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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Rolled Turducken with Cranberry and Artichoke

It's made and ready I just gotta cook it now. I am hoping that a) it tastes brilliant and b) that when sliced it looks better than it did when I first rolled it... This is a simple enough process but it does take time to get together (I sectioned the duck and chicken for confit). Initially I was going to use 2 large turkey drumsticks but I found a butterflied whole turkey. While it was more expensive it meant wayyyyy less work and tendons. When I make this again I will roll it out onto overlapping streaky bacon (the prosciutto I used here was a stop gap to contain the filling) - I had tried to acquire caul but was unsuccessful. Alternatively if you don't want to go through the anguish of aesthetic rolling, squish it down in layers in a smallish baking dish with a brick or something. The bones I should say, made the best, best stock.

1 butterflied turkey (2 kg)
2 skin on chicken boobs
2 skin on duck boobs
12+ prosciutto/bacon slices (I had 6)
3/4 bottle cranberry sauce
2 tbs oven roasted cherry tomatoes
1 handful chopped basil
1 tin artichoke hearts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 cloves garlic
1 handful pistachio nuts
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Kitchen string and cling film

Mix the cranberry, oven tomatoes and basil in a bowl and refrigerate until ready. Blend the artichoke, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon and pistachios with some salt and pepper - refrigerate until ready. Slightly overlap two sheets of cling film on a bench, layer down a grid of vertical and horizontal kitchen string. Slightly overlap and layer down enough prosciutto/streaky bacon slices to completely cover your turkey once rolled. Lay down the turkey on the prosciutto area. Paint with the cranberry mixture. Lay down the duck breast at the narrow end with the chick breast above those. Paint with the artichoke gear. With the help of a friend carefully and as tightly as possible roll that bad boy. While someone holds, the other ties. I have frozen mine and will defrost the day prior to Xmas and then bring to room temp when ready .
I will be roasting this for 25 minutes per 450 gms plus 20 minutes at 180C (last 20 at 220C) so it works out at about 3 hours. When done, I will make gravy in the normal manner. Finished product to follow.
God speed and best of luck....

Concept and reality differ greatly sometimes...

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chicken Vegetable Pesto Bake with Wine and Blue Cheese Sauce

Unreal and simple. All left overs were mixed together and were even more awesome. The roasted lemon smells great but I wouldn't recommend eating it...

6 chicken thighs, bone in
1 or 2 tbs pesto
1 capsicum in chunks
1 medium sweet potato in chunks
5 mushrooms torn
1 lemon quartered
3 rashers bacon in chunks
5 cloves garlic skin on
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs blue cheese
1/2 cup sparkling white wine
Parsley chopped
1 chilli thinly sliced
Natural yoghurt
Cous cous
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper

Combine the vegetables,lemon wedges, garlic cloves, bacon, chicken, pesto, extra virgin, salt and pepper in a roasting dish. Roast for 30 minutes at 180C or until cooked through. Remove the chicken to a clean bowl, remove the veg to a clean bowl and cover the lot. Place the roasting tray onto the stove and bring to a simmer. Stir in the sparkling wine and continue to simmer until the alcohol smell is gone. Stir in the blue cheese until melted and then remove from the heat. Pour in any resting juice from the chicken and veg bowls, skimming off the oil if necessary. Cook the cous cous  by covering with boiling water and leaving for 5 minutes, stir through the lemon juice.
Serve on top of the cous cous, top with parsley, chilli (if having) and dobs of yoghurt on the veg. Spoon some sauce over the chicken bits.

Sage and Garlic Butter Potato Cake

This is essentially a recipe I read in an Italian cookbook of my sister in-laws. I've not seen this approach anywhere else since so therefore I am sharing. It is caring after all. Decadent but unreal.

10 potatoes thinly sliced
3 or 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
50 gms butter
1/2 bunch sage leaves
200 ml cream
Salt and pepper
1 slice prosciutto
1/2 an onion thinly sliced

Melt the butter with the garlic and sage in a small saucepan until fragrant then remove from the heat. Wet 2 sheets of grease proof paper and line a spring form tin. Layer in the potato, pouring over some butter and sage leaves, topping with parmesan and salt and pepper each time. Should be enough for 3 layers. With the final layer place on some thin strips of prosciutto and the onion, pour over the cream, add some more parmesan and salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in a 180C oven for 45 minutes. (Its a good idea to place a tray underneath to catch any cream/butter). Remove the foil and bake for another 15 or until golden and tender.

Thai Green Pork Belly with Coconut Cous Cous

Pork belly can do anything. I had some left over curry paste and I thought well, I can only try. As it turns out it works quite well indeed and is in no way overpowering. I didn't take a photograph of the cous cous as, to be honest I wasn't expecting it to be so great. The youngest Henry, absolutely smashed the cous cous. As always with pork belly, its not difficult it just requires some patience and a watchful eye at the end.

1 piece pork belly (skin scored)
1 tbs (or more) Thai green curry paste
1 onion in thin slices
5 or so mushrooms sliced
1 lemon in wedges
1 small tin coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
Cous cous (1 cup?)
Olive oil

Rub the curry paste and salt into the skin of the pork belly along with enough oil to wet it. Scatter the pieces of onion on the bottom of your roasting tray along with the mushroom and lemon wedges. Place the pork belly on top of the veg. Pour in the coconut milk and enough of the chicken stock to come about half way up the side of the pork. Cover with foil and place in a 140C oven for 2 hours. Remove the foil and continue to roast for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully remove the pork belly from the sauce, scrape off any veg from underneath then place back in the oven on a rack 2 down from under a high grill. Keep an eye on it and when crispy, remove and rest for 10 minutes or so on a clean plate.  While this happens throw a couple of handfuls of cous cous into the coconut/veg/sauce gear, remove the lemon wedges and cover with a foil. Pour any resting juice into the cous cous. Slice and serve on the cous cous. I dunno, maybe add some chopped parsley.

Lentils Poached in Chicken Stock

Lentils are new to me but I find them brilliant. Largely lentils appear to be cooked in water and flavours added later but I really wanted them to be bursting with flavour. It should be noted though that it appears the addition of salt or acid (like wine, vinegar or lemon juice) will cause them to become a little tough and should be added at the end. I know that chicken stock has salt in it but hey, its my lentils and I want 'em tasty. Also, from what I also understand, they are awesome in soups etc. Whilst this recipe is nice cold, it is at its best warm.

1 cup puy lentils (French)
2 cups chicken stock (or water or combo)
1/2 an onion in small dice
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbs oven roasted cherry tomatoes
1 tbs minced parsley
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

In a small saucepan over a medium heat saute the onion and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil until transparent. Add in the lentils and stock, bring to the boil and, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Check to see if they are tender, if not keep cooking for a few more minutes. Drain off most of the liquid, stir through the salt and pepper, parsley and tomatoes. Transfer to a serving dish, tuck in.