My brain has gone kind of melty when it comes to cooking during the lockdown. I am usually a stickler for making a recipe exactly to specifications, no deviations, no repetitions. But these strange times are doing something good to my brainbox and I am “subbing” as the online foodies seem to say when they don’t have the exact ingredients for a dish.

So it was for this recipe, which I’ve been wanting to make for a donkey’s age. I had everything except redcurrant jelly and this would normally have meant sticking that on the shopping list, getting hold of it eventually, popping it in the cupboard, then immediately forgetting what I’d bought it for. This kind of behaviour is exactly why my flat is FULL of weird foodstuffs.

But I had a hankering for this delicious chicken, which I now see from a 2015 post I had proclaimed to be, ” my favourite of all movie star chicken recipes.” It had pipped Elizabeth Taylor’s Chicken Steamed in White Wine to the #1 spot and now I’ve had it again, I can totally see why. I just LOVE this chicken.

Mr R made some really nice fried potatoes to go with the chook

This unidentified object on the left had been hanging around in my kitchen cabinet for a long time,

I had no idea what it was, so I sniffed it and I decided it could be some James Mason Plum Jam, made in 2014 so I used that in place of the redcurrant jelly. Whatever it was, it worked. Plus it gave Mr R the opportunity of doing his James Mason impression as he struggled to get the lid off, “This lid, it’s a bit TIGHT isn’t it?”

In A Treasury of Great Recipes, Vincent gives the credit for this recipe to his wife.

 “This is one of Mary’s specialities, something she tosses together while tiling a wall or framing a few paintings.  (That three-hour marinating break is just great for cooks with several other projects going!)  It has marvellous flavour, aroma and colour and couldn’t be better if Mary stood over a hot stove all day to prepare it.”

It is true that in these strange times creativity is pushing through the boundaries of normal life and people all around the world are “tiling a wall or framing a few paintings” or writing or drawing or knitting or just lying in the garden looking at the trees. Why not marinate some chicken while you are doing whatever it is that you have suddenly remembered you really like doing?

I have rediscovered my love of knitting and drinking cocktails in the garden wearing a #skeincrown – CHEERS!

Vincent Price’s Chicken Sweet and Hot

In a saucepan combine: 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 large clove garlic, minced, 1/2 cup red currant jelly, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon powdered ginger, and 3 dashes Tabasco. Heat, stirring, until jelly is melted and sauce is smooth.  Cool.

Put 1 chicken, quartered, into a baking dish.  Pour sauce over and let marinate for 2 or 3 hours.

Preheat oven to moderate (350 degrees F, 180 degrees C, gas mark 4)

Cover chicken and cook in the moderate oven for 1 hour.  Uncover, increase oven temperature to hot (400 degrees F, 200 degrees C, gas mark 6), and baste frequently until chicken is an even dark brown.

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