I have a cupboard in the living room which are full of wonderful recipe books. I love to collect these books. On the shelf you will find Julia Child’s My life in France; River Café Cook Book Easy written by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers; Jamie’s books (all of them); Gordon’s Healthy Eating; Confessions of a Hungry Woman by Sam Woulidge; Marlene van der Westhuizen’s books: Delectable; Abuncance and Sumptuous; Cooking from Lake House Organic Farm by Trudie Styler (Sting’s wife) and Joseph Sponzo; Lessons with Liam by Liam Tomlin and many more. Recently I discovered The Little Paris Kitchen written by Rachel Khoo on a shelf in a book store. This book is about Rachel who moved to Paris to enrol at Le Cordon Bleu,the world-famous cookery school. She shows how simple it actually is to cook French dishes. It is a wonderful Christmas gift to give or to receive. I tried her Lemon and Lavender chicken.
The recipe is as follows: 1 chicken, jointed into 8 – 10 pieces, a generous pinch of salt
For the marinade: 2 tablespoons dried lavender; 4 tablespoons olive oil; 4 tablespoons lavender honey or plain runny honey; 2 sprigs of thyme and finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
To make the marinade, crush the lavender using either a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. Put the crushed lavender into a large bowl with the oil, honey, thyme, lemon zest and juice. Mix well. Place the chicken pieces in a large plastic container. Pour the marinade over the chicken and make sure all the pieces are well coated. Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours.)
When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200⁰C. Put the chicken and marinade into a roasting tin and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway. To check if the chicken is done, pierce the thickest part of the flesh with a skewer – the juices should run clear, not red or pink. Serve the chicken with the cooking juices poured over and around. A crisp green salad and some boiled new potatoes are a great match for this summery dish.
Next time I will try her Mousse aux éclats de chocolat (Chocolate mousse with cocoa nibs).