I have always believed in shopping locally, whether that’s using local produce or supporting our local shops, in preference to the big name supermarkets. It is often easy to overlook the fantastic mass of fabulous food that can be found in the local corner shop. Our little local shops are often run by families who came to Great Britain several generations ago but continue to run the family business supplying food that was local to them in their home countries, alongside British staples.
Andreas Michli and son on the corner of St Annes Road. Tottenham, London, is one such shop. There isn’t a name on the outside, but there’s no mistaking the store. The sheer freshness of colour from the array of herbs, wild leaves, fruit, vegetables and huge watermelons, almost to heavy to carry, imported from Cyprus, vie for space with statues of venus and patio pots, the store is a homage to Cypriot life.
Sitting in the sun outside the shop is a smiley faced Mr Michli, giving advice and cooking tips to customers as they choose purple veined chard. plump lilac green artichokes, bright green young spinach, fragrant, lacy leaved coriander and sweet scented cooking lavender, all strung in bundles. Simmer and serve drizzled with olive oil and a fresh squeeze of lemon is his recommendation for most of the vegetables. Much of which are grown on their own farm in Hertfordshire.
Inside is a fabulous array of olives both black and green, salted, stuffed and marinated by Mr Michli himself. Tomato puree in colourful tins, various types of rose water and pomegranate mollasses sit along side a wonderful assortment of terracotta dishes for cooking these superb ingredients.
Unable to resist, I bought a pot and all the ingredients to make:
Chicken Marinated in Pomegranate Molasses.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Zest of one lemon
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
I lemon cut into quarters
2 cloves of garlic crushed
Whole Chicken jointed into pieces (on the bone) with the skin on
- Stir together the molasses, olive oil, lemon zest,garlic salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in a dish that fits the pieces snugly.
- pour over the marinade and leave for a minimum of 3 hours, maximum over- night, 12 hours.
- Remove from the fridge and place the lemon wedges between the chicken pieces.
- Set the oven 200 degrees (400 fahrenheit), when it has reached the correct temperature –
- Place the chicken in the centre of the oven and cook for 15 minutes and then baste. Cook for a further 20 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the chicken cooked through.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce drizzled with the cooking juices and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.