Crisp, pan-fried chicken finds its ideal partner in seasonal vegetables poached in broth
The best cookbooks are like the best of friends: you might not see them for weeks, months, years even, but, when you do get together, it is a combination of familiarity and joy as you pick up just where you left off.
It had been only a few months, but I had one such reunion with Alastair Little’s Keep It Simple recently, a book so good that I want to ingest it in much the same way as all the recipes inside. Not that it was always this way. When first given a used first edition with a makeshift Chinese print wrapping paper cover, I was obviously pleased and excited about cooking what were certain to be good recipes. But it didn’t seem a book to be read and relished, more the practical sort that would become a useful acquaintance. Then I did read, standing at the counter but soon finding a chair and a pencil, underlining bits so as to remember them better, my pencil doing a sort of yes, yes, YES. It is a practical book – good ones generally are – and also full of wit and wisdom from a chef who is self-taught and so possesses the spirit and mind of a home cook: a real kitchen companion.
Rachel Roddy’s recipe for chicken and spring greens