Friday, August 1, 2014

Sticky Lemon Chicken with Champ (Gordon Ramsay)

I'm asking myself...

Is this a classic British dish?

Or a French or any European dish?

Nay! I think this is simply a classic Gordon Ramsay dish. If you search the words, "sticky lemon chicken" in Google, all you can find are links at Life Style Food, Rachael Ray Show, Red online, You tube and and they are referring to the same dish... Gordon Ramsay's sticky lemon chicken!

Since I'm cooking almost everything Gordon Ramsay this month, I like to cook this exclusive Gordon Ramsay dish...

Gordon Ramsay!!! Love him or hate him... He is the famous Scottish celebrity chef, restaurateur, and television personality who gains most of our attention because of his extensive use of foul language on TV. Due to his "always-angry", "always-seeking-perfection", "always-alert" and "always-energetic" personality, Gordon Ramsay stands out for being an interesting TV host in many competitive cookery and food TV programs, such as the British Hell's Kitchen, The F Word and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, and also the American Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef, and Masterchef Junior. According to Wikipedia, Gordon Ramsay's restaurants have been awarded 15 Michelin stars in total and currently hold 14. His signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London has held 3 Michelin stars since 2001. Wow!!! Sadly, I don't have a chance to dine in these restaurants but at least, I can try cooking Gordon's recipes at home.

Loving or hating Gordon? I'm very honest here saying that I like Gordon Ramsay because I really enjoy all the drama that he creates with his "angry" personality. I don't particularly love him but definitely not hating him. The curious me had asked my loving-cooking brother the same question too and he said that he likes Gordon Ramsay! He also mentioned that he likes Gordon Ramsay more than Jamie Oliver because he prefers Gordon's clean, quality-seeking, professional and precise approach of cooking rather than Jamie's homely, rustic and relaxed style of cooking. 

Gordon or Jamie? Oh! I must say this question can start a never-ending series of debate among some people... Personally, I think that the answer is up to each individual accordingly to our expectation. I like to be diplomatic here saying that I like both of them in their different ways.

So, this is how I cooked and appreciate this exclusive Gordon Ramsay recipe...

Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken with Champ
To start, I need to brown the chicken.
Next, I did this...
Pour in some hot water and add lemon slices
... and cook until the chicken is well-infused in flavours.
In this recipe, Gordon Ramsay recommends serving the chicken with champ. Champ? Accordingly to Wikipedia, it is Irish way of eating mashed potatoes with spring onion... and this is how I made mine.

These are all I need.
After cooking and enjoying this dish, I have learned a few things:

1) Gordon Ramsay is also an agak agak man! LOL! Agak agak means estimation in Malay language. If you asks most mothers or cooks from Southeast Asian countries some details of cooking, they will tell you agak agak! I got lots of this sort of answers from my grandmother and aunties. In this recipe, Gordon didn't specify the amount of added vinegar and water. I guess the addition can be subjective to taste and preference. Hey Gordon! Nice agak agak! You might wish to know I can excel with good agak agak skill like yours too! - LOL!

2) We prefer cooked chicken more without the skins!

Boy: Mummy, these chicken are fatty!!!
Man: Can you roast the chicken for crisper skin?

Well... Being mum, I have to agree with my husband and child because they are the most faithful "customers" that I serve... LOL! Eventually, I have roasted the chicken at 180°C fan forced for 10 minutes on each sides and both my husband and son said that they like the roasted chicken more than the un-roasted ones. Maybe, this is our personal preference... I wonder. My husband put the blame on Aussie-sold chicken saying that the Aussie chicken are more fatty than the Asian-sold ones... Seriously, I don't know! Knowing this, I like to cook mostly skinless chicken in the future. Anything with skin is preferred to be roasted...

