Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Doing A Delia

Delia is an intriguing character. On the one hand, she is so tidy, restrained and careful (with a hint of bossiness thrown in); on the other, she appears to throw herself into Norwich City. For someone who seems so moderate, she inspires dramatically opposed responses, from the fully paid-up Delia fan club to the people who appear to hate her way of cooking and everything she stands for. For me, whilst I find her almost risibly fussy at times, I have made quite a lot of her recipes over the years (and they tend to be as reliable as she is, or at least as she looks). The other night we went to friends' for dinner, and their dessert was a yummy, rich Delia chocolate raspberry trifle; the guests literally dived in. I had sort of forgotten good old Delia and then I remembered her, so I idly flicked through one of her books over the weekend and came upon a recipe befitting the warm weather and, crucially, using buttermilk, which I had bought and not used and was nearer its best-before date.

Happily, Delia's website provides the recipes for the dishes I made, although I used her 'Chicken' book to make my marinated chicken brochettes with green couscous and her coriander chutney. You can find the chicken/couscous recipes here and the chutney here
(which saves me from typing the recipes out). Basically, the chicken is marinated in spices, herbs, chilli and buttermilk and grilled, whilst the couscous is flecked with coriander, spring onion, and so on.

This dish works really well - the chicken, skewered with bay leaves, yellow pepper, and red onion, is incredibly moist and the couscous tastes really fresh; the wedges of lime and the coriander chutney (not photographed - I served it separately) lift the dish into the realm of spring. It is apparently low fat and would be ideal barbecue fare. One could do far worse than follow Delia.


Freya and Paul said...

I think Delia is fab and always watch her reruns. She's cosy and reassuring and her recipes are always reliable if not that exciting. The chicken sounds yummy!

Kelly-Jane said...

I like Delia too, and used to cook from her books loads. I have made this chicken dish, and it was good. Yours looks great :)


Gemma said...

I find Delia both infuriating and wonderfully reliable at the same time. I trust her when I'm doing a classic and want a good recipe but I don't usually go to her for new ideas (although maybe that's wrong of me)

Charlotte said...

I love a bit of Delia now and then, and how much I turn to her for a good basic recipe is evidenced by how battered my copy of Delia's Complete Cookery Course is - it's practically falling apart. I love the idea of the coriander chutney, and these kebabs. I'm going to store this one away, thanks, Kathryn.

pistachio said...

Yes, Delia is reliable but, as Freya said, not that exciting. I do occasionally use her recipes but I didn't know this one.

Your kebab and couscous look very yummy and I think something we would enjoy too. I need to go and check this out :)

pi xxx

Imogen said...

I made this last night, on your recommendation, and all I can say is..yum yum yum! It was a bit of a variation in that I didn't make the chutney and didn't have time to marinate the chicken for longer than about 10 mins but it was still really good and I'm eating the leftover cous cous with my salad lunch right now. Thanks for the introduction!

Kathryn said...

Hi all - sorry not to reply sooner.

Freya, Gemma and Pi, I agree re Delia, but I think she has more interesting recipes than people assume. I forget her but do go back and remember, not least because there are hidden gems in her books.

KJ and Charlotte - Delia is great for basics. This dish is yummy, simple and yet tasty.

Hi Imogen - it is a good recipe, isnt it? I didnt marinate overnight, but I did have most of a day. Good to know it works without a long marinade!

Kathryn x

Shaun said...

Kathryn - This looks incredibly good. I love the idea of making a coriander chutney. I don't actually own any Delia books but have lately been thinking of purchasing her Winter collection...I watch her show on Winter food (a re-run, I suppose)all curled up in a blanket...and hungry.