food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘poultry & game’ Category

slow-cooked turkey wings

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These sticky, spicy turkey wings were falling off the bone and yummy.

Preheat your oven to 100ºC  (210ºF). In a heavy ovenproof casserole brown the turkey wings in batches. Remove from the heat and discard most of the fat. Return the wings to the pot. In a bowl combine ¼ of a cup of soy sauce, ¼ of a cup of balsamic vinegar, ¼ of a cup of tomato sauce (ketchup), 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of honey, 3 crushed or grated cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger, a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and ¼ of a cup of water. Mix well and add to the wings, tossing them until they’re all coated. Heat on the stovetop until the sauce is just coming to a simmer then cover the pot and place it in the oven. The wings should be ready after 3-4 hours. When the meat is tender place the wings on an oven tray and keep warm. If you prefer to reduce the fat in the sauce skim it off now then place the pot over medium heat and thicken the sauce using a slurry of 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water. Spoon the sauce over the wings and put them under a hot grill for a few minutes or until they become caramelised and a little charred.

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Written by michelle picker

July 10, 2019 at 12:18 am

Posted in poultry & game

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roast duck

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Roasting a duck is not really as daunting as it seems. This Chinese-style roast duck is best cooked on a charcoal barbecue.

Clean the duck, remove the wing tips and any lumps of fat from inside the cavity and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub salt over the entire duck (about 2 teaspoons) and tie the neck tightly with string. Roughly chop 2-3 spring onions, 1-2 cloves of garlic and an equal amount of fresh ginger.  In a small bowl combine ¼ of a cup of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dark soy, 2 teaspoons of five-spice powder and 1 tablespoon of honey  (if you need to liquefy the honey heat it briefly in a microwave). Stir well to combine the ingredients and brush the mixture all over the duck, brushing some into the cavity as well. Place the spring onion, garlic and ginger into the cavity and seal the duck by sewing or securing tightly with skewers. When you’re ready to cook place a disposable aluminium roasting pan under where the duck will cook to avoid flare-ups from the dripping duck fat. Regulate the temperature to approximately 160ºC (325°F). If you’re cooking with charcoal you can add 2 – 3 chunks of smoking wood. Allow the duck to roast for approximately 2½ hours until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the internal temperature of the breast has reached 74ºC (165°F). Serve chopped into pieces with hoisin sauce (diluted with a little water) and chilli oil.  

roast-duck-cut

Written by michelle picker

April 17, 2019 at 12:28 am

Posted in poultry & game

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red-cooked whole chicken + mushroom and kangkong stir-fry

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This is a popular cooking method in China where it is used for all kinds of meats and hard-boiled eggs. Served either hot or cold, the remaining stock is reused as a master stock. Ingredients vary from cook to cook but usually include soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, rock sugar and whole spices such as star anise and black cardamom.

Place your chicken into a pot which is not too big. Add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, some large slices of ginger, a few cloves of garlic, 2 star anise, a black cardamom pod and some cassia bark (or a small cinnamon quill). I don’t usually add rock sugar. Fill the pot with cold water until the chicken is just covered and bring to a boil very slowly. Simmer, turning the chicken at least once, until it is cooked. You can tell when the chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when you cut into the thigh. If you have a meat thermometer it should read 74ºC (165ºF). Remove the chicken from the stock and drizzle with a little sesame oil before serving. Serve with steamed rice.

Here’s a lovely simple stir-fry to serve with the chicken.

Trim and slice a few king oyster mushrooms, wash and chop a bunch of kangkong (also known as water spinach or morning glory) and peel and lightly crush a clove of garlic. Place your wok over high heat and when hot, add some peanut oil. Fry the clove of garlic until just beginning to brown and discard it. Now add the oyster mushrooms and cook for a minute or two before adding the kangkong. Finally add a little salt, sugar and white pepper and toss well to combine.

Written by michelle picker

March 6, 2019 at 12:15 am

spiced roast chicken with harissa + greek salad

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Here is our Summer solstice main course. Spiced roasted chicken served on a bed of home-made harissa and garnished with herbs and watercress. Lorraine chose this recipe from Karen Martini’s Where The Heart Is and cooked it to perfection.