Here's Gordon Ramsay's recipe from Life Style Food with some agak agak.
(I have incorporated my notes in blue)

To cook the chicken:

1 large chicken jointed into 8-10 pieces 
(I used 2 kg wings and 1 kg drumstick)
sea and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 head garlic halved horizontally
few sprigs thyme
sherry vinegar
(I used 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
(I used 4 tbsp)
3 tbsp honey
(I used 1/2 cup)
1 lemon finely sliced
(I used 2 2/12 lemons)
flat-leaf parsley chopped
(I forgot to add this)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2–3 mins on each side until golden brown. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the sherry vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix.

Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through. Note: After adding the lemon slices, the chicken were cooked in 3 batches and each batches took me 15-20 mins.

This amount that I cooked can serve up to 8-10. Due to our preference, the leftover chicken without the sauce were grilled at 180°C fan forced for 10 mins on each sides.

To cook the champ:

1 kg floury potato e.g. King Edward, peeled
sea and freshly ground black pepper
30 g butter
(I didn't add this)
spring onion (about 6–8), trimmed and chopped
100 ml double cream
(I used the light ones with 18% fat)
100 ml whole milk plus extra if needed

Cut the potatoes into similar-sized chunks and boil in salted water for about 10 mins, until tender when pierced with a small sharp knife. Drain well.

Mash the potatoes while still hot, using a potato ricer if you have one, then stir through the butter (I didn't add this) and spring onions.

Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and gradually pour on to the potatoes, mixing well. If the mash is too thick, add a little extra milk. Season generously.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley (I forgot to add this), serve with the champ and green beans.

Using half of the amount, I have made enough champ to serve 3 persons.

Happy Cooking

This post is linked to Cook like a Star (Gordon Ramsay) organised by me, Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake

Wanna cook or bake like Gordon Ramsay? To join, simply cook or bake his recipes from websites like LifeStyle FoodBBC GoodFood and Channel 4, or his cookbooks and link with us at this Zoe's, this Yen's* or this Mich's* post for the whole of Aug 2014.

* I will update the link as the event progresses.

To use this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake Cheers! For more details, please see this.

Here are my blogging friends that have joined me cooking for this event. Please visit their blogs for more of their 5-stars cooking.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Potato, Parmesan and Anchovy Focaccia

Once again, another month has passed... and today is the last day of July 2014!!! My son said that today marks the 100th school day since he and his foundation schoolmates had started school. Isn't it amazing to see how time really files?

Once again, the Little Thumbs Up event (July 2014 with potato theme) has been a delicious event for all. We have a total of 135* entries linking with us. Everyone is using the potato ingredients to cook savoury rather than sweets and all are wholesome food with high satisfying index! ... like potato cakes, pancakes, creamy salad, curry puff, curry, breads and pies.... All are so yummy! Thanks, Jasline for being the queen of potato! Now, whenever I think of potato, I will think of you! You have been a great host for this event. High-five!!!

*will update the final number at the end of the event.

Can't have enough potato? Sadly, we have to move on... I reckon next month will be equally exciting with two cooking events! We have (1) Little Thumbs Up (August 2014 with Flour theme) with Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and (2) Cook like a Star (Gordon Ramsay) with Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake and myself. Diana's LTU starts on 5th August 2014 and Gordon Ramsay event starts on tomorrow. Please join us!

Can't have enough potato? Yup... so this is my last potato food for July 2014.

When I first saw this potato focaccia recipe at Epicurious, I know that my family and I will love to eat this. The combination of its toppings sounds very delicious to me. True enough, it is!

We really enjoy every aspect of baking and eating this bread... It is very moist, spongy (QQ) and delicious!

potato parmesan anchovy focaccia
A fabulous combination - potato + Parmesan + anchovy on a Focaccia
My son's squash-and-squeeze technique of mashing potatoes - LOL!
Mixing and proving the wet and sticky bread dough
Love everything in this oil mixture - Yum!
The other two main ingredients that I used
Assemble and bake!
Ready to feast on this bread?
potato parmesan anchovy focaccia
Moist, spongy and tasty!

