roast chicken pieces with lemon, bay leaf and cracked black pepper

it gets boring writing about food so often. i mean, i don’t get bored of eating it (ever) or cooking it (most of the time). but there are only so many adjectives you can use to describe something that was tasty. after that it’s a question of scale: raving on about the really good stuff and being politely appreciative of the mediocre. in fact, thinking about it, i’m surprised i’ve managed to stick it out for so long.

no wonder restaurant reviewers are often mean to the places they visit – it’s much easier to write about bad food or poor service. the vitriol can take many forms, and it can be very funny.

when i used to write gig reviews for a fanzine, in my dim and distant camden past (oh tim of ligament, i loved you so even though you looked like an ape), the guy who ran the fanzine only ever wanted good reviews for the same reason. NME did it pretty well (i mean badly) in my time, and that annoying little bloke who does restaurant reviews for the times now is like the forever-adolescent, never-made-it-in-A&R-let-alone-in-a-band NME reviewer of the food world, just with better grammar. which is why he talks about anything but what he has eaten. you have to pad these things out a bit.

what i am trying to say is that i can’t be bothered to write about this dinner. i wanted a chicken recipe, i couldn't find one, i thought i’d just bake the chicken pieces so we can eat it with our hands with a green salad and mayonnaise, the mayonnaise split AGAIN - so it was this, and battered aubergines, and mustardy-dressed lettuce.

don't bother making this unless you're going to eat the skin. eat fat, that's my new mantra!


take however many pieces of chicken you want to eat (this was half a whole chicken which the butcher jointed for me), stick in a roasting dish, squeeze a whole lemon over it, then chop up what’s left and scatter around the dish. tuck 4-5 fresh bayleaves around it. in a pestle and mortar, crush some peppercorns roughly (about a tablespoon or so), mix in about a tablespoon of olive oil, and spread over the chicken. sprinkle with some sea salt – without crushing it – and bake at 200C for about an hour.


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