My new Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi enchants and entices me on every page. Somehow the authors manage to transform traditional and familiar dishes from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine into even more delicious, vibrant, and novel flavor combinations. We had the roasted chicken with clementines last night (substituting ouzo for arak), and it was sensational! The recipe heaps on intense anise seasonings from fennel, fennel seed, and the anise-scented liquor, but in the roasting process, it imparts just a subtle anise note with an enormous punch of wowing flavor. My tastebuds were dancing at each bite of tender and delicious chicken — slightly charred but moist — the softened fennel, the hints of thyme, and the delightfully bittersweet slices of clementines, peel and all.
As far as French cuisine goes, most days I’d choose cooking from the French countryside over fancy Parisian Michelin-star fare. I particularly love the culinary style of Provence, with its heavy reliance on aromatic herbs, lemon and fresh ingredients, and its rustic, no-fuss preparations.
One of my favorites to cook – and serve my family – is roasted chicken. Continue reading