Advances of an Amateur, or Why We’re Having Purple Chicken Tonight

Strange how the days fly by. It has already been a week and a half since we moved into this flat, and we’re already at the middle of August. September is coming way too quickly for me – these are the days I want to stay. Reading book after book, cooking my hours away and lying on our comfortable sofa… Wish I could stay like this for a little longer.
Either way, tonight’s dinner was something else. I am certain that culinary chefs all over the world might want to stone me for what I did, but what the heck, it turned out tasty. And red wine was all I had handy. The side dish was, in this case, just as important too, so we’ll get to that as well.
redwinechicken (1)
If you would also like to join the “stick-it-to-the-pros” club (or the “get-stoned-by-them” club), here’s how to do the sauce:

Dash of red wine
Dash of water
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne (Hola, Chef John)
Pinch of sugar
Handful of pink peppercorns (my new absolute favourite, I’d put it in my cereal if I had cereal for breakfast)
Sear the chicken on high heat until nicely coloured on all sides. Don’t turn down the heat – add your dash of red wine and stand back, it spits. Reduce the wine just a little by letting it bubble away, and turn your chicken in it until nice and freakishly purple. Add your water and let bubble away as well. When reduced by about half, add your seasoning and mix well. Turn your chicken in the sauce well to reduce purpleness. Cook until the chicken is soft and moist (and gosh, it really was so soft on the inside).
Now the roast potatoes, I’ve never done before. I was always scared they’d turn out hard. But today, I’ve read up on some recipes suggesting I should par-boil them before the oven, or cook them for 50×2 minutes, and a lot more stuff – until I turned around and ignored most of it, really. A, don’t bother par-boiling before the oven. Why would you? It’s extra effort and extra washing up. Instead, just go straight to the oven. B, they don’t need more than 40-50 minutes in a 180 degree oven, I promise. Here’s how I did it:
Splash a generous amount of olive oil in your roasting tin. Cut your potatoes into relatively big cubes and coat them in the oil well. To my potatoes I added some cumin seeds for a bit of flavour, salt, pepper and cayenne. With all that, the potatoes are ready for cooking at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. After that, you might want to check on them and toss them around a little, nothing fancy. Taste after 40 minutes – if it’s crunchy on the outside and amazingly soft on the inside, you are done. You can even leave these in the turned off oven until serving, nothing bad is going to happen.
And here they are, the stars of the show:
redwinechicken (2)
 even decorated with pink peppercorns. I could literally just munch on them like crisps. Anyway, that’s all I have for today – have a lovely evening!

About sgrvrnk

Vera Sugár, graduate with a journalism and creative writing degree, started writing at the age of 10. Passionate about literature, arts, history and languages, she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish. Her works are available at
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