Nigella Lawson and Liam

Nigella Lawson and Liam (Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Foodie Chap and Author Nigella Lawson Talk 'At My Table'

Liam Mayclem
May 03, 2018 - 9:24 am

(KCBS RADIO) - British best-selling author Nigella Lawson celebrates the home cook in At My Table. Engaging with fans like never before, she invites you into her home kitchen & steps into yours as well. At My Table includes dishes to inspire all cooks and eaters, from Hake with Bacon, Peas, and Cider to Indian-Spiced Chicken and Potato Traybake and Chili Mint Lamb Cutlets, plus a host of colorful vegetable dishes, like Eastern Mediterranean Chopped Salad and Carrots and Fennel with Harissa.

No Nigella cookbook would be complete without sweet treats, and At My Table is no exception, with Emergency Brownies, White Chocolate Cheesecake, and a Victoria Sponge with Cardamom, Marmalade, and Crème Fraiche set to become family favorites.

Nigella Lawson has written nine bestselling cookbooks, including the classics How to Eat and How to Be a Domestic Goddess. These books and her television series have made her a household name around the world. She was a mentor on ABC's The Taste, and her books have sold more than eight million copies.

Nigella Lawson's "At My Table"
Nigella Lawson's "At My Table" (Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Nigella visited San Francisco recently and took time out for a tasty talk as part of Book Passage’s Cooks with Books series. We talked about At My Table, a book I believe is her most honest book yet, stacked to the gills with simple recipes, some inspired from travels that will inspire one to cook at home. It's a celebration of all things that happen "at the table".

Nigella says "Around a table is where three basic needs are met; for food and security and love. Our lives are formed my memories and the focus of mine is the food I've cooked and the people I've cooked for, the people who have sat at my table, as well as the other tables I have eaten at".

Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lawson (Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Enjoy the conversation and relish the recipes in a brilliant book with one of my favorite cooks & food writers, Nigella Lawson.

Cheers and see you "At My Table".

- Liam

Nigella Lawson's Chicken And Pea Traybake

CHICKEN AND PEA TRAYBAKE

I thought I had exhausted the culinary possibilities of a package of frozen peas, but my friend, and excellent cook, Alex Andreou, led me by the hand – it does take a leap of faith – to his method of using them, still frozen, as the first layer of a traybake. It’s a
life-changer. The peas become soft and sweet in the heat – duller in color, but so much more vibrant in flavor – and the steam they produce as they bake makes the chicken beautifully tender, its skin crackly and crisp on top.

What’s key here is the size of the roasting pan. I wouldn’t go any smaller – measuring from inside rim to inside rim – than about 15 × 11 inches (a little larger is fine) as there needs to be space around the chicken thighs for the magic to happen.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Frozen petits pois – 7 cups (approx. 2 pounds)
  • Leeks – 4–5 medium-large, trimmed and cut into approx. 1 inch slices
  • Garlic – 2 fat cloves, peeled and minced
  • Dry white vermouth – ¼ cup
  • Regular olive oil – 2 tablespoons, plus more for drizzling
  • Sea salt flakes or kosher salt – 2 teaspoons, plus more for sprinkling
  • Dill – small bunch, torn into pieces
  • Chicken thighs – 8, skin-on and bone-in

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and clatter the frozen peas into a large roasting pan, followed by the leeks, garlic, vermouth, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and most of the dill. Turn everything together in the pan – breaking up any large clumps of the frozen peas – until well mixed. I advise you to wear CSI gloves for this, just to stop you getting frostbite, though you still will feel the cold.
  2. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top, then drizzle them with a little olive oil and give them a good sprinkling of salt, before roasting in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, give the peas a small stir or tamp down, so that the few that are sitting on the surface and drying out a little are submerged in the liquid. Don’t do the same to the leeks, however, as the bits that are peeking out will become desirably caramelized in the heat. Put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, by which time the peas and leeks will be soft, and the chicken tender and cooked through, its skin golden and crisp.
  3. Tear off the remaining dill fronds, and scatter over the top on serving, perhaps with some simply steamed baby potatoes to soak up the pea and chicken juices.