“Buttermilk Chicken with Chipotle Slaw” from “A Bird in the Hand”

IMG_6707Maureen: Huzzah! Our first barbeque of the year!

Nicholas (11): Well, it is warmest day of the year so far.

Maureen: And we also found a bazillion bags of charcoal when we cleaned out the shed, so that also drove the decision. But mostly it’s to celebrate the return of barbeque weather. What do you think?

Tim: It’s good, but I don’t think the chicken is that much better than any other marinated chicken we’ve done.

Maureen: I know what you mean. I’m surprised by the taste. I thought it would be very different to this. While it’s good, it’s not that different from any other marinated chicken we’ve put on the grill. What about the coleslaw?

Tim: It’s good.

Maureen: It might have been better if I had sliced it in the food processor, like I usually do, but I thought I could cut it thinly enough by hand. I was wrong. Should I make it again?

Nicholas: I think it’s good.

Tim: I think it’s good, but not substantially better than other barbeque chicken we’ve had.

Maureen: I’m with you. I’m a little disappointed. I had high hopes for this. It was good, but it wasn’t great.

Top tip: You have to marinate the chicken 24 hours before cooking it. I used an old and reliable tip from Nigella when I was marinating: I put everything into a zip-lock bag, which made it easier to flip and move the chicken around in the marinade during the 24 hours it was in it.


“Buttermilk Chicken with Chipotle Slaw” from “A Bird in the Hand”

“Blueberry and Buttermilk American Pancakes” from “Easy”

Peter: I see you’ve presented me with a large cookie.

Anna: It does rather look that way, doesn’t it?

Peter: It tastes sweet and salty at the same time.  Surely you would like this?

Anna: That saltiness comes from the fact that I made it in the same frying pan that I’d fried the bacon in.  Tom Aitkens can have that tip for free.  But really, this recipe is a bit of a nonsense I’m sorry to say.

Peter: This looks like a bit of a cake, and it took you roughly three times as long to make as your usual pancakes. So I’m not sure I would say this is an improvement.

Anna: The photo in the book makes it look like you are making one large pancake. The recipe calls for you to add spoonfuls to a greased frying pan before putting in the oven. Implying individual pancakes. But because the frying pan isn’t pre-heated the individual spoonfuls blend into one slightly deformed large cake. Perhaps that’s the point.

Peter: It actually tasted a bit like cake, rather than pancake.

Anna: Weirdly the recipe called for lots of sugar. And vanilla extract and almond extract. Which gave it a different type of flavour but you’re right, not really very pancake-y, American or otherwise.  And the baking thing was a total red herring. As usual they took longer than the recipe called for and it took longer than doing them on the stove. Worst of all they didn’t have that lovely golden brown colour only griddling/frying can give.  Very disappointing!

“Blueberry and Buttermilk American Pancakes” from “Easy”