June 2016 Dubai
We are in the very heart of Ramadan now, with most restaurants closed during daylight hours and the canon firing at 7:15pm means famished millions tuck into Iftar after a full 14 hours of fasting. And good for these Believers. Us nonbelievers still get to taste whether the root vegetables have been roasted just right, well before the sun disappears below the horizon.
I took Jamie Oliver’s recipe for a roast chook from his book Jamie’s Dinners. Instructions were simple and intuitive and the best bit had to be stuffing a pricked, whole lemon up the bird’s clacker before roasting. Plenty of garlicky infused water-and-oil to baste the bird mid way also meant that the vegetables didn’t become burnt or tough to chew.
This dinner cost us AED20. We three ate the lot, I especially enjoying the mellowed sweetened lemon rinds which had taken on the garlic of the dish. The boys played ‘feed each other’ with bits of potato and chicken meat at the table. You’d think a thigh or some breast would become left overs, but no: only bones remained on the platter. Success!