The stories I want to write, the characters that fascinate me and a lemon ginger chicken for Marta

Just recently, I found myself thinking about all the stories I wanted to write. I mean, I have tons of ideas in my head, I have three whole stories featuring Camila Roeberg from my first published novel already stewing in my mind, I have an idea for a story set in The Preternaturals Series universe but featuring none of its current characters, I have a story about dragons and warriors and sorceresses already two thirds written... I have a lot of stories, do I have enough time to pen them down? I wonder. Still, I'll go for them, I'll work on them, and the future will say what the future will say, right?

But if I am to be really, really honest, there's two stories I have wanted to write for a long, long time. Two stories I know for sure I will never pen down and yet will dream about them all the time. Two stories that have populated my imagination for far too long, now, they're part of who I am, really. But there are already far too many versions of them out there - well, at least of one of them! - and both require the kind of research I simply have no means of doing. Because both feature historical figures, supposedly, and historical happenings, dates, places, history in its purest form. And not the history of my country, sadly - although I believe someone should write one of those intensely vivid and good historical novels about Viriatus, really. It would be great, I tell you.

One of those two stories that fill my mind constantly and end up influencing everything else - even if you can't tell - in my life is the Arthurian legend. Yeah, come on and sue me, I'm all for Arthur and the knights of the round table. I've read so many of the versions already out there and loved most of them because each one gives off a different point of view, a different setting of the characters. But I do have a soft spot for The Mists Of Avalon, yes. I would love writing down my own version of the Arthurian legend, based on the point of view of the women, yeah. A different view of Morgan le Fay, a different view of Guinevere, of Vivianne, of Igraine. A different view of Merlin as well, and Arthur. Imagine the research this would beg for. The means requiered. A dream it stays, then.

The other story - and this one speaks so dear to my heart - is that of Ragnar Lothbrok's sons. The Ragnarssons. Not like they're depicted on Vikings, though I do love that show, and it somehow got me to view Ragnar in a slightly different way. But I am obsessed with two of his children, Sigurth Snake-eye and Ivar the Boneless. Especially Ivar. Ever since I read Harry Harrison's and Tom Shippey's trilogy The Hammer and the Cross that I have been enchanted by Ivar Ragnarsson, wishing to know more about him and to write about him. I did pen down a short story, a long time ago, featuring him in the background but focusing on one of his mistressess. Not enough research handy to bring it into fruition, but I would love to be able to dig in and write about him and Sigurth. Maybe one day...

For now I will satisfy myself with finishing my work in progress and getting those three novels published, I will satisfy myself with writing this blog and cooking and shooting and styling for it, I will satisfy myself with the work at hand which is already making me spread myself rather thin. And that brings me to this dish at hand. I wanted another dish to bring to Marta's March table, which features lemons, so I had to cook one of my most favourite things, which is chicken. Roasted. In the oven. I mean, I can't get enough of oven foods, and the weather has decided it is still begging for it. Even if Spring is supposed to have sprung already, we're expecting a decrease in temps this week, coming back to Winter cold days with rain and wind and dreary skies. So oven dishes it is. Chicken with lemon and ginger, and it is too good.

For the chicken you will need:
  • 1/2 a chicken, cut into pieces (I cooked this for 3 people, make it a whole chuck if your numbers are bigger)
  • zest and juice of half a lemon + a few lemon slices
  • a knob of ginger, grated
  • olive oil
  • dried garlic
  • five to six shallots, halved
  • six garlic cloves, smashed
  • dried chives and cilantro
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • half a glass of white wine
Start by seasoning the chicken with the lemon, the ginger, the dried garlic and herbs, the turmeric,and allow to rest in the fridge for at least one hour. After the seasoning has infused the bird, heat up a good glug of olive oil in an oven proof pan and pre cook the chicken. You want the skin to brown, to caramelize and leave its flavours in the pan. Bring the chicken out of the pan and let it rest on a side dish, seasoning it with the salt and pepper. Now deglaze that pan with a little white whine, as you want to make sure you catch all those flavours at its bottom. Throw in the shallots, lower the heat, add the garlic cloves and toss everything around so the skins begin to brown. Now add the chicken and place the pan in the oven, on the lower rack. Cook it at 200º with the fan on, if you have it. The tatters will cook along with the chuck, but in a different oven tray.

For the oven fries you need:
  • 10 small new potatoes
  • zest of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • herbes de provence
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • olive oil
Start by washing your potatoes very thouroughly. Because they're new potatoes, we're leaving the skin on, but make sure there is no dirt. Cut them in quarters and toss the on a bowl. Season with the paprika, the lemon zest, the herbs, salt and pepper and a dash of olive oil. Cover an oven tray with baking parchement and drizzle some olive oil over it. Toss the potatoes on the tray and spread them around so they're not covered by other potatoes. Roast them on the top shelf of the oven but if halfway through you notice them browning a bit to much, bring them down and move the chicken to the top. If not needed, make sure that in the last ten minutes of cooking you bring the chicken up so it can brown a little. Serve with a tomato salad and a good red, and you're set for one of the loveliest roast dinners you can have.


  1. Querida Ruth,
    para mim a época de assados no forno nunca acaba! Pode estar 40 graus lá fora que eu não me importo mesmo nada. Eu ADORO assados, e frango assado no forno é uma quase obsessão. Amo. Essas batatinhas aí ao lado do frango estão com um aspeto tão, mas tão delicioso!!
    Uma receita que me deixa completamente rendida. My kind of confort food, sem dúvida.
    Obrigado por mais esta receita :) amei
    Beijocas grandes

    P.S. também adoro a lenda de Rei artur e os seus cavaleiros... já a lenda do filho de Ragnar conheço muito pouco... há uma série chamada Vikings que é sobre essa lenda não é?...ou estou a misturar coisas?... :)

    Ah gostei do novo look, mais leve e fresco. Mais a condizer com a estação :)

    1. Pois, eu tb faço pratos de forno o ano inteiro, quero lá saber do calor eheheheh. Obrigada pelas palavras <3

  2. Three novels! Wow! This is a huge plan already. And you still have energy for the blog. Big big respect!

    1. Oh my, thank you! Writing novels is for me more fun than work, really, so it comes a bit easy - doesn't mean they're any good ahahahah.

  3. Que bonita e mais leve está a tua nova casa! Eu tenho uma grande admiração por ti, porque escreves, a sério. não tenho essa capacidade, imaginação e disciplina. Ainda só li o teu primeiro livro e como sabes fiquei na expectativa de criares mais livros com a personagem, ainda bem que mais cedo ou mais tarde voltaremos a encontrar a Camila!

    1. *insert emoticon de olhos e boca aberta* pah, tens a capacidade de ser completament self taught numa área q eu considero das mais dificeis, p isso olha, a admiração é mesmo mútua lol!! A sério q gostaste da Camila? Ela a mim irrita-me um bocado, gosto mais da Kit - tenho dois livros já meio amanhados com elas duas, e com os outros personagens tb. Mas confesso q prefiro os meus vampiros e as minhas bruxas, gostava bem q lesses p me dares opinião eheh.


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