Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Dinner From "Jerusalem"

Yesterday was a day of blustery rain and cold so gardening, which I"d planned on, was out of the question. I decided to prepare a fine dinner for myself and opened a marvelous cookbook called "Jerusalem" by the London-based chef  and restauranteur  Yottam Otolenghi. My choice was  chicken on a bed of basmati rice. First I made caramelized onions, so sweet and soft, and put them aside. I emptied the skillet of most of the remaining olive oil and, after tossing chicken thighs with broken cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, salt and pepper and a couple tablespoons olive oil I seared the thighs, then removed them, leaving the spices in the pan. I put basmati rice in the skillet, the onion and the chicken, which I patted firmly onto the rice. I then added water, covered the pan and cooked for fifty minutes. The perfumes emanating from the skillet were so seductive. I removed the cover, folded a tea towel over the contents,put back the cover and left it to sit for fifteen minutes. After pouring a bit of white wine and tossing a salad of blanched snow peas and asparagus pieces, green beans and peas with lemon vinaigrette and finely chopped shallot and garlic and adding a sprinkling of mint and tarragon I sat down to a feast. The rice was exquisitely perfumed,the chicken and onions luscious and I relished every mouthful.

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