4 Ingredients — episode 2

It’s okay, you’re forgiven for thinking that I’d given up (again!) on the idea of teaching myself how to not suck at cooking.

My first post on this topic sparked comments from readers that reassured me that I am not the only female lacking in such talent. Instead of mocking me, these lovely folks were sympathetic and encouraging.

This propped me back up because despite it being an age of so-called gender equality, people do tend to go on and on about just how lucky I am that my husband cooks for the family. I wonder if my husband’s male friends go on and on about how lucky he is to have a woman that does the dishes every night? 

While my husband has been working his way through the complicated recipes in the latest Food & Drink magazine (and people wonder why I can’t keep weight off), I have worked my way through the 4 Ingredients cookbook.

Okay, so not really. But I did do one more recipe. Sure, it was another chicken recipe, but it was a recipe. And no, it didn’t work out like it was supposed to, but it was edible.

Here’s the recipe I picked:

Chicken with Lemon & Honey
1.  1 chicken, cut into pieces
2.  2 lemons, quartered
3.  2 tbs. honey
4.  2 springs of rosemary

And here’s how it went:

First of all, I didn’t have a whole chicken. This is just too much for a squeamish, former vegetarian. Instead, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts that magically grow in plastic packages at the supermarket. (I was nervous about this switch but checked with hubby and he assured me the recipe would still work.)

Then the next hiccup was a lack of rosemary springs. So I just pretended that they were not a part of the recipe and went about my business.

The result was a fresh tasting chicken that the whole family deemed enjoyable. My husband did remark on the lack of rosemary, saying he’d been thinking about the delicious combination of it with lemon. I explained I didn’t that we didn’t have any. He explained we had some growing on our deck. Who knew.

The ratings: Hubby gave it an 9/10, Stella gave it an 8/10, and I gave it an 8/10. It’s easy and the mild taste goes down well with the younger set.

The cookbook I’m using for these posts was written by two Australian women. It’s readily available in Australian and in the U.K. since it’s been a huge hit. And here’s why: (1) All recipes have 4 or fewer ingredients, (2) All can be measured in terms of cup, tablespoon and teaspoon, (3) The methodology is explained on average using 4 sentences, and (4) All recipes use ingredients mostly found in your pantry or fridge already. If you’re one of my Canadian or American readers, fear not, you too can get a copy! Here is a link it on Amazon.ca and here is one for Amazon.com



Filed under Books, Family, Fitness & Food, Learning, Living, Media, Shopping, Tales

11 responses to “4 Ingredients — episode 2

  1. XUP

    Hey, if you have a gourmet chef in the family, why not just relax and enjoy that? I would.

    • coffeewithjulie

      Yes, that’s definitely my usual approach, XUP, as evidenced by my poor record I suppose! But even the most dedicated family chef likes a night off or goes camping or has softball or a professional commitment in the evening, and on those *rare* occassions, it would be nice if I could offer my children something other than cereal, non? 🙂

  2. Check out Cooks Illustrated:

    I have never had a better source for fool proof recipes that ~explain~ why you do each step. They even have a whole book on just chicken recipes.

    – signed: yet another kitchen-bitch husband 🙂

    • coffeewithjulie

      Dear Kitchen-bitch husband,

      Thanks for the great tip — anything illustrated should be good for this beginner!

      I’ll try and return the favour by sharing that I hear that http://www.halfhourmeals.com is also a good spot. Naturally, I haven’t actually tried it. But hey, maybe you can, and then me how it goes!

      Dishpan-hands wife,

  3. This sounds promising…so now I need more detail. What do you DO with the honey and lemons? How do you cook it, and for how long, and at what temp?

    • coffeewithjulie

      Gee, I guess that would help, eh? Details, details! haha! Here it is Lynn:

      “Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Put chicken skin side up in a large baking dish. Mix the juice of the lemons with the honey in a small bowl and pour over chicken pieces. Place squeezed lemon pieces in the baking dish for extra flavour. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cook for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked and skin golden. Remove from oven and discard lemon halves. Pour juices into saucepan and boil uncovered for about 5 minutes or until the juices have thickened slightly. Serve with rice or salad.”

      I didn’t understand the whole juices part. Whatever. And see how they didn’t tell me what I’m supposed to do with the rosemary? Tricky.

      Let me know if you end up trying it!

  4. Nat

    When I moved out my mother bought me a copy of the Kitchen Survival Guide. (Lora Brody.) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688105874?v=glance%26n=283155%26s=books%26v=glance

    Impossible to mess up recipes… worth the purchase (also a useful — very useful, guide to cooking most vegetables known to man.)

  5. Hmmm, four ingredients, you say? That’s about my speed! Someone just recommended Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Anything, but man that’s a big book. I have the attention span for four ingredients, though!

    • coffeewithjulie

      Dani – here is how one Amazon.com user reviewed the 4 ingredients cookbook:

      “It’s a big stretch to call this a cookery book. It’s really only of use to those whose knowledge of meal preparation is limited to dialing for a pizza. I just can’t imagine who else would find it useful, but clearly people do because the book has been a bestseller. I am baffled as to why.”

      That just made me laugh so much because – uh, yeah, my knowledge of meal preparation IS limited to dialing for a pizza! It’s for low-attention span folks like us for sure!

  6. Pingback: 4 Ingredients — episode 3 « coffee with julie

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