Often on Sunday nights I think about posting the blog. I’m pretty sure I used to post regularly on Saturdays or Sundays. Now I mostly don’t. Laziness. And also on most Sunday nights I’m rather diverted by Incredible Levels of Rage directed at Fiona Bruce, who presents Antiques Roadshow. Now I may argue I’m not quite the demographic for Antiques Roadshow, and I’d be wrong if I bothered to remember how bloody old I am, but regardless we tend to have it on in the background whilst we either scroll through Twitter (the boyfriend) or search the internet for dreamy country properties (me). Fiona Bruce has taken the art of the simper to a whole new level. I cannot bear it. I am afraid I often tell her to eff off. It’s got a nice alliteration, F— Off, when you pair it with a brusk ‘Fiona’ at the end.
Anyway, that’s why I didn’t post this last night. I actually made this a couple of weeks ago, I think, and utterly cocked it up. Regardless of the significant levels of cock-up it still tasted brilliant. It was supposed to be served with sweet and sour eggplant. I absolutely incinerated the eggplant so it didn’t get the glazing at the end as per recipe. We still ate it. Boyfriend and I managed to demolish two thirds of a whole chicken in one go. We probably ate this whilst in front of Antiques Roadshow, and thus I didn’t notice how much I was eating because I was too busy being mad at Fiona Bruce’s simpering. Bloody Fiona. It’s clearly her fault I’m so fat.
Right. I’m mining a lot of Australian recipes at the moment – you can pretty much assume I’m cooking something from the Aussie Women’s Weekly or Donna Hay. This is AWW.
1.4kg whole chicken
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
¼ cup (60ml) hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 baby (420g) eggplant, sliced thickly (I sliced them what I thought was thickly. It wasn’t thick enough. GO VERY THICK INDEED. Thick like the waist of an aging daytime tv host).
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup (60ml) malt vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
The AWW says to combine the sesame seeds, ginger, hoisin sauce, honey, Chinese five spice and garlic in a large plastic bag. I could only find supermarket ones that have those annoying safety holes for those people who don’t know that plastic bags aren’t hats. I just did all this in a bowl. Was fine. If you’re using a bag cause you’re smart enough to have freezer bags big enough, then place the chicken in the bag and massage the marinade all over the chicken. MASSAGE THE CHICKEN. I know it’s dead but I’m sure it’ll appreciate it anyway. Close the bag tightly around the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to marinate. I just used a spoon to make sure the marinade was well spread and shared around the poor, dead beast’s cold, cold flesh.
This pic is blurry probably because the poor, dead chicken was nervous about what was coming next for it (BIG HOT OVEN YES) and thus was doing big shivers. Not my fault.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C or 160C if you’ve a fan oven. In a baking dish chuck your VERY THICKLY SLICED EGGPLANT and toss around a bit in some olive oil. Move the eggplant to the sides and place the chicken in the centre, breast-side down. Reserve any remaining marinade for basting. I didn’t have lots of marinade left, just so you know.
Roast for 45 minutes, after which you need to turn the chicken around so it’s breast-side up, and give the eggplant a turn as well.. Baste the chicken with the reserved marinade and pan juices. Roast for a further 45 minutes, basting once during cooking. If over-browning, cover dish with greased foil. That foil step is crucial. I didn’t do that bit. Mistake.
Dog has been sloth-like lately. And also nice. She’s, like, 100% nicer since NewHuman arrived. If having a kid wasn’t such a pain in the arse I would’ve done it ages ago if I’d known how much it would have improved the dog.
Above is burnt chicken and cremated eggplant. Hopefully yours won’t look like this. If so, my deepest sympathies.
Transfer the chicken and eggplant to separate dishes. Cover chicken with foil and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. You can totally eat the eggplant as-is, by the way.
If you’re bothering with glazing the eggplant, then pour the pan juices from the dish into a heatproof jug; discard the fat from the surface of the pan juices. Return the pan juices to the baking dish with the vinegar and sugar; stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add eggplant and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the eggplant is well coated. Unless you start with pieces of eggplant approximately 1 foot thick I’m unsure how they are supposed to survive 90 minutes of roasting and then further cooking but hey, the AWW Test Kitchen obviously believes they will so you go for it.
Serve chicken with eggplant, sprinkled with green onions. By the time the eating part came around I could not be arsed with the spring onions. We just ate. It was amazing.