I am a big fan of Ina Garten, have all her books and have cooked a good number of her recipes. UKTV Food has started to show some of the TV programmes too, and she’s great to watch. I eagerly awaited her new book last year - Barefoot Contessa at Home. When it came I thought it was good but not fantastic. Well over the last few months I’ve made a recipe here and a recipe there and it has grown on me so much that I think as much of it as say the first Barefoot cookbook or Parties! I actually think that her subtitle ‘recipes that you’ll want to make over and over’ is really accurate.
It’s funny how some books just look great from the start. I thought (and still think) Jamie’s Italy is great. When I received Jamie’s Dinners I was distinctly under whelmed, but over time I haven’t cooked anything (yet) from his Italy cookbook and lots from the Dinners one. I quite like these slow burners, they just sneak up on you and have a good place in your collection of books before you know it.
Here is my latest Ina supper.
Indonesian Ginger Chicken & Herbed Basmati Rice
The chicken comes from her first Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, I have been meaning to make it for well a few years I suppose. It was a combination of seeing Anna’s (of Anna’s Life) picture of it, and then that night when I was looking through Barefoot Contessa at Home I came upon her herbed basmati rice. In the introduction to the rice recipe she says it plays the perfect supporting role to this chicken (and also loin of pork with fennel).
The chicken is marinated in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. I halved the recipe and marinated 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I really dislike cooked chicken skin). I basted the breasts while roasting every 5 minutes, then simmered the marinade and thickened it into a sauce. The rice is cooked by the absorption method with a little butter, then spring onions, dill and parsley are forked through at the end. The chicken was delicious, as was the rice and the two went together really well, the mix of parsley and dill in the rice was inspired. I’ll serve them together again next time too. The only vegetable I added was a few spears of asparagus, I wanted to keep the main course light-ish because I had made a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake for dessert – more about this in my next post!