Audrey Gordon’s Tuscan Summer
This cookbook is a riot.
A group of Aussie comedians, known as Working Dog, have invented this hilarious celebrity chef Audrey Gordon to take the piss out of our obsession with chefs, cooking and all things food!
There have been so many cooking shows, cookbooks and reality rat races on TV these days. People are a little cooked out.
Now there’s Audrey Gordon, an invented caricature combining the funniest aspects of Nigella, Gordon, Delia and Jamie into one delicious satire.
They’ve created a resume and accolades for Audrey, including her time as lifestyles editor of Implausible Homes magazine or her three year reign as “Britain’s Sternest Chef”. She’s even got her own website.
They have really lavished a lot of time and attention into this book with daily diary entries by Audrey, quotes, tips on etiquette and cultural reflections. It chock-full of content to laugh over.
And the 60 recipes are real, and tasty.
I came home from work and Jonas, who had been chuckling away at the book during his day off, had decided to give it a test run.
The results were superb.
Pollo alla Toscana (Tuscan Chicken)
Recipe from Audrey Gordon’s Tuscan Summer. Serves 2.
1 x 900g chicken, preferably corn fed
1 large lemon
8 sliced prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 good handfuls fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
4 large potatoes, quarteed
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven and a roasting tray to 220’C. Wash the chicken inside and out and pat dry with kitchen towel.
2. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the breast meat, being careful not to rip the skin. Slice the lemon and work the slices under the skin over each breast. Smooth the skin back in place and wipe the chicken dry.
3. Rub 2 tablespoons of olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper over the bird. Really massage it in, paying particular attention to the back, shoulders and other common areas of tension.
4. Push the prosciutto, garlic and thyme into the cavity and put your chicken on the hot roasting tray and into the oven for 20 minutes.
5. While the chicken is cooking, parboil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes and drain. Add the potatoes to the roasting tray and continue to roast for 40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200’C and cook for a further 15 minutes.
6. To tell whether the chicken is done, insert a skewer into one of the thighs. If the juices run clear, then it’s ready to eat. If you detect blood either the chicken is under-cooked or you’ve stabbed yourself.
7. Remove the chicken to a heated platter and cover loosely with foil. The potatoes may require a further 10 minutes in the oven for crisping.
Audrey’s tip: If you can’t find proper prosciutto at your local shops. You can use ordinary bacon or perhaps consider moving to a better suburb.
Anna’s tip: If you don’t want to do a whole chicken, choose drumsticks or thighs with the skin still attached.
The book is published by Hardie Grant (who sent me a copy to check out, thanks!) and Australians will know Working Dog as the people behind classic Aussie films like The Dish and The Castle, or the TV shows Thank God You’re Here and The Panel.
If you want a little taste of the tongue in cheek humour this book delivers, you can watch YouTube clips of the lady herself whipping up a tiramisu (below) or cooking pasta with prosciutto.
Watch out Nigella!