then I rub it with butter and herbs all over and under the skin of the breast, pushing it in as far as I can go and massaging it on the outside. I stuff it with lemons and garlic, and then I squeeze lemon juice over the top, seasoning it with salt and pepper as I go. It always turns out fabulousy delicious, and we love it. Garlic, lemon and chicken are like the holy trinity of chickendom!
Lotte had a deliciously different recipe in her book that I wanted to try however . . . Marmalade Roasted Chicken and, so, quite naturally I did . . . try it that is, with most delicious results . . . but of course, as you know . . . I had to do things just a tad bit differently . . .
One, because I can never leave well enough alone, and two, because I believe in using ingredients I have to hand, without having to go out to the shops to get more if at all possible! (If there is one thing Todd hates more than seeing new cook books walk through the door, it's going to the grocery store!)
(Can you tolerate yet another view??? I thought so!)
I didn't have any plain marmalade, but I did have Ginger Marmalade in the refrigerator, and since Lotte's recipe called for preserved ginger to be used along with marmalade, I thought plain old ginger marmalade would do fine, and . . .
It did. The results speak for themseves. This was wonderfully moist and tender, and oh-so-flavourful. I highly recommend. I highly recommend Lotte's book too.
*Ginger Marmalade Roasted Chicken*
A moist and flavourful recipe borrowed and adapted from one by Lotte Duncan. Roast chicken is a real favourite in this house, and this is a delicious version.
2 ounces butter, softened (1/4 cup)
2 TBS of Ginger Marmalade
1 medium sized free range roasting chicken
(about 4 1/2 pounds)
1 small onion, peeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180*C/ 350*F/ gas mark 4.
Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the onion inside.
Mix together the butter and marmalade. Loosen the skin on the breast of the chicken and place half of the butter between the skin and the flesh, pressing down on the outside to help spread it around a bit. Spread the remaining marmalade butter all over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle with some sea salt and black pepper.
Tear off a long piece of foil. Place the chicken in the centre of this and bring it up to tent the chicken, covering it loosely and sealing all the edges. Place in a roasting tin and roast for 1 1/2 hours, opening every so often and basting it with some of the juices. Re-seal well each time.
At the end of the 1 1/2 hours, open the foil completely, baste again and roast for another half an hour with the foil open to brown. Remove from the oven to a plate. Loosely cover and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
We like to have this with roasted potatoes and parsnips, Steamed carrots and broccoli and some gravy made from Bisto. Don't be tempted to use the pan juices. The marmalade would make a very bitter gravy.