Here's the recipe from Epicurious
(With my notes and modification in blue)

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

(for half amount of recipe, I used 50g Italian "OO" flour + 250g bread flour)
2 cups mashed cooked peeled russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)

(for half amount of recipe, I used 3 medium golden delight potatoes)
2 tsp table salt
6 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin

(I preferred finely minced garlic)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine, or 1 tsp crumbled dried

(I used the fresh one)
1/4 tsp anchovy paste, or more to taste

(I used all from a 45g can, drained)
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed

(for half amount of recipe, I used about 4 small sized Desiree potatoes)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tbsp coarse salt, or to taste

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment proof the yeast with the sugar in the water for 5 mins, or until the mixture is foamy. In a large bowl combine 4 cups of the flour, the mashed potatoes, and salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal, add it with 2 tbsp of the oil to the yeast mixture, and combine the dough well. With the dough hook knead the dough, scraping down the dough hook occasionally and incorporating as much of the remaining 1/2 cup flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking, for 2 mins, or until it is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to an oiled bowl, and turn it to coat it with the oil. Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until it is double in bulk. (I mixed, kneaded and proved my dough for 1 hr using a bread-maker with dough setting) 

The dough may be made up to this point, punched down, and kept, covered and chilled, overnight. Let the dough return to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe (I didn't chill the dough overnight).

In a small bowl stir together the garlic, the rosemary, the anchovy paste, and the remaining 4 tbsp oil and let the mixture stand, covered. Press the dough evenly into an oiled jelly-roll pan, 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 1 inches, and let it rise, covered loosely, in a warm place for 1 hr, or until it is almost double in bulk. 

Cut the red potatoes into paper-thin slices with a mandoline or handheld slicer, arrange the slices on the dough, overlapping them, and brush them with the oil mixture, discarding the garlic. Sprinkle the focaccia with the Parmesan, the coarse salt, and pepper to taste. Bake the focaccia in the bottom third of a preheated 400°F. oven for 40 to 50 mins, or until it is golden brown, let it cool in the pan on a rack, and serve it warm or at room temperature.

Note: Using half of the recipe, I have baked this bread at 180°C fan forced for 30 mins using 20 cm x 20 cm square pan.

Happy Baking

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and me, Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Jasline from Foodie Baker at this post.


Our Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday until the last day of the month. Please join us! To join, simply cook or bake any recipe with the theme of the month which is POTATO for July 2014 and link with us at this post anytime until 31st July 2014. 

Don't forget your thumbs up or display this badge! And make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post preferably within this month. (2) Please mention Little Thumbs Up in your post and link back to Bake for Happy Kidsmy little favourite DIY or/and Jasline from Foodie BakerFor more details, please see this.

What after July 2014? Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe will be the next hostess of August 2014 and her theme is FLOUR! Her Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday of August 2014 (5th Aug) until the last day of the month. If you are wondering what kind of flour you can use to participate this event, please check out this message from Diana...

"Flour is an essential ingredient in my (and I am sure, many of your) kitchen. It is the base of pastas and noodles, cakes and biscuits, or even as thickening agents in the making of a roux. The list of food items made using flour is endless. As such, we will be limiting the theme to mainly Wheat Flour, namely:
  • All-Purpose (also known as Plain) Flour
  • Bread Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Self-raising Flour
  • Pastry Flour
  • Wholemeal Flour
  • Hong Kong (also known as Waterlily) Flour
  • Superlite Flour
  • Top Flour
You must use one of these flours in its raw form in your recipe and you must use at least 1 tablespoon or 10g of these flours in your cooking /baking.

Sorry for being a nag but I like to mention this again...

Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake and I (Zoe) from Bake for Happy Kids will be cooking and baking lots of Gordon Ramsay's recipes for the whole month of August 2014.

Sadly, this will be our second last Cook like a Star event. Whether you love Gordon Ramsay or not, I hope that you won't miss this event and enjoy cooking with us.

Join us!!!