This is the first post in a new segment where I recreate the recipes of those around me. I am forever curious about the home-cooked food my friends and family subsist on and nourish themselves with – what are their lazy day go-to meals? What do they turn to when they feel like making a splash in the kitchen? What is their definition of comfort food? I will explore these questions through my histamine-intolerant lens, but will include the original recipes for those who don’t get bloated off everything.
What: A quick and simple recipe suitable for novices like me yet rich in flavour for those who expect a suitable level of pizzazz from their home-cooked meals (also me)
Who: The Better Cher i.e. Cher Tan
Bloat score: 0 – Living the dream
The Better Cher is a professional chef, which makes it unsurprising that she came up with this wonder of a recipe while trying to use what was in her pantry and fridge – a skill I could afford to get better at in this age of social isolation. She’s named this oily and savoury chicken and potato dish ‘drummies and slash’ after ‘bangers and mash’ and like the dish that inspired it, it’s at once comforting and decadent.
The Better Cher has featured in these reviews of Daughter-in-Law, Super Ling and Little Odessa but more recently, she has become my sifu – always ready to answer any and all of my inane food queries and forever generous with detailed rundowns of what she’s whipping up in her kitchen.
I love this recipe because it’s simple, you can do a few steps simultaneously (like parboiling the potatoes and cooking the chicken), and there’s lots of time for you to do other things while everything sits in the oven.
I didn’t have to change much about this recipe to make it lactose-free and low in histamines – most would see this as sacrilege, but I rarely cook with butter due to my lactose intolerance and instead opt for Nuttelex (don’t @ me!!). I’ve included The Better Cher’s original instructions as well as amendments I made to adhere to my intolerances and what was in my pantry.
‘Drummies and Slash’ (an original recipe by Cher Tan)
1kg baby potatoes
600g chicken drumsticks
Half a bunch of spring onions, chopped (I used some that I’d frozen – adopt this life hack because it will change your life, save time and prevent wastage)
3 red chillies
6–8 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly and finely (I didn’t have fresh garlic on hand, so I used three tablespoons of minced jar garlic instead)
Half a block of butter (as mentioned above, I don’t cook with butter so I used three tablespoons of Nuttelex)
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Parboil the baby potatoes for around 10 minutes (shorter or longer depending on how you like your potatoes – I went for a bit longer) in salted water. Drain and set aside.
In the meantime, chop up your spring onions, chillies and fresh garlic (if using).
Add the butter (or Nuttelex) and a few glugs of olive oil to a pan and cook the chopped up spring onions, chillies and garlic on medium heat.
After about a minute, place the chicken drumsticks in amongst the spring onions, chillies and garlic.
Cook for about 15–20 minutes until the drumsticks are half-cooked and brown in parts. Turn the drumsticks around every now and then to ensure they’re cooking evenly, coated by all the ingredients and absorbing the sauce.
Once 15–20 minutes are up, turn off the heat. Sprinkle some salt and a few splashes of soy sauce.
Put the saucy half-cooked chicken and parboiled potatoes on a baking paper-lined tray. Drizzle a bit more olive oil and sprinkle more salt and pepper according to your personal preferences across the chicken and potatoes. I went for quite a few additional glugs of olive oil because it turns into an aromatic concoction by the end of the cooking process.
Cook chicken and potatoes in oven for 45–60 minutes. My oven is shite so they were in there for an hour. Check everything halfway through and turn chicken and potatoes on to the other side to ensure even cooking.
After the allotted time, remove chicken and potatoes from the oven and serve on to a plate. I made sure to spoon all the oily goodness over my chicken and potatoes.
There are far more potatoes than chicken, but once I ran out of chicken, I ate the potatoes over the next few days paired with different meats and they kept well.