So I had B over two Saturdays ago for a potluck of sorts – we made Kenji’s Easy broiled miso cod, her signature honey mustard chicken, and some foccacia for brunch. Everything was delicious! I remember having her honey mustard chicken a good 5 years ago before we both left for uni and were having a potluck with our then bible study leader, Nancy. This time I learnt how to make it.
5 chicken thighs, skinned.
Salt and white pepper
5 tbsp of honey
5 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp mustard seeds
black pepper and salt
Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs
Sprinkle salt and white pepper liberally on the chicken thighs, massage in.
Wash the salt and pepper off.
Mix together the mustard, honey, and mustard seeds.
Grind black pepper over the thighs and massage in the mustard mixture for 0.5 – 1 hr. Becks is big on massaging chicken – she says it’s therapeutic.
Put the chicken in the oven at 220 degC for about 25 – 30 mins, test for doneness with a fork – the juices should run clear and the meat should separate from the bone.
Here is a pic of her well massaged chicken thighs. They were mad tender.
I made a rosemary, parmesan, and prosciutto foccacia in the morning – I still haven’t found a foolproof recipe for this, and I’m an intermediate-advanced baker with a breadmaker.
Here are the snipped up herbs from my balcony garden. Actually I think it’s just rosemary. I randomly put the ramekin on the piano to get it out of the way and it made such a pretty picture with the lace. Actually I really hate the lace that is draped over my piano – but it’s my parents’ home and I don’t really get much say over how weird “English-countryside” looks like in an apartment. I think pianos look best unadorned, at the most, a bust of your favorite composer and a mechanic metronome could be classy but everything else, just no.
Here the dough (mostly risen) before it goes into the oven…
And out of the oven! I grated a good amount of parmesan on top. It was pretty dense I felt – a good foccacia should be sponge cake soft and delicately oily without additional dipping. Heaven forbid it be white too – it should be almost yellowy inside, like a challah.
I like them cut in diamonds.
I thought the crowning glory of the afternoon was the cod. Whoo. It was an amazing cod! The miso marinate was really good, particularly because I used saikyomiso – white miso from saikyo. Cheap sake and expiring mirin otherwise :P Saikyo miso is especially smooth, and the go-to standard for Japanese fusion chefs everywhere in Singapore when grilling cod (gindara saikyoyaki) and probably in Nobu.
Here’s a close up. The cod was sourced from L’s mum’s fishmonger, myself not having mastered the skill of marketing yet. I wonder if my company would allow me to work 4 day weeks so I could spend one weekday going to the market. Actually technically going to the market is probably something that occurs at 7am or something so shouldn’t be a big deal if I am to go to work after. Besides, L’s grandma lives in the next block in Telok Blangah and I’m sure she can introduce me to her fishmonger, or her maid can. Teochews are experts in fish (according to L’s mum, and given how good she is at steaming fish I am inclined to agree).
-The meal was nicely rounded off with my “instant” blueberry crumble –
I tend to keep bags of pate sucree in the fridge for a rainy day when I just need that sweet tart crust instantly – so I defrosted one of the bags yesterday in the fridge and rolled it out for a pie crust, blind baked it, mixed together some crumble (judicious amounts of cold butter, flour, soft brown sugar, and instant oats) in like 5 minutes, and cracked open a can of blueberries in light syrup. I usually extract a few tbsp of the syrup from the blueberries, mix it with a good amt of cornstarch, and then add it back to the blueberries over the stove on medium heat, just enough to turn it into a beautifully viscous goop.
She’s flying off tmr morning :( I love Decembers – that’s when all my friends come back for the holidays – B in particular comes back only once per year, since that’s when her company has a Christmas break. She works as a lawyer in London and consolidates all her leave to come back to Sg to see the family etc. (and me!) at the end of the year. I have no idea when I’ll next see her too, what with grad sch being so undecided and all :S