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Cook-Along Friday Recipe Shed

#RecipeShed – Lemon Chicken & Pasta

The Recipe Shed challenge for the week was Chicken.  There’s nothing finer than taking a fresh roast chicken out of the shopping bag and simply devouring it.  Bread and butter optional.  However, if you can wait a little while, this takes that cooked chicken and turns it into something the whole family enjoys.  And it does it quickly.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken, 1.  Pre-roasted.  You can either roast it yourself (Beerroaster optional) or get it from the supermarket.  I love the convenience of grabbing a roast chicken while shopping.  1 chicken does for at least 8 people as long as it’s a decent size.
  • Lemon.  1 or 2 depending on how lemony you want the end dish.
  • Pasta.  Enough to serve however many people you want to feed.  We usually use twirls but shells, twists, whatever shape you fancy.
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Chicken stock (cubes, jelly things, whatever).  1 pint for 6 people.
  • Double cream, small pot.  You can use single cream, you just add it later in the dish.
  • Plain flour, a few tablespoons
  • Oil

Right.  In true 30 minute meal style, get your preparations done first:

  • Boil a kettle – you’re going to need water for the pasta and for the chicken stock.
  • Make 1 pint of chicken stock
  • Remove all the meat from the bones of the chicken and tear it into bite-sized pieces.  Eat the skin and make sure to do some quality control on the chicken meat.
Preparations done (that was tricky).
  1. Get the pan for the pasta on and up to heat, add the pasta.  Everything else will be done in the 11 minutes it takes to cook the pasta.
  2. Juice and zest the lemons into the chicken stock, add a generous tablespoon of the grain mustard.
  3. In a second, fairly large, pan, heat the oil and add the flour, stirring until it’s all combined.
  4. Add the stock mix to the oil & flour, stirring constantly.  Keep adding until you’ve got all the stock in and the sauce is thickening.  If it gets too thick, add more stock.  If it’s too runny, add more flour.  You’re aiming for something the consistency of yoghurt.
  5. Cook this for a minute or two, then add the chicken meat and (if you’re using double cream) the cream.  Stir until it’s all warmed through.
  6. Turn down the heat and wait for the pasta to cook.
  7. Once the pasta is finished, drain it.  If you’re using single cream, add this to the chicken mix and stir it through.
  8. Add the drained pasta to the pan of chicken mix and stir everything.  If your chicken pan isn’t big enough, empty the pasta into a large serving bowl and put the chicken on top of that.
  9. Serve – bowls, forks, spoons.
20 minutes max from start to finish, shorter if you’ve done the chicken the day before and you’ve got a jug of stock from the last pressure-cooked bird in the fridge.
There’s more chicken goodness over at the Recipe Shed, so head there and enjoy!
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Cook-Along Friday Recipe Shed

#RecipeShed – Slovakian Goose and/or duck

Our family was lucky enough to have a wonderful Slovakian au pair for a couple of years.  When we visited her family out in Slovakia, they prepared a wonderful roast goose and duck dish.  Now, whilst this isn’t as simple as Keith’s roast duck, it is not complicated…

Ingredients

  • Goose or duck – cut into portions skin on.  Split breasts into 2 pieces.
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Cabbage
  • Fresh bread

Directions

  1. Salt all the portions generously and leave for a minimum of 12 hours.  This draws out a lot of the water within the meat.
  2. Wash thoroughly
  3. Oven to 150°C
  4. Place the portions into a baking tray/roasting tin, skin side up
  5. Sprinkle of salt, generous grate of pepper, tear the rosemary over the pieces
  6. Cover with foil (or use a roasting tin with a lid)
  7. Bake for 1 1/2 hours
  8. After 1 1/2 hours, remove the foil and jack the heat up to 250°C
  9. Shred the cabbage and cook in whatever way you most like – we steam ours over a pan of boiling water then add a generous knob of butter
  10. Cut the bread into thick slices
  11. By this time the skin should be nice and crispy so it’s time to serve
  12. Collect the fat that’s come from the bird portions into a serving jug – not only does this taste excellent when drizzled over the fresh bread but it’s a good start to making lovely gravy and (if you separate off the white layer at the top, using it to fry bacon and eggs in) it’s a fine dripping to go on toast.
  13. Enjoy.  Pleasantries like knives and forks are strictly optional, especially if you pick a leg/wing piece!
If you happen to be able to lay your hands on a bottle of Becherovka, so much the better.
Now, head over to the Recipe Shed for more inspiration.
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Cook-Along Friday

#CookalongFriday – Yorkshire Pudding.

Apparently, like risotto, these are tricky to make.  People have trouble with them.  Fortunately, my mum was an expert (at cooking them in the AGA, no less) but she wasn’t available when the time came to cook them.  Hence I turned to my wife.  These, I have to say, have never failed me.

The Batter

  • 4oz plain flour
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 200ml milk
  1. Sieve together flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Make a well down to the bottom of the bowl, crack in the egg and add a little of the milk.
  3. Whisk until it’s all combined
  4. Add more milk, whisk, milk, whisk, etc.  Usually I add the milk in 4 parts.  Or put the lot in at once and get the electric blender on the go.
  5. Leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours – this is, apparently, very important.

Cooking

  1. Oven to 220°C
  2. Place a small amount of lard into the bottom of each well of a 12-well tray and put in the oven to heat up.
  3. When the oven is up to heat, the lard should be smoking hot.
  4. Half-fill each well as quickly as possible with the batter mix and get the pan back into the oven as fast as possible.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes – they’ll