Just over a week ago, I got back into one of my favorite routines – watching Saturday Kitchen with James Martin. And as usual I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. James Martin really is a fantastic chef and tv chef. For one thing, he’s cooking entire meals live (not like ‘cooking segments’ on US news channels). He also gives good, relevant cooking tips and advice. Just now while looking up his website to link to, I discovered that he has a new venture called Life, Fork & Spoon which is a food delivery service with either fresh or frozen meals that can be delivered to you next day. I had a quick browse and for the prices and quality of food the service looks really good. This would be ideal for hosting a dinner party, especially around the holidays.
Anywho – on to the chicken. One of the dishes James cooked on the September 24th programme was his Pot-roast Chicken with Potato Ragu. Although James makes every dish seem easy to make, I promise this dish really was easy. And it’s perfect for the changing autumn weather. It’s cosy and because of the rich stout you almost forget it’s chicken. So because it’s a BBC show, they couldn’t officially mention which type of stout he was using but it was clear he was using Guinness. Any stout would work but he highly recommended the ‘un-named’ Guinness brand.
I only made a couple changes to the recipe. Because I had some, I added a couple cloves of garlic and half a carrot to the onion for the roasting. I didn’t have any homemade stock available, so I used beef stock cubes. I also doubled the concentration, so I used two cubes for the same amount of water. Also, for the ragu, I forgot to buy cabbage but had leeks so just used those. Also forgot the parsley which would’ve been a nice fresh touch but I didn’t think it was the end of the world. And I used regular onions instead of shallots.
BUT despite those changes, I was very happy with this dish. I also used a technique which my Dad does with every poultry he cooks – I let it soak in a brine. I just looked online and dissolved 1/4 cup salt and 1/8 cup sugar in 1 litre of cold tap water. Then I just made enough of the brine to cover the chicken in a large bowl. I let mine soak for a couple of hours but overnight would be best. What this does is make the chicken super moist. Just dry it when you’re ready to get cooking.
I hope you’ll try this dish! It’s great for two because you can eat the legs/thighs for dinner and save the breast for lunch or a pasta dish the next day. Enjoy!
Pot Roast Chicken with Guinness
A great way to mix things up with your Sunday Roast!
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Posted in British Cuisine, Sandwiches, Vietnamese Cuisine, tagged bread, British, eggs, lamb, pork, potatoes, rice noodles, rosemary, steak, Sunday roast, Vietnamese on October 1, 2010 |
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As you all know I am quite carnivorous. I do love my veggies and am improving on my fruits, but nothing can really beat a juicy steak or Sunday roast (except for maybe anything fried). So I thought I’d share a little slide show of the meat I’ve been eating. Hope you enjoy!
Sunday Roast - Rosemary Garlic Lamb
Perfectly crispy, fluffed, roast potatoes
So many people give the Brits a hard time about their “plain” food, but as I’ve come to learn plain is just another word for simple. And if you have good quality ingredients, you don’t always need a whole lot of them. The above is courtesy of Mr. Chris Hutton (the boyfriend). Lamb was the very first thing Chris ever cooked for me, and three years later I’m still around! He stuffs garlic cloves and rosemary into the meat and rubs English mustard powder and a bit of flour on the outside. Since rosemary is such a fragrant herb, it can really stand on its own. (Tarragon and sage are other unique, distinct herbs) Be sure to keep it covered ~75% of the cooking time so moisture isn’t lost. It’s SO simple, but when done right it’s such a comforting meal.. Especially when it’s accompanied by perfectly crisp, fluffed potatoes! It’s not fair the Brits get such good potatoes. I have neeever been a potato person, but I’m definitely a convert! A classic trick is to use some goose fat to brown your potatoes in. It’s a natural product and will give you super crispy results! For crispy fries/chips, ensure you have dried, cooked potatoes before frying. Stick them in the oven for just a minute or two to finish off the drying process and voila!
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Posted in British Cuisine, French Flavors, Italian Cuisine, tagged beef, British, chips, chorizo, eggs, fish, French, mushy peas, pepper, potatoes, steak on September 9, 2010 |
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As the weather begins to turn here in England, I find myself craving for really hearty, comforting, food for the soul. The kind of food you smile at or smile thinking of. The kind of food your fork lingers over. Most importantly the kind of food you finish then curl up onto the couch and sleep a blissful sleep…
For now I’d like to share three examples of the kind of food that makes me just simply happy…
Let’s get right to it, shall we? As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite weekend pastimes is to cuddle up with Chris and watch BBC’s Saturday Morning Kitchen. Just a couple weeks ago, we watched the well known British chef Sat Bains (who runs Nottingham’s only Michelin-starred restaurant “Restaurant Sat Bains”) whip up one of his family’s favorite brunch dishes – Chorizo Eggs with Scallops and Coriander Salt. As neither of us had had breakfast yet, Chris got inspired to run out to the store and make us breakfast. He came back and did a wonderful job of whipping up this incredibly satisfying breakfast below. It’s incredibly simple but made even better with high quality sausage and high quality bread. Any spicy sausage would really do. For the bread, Chris nipped to our local Italian delicatessen (Filippettos) for some ciabatta. Believe it or not this little delicatessen is perfect. The owner is actually Italian and many of his products are imported directly from Italy (with the packaging written in Italian only!). If you’re ever around, you must have some of their ice cream… But more importantly they have a wide variety of cured/smoked meats and fresh bread.
Chorizo Fried Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms on Ciabatta
As you can see Chris added his own little addition of mushrooms sautéed in butter… I think any egg-lover will agree with me when I say there’s something SO satisfying about breaking a perfectly runny yolk. The gooey liquid spills out everywhere and drips off your bite of egg, spicy/smoky chorizo, buttery mushroom and crispy but light toasted ciabatta. And that’s when I look over at Chris and remember why I love him :-) Because he knows exactly how to make me happy!
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