Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichoke and Lemon and Mejadra

On a recommendation from my friend Berman, I purchased a new cookbook, Jerusalem.  I don't often buy cookbooks anymore.  I would love to collect and collect, but I don't have the room for them all and I can't keep track of them all either.  Once in a while, a friend or Chris will give me a good one, and I've been relying on that recently.  But I find that so many recipes can be found on the internet now, buying a large library of cookbooks isn't necessary.  I do like to have a good variety of well written cookbooks which, besides using them for recipes, I use to browse through for inspiration.  Tonight's dinner consists of the first items I've made from this cookbook and thankfully, my inner debate as to whether or not to type out the recipe for fear of copyright infringement, need not take place.  A quick search found a few links to the recipe online.  Here's the one Huffington Post posted.

My notes on the recipe are:
I used chicken thighs, legs and breast.
I was too lazy to remove the 1/4 cup of fresh thyme leaves, so I just estimated and threw in a bunch of whole thyme, including the branches.  Just toss the stems after cooking as the leaves will mostly fall off during the process.
As luck would have it, I had gotten some Jerusalem artichokes from the farmers market this past Saturday.  Having them in my refrigerator is what drew me to this recipe.  I only simmered the artichokes for 4 minutes.  10-20 minutes, per the cookbook, seemed too long for just tender.

The suggested accompaniment was Mejadra, a lentil and basmati rice dish with fried onions.      The recipe for this can be found at Epicurious.com.
For the onions, I used 2 cups of oil in a enamel coated cast iron pot and heated the oil to 380f initially and fried the onions in 3 batches.  The onions will be crispy when they don't bubble much in the oil and they are a deep golden brown.  Towards the end, they will brown quickly, so keep on top of them.
A word on cumin.  Somewhere along the line, I developed an aversion to cumin.  This has been a point of contention between me and Chris.  I am going to try to work myself back into it.  As part of this process, I am using 1 teaspoon of cumin, and not 2 as specified in the recipe.  
The suggested accompaniment for this is yogurt with cucumber which consists of basically Greek yogurt, cucumber, mint, lemon juice and garlic.

What a beautiful meal.  We devoured the chicken, and even Pacino got a few good bites in.  I really liked the lentils and fried onions and even the cumin did not deter me.  The yogurt and cucumber completed the plate.

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