#Stellar Chicken Marabella, #chicken

Yottam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook Simple has some great recipes but sometimes not so simple in terms of quickly getting some of the specialist ingredients which might not be in your pantry.

However I have found that they are simple enough to understand the flavours being created and to play around with them using ingredients on hand to still create delicious meals.

For example his chicken marabella recipe calls for date molasses and dates….I substituted dried apricots and pomegranate molasses which I had in the cupboard which worked well.

The chicken can be marinated overnight to develop the flavours more and or just for 15 minutes.

The quantities can also easily be adapted if you are cooking for more than 2…or if you want to serve as part of a buffet shared style meal.

Prep time: 10 minutes Marinating time(optional): 15 mins-12hrs
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

2 chicken Marylands skin on (thigh and drumstick still joined)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of fresh picked oregano leaves
2 tbspoons red wine vinegar
2 tbspoons olive oil
50g pitted green olives
2 teaspoons capers and 1 tbspoon of their juice
3 tbspoons chopped dried apricots (about 100g)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and black pepper
Oregano leaves to garnish

Method

1. Score each piece of chicken 3 or 4 times to the bone.

2. Place in a bowl and add all the ingredients except the wine and molasses and gently mix along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of black pepper

3. Marinate for as long as you can …overnight if possible but not essential

4. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius in fan forced oven

5. Spread the chicken on a high sided snug baking dish that allows the marinade to surround chicken. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over chicken. (I lined my baking dish with baking paper to prevent the marinade from creating too much of a mess to clean up!)

6. Cook chicken in oven for 45 minutes, basting a few times through cooking process. You want the chicken to get golden brown and be cooked until juices run clear.

7. Sprinkle generously with fresh oregano leaves to garnish.

Serve with salad and accompaniments of your choice, goes well with cous cous lr with crusty bread as the sauce created with the marinade and chicken juices is delicious.

Serves 2

Chicken and Zuchinni #Curry

Last night I chopped up 2 zuchinnis and put them into the chicken curry towards the end of the cooking process.

The resulting flavours were delicious as the zuchinni absorbed the delicious chicken stock flavours from the curry.

Just add the zuchinni for the last 5 minutes of cooking in this classic and chicken curry recipe ….

https://atomic-temporary-94611410.wpcomstaging.com/2017/09/17/south-african-indian-boneless-chicken-curry/

South African Indian Chicken and Zuchinni Curry

Go for Goreng at Bubu’s, Penestanan

Fried and roasted chicken has had a resurgence the world over. It is on menus from New York to Sydney to Bali in one form or another …southern fried chicken, chicken karaage, chicken popcorn etc…

Ayam Goreng or Fried Chicken is of course an absolute Indonesian staple and classic. Unlike Southern Fried Chicken, it is not cooked in batter but marinated and most often twice cooked in a rich mix of spices. The crispy fried floss mixture known as “kremes” served with it is traditionally made by adding extra grated galangal or coconut while frying.

The Ayam Goreng at Bubu’s Warung in Penestanan has a definite Balinese twist marinated in Balinese spices and with grated coconut to add crunch to the kremes…or “fried floss” that accompanies the chicken making it super tasty. Next time we go I am going to see if they will share the recipe with me!

We always also ask for Balinese Sambal Matah which they freshly make – a hot and tangy combo of eschallots, lemongrass, chilli and coconut oil that goes perfectly with the fried chicken. See my previous post https://freespiritfood.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/balinese-sambal-matah-fresh-raw-chilli-sambal/

Simple but delicious fare!

Bubu Warung, Jalan Penestanan Raya, Penestanan, Ubud

Victor Churchill – Haute Couture butcher in Sydney

Going to Victor Churchill’s “Haute Couture” butcher shop in Woollahra, Sydney is always inspirational and it is very difficult to leave without a delicious treat in hand.

It is a total experience, being able to watch the master butchers at work and ogle the mind bogglingly array of super-delicious products. Or better still go home with some of it!

Their is a special air drying room producing delicious charcuterie and their is also House smoked salmon and trout.

If you are feeling really indulgent or running out of time, you can order home dining – certain cuts of meat and chicken are cooked on their rotisserie and word is that their roast potatoes are delicious. They also offer charcuterie platters. Their desserts are just as divine as the rest with mouth-watering meringue tarts and more to tempt.

Today it was their Terrine de Campagne that enticed us. Here’s a taste of what you can expect.

