Kirstin: I made this for the kids one night while Tom was away. It was delightfully simple and I was able to potter around the kitchen as I cooked it; it’s always lovely to have easier recipes like that. Plus those anchovies really did a depth to the flavour, as Diana Henry says in the description; the confit of onions was sublime. Would I make this again? Absolutely. But I’ll make sure Tom is around next time!
Anna: We’ve been having lots of things cooked in milk recently. It was lamb on Easter Sunday. Today it’s chicken!
Peter: It’s nice and moist, but I’m not entirely sure it’s that different from any other roast chicken I’ve had.
Anna: The leg came away from the body really beautifully. But I do agree with you. Louis, what do you think?
Louis: It’s great!
Isabella: More. Peeeees!
Kirstin: Tom and I have very fond memories of this recipe from it’s previous incarnation in the Alastair Little book. We used to love Alastair Little.
Tom: And his restaurant. We even spent an evening in Orvieto looking for somewhere that made this recipe. But it turns out it was just inspired by a cooking class he did there.
Kirstin: But it was a lovely evening. On our honeymoon, in fact. This has taken me 3 hours where I was mostly on my feet.
Ella: The obvious solution would be time travel.
Tom: Is it even more of a faff than Zuni chicken?
Kirstin: It’s a different kind of faff. And I have to admit I had the two recipes out to compare them. So at one point I did add a little water to the pan as Mr Little recommends.
Miles: If you were standing for 3 hours then you lost 300 calories.
Kirstin: Nice! Also, we don’t eat liver in this house. So I used crumbled up skinless sausage as I used to in the Alastair Little recipe.
Tom: So that was already a deviation from the original Alastair Little recipe.
Kirstin: Yes. Because chicken livers are just grim.
Ella: Also because you couldn’t liver with yourself if you ate some.
Tom: That joke was just offal, Ella.
Kirstin: Do you like it?
Tom: I love it but maybe not for an everyday evening meal.
Kirstin: Indeed. I should have started earlier, but the light was perfect for taking portraits and we got a little bit carried away. And then there was the nice light in the kitchen too…
Tom: I think it would be great for special occasions.
Kirstin: The gravy is amazing too, isn’t it? And the addition of pancetta is great with the potatoes too, isn’t it? Remember all those years ago, pancetta was incredibly difficult to get hold of. I’m definitely putting this recipe back into heavy rotation. Thank you for the reminder Diana Henry.
Anna: My first recipe from this book and I have already swayed from its central tenet: I have used turkey mince, not chicken.
Peter: Drings do chicken mince, don’t they?
Anna: Only if you order it in advance. And I’m not that organised anymore. I mean, I’ve cooked us something new and different! That’s an achievement these days.
Peter: They are very nice. I’m getting citrus…
Anna: That’s the lemon zest.
Peter: How do they differ to Gwyneth’s meatballs?
Anna: Would you be surprised if I told you they are a lot less healthy? Lots more cheese, breadcrumbs, and that sort of thing. But I like these a lot.
Louis: Yum! I LOVE them! I am going to eat them ALL up!
Kirstin: Well tonight we are having Turkish spiced chicken with hot green relish. The grown ups are having the relish and the littler people are staying away from the chillis.
Tom: Well, I don’t know how Turkish this is. I was actually going to ask if this was Thai. And actually I don’t really care which country it is from because it’s yum. The chicken has lovely flavours and the relish is epic as well.
Kirstin: Oh yum!
Ella: It’s nice!
Miles: It’s a little bit chewy, but I like it.
Tom: That might be because it’s thigh meat.
Kirstin: Shall I make it again?
Tom, Ella and Miles: Yes!