Can you believe he doesn't always scream a stream of profanities at you, like he does on Hell's Kitchen? Salon, in fact, had a piece on Gordon Ramsay not too long ago that made me follow their link to YouTube, and I found myself frittering away a large chunk of time watching a few of the videos he's made for the Times Online.
Ramsay seems surprisingly nice, and his prematurely creased face is actually kind of ruggedly attractive when it's not bright red and spitting words that engender fear and horror on the hapless contestants of his almost-impossible-to-watch show. Let me amend that: his impossible-to-watch reality show. I can't watch it, and I can't watch Top Chef either because everybody on reality shows eventually gets on my nerves, either during the first, say, thirty seconds or by the second episode (generally there's not an in-between). Just when I think watching Scott Baio (who I was madly in love with after I saw Bugsy Malone) might be mildly entertaining, I realize what a boring, vacuous life he leads and figure my own, boring, vacuous life watching TV is enough for any one person to deal with at one time. So click. Off goes reality TV and on goes Battlestar Galactica (my eyes are now two red molten holes in my head after watching two of season three's DVD's almost back to back). It's so much more fun and rewarding to hate Cylons than chef-contestant-whatchamacallit #1, #2, #3, #4, etc., etc.
However. I like the Ramsay who cooks online a lot (and I really need to crank up the BBC America and watch his other shows), and I had a lot of success with the recipe he explains in the video above. I haven't had an oven for nearly three weeks (thank you to Lakeside Appliance and Wolf for the bang-up job in getting right on that for me), so anything stove-top is instantly appealing. As is any promise of quickness--I like a fast recipe, although it seems like no matter what I do, and no matter how much I hustle, dinner is always late.
The recipe, I think, as transcribed on The Times website, was written by an intern who must have been IM'ing his/her BFF while watching the video and replying to an email from his/her mom at the same time. While eating lunch. It's wildly inaccurate and imprecise. If you follow Ramsay's verbal instructions, though, the chicken turns out rich and tangy, with a golden stickiness, just as promised. It took me a little longer than the promised 35 minutes prep and cooking time, but I've already admitted I'm slow--and those bottles of wine aren't going to open themselves, are they?
Below, you'll find a more literal translation of the recipe. I hope Gordo ripped that intern a new one.
Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken
- 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally (I'm not sure if I saw him actually put this in, but it's a good addition from the web recipe)
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 lemon sliced thickly, plus juice from another half of lemon
- "Little cup of water" or "about a ladle of water". Lord help us, Ramsay, could you be more unhelpful? It looks to me like maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup he splashes in, possibly less. Start small and add more if needed.
- Bunch of fresh thyme, minced with scissors
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Cut up your chicken, or do that fancy thing Ramsay does to the drumsticks you already have and salt and pepper everything. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chicken, and brown thoroughly on both sides.
When the chicken is a nice goldeny-brown, add the soy sauce and the vinegar. Top with the lemon slices and squeeze the juice from half of that other lemon over everything. Add your little cup of water and, over medium-low heat, simmer, turning the pieces from time to time for about 6-7 minutes (or until most of the water has cooked away, whichever comes first).
Season with the fresh thyme and drizzle with honey. Add a good
grind of pepper and cook for another five minutes or so. Sprinkle with
fresh parsley and serve with champ--that's Irish for mashed potatoes
with green onions. There's a recipe that somewhat resembles the one
Ramsay cooks in the video here. And those ml measurements? They're right on the back of your measuring cup.
Serves 4 hearty eaters.