Or visit http://www.victorchurchill.com

Definitely worth a visit especially if you are looking for the best quality meats and unusual cuts.

Twice cooked Szechuan Chicken

As a cold snap hits Sydney and winter settles in, this twice cooked Szechuan Chicken will give you just the right combination of heat and spice to warm things up.

Whilst it might look frighteningly hot, the combination of Szechuan peppercorns, cayenne pepper, large sweet peppers, and dried chillies somehow combine into a delicious warm sweet spiciness rather than mouth-numbing torture!

You can of course adjust the amount of heat by reducing the amount of Szechuan pepper, cayenne pepper and dried chillies you use but I would highly recommend trying this adapted recipe of mine to experience a more authentic version of the real thing.

I also like using a combination of thigh fillet pieces with some small pieces of bone-in chicken such as small chicken wings but this is optional.

Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes

500g skinless thigh fillets cut into pieces
2-3 small chicken wings cut into half
1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup cornflour
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, dry roasted in pan then ground to powder in spice grinder or mortar and pestle

For cooking:

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2-1 cup whole dried red Chillies
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 large red chilli pepper or 1/2 red capsicum sliced thinly
1/2 bunch of spring onions sliced into pieces diagonally
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 garlic cloves and equal amount of ginger thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped coriander for garnish

1. Mix soy sauce and shaoxing wine, half the cayenne powder and half the Szechuan pepper together then marinate chicken in this mixture for 20 minutes or so

2. Mix corn flour, rest of the cayenne powder and ground Szechuan pepper then put into a plastic ziplock bag and coat chicken in portions dusting off extra coating mixture then place coated chicken aside and repeat until all the chicken is coated.

3. Heat vegetable oil in wok, then fry chicken for 4-5 minutes. until crispy coating forms. Set aside to drain on paper towel.

4. Remove excess oil from wok, then return to heat and add 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine. This will release any stuck bits from bottom of pan, ginger and garlic, dried chillies, fresh chilli pepper, spring onions, chilli flakes, sesame seeds, sugar, soy sauce and heat for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add chicken to sauce and cook for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through, adding chicken stock if more liquid is required but you really want to keep the amount of liquid to a minimum.

6. Garnish with coriander and serve with jasmine rice.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

My friend Jennifer recently went to Sri Lanka and came back bearing gifts of Sri Lankan spices…a roasted fenugreek and mustard seed mix and a meat (Masala) spice mix. Looking for inspiration to use these spices I found a chicken curry recipe in Australian chef Peter Kuruvita’s recipe book, Serendip. This recipe is based on his with a few tweaks, it is really a 4 step process beginning with making the thickening mixture, marinating the chicken, getting the ingredients for the braising prepared and then actually cooking the curry. The result is a creamy curry with well balanced spice. Thanks Peter!

Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1. Thickening Mixture:
1 tablespoon long grain rice
2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
2 red chillies, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 green cardamom pods
2 cloves

2. Marinating mixture
1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets, fat removed and cut into medium size chunks
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon roasted fenugreek and mustard seed mix
1 stick cinnamon bark or stick
2 teaspoons Sri Lankan meat curry powder (or South Indian Meat masala mix)
Thickening mixture paste (see above)

3. Braising ingredients
1/3 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1 onion finely diced
2 sprigs curry leaves
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1.5 cups hot water

4. Garnish
Chopped coriander

Method

1. Make thickening mixture by putting rice and desiccated coconut in a small heavy based pan over low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning until coconut is browned. Place the rice and coconut in a mortar and pestle with cardamom pods, 1/2 teaspoon salt and red chillies, cloves and a tablespoon of water into a mortar and pestle, then grind until a smoothish paste forms.

2. Place chicken in a bowl, add all marinating ingredients including thickening mixture paste, toss to coat and leave to stand aside while you prepare the braising ingredients.

3. Chop onions, pound garlic, remove curry leaves from sprig, and gather together oil, water and spice ingredients for braising.

4. Heat oil in a casserole pot over medium heat, add curry leaves and heat until leaves stop spluttering, add onions and cook gently until transparent, add garlic and heat through. Add the chicken and salt, and mix through until chicken is sealed, then add 1 cup of hot water or enough to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low-medium heat for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce is reduced to a creamy consistency.

5. Garnish with coriander before serving with rice and salad/veggies of your choice. This is delicious with dhal as well.