Murder, She Wrote - S1:E1
If you returned home from a jog and found a strange man in your garden weeding your marigolds, would you invite him into your house for breakfast?
No, neither would I, but I am not as trusting as Jessica.
J.B. is an excellent judge of character, and she quickly sees through Ralph's "I'm just a wandering hobo" act. She notices that he's wearing exquisitely tailored clothes and spots an imprint on his wrist where she suspects an expensive watch usually sits.
This is an early example of Jessica's excellent observational skills, and we'll see these serving her very well as the series develops. When Ralph pretends to have read one of Jessica's books, she comes out with a great phrase that I intend to use in general conversation, "You're full of clam dip!"
Why not throw a J.B. style breakfast party to preface a screening of this episode? There's orange juice, eggs, bacon, toast, a massive block of butter, coffee and glasses of milk on Jessica's lovely round kitchen table as she shares a most hospitable meal with Ralph.
We are going to see a lot of things happening at this table over the years. It's where J.B. slaves over her typewriter, but also where we see her nurturing friends and family with huge pots of coffee, home-baked treats and her unique style of wisdom.
Claude Akins plays Captain Ethan Cragg, a recurring character in the first season of the show. He's a rather rough and ready chap, but it seems he knew a thing or two about cooking chicken.
Claude Akins’ Barbecued Honeyed Orange Chicken
1 chicken, cut in quarters
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced/crushed (optional)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ cup melted margarine, butter or olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place chicken pieces in a ceramic bowl. Combine the orange peel, lemon peel, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, mustard and melted margarine or butter or oil. Pour over the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for two hours, turning at 30 minute intervals. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade.
If cooking on a barbecue, place chicken on the grill, 6-inches from the glowing coals. Cook for 20 minutes, brushing with marinade several times then turn with tongs and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until tender.
If cooking in an oven, place the chicken pieces skin side down in a baking dish and brush generously with marinade. Bake at 375℉ for 25 minutes, turn and bake for an additional 35 minutes, basting frequently.
Season the chicken with salt and black pepper.
Cook the remaining marinade in a saucepan over a medium heat to reduce and thicken slightly. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.
Enjoy sprinkling some stardust around your kitchen! If you try Claude’s chicken do let me know how it turned out in the comments below. All thoughts on this episode are welcome too.
If you’d like weekly Murder, She Cooked missives delivered directly to your inbox just click here and enter your email address.
Next week on Murder, She Cooked, a recipe from the kitchen of Martin Landau.
Here come all the linky-links!
More movie star recipes can be found over at the Silver Screen Suppers blog - 15 years and counting.
You’ll find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching for Silver Screen Suppers.
Would you like to test a recipe for the forthcoming Murder, She Cooked book? Leave a comment on this post or drop me a line via this link to my contact page. Everyone is welcome, whatever your cooking abilities might be.
If you like Columbo, you might like my Cooking With Columbo cookbook
and if you have never been to a Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote live show, check out the amazing Tim Benzie’s website here. Tim did a private show for my hen night. Can you guess which episode we did?
My typewriter logo was designed by the divine Thom Kofoed - do check out his etsy shop for loads of great goodies.
Cheerio for now, tune in for another episode next week!