After a weekend of festival festivities, good food therapy is always the one thing to set me straight.
On Sundays’ drive back from Farr, the first stop was the nearest service station, for some proper toilets and (BLISS) … toilet paper. The queue for the ladies was long, unfortunately the rest of the festival had the same idea as us… I waited with the masses of girls, whose weekend antics left a trail of straw-matted hair, skirts tucked into glittery pants and smeared make up. A northern service station wouldn’t have batted an eyelid, but based on looks of the shop assistants, this was definitely a little out of the norm for suburban Hertfordshire. As the queue for Maccie D’s and KFC were occupying almost everyone in the station, the M&S was left virtually unnoticed.. I love a good burger as much as the next person and I am ashamed to say but I have been spoilt rotten, by too many of the soudo-american upmarket burger joints knocking around London that I don’t get that taste bud tingling enjoyment from a McDonalds anymore. It is a hell of a thing to admit, but its true. I have also learnt from experience that my delicate post-festival tummy can’t even handle a Full English, let alone a hunk of Beef and fakey airplane cheese in a bun. I opted for a Pork wrap, salt and vinegar crisps and pomegranate juice. So good. M&S are really nailing the market with their ‘to-go’ food, Pret better watch out. Also as there was such a short queue, I went all out and took the opportunity to stock up on a few goodies for Sunday and Monday night’s dinner too… nothing like hangover shopping.
As England has been so hot since I have been back I have completely neglected my hot little kitchen. There is nothing like an overdose of cooking to send you running for the cold, non-cook, section of supermarket. Needless to say the niggling urge to get back to cooking has returned. At Fred’s request, I made my Lemon Yoghurt Chicken.. a little bit spicy, a little bit soothing and very healthy. Perfect for taking that festival edge off.
I baked the Chicken Thighs over a bed of sliced Aubergine, to soak up the juices from the meat.
Ingredients for the Marinade
- 2 Chicken Legs
- 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 4 heaped tbs Plain Yoghurt
- 4 Spring Onions
- 4 tbs chopped Coriander
- 1 tbs Maple Syrup (or Honey)
- 2 minced Garlic Cloves
- zest of 1 Lemon
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
For the Aubergine Base
- 1 Small Aubergine (sliced)
- 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes (optional)
- 2 tbs Olive Oil – drizzle over the Aubergine then add the pieces of Chicken on top
Crush the Black Peppercorns and Cumin Seeds in a pestle and mortar, or bash with the side of your knife. Set Aside.
De-skin the Chicken Legs, you can also cut along the joint to separate the Legs into Thighs and Drumsticks, if you want to reduce the cooking time. (It will be 5-10 minutes quicker)
Add the crushed Peppercorns and Cumin to a large bowl with the remaining Marinade ingredients, minus the Chicken. Give the spices and Yoghurt a mix together before adding the Chicken. (I would advise you not to add any Salt at this time. It is best to season the meat right before you cook it.) Cover the bowl of Chicken in the marinade in clingfilm and put in the fridge for an hour, or two.
Once the Chicken has had time to marinade, remove it from the fridge and leave it to come to room temperature whilst you pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the Aubergine, laying the slices across the bottom of your baking tray. Drizzle with Olive Oil and scatter with the Chilli Flakes.
Add the Chicken to the baking tray, on top of the Aubergine. Pour in any of the leftover marinade. Cover the baking tray with foil and cook Chicken for 20 mins. Remove the foil and return the tray to the oven for a further 25 mins. (If you have separate the Drumsticks from the Thigh cook the Chicken – for approximately 15 mins with the foil on and 20mins foil off.)
Serve the Chicken with the tray baked Aubergine and roasted baby Bombay Potatoes