You will need Baharat, a Middle Eastern spice mix, for this recipe. If you can’t find it ready-made you can make it by combining pepper with any or all of the following: paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and nutmeg. For the spice rub combine 3 teaspoons of Baharat with 2 teaspoons of ground fennel, 5 large crushed cloves of garlic, 2½ teaspoons of salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper to taste and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Make horizontal cuts through a butterflied chicken and rub the mixture into skin. Cover the chicken and put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour. When you’re ready to cook preheat your oven to 220ºC (430ºF). Meanwhile, heat ¾ of a cup of olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and brown it on all sides. Transfer to a baking dish and roast for 40-50 minutes until cooked through and golden. For the harissa, roast 1 bulb of garlic, 1 large red pepper and 10 large red chillies. When they are cooked, remove them from the oven and place the red pepper and chillies in an airtight container. Allow them to sweat before removing the skins and seeds. Toast 4 teaspoons of cumin seeds and 3 teaspoons of caraway seeds until fragrant then grind them. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of it’s skin and combine it with the red pepper, chillies, the ground cumin and caraway seeds, 150ml (5 fl oz) of tomato passata, 5 pinches of salt flakes, 2 tablespoons of castor sugar and ½ a cup of olive oil. Process to a smooth paste in a blender or food processor. To serve, spread the harissa on a platter, place the chicken on top, scatter with sprigs of herbs and watercress and garnish with lemon wedges.

Having just been to Greece, Mary was inspired to make a wonderful greek salad as an accompaniment.

Written by michelle picker

January 9, 2019 at 12:20 am

cooking in the fire

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It’s winter here and when the wood-burning stove is going we take the opportunity to use it for cooking. Sadly, the previous owners who installed the stove didn’t buy one with a stovetop but cooking in coals is an age-old method and seasoned cast iron camp ovens (Dutch ovens) have been used for hundreds of years. To cook in the fireplace we placed the camp oven away from the flames and surrounded it with red-hot coals. It’s important not to have any of the coals underneath as the food will burn onto the bottom. It’s also important to turn the pot every 10 minutes or so.

We chose to make a chicken tagine as the cooking method is very similar. Simply start with a little olive oil and layer your ingredients – we used onion, leek and garlic on the bottom, then fennel and bone-in chicken thighs flavoured with fresh ginger, ground cumin, saffron and preserved lemon and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. On top, chopped fresh dill and coriander (cilantro) and another drizzle of olive oil. Depending on the heat of your fireplace this meal should cook in 30 – 40 minutes.

This method is also brilliant for roasted vegetables of any kind. They taste amazing and get a wonderful char. We included potatoes, pumpkin, red pepper and brussels sprouts. Simply toss the vegetables in some oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Written by michelle picker

November 13, 2018 at 12:14 am

Posted in poultry & game, vegetables

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chicken and peanut stew

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This African classic Huku ne Dovi comes from Zimbabwe where chicken is considered a delicacy. It’s always served with either rice or millet dumplings. An amazingly tasty dish despite the simplicity of its ingredients.

This might be better with bone-in chicken but I only had 4 chicken thighs to hand which I cut into large chunks. Season your chicken with salt. Heat some vegetable oil and fry 2 diced onions and 1 -2 sliced fresh red chillies until wilting. Add 2 peeled and diced fresh tomatoes and allow them to soften before adding about 200g (7 oz) of fresh mushrooms – if you have tiny ones put them in whole, otherwise cut them into quarters. Cook for a few minutes then add 1 cup or so of chicken stock, your vegetables (I used pumpkin and okra) and the chicken and simmer for 10 – 15  minutes or until the flavours are well combined and the vegetables are just cooked. Take some of the hot liquid out of the saucepan and mix it with ½ a cup of smooth peanut butter. Add it to the chicken and simmer until thickened.

*recipe adapted from A Taste of Africa by Dorinda Hafner.

Written by michelle picker

June 27, 2018 at 12:24 am

Posted in poultry & game

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rabbit

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Rabbit is such a dense and lean meat that it’s difficult to keep moist and tender. David’s rabbit-cooking technique is a work in progress but he usually gets it right and here is one of his recipes.

Joint 1 fresh rabbit into 6 pieces. Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy casserole dish and very, very briefly seal the rabbit pieces. Remove them to a covered container. Sauté 1 diced onion, 1 diced celery stick and 1 chopped carrot until the onion is soft and translucent. Add ¼ of a cup of wine (red or white) and allow it to evaporate before adding 1 cup of chicken stock. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now add the rabbit pieces, 2 pieces of bacon, 1 bay leaf, a few sage leaves, 2 diced cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1 finely chopped fresh tomato. Make sure everything is well dispersed. Cut a cartouche (a circle or baking paper) and lay it directly over the rabbit. Place the lid on the casserole and cook in a low oven for 1 – 1½ hours or until the rabbit is just tender. Rabbits do vary so the cooking time will also vary. During the cooking, turn the rabbit pieces once or twice, making sure there is enough liquid – the rabbit pieces should be almost immersed. Remove the pieces to a closed container to keep warm. At this stage, depending on how much sauce you have, you can either reduce the sauce or thicken it with a little cornflour dissolved in an equal amount of cold water. The amount of cornflour needed will vary depending on the amount of liquid and it’s acidity. Stir the cornflour slurry into the simmering sauce and continue to simmer briefly. Season again to taste and return the rabbit pieces to the sauce before serving.

Written by michelle picker

June 6, 2018 at 12:02 am

Posted in poultry & game

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