Monday, June 06, 2011

Nigella Feasts...therefore, so do I!

Okay, I am being dead serious when I tell you that I recently made the BEST MEAL, thanks to an old Nigella rerun entitled, "Weekend Wonders." In fact, it was SO good, that I have already made the One-Pan Sage-and-Onion Chicken and Sausage TWICE before I've even had a chance to post about it. Other than the fact that it feeds a small army, I don't really know why Nigella presents it as a weekend meal. If you throw the chicken in the marinade the night before or even in the morning before work, it makes an easy weeknight meal. It does take an hour and fifteen minutes to bake, but it needs little tending. Just pop it in the oven, turn the sausages over halfway through, and that's it! SO GOOD! To take it over the top, make her Garlic Roast Potatoes and Petits Pois a la Francaise. I guarantee you, this menu will become a regular part of your supper repertoire!

One-Pan Sage-and-Onion Chicken and Sausage
(Source: Nigella Feasts)

1 large onion or 2 small onions
1/2 cup olive oil (I would reduce this to 1/3 cup)
2 teaspoons English mustard (I used one tablespoon whole-grain Dijon)
1 tablespoon dried sage
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon
1 (4-pound) chicken, jointed into 10 pieces (I've also used all thighs)
12 sausages (5 or 6 large sausages, cut in half, I've used both pork and chicken sausages)
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped

Peel and cut the onion into eighths, and put into a freezer bag with the oil, mustard, dried sage, a good grinding of pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cut lemon in half, squeeze juice into bag, and then cut the halves into eighths and add them. Squidge everything around to mix (the mustard needs help to combine) and then add the chicken pieces. Leave to marinade in the refrigerator overnight, or for up to two days.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature in its marinade.

Arrange the chicken pieces in a roasting tin skin side up with the marinade, including all the bits and pieces, and tuck the sausages and garlic cloves around them. Sprinkle the fresh sage leaves over the chicken and sausages and then put the tin into the oven to cook for one hour and fifteen minutes*. Turn the sausages over half way through to color them evenly.

Arrange the chicken and sausages on a large platter and serve.

*As you can see from my pictures, the chicken got a bit too dark on top. The second time I made this, I covered the pan with foil for the first 40 minutes, then baked it for the rest of the time uncovered. Worked like a charm--food perfectly browned, and breast meat was very moist!

Garlic Roast Potatoes
(Source: Nigella Feasts)

3 pounds maincrop potatoes (I like large whites)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 head garlic

kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash and dry the potatoes, but don't bother to peel them, and cut them into about 3/4-inch dice. Toss in a large oven tray and pour over the oil, smulching around with your hands to mix well. Separate the head of garlic into cloves adding them to the tray, and roast for about one hour, turning once or twice during that time, until crispy and golden but still soft on the inside. When they're done, remove to a large plate and sprinkle with salt.

Petits Pois a la Francaise
(Source: Nigella Feasts)

3 small or 2 fat scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 drop garlic-infused oil (or any oil really)
1 Little Gem (Butterhead) lettuce, shredded (I omitted this as hot lettuce skeeves me out--added some slivered shallots instead)
2 cups frozen petits pois
1/2 cup hot chicken stock (concentrate or cube and hot water is fine)

Cook the scallions (and shallots, if using) in the butter and oil until soft. Stir in the shredded lettuce, and when it is wilted add the frozen peas and stock.

Cook at a robust simmer, uncovered, until everything is tender and the liquid flavorful and reduced.

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