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Feast: Food that Celebrates Life (Anglais) Broché – 7 septembre 2006

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I'd never come across a chocolate gingerbread, and after making this one for the first time, I wondered why not. There's something about the glottally thickening wodge of chocolate chip and cocoa that just intensifies the rich spices of gingerbread. The chocolate chips add texture and nubbly treat within. This is very rich, very strong: not for children, but perfect for the rest of us.

Makes about 12 slabs

For the Cake:
175g unsalted butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle or molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons warm water
2 eggs
250ml milk
275g plain flour
40g cocoa
175g chocolate chips

For the Icing:
250g icing sugar
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cocoa
60ml ginger ale

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170° C and tear off a big piece of baking parchment to line the bottom and sides of a roasting tin of approximately 30 x 20 x 5cm deep.

In a decent-sized saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugars, golden syrup, treacle or molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. In a cup dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water. Take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarb in its water. Stir in the flour and cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into the lined tin and bake for about 45 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that's the way you want it.

Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the tin. Once cool, get on with the icing.

Sieve the icing sugar. In a heavy-based saucepan heat the butter, cocoa and ginger ale. Once the butter's melted, whisk in the icing sugar. Lift the chocolate gingerbread out of the tin and unwrap the paper. Pour over the icing just to cover the top and cut into fat slabs when set.

I am never so innocently happy as when making roast chicken. This is a more work-intensive take on it, but the supreme dish for a feast: the bronze-breasted, crisp-skinned birds come to the table bursting with their sour-sweet rice stuffing. As I’ve said about turkey, in a very primitive way, the stuffing is meant to remind us of the fullness of life, which is what a feast essentially celebrates.

The rice stuffing takes on a deep savoury meatiness as it absorbs more flavour than you ever thought a chicken could have, but the only problem is you don’t get much more than a spoonful or two per person like this. You do lose some flavour, but it’s worth cooking a batch of the rice mixture in a saucepan, too, in which case use chicken stock (mine is, as ever, concentrated-instant not freshly made, though fresh organic stock from a supermarket tub would be a wonderful alternative) rather than water as you need to oomph up flavour. And when the rice in the pan is cooked, fork in a little butter as you add the parsley, sprinkling with more parsley and a few toasted pinenuts in the serving dish.

Please don’t feel this Georgian stuffed chicken must be cooked only as a part of the full-on feast. I don’t deny it’s particularly good with the beetroot and beans on pages 313 and 315, neither of which could remotely be called quick everyday recipes, but without the cheesebread and melon beforehand, this makes a fabulous weekend lunch that wouldn’t be ludicrously exhausting to make. Especially since the beetroot can be wrapped in foil and roasted the night before as you veg out in front of the TV, leaving you with a not too labour-intensive morning ahead and a lunch that’s really worth inviting people to.

As part of a feast, though, no part of this meal requires defence or apology for the work involved. A feast demands concentrated effort and there is no point embarking on one unless you take a policy decision to enjoy the bustling preparations. This may not be possible very often, but when it is, try and go with it. If you choose to cook, it can, in the right frame of mind, feel like a devotional activity, a way to celebrate being alive; if you’re forced into it, then it’s drudgery.

Serves 8

2 x 2.25kg chickens
30g soft butter

60g butter (plus fat from inside the chicken cavity)
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
200g basmati rice
80g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped
500ml water
4 tablespoons chopped parsley

For the stuffing, melt butter along with any gobbets of fat from the chicken’s cavity in a wide saucepan (one that has a lid). Process or finely chop the onion and garlic, and add to the pan with the butter, frying over a medium heat until the onion softens and begins to colour.

Discard bits of the rendered chicken, add the rice and chopped cherries, and give everything a good stir so that the rice becomes slicked with the fat. Add the water and a sprinkling of salt and bring to the boil, then clamp on the lid and cook at the lowest heat possible for 15 minutes. While the rice is cooking, preheat your oven to gas mark 7/220°C. When the rice is ready, by which I mean, all the water will be absorbed and the rice be more or less cooked, fork through the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the cherry-studded rice into the cavities of both chickens, and secure the openings with two or three cocktail sticks. The easiest way to do this is to pinch together the flaps of skin from each side of the cavity and make a stitch to hold them with a cocktail stick.

Rub the secured chickens with the butter and roast in the oven for 1 1/2—2 hours. The skin should be golden and crispy and the meat cooked through; test by piercing the bird between thigh and body and if juices run clear, the chicken’s ready. The reason why the chickens take longer than you would normally give them is twofold: in the first instance, the rice stuffing impedes the flow of hot air; in the second, having two birds in the oven tends to make each take longer to brown.

Pull out the cocktail sticks and let the chickens rest before carving.

From the Hardcover edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

"Heartwarming, passionate, informed, refreshingly uncomplicated and full of ideas, Feast is destined to become a classic like How to Eat" (Mrs D-Daily (Blog))

"The real successor to Nigella Lawson's classic, How to Eat, a volume that every right-thinking person cherishes and consults regularly... Feast [is] just as entertaining and divulgent - and it works too, both as a practical manual and an engrossing read" (Evening Standard)

"Feast, like so much of Lawson's work, is a voluptuous and delicious piece of food writing" (Tom Norrington-Davies Guardian)

"Lovely photographs clear recipes great stress-busting tips" (Lydia Slater Sunday Times)

"As clever and inspiring as ever" (Jeanette Winterson, Evening Standard)

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Format: Relié
Magnifique ce livre que nous avons commandé dès sa sortie. De nombreuses recettes testées toutes plus géniales les unes que les autres sophistiquées ou non. A lire et à relire, à cuisiner et à faire partager, un de nos préférés.... Merci Nigella à quand le prochain ?
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Par Cheyenne le 1 septembre 2010
Format: Broché
C'est un des livres à avoir, il y a plusieurs thémes: Noël, Pâques, Halloween, cuisine pour les non seulement elle partage avec nous ses expériences culinaires, mais également sa vie quoitidienne, le tout accompagné de magnifiques photos. A avoir absolument!
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Par adeline le 15 janvier 2016
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The book was in great condition just as mentionned by the supplier. It is a very big book of about 460 pages full of easy recipes to prepare at any time of the year. Chapers are organized by holidays during the year such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter... with extra chapers for party times, wedding & other occasions.Perfect for everyone who like to gather family and friends around good food.
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Format: Broché
What can I say , it's a very good book for cooking
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.2 étoiles sur 5 62 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great cookbook 7 mars 2017
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I love this cookbook! My family has our own recipes and traditions for most holidays, so I haven't used any of the complete menus, but have added in some of the side dishes for celebration dinners. Mostly, though, I've used it to pick up new recipes for everyday. I often use cookbooks more to get new ideas that I combine with existing recipes or tailor to my own tastes, and there are plenty of recipes that work well for that. There's a champagne risotto, listed as a post-New Year's Eve recipe, that I merged with my usual risotto recipe, and it was delicious. I also tried and loved the "hot cross bunny" - a rabbit curry I made with chicken. I'm planning to try out the other curry recipes as well. The cakes and other desserts are also amazing. This is also so well-written that it is fun just to flip through and read the descriptions and recipes.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Lacking... 27 mars 2016
Par GAB - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Recipes not fully developed, menus are interesting, but one has to improvise for most dishes to taste good. Not a good buy. I have some of her other cookbooks and they are great. Disappointed
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A feast can be a daily extravagance after all 30 mai 2008
Par Kasia S. - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Nigella is my original muse, she single handedly got me back into the kitchen and cooking when the days of making cookies with my grandmother passed and I had to start doing it on my own. I have all of her books and honestly they are something one can actually cook from, my shelves are bending from the amount of cookbooks they house but only half are being used to make dinners and cakes, others I look at for inspiration and for pictures but Nigella's recipes are worth every penny one spends on a cookbook. I can't express my love and gratitude for this woman; she's intelligent, cheerful, honest a magnificent food writer who actually got me into writing as well, I even got my first KitchenAid mixer because she used her so much to make all of her delectable treats. So fear not, this and other books that she penned are not only gorgeous to look at but they can help anyone put something mouth watering on the table in no time. This one has pictures on almost every page and a short little bit of how this came to be or how she eats it before each recipe, probably my favorite part of the book.

This book is broken into occasions rather than seasons or ingredients - Thanksgiving & Christmas, New Year, Meatless Feasts, Valentine's Day, Easter, Passover, Breakfast, Kitchen Feasts, Kiddiefeast, Cut-out Cookies, Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame, A Georgian Feast, Eid, Ultimate Feasts, Hallowe'en, Rosh Hashanah, A Venetian Feast, Festival of Lights, Partytime, Midnight Feast, Wedding Feast, Funeral Feast ( somber I know but the food is actually very appropriate and having herself lose her mother, sister and first husband to cancer, Nigella is still living life and making the best of what she has) so no matter what one celebrates they can find something good in this super large volume. I have to admit that I use this daily and don't wait for special occasions.

Feast is probably her biggest ( thickest) book to date, and I made some good things from it. Let me tell you, the Pumpkin Cheesecake (on page 68 ) was my first cheesecake and no only was it ridiculously easy it turned out so good I was shocked I made it myself. There was a suggestion for Butterscotch sauce on the page to pour on top, I made it as well ( gotta love the pairing suggestions) and the combination was just divine. The sauce would also go well on something like an apple and macadamia nut crumble or anything thatis sweet.

Gingerbread muffins on page 91 were so warm and cozy I make them in cold weather to keep the chill of, the trouble is stopping at one. If you want your house to smell like a home, make this!

Roast Loin of pork with caraway, lemon and garlic - spicy fragrant, nothing ordinary about this simple to make dinner, makes great leftovers as the rub on top intensifies.

Chicken Pot Pie - I guarantee that after this one no one will be shopping for it in the frozen section of their supermarket, flaky dough, creamy hot center, lost of peas, ham and chicken in sauce, the only caution is not burning the tongue as it's hard not to gobble up.

There's even Muttar Paneer - an excellent Indian dish, makes me feel silly for ever thinking it was hard to make. Now I can control the ingredients and how much salt and fat goes into it, one can make a healthy lunch out of an exotic staple after all.

This book has everything, I don't know how this woman thinks it all up, but she makes these recipes and writes about them, she feeds them to her children and friends, real people are involved into bringing this book to life and it shows.

- Kasia S.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Right up there with Jane Grigson! 22 février 2015
Par frog lady - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Good recipes, especially the cakes, though really all of it is good. Nigella has a fun style of writing and I enjoy the fact that she does her research and points the reader in the direction of other great cook books to check out. She's written many books so I don't know where to factor this one into the group since it's the first one of her's that I've read. I certainly recommend it.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Nigella thinks up the best recipes for both sides of the pond 13 mars 2007
Par Sean North - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I love her holiday recipes...a mix of English and American customs. Nice to see someone in Europe celebrating American delights such as the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner along with pumpkins, cranberries, maple syrup, and other native food items of North America.

One let down was the recipe for the old fashioned chocolate cake. While it looked yummy when I baked it, it came out a little dry. Was worried about that when I noticed the very thick batter. Guess I will have to experiment with the recipe a little was easy to make, though.
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