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Sunday, April 04, 2010

93/365: Delia's roast chicken with grapes, Riesling and tarragon


I'm not a very adventurous cook, mainly because J is a traditional meat and two veg man. In the past when I have made boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin, he has sniffed at it suspiciously and groaned "not stew".

But he seemed very impressed by the Waitrose ad where Delia Smith makes roast chicken with grapes, Riesling and tarragon. Find the recipe here. Yesterday I told him I'd bought all the ingredients, and somewhat touchingly he said "Did you go to Waitrose then?" I don't think they have a monopoly on chickens, Riesling or tarragon.

So today the dish was served. I have to say, Delia is right about roasting a chicken quickly, although the smoke was tedious and the mess in the oven is a sight to behold.

But the grapes didn't seem to add anything, although the sauce was creamy and rich enough.

I had to admit that really my ordinary old roast chicken is just as good.

The Waitrose ads are a master stroke though. Last year Waitrose, thanks to its Essentials range, became the fastest growing grocer in the UK which is good going in these recessionary times. I think they could have saved money by losing Heston Blumenthal. To me, he epitomises Emperor's New Clothes. I've been to the Fat Duck twice and had the tasting menu, and the first time it's all "mmm, smokey bacon ice-cream, interesting!" but the second time you start to yearn for some top quality produce cooked simply. But, somewhere along the line, the pretentious few have lauded Heston and El Bulli for their use of canned nitrogen and E numbers. Give me Delia over foul mouthed Ramsay and dull Heston any day.

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