My ugliest habit in this world is talking over people. More specifically, finishing sentences for people that are perfectly capable of wrapping it up for themselves.
The worst thing is, 99% of the time I get it totally wrong. Like, radically wrong. "So I went out on the weekend and bumped into my friend from school. She told me she's...." I jump in: "Pregnant and has cancer and is deciding whether to have chemo because it's risky for the baby?" (All my guesses are Steph Scully storylines from Neighbours). "No, she's starting a new job on Monday". Oh. Right. Sorry.
Most people are pretty patient with me in this regard. But to be totally honest, I wouldn't blame them for getting a bit ticked off. I'm displaying total impatience for people just trying to finish their thought, and total arrogance to think I am soooo insightful I can glean every piece of information they were hoping to express from the first three words of a sentence. Like I said, pretty ugly.
My second ugliest habit is being fairly inflexible when it comes to cooking techniques. I remember have a conversation with my buddies Nellie and Nadia. Nell and I were saying we thought chicken thighs were the best eating, but Nadia insisted a quick pan fry and bake for a chicken breast was the bee's knees. "Hurumph! Outrageous! Never!" was my response. (Now I've morphed from Steph Scully into Harold Bishop. And over cuts of chicken.)
I now have to eat my words. And my chicken breast. These babies were out of this world. I picked them up at the Coburg Farmers Market one fine Saturday morning from a mob out in Mirboo North (in Gippsland). It was their first pass at the market in Coburg, and I'm pretty glad they took the leap. This was some seriously good chicken - moist and tender, but a beautiful deep chicken flavour that you just cannot get in a supermarket bird.
Right nextdoor to the chicken stall were some fabulous looking veg. One pile caught my eye. Long, grassy, green stems attached to slim white and purple bulbs. I thought I'd seen these on some food blogs from the States. Ramps, maybe? I asked the friendly chap across the table and he advised they are similar to ramps, but really, they're just young garlic. They hadn't formed bulbs yet and were still quite sweet. You could simply chop them raw (but pretty finely) in salads. I chose to roast them instead and make a brilliant green sauce from the full plant. There'd be no smooching in our house that night.
I haven't totally overcome my interrupting habit. I'm working on it though. This weekend, I listened to an old man tell a story about his family and it went for at least 5 minutes and I didn't say a word. The intolerance for alternative cooking techniques? Well, today I told Matt he was stirring the pot of bolognaise wrong. Seriously guys. He was stirring. There's not that much that can go wrong. Let's just say I'm a work in progress.
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp duck fat
3 nicola potatoes
3 corn cobs
2 stems of green garlic
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch coriander
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Scrub and wash potatoes well to remove all dirt on the skins. Chop into even sized pieces, around 2cm square. Add to a roasting pan with the corn cobs and green garlic. Roast for around 45 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
In the meantime, season chicken breasts and rub with a little olive oil. Heat the first quantity of olive oil in a heavy based pan and add the chicken breasts, skin side down. Cook on each side until a deep golden brown in colour. Add to cook for around 10 minutes in the oven, on top of the potatoes and corn. Remove and rest for around 10 minutes in a warm spot.
To make the green garlic sauce, remove the green garlic from the oven around 20 minutes before the potatoes and chop roughly. Add to the food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until roughly combined and saucey-like.
To serve, remove kernels from the corn cobs and mix with the potatoes. Slice the chicken in 1cm thick slices and fan over the top of the potatoes and corn on a plate. Top with a drizzle of the green garlic sauce.