So what with all the work I’ve been doing this week, I felt it was only right to treat myself and buy a new cookbook. I’ve had my eye on Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic for a while now, and positive reviews on Amazon tipped me over the edge and I bought it. Providing all the basic techniques needed for the fledgling cook, Gizzi features heaps of recipes, ranging from the everyday to the seriously unusual, all with a little twist and ‘kitchen magic’. Recipes are split up into sections, ranging from ‘Eggs’ to ‘Curry, Rice and All Things Nice’ to ‘Bread and Pastry’, with an introduction to each highlighting all the basics. I really wish that this book had been about when I first went to university, its combination of the basics and more unusual recipes makes it the perfect choice for anyone looking for something a little more exciting then the useful student cookbook fare when starting out.
In true student style, the first recipe in the book I tried was the Southern Fried Chicken and gravy, not the most healthiest of choices, but delicious for that very reason. The thing that marks this recipe out from regular breaded and fried chicken is the fantastically tender chicken, created through the marinating of the chicken in buttermilk for 30 minutes, something I doubt they do in your average popular fried chicken chain. I served the chicken with mashed potato, spinach leaves and drizzled it all over with the quick to make thick ‘American-style’ gravy.
Adapted from ‘Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic’
a splash of milk
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bitesize chunks
1/3 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground white pepper
50g plain flour
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp paprika
75ml olive oil
200ml chicken stock
- Mix the milk and buttermilk together in a bowl and add the chicken. Leave to marinate for around half an hour.
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, seasoning and spices. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan until it begins to simmer.
- Toss the chicken in the flour to get a thick coating. Do not throw away the excess four. Fry the chicken in the pan for about 5 minutes each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
- Pour the oil into a heatproof container leaving about half a tablespoonful on oil plus the crispy bits in the pan. Stir in half a tablespoon to a tablespoon of the leftover flour, and let it cook with for about a minute. Stir in the chicken stock slowly until the gravy is smooth. Bring to the boil and simmer until thickened to create a thick American style gravy.
Culinary Know How: FRESHER
Budget: UNDER £4
Kitchen Requirements: DEEP FRYING PAN, TWO BOWLS, SLOTTED SPOON.