I have managed to try quite a few recipes from Nigella Express in just 2 months - a testament in my opinion, to any cookbook. At first glance, I thought the book would be more of a coffee table acquisition to drool over, than one which I could actually use on an everyday basis. This, especially in the context of Nigella's style of cooking as seen on her television show, where we see liberal lashings of butter and cream being used - something which I just can't seem to get myself to replicate.
To be fair, it is usually the Nigella Feast episodes and the Christmas specials where the calorie laden desserts seem to hold sway. The Nigella Express recipes are lighter and more practical: even where the recipe calls for a little more calories than I would normally use, its easily adaptable to a low fat version. Like I did for this recipe for roasted chicken.
This recipe for roasted chicken though, turned out to be just right for a light lunch on Sunday after a heavy breakfast. The best part about it is it suits my style of marinating meat or fish into different portions as soon as its bought. Some for curry, others for grilled or baked recipes and so on. So, when its time to cook, you just have to thaw and cook the way you want it.
For this recipe, you need chicken drumsticks to be marinated in a very simple combination of buttermilk, maple syrup and garlic for anywhere between 2 hours to overnight or more. It literally takes less than an hour to put together a meal with these drumsticks. I had initially marinated this in preparation for my brother and family visiting us to celebrate my Dad's 70th Birthday. But in all the confusion that followed their arrival (and the fact that with my parents here, we were eating mainly vegetarian meals) I forgot about them!
So once they had left, and the house came back to just the three of us, I poked around the kitchen missing Mom's cooking and then came across these. I had substituted honey for the syrup and cut down the amount of oil in the recipe and it was delicious. The next time I made this, I used some golden syrup and a sprinkling of Mexican spice powder and it was even more delicious. My daughter loves chicken drumsticks and was thrilled with these. I served it with a lightly spiced Pulao (pilaf) and some Tomato Carrot Soup.
Buttermilk Roasted Chicken (Adapted from Nigella Express)
6 chicken drumsticks (I used skinless)
1 cup buttermilk - Buttermilk when used in Western recipes, refers to the whey left behind after curdling milk with vinegar or some other souring agent (like cream of tartare). I used, what we refer to as buttermilk in India - a little home made yoghurt whipped with 2-3 three times the water.
4 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp black peppercorn crushed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp honey
1. Whisk together 4 tbsp of olive oil with the buttermilk, honey, crushed garlic, chilli pwd , pepper and the cumin powder.
2. Toss the chicken drumsticks in the marinade in a freezer bag.
3. If cooking in the next 2 hours, leave in the refrigerator, else freeze till you are ready to cook later. Remove from the 'fridge (or if removing from the freezer than thaw for half an hour to 45 minutes). Drain the marinade and reserve for making a sauce or jus for another dish.
4. Pre heat the oven to 190C, toss the drumsticks in 1 tbsp of oil and cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes till it is brown and crispy on the outside and completely cooked on the inside (you can check with a fork)