My cookbook collection already contains a few tomes by Bill Granger which are pretty well used so I was happy to get my hot little hands on a copy of his latest cookbook Bill’s Basics. For those who haven’t heard of Bill Granger he is a celebrity chef in Australia with a smile so gleaming that he has starred in toothpaste commercials. Bill is a self taught cook rather than a chef which means that his recipes are generally pretty accessible and the sort of thing you can whip up on a weeknight after work. His cafe in Sydney is famous for its breakfasts and I have happy memories of feasting on Bill’s sweet corn fritters there (which you can find a pretty good reproduction of at Lantana in London). Now Bill is opening a restaurant in London which may be the reason behind the release of this latest book.
Buttermilk fried chicken
The book contains 100 of Bill’s favourite classic dishes featuring things like eggs benedict, pork belly, fish and chips and pavlova. It’s nothing fancy but it’s simple, easy comfort food with an Australian summery feel. Bill’s Basics is just the sort of down to earth cookbook I like although I was a bit disappointed that the book doesn’t include some of the classic dishes that Bill is most famous for (including those sweet corn fritters).
I tested out the recipe for “fried” chicken which is actually baked and so a much healthier. Ideally you marinate the chicken first overnight (although I just managed a couple of hours) in buttermilk and a heap of spices to add flavour. The buttermilk keeps the flesh juicy and tender. Then it is rolled in breadcrumbs to add a crisp, crunchy texture. Served with a simple parsley and rocket salad and a wedge of lime who needs the finger lickin’ fried version.
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsps ground coriander
2 tsps paprika
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thighs
200g breadcrumbs or panko
lime wedges and some salad to serve
The chicken crumbed before putting it into the oven
1. Mix the buttermilk, salt, ginger, tumeric, half the coriander and half the paprika in a bowl.
2. Add the chicken, toss to coat and marinate overnight in the fridge.
3. Preheat the oven to 190c and brush a large tray with olive oil.
4. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix in the remaining coriander, paprika and salt and pepper.
5. Lift the chicken out of the marinade and toss to coat with the breadcrumbs mixture until covered evenly.
6. Place the chicken on the tray and bake in the oven for 40 -45 mins until the crumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked (the juices should run clear if a skewer is insterted).
I received a review copy of Bill’s Basics to test out from Quadrille.
The winners of the Gourmet Giveaway for tickets to the London restaurant festival big debate are Itinerantepicure and Neris. They won by virtue of being the second and fourth comments on the post using random.org.