I have never done a book review before for the blog. This Christmas, completely unexpectedly, I was given a great book called “Jerusalem” (you can read reviews here and buy it here), a recipe book by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. After trying some of its recipes, I could not go on for a minute longer without telling you about it.
The book is a recollection of recipes from the ancient city of Jerusalem. Written by these two amazing authors who bring, each, their own traditions and approache to ingredients and recipes common to this city. One the one hand side the recipes are influenced by Sammi’s childhood memories from the Muslim East side of Jerusalem, and on the other by Yotam, who grew up on the Jewish side of the city. The two authors met many years after leaving Jerusalem, in London, and where able to put together their memories and recollections, only to find that, as with many things, their recipes are just two different approaches to the same dish.
This book has a little bit of everything, whether it is the history, culture, and some of the great culinary traditions of Jerusalem, together with some new mixing of ingredients introduced to us by the authors, in an easy accessible and comforting way. Great presentation and, of course, beautiful pictures.
Now lets dig in… shall we?
The first recipe I chose from the book is…
ROAST CHICKEN WITH CLEMENTINES AND ARAK
100ml Arak (or any other dry aniseed based liqueur)
4tbsp Olive oil
3tbsp of freshly chopped Parsley
3tbsp of Lemon Juice
2tbsp of Orange Juice
2tbsp of grain Mustard, 2 brown Sugar
2 medium Fennel bulbs
1 Chicken divided into pieces
4 Clementines sliced horizontally
1tbsp Thyme leaves
2 and 1/2 Fennel seeds
chopped flat-leaf Parsley to garnish
Put the Arak, olive oil, fennel seeds, mustard, lemon juice and orange juice in a mixing bowl, add 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper, whisk well and set aside.
Chop the fennel and the clementines. Together with the chicken, marinate in the sauce above, and leave in the fridge for a few hours.
Cook in the Oven at 180° C for 45′.
Put the sauce aside in a pan and bring to boil, until it is reduced in volume by half.
Serve the chicken with it’s warm sauce and garnish with some fresh parsley.
Jerusalem, was an unexpected and great gift, which i am sure I will be reading and rereading for many years to come.