Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Yoghurt-baked chicken with ginger and paprika

Well, I don't know about you, blogfans, but I'm depressed.

I think it was the long weekend that did it. Extended public holidays will always do that to me. I would say that it's because I'm unemployed, so while everyone else frantically packs up and escapes the office, little wheelie travel bag bobbing along behind them as they rush to make the 18.10 to Exeter, I switch off my laptop and go downstairs.

Because when you're actually from London you stay in London during things like Easter and Christmas. Giles and I were both born in London and raised about ten minutes' drive from each other (although 11 years apart). And then when you work from home (in my case "work" from home) there's not terribly much sense of a holiday, except for the fact that I get up at 9.30am rather than 7.30am.

But the fact is that I've always felt like this when I get too much time off. It all ends up leading to a little bit too much introspection and a massive existential crisis - it always has. If I were ever going to kill myself, for example, it would be in August.

Not even a couple of very successful cooking forays really pierced my gloom but I will describe them to you anyway because they worked and, were I not such an Eeyore at the moment, I would have been pleased.

The first was a yoghurt-baked chicken with ginger and paprika, which I fished out of Percy's Cookbook by Tina Bricknell-Webb

1 Marinate chicken breasts or boneless thighs (or with the bones on - you just have to cook it for longer) in a mixture of:

1 pint yoghurt
75ml oil
1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, grated
2 tsp ground cardomom
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp paprika

You can either marinate overnight or mix this up in the morning and use it in the evening.

2 Put the chicken on a baking tray or gratin dish and cook at 200C for 15 minutes.
3 Turn the oven down to 150C and cook for another 15 minutes
4 Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve

This was easy and great - although I forgot to add the coriander - but the ginger combined with the yoghurt in this said "pudding" to me and I thought tasted a bit strange. If I were to do this again, I'd skip the ginger and add cumin or five spice. But the principle is good. Served here (bottom) with braised kale.

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