Where on earth to begin?! I knew the last two weeks of school would be insane, but the reality was so much more out of control than I could ever have guessed by looking at my scary to-do list. Let’s see, my mother in law arrived on Monday to kick off the festivities, and immediately found herself sucked into the miasma that is “our daughter is graduating to middle school, we’re leaving for America in two weeks and my husband just got a job.” I realize that I could write an entire blog post on the complications of any one of these little details, but such is life that I will barely be able to touch on them all, just to have a record of our lives, and then I’ll have to move on to the next bit of insanity. First off I must tell you of my very successful first time cooking “pork belly,” an inauspiciously named ingredient that results, nevertheless, in the glorious dish of what is essentially boneless pork ribs. Try it: it costs next to nothing and cooks itself. And it’s RICH, as you can see.
1 large chicken, or 2 breast fillets and 2 whole legs
2 cups/484g buttermilk
1/4 cup/32g cornstarch/cornflour
3/4 cup/96g plain flour
1 tbsp each: dried sage, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, celery salt
3 tbsps olive oil
Quarter the chicken if using a whole chicken (reserve the spine for stock).
In the morning of the day you want to eat the dish, place the chicken pieces in a large zippered plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk. Squeeze the chicken pieces around in the buttermilk to coat thoroughly and refrigerate.
Shake the cornstarch, flour and all the dried seasonings in another large zippered plastic bag. One at a time, place the chicken pieces in the bag and shake until thoroughly coated.
Line a large baking dish with foil and pour in the olive oil. Place the chicken pieces skin-side-down in the oil. Bake at 425F/220C for 30 minutes, then turn skin-side-up and bake for another 30 minutes. Perfect with mashed or dauphinoise potatoes.
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