Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

As you will soon start to notice is a pattern, like Amanda – though unlike Dan or Jon – I am the reason that Lizzy Caplan scored the role of Janis Ian and as such, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join me and help celebrate this year’s Mean Girls’ Day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week.

Not that it wasn’t optional though, of course. Honestly.

Anyway, I met Lizzy through Seth Rogen and current Survivor cast-member Mike White on the set of Freaks & Geeks. While it was only her acting debut, she completely blew me away and I deemed her worthy of my tutelage.

Given I am an excellent teacher – don’t you dare say anything about those unable to do, teach – I finesse her skills and within a couple of years, she was knocking on Teens’ door and making her way onto the A-list.

Lizzy’s career has absolutely blown up following her breakout performance in Masters of Sex, so we sadly haven’t been able to pal around as often as we’d like. Thankfully as soon as she heard Mean Girls celebration, she dropped everything, ran into my home and giddily reminisced over a big old Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine.

 

 

There is nothing I love more than a tajine, if only for the general festive look of a tajine. Add in succulent chicken and the tart kick of lemon and olives, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp saffron threads
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
8 chicken thighs, bones in
olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cinnamon quill
⅓ cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 Preserved Lemonika Radulovic, flesh removed and cut into strips
2 cups chicken stock
½ lemon, juiced
parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method
Combine the garlic, ginger, saffron, paprika, cumin, chilli, coriander and turmeric with a a good whack of salt and pepper and blitz with a stick blender to form a thick paste. Rub the chicken thighs with the fragrant glob, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in the base of our tajine and sweat the onions on low for about ten minutes. Add the chicken thighs and seal on both sides. Add the cinnamon, olives, preserved lemon and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for half an hour.

When the chicken is completely falling off the bone, remove from the heat, stir through the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve immediately on a bed of couscous and devour.

 

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Chicken Daniel Francese

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

Unlike Mands, I didn’t meet Dan Franzese – or Dan Fran, as I prefer to call him – until we were on the set of Mean Girls. Given it was based on my life story, I had offered Tina support in coaching the three actors whose characters which were based on me; Regina, her mum – when Ames plays your future self, you know you’ve made it – and too gay to function Damian.

After five minutes in the trailer, I noticed that Dan didn’t need any help with the character, instilling Damian with humanity that my teenself couldn’t even fathom having. So instead, we hung-out. And by hung-out, we commenced a torrid affair.

While you will soon find out that out all-too-brief affair ended in a total disaster, we remained friends against all odds and I am so proud of the career that Dan Fran has gone on to have. Despite me vowing to ruin his career, even though I was in the wrong when our relationship ended. Hell, I even suggested him to Jonathan for a role in looking!

Damn – why am I admitting fault?

Given he is busy being a successful boss, we haven’t had the joy of spending as much time together as we would like. As soon as Dan Fran walked into my room, he lit the place up with his beautiful soul. Which off topic reminds me that I need to see Jesse McCartney ASAP.

Anyway … he lit up the room and TBH, that is to be expected when a big plate of Chicken Daniel Francese is awaiting you.

 

 

Lightly coated chicken for optimal crunch, combined with a punch of garlic and lemon works to create a mouthwatering delight. Add in the fresh hit of parsley – which I never thought I would say but it really makes it sing – and I just can’t stop.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Daniel Francese
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
2 eggs, whisked
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lemon, half sliced and the other half juiced
½ cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine a cup or two of flour in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl whisk the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of water.Flatten the chicken breasts with the back of a frying pan until they’re about 2cm thick.

Heat a good lug of oil in the base of a pan over medium heat. When scorching, dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and transfer to the skillet to cook for about five minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and cook the lemon slices and garlic for a minute or so. Add the vermouth, stock and lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and leave to simmer for five minutes, stirring through the parsley towards the end. Return the chicken to the pan for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Serve chicken topped with a slice of lemon and drowned in sauce, for optimal devouring.

 

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Megan Marshmallys

Dessert, Emmy Gold, Snack, Sweets

We’ve made it – day five of my Emmy Week celebrations is finally here and there is no one I’d rather catch-up with than the dear Megan Mullally.

As you know, Megsy and I have been close friends for close to 30 years since my fluffer days in the 80s, through my role as her Maid of Dishonour and even survived my feud with Debra Messing during Will & Grace, which shut down the set more than 200 times and advising her to be in You, Me and the Apocalypse.

The only thing Megsy loves more than partying with Nick and I, is black market gambling so was hella keen to run the  odds for the remaining categories – we felt that we had well and truly covered off on the Comedy odds.

Oh Master of None will win Best Comedy and Actor, FYI.

In addition, Sarah Poulson will pip K Dunst, Game of Thrones will win drama, Rami Malek will win my heart / Best Actor, Viola will rob Tatiana and My Girl Chlumsky will finally bag herself an Emmy and that is as far as I can remember on account of our boozy ways.

I do remember, however, that my Megan Marshmallys were the perfect sweetener to the sting that she wasn’t attending – thank god I’ve got Kit!

 

megan-marshmallys-1

 

Marshmallows – dry, powdery and sickeningly sweet? Yes. But freshly made, these babies truly sing – delicately melting in your mouth and filling your heart with joy.

Who will take home the gongs? Join me Sunday/Monday – timezone dependent – as I live blog the event while hosting the E! Red carpet, finalise the script for Jim, attend with Kit, Idris and Tom and act as the results auditor.

Enjoy!

 

megan-marshmallys-2

 

Megan Marshmallys
Makes: 48.

Ingredients
⅔ cup icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1kg caster sugar
2 tbsp liquid glucose
¼ cup gelatine powder
4 egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
⅔ cup cornflour

Method
Full disclosure, these make an absolute shit-tonne … but they are good (and Megsy and I use them, well, let’s just say there is a fetish) and will get eaten. Quickly.

Line a couple of lamington pans/baking trays with baking paper and generously dust each with icing sugar.

Meanwhile combine the caster sugar and glucose with 400ml of water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Crank up the heat to medium and bring to the boil, cooking for 3-5 minutes or until a sugar thermometer reaches 110-120°C.

While that is cooking, combine the gelatine with 400ml of freshly boiled water and allow to stand for five minutes, or until glossy and clear. Once ready, whisk through the sugar syrup and remove from the heat.

Now get to work on the meringue and beat the eggwhites until stiff peaks. And I mean stiff peaks. I once peaked too soon, in that I didn’t have stiff peaks, resulting in a marshmallow that has meringue on top and a layer of what looked like aspic or lard below.

Anyway, with the mixer still on, gradually – and again, gradual is the key part of this step – add the sugar syrup until all combined. Beat for a further 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Remove from the mixer, fold through the vanilla, spread amongst the pans and chill until firm, an hour or two.

Combine the cornflour and icing sugar in a shallow dish.

Remove the marshmallow from the fridge, cut into squares and roll in the powdery mixture. Stand to dry on a metal rack for an hour or so before devouring.

Store any extra in an airtight container, though storing them scares me. Mainly because I don’t understand not gorging.

 

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