Welcome to my new site, oink! I have been planning for this website since the beginning of last year. Obviously efficiency is not in my blood. After almost two years, I finally got the site published. And I couldn’t have done it without some help. Big thanks to Amy (aka Pikaland) for helping me with ideas for the site and editing my profile. And big hugs to Serene, the genius developer behind the site whose efficiency never failed to impress me and so very patient to answer all my idiotic questions on data migration, hosting and blah blah (for your information, she is still entertaining my not very clever questions).

There is still one more thing that I am adding to the site *cough, online store* which will take me a while (read: a very long time) to get that going. In the meantime, I am going to celebrate the launch of the site with a roast chicken recipe. I am a huge fan of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi – this dynamic duo’s recipes are easy to follow, and most importantly their food is delicious.

For this particular recipe, it is unlike the usual roast chicken that we are familiar with, this one is lemony, fragrant and really addictive. It is really great over a plate of rice or have it with some warm bread (I made maneesh, and I will share the recipe in the next post). I also made some sort of rice porridge with the leftover and it was strangely comforting.

Roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon
(Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Ottolenghi, The Cookbook)
I made quite a far bit of changes to the recipe. Originally it is suggested to use a whole chicken–me being Asian, I favour chicken legs and thighs. Za’atar is not a common mixed herbs that you can find in the supermarket (I got mine from Overdoughs). However you can easily make it at home. And sumac is readily available in good supermarkets like Jason’s and Marketplace (Overdoughs also stocks sumac).

Serves 4

1) 8 pieces of chicken legs and thighs
2) 2 red onion, thinly sliced
3) 2 cloves of garlic, crush
4) 4 tablespoon olive oil
5) 1½ teaspoon ground allspice*
6) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7) 1 tablespoon sumac
8) 1 lemon, thinly sliced
9) 200ml of water
10) 1½ teaspoon (kosher) salt
11) 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12) 2 tablespoon za’atar

-            In a large bowl, add in the red onion, garlic, olive oil, allspice, cinnamon, sumac, lemon, salt, pepper and water, and mix well. Place the marinade in a ziplock bag, add in the chicken and seal the bag. Move the chicken pieces around to ensure every piece is well coated. Place the bag in the fridge and leave it overnight.
-            Preheat the oven to 200oC. Using a large tray, place the chicken pieces and marinade. Space the chicken pieces apart and skin side up. Before putting the tray in the oven, sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken. Bake the chicken for around 30-40 minutes.
-            Once the chicken is done, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle a bit more za’atar and sumac.

*Allspice is a spice (a type of pepper). Allspice is often mistaken as mixed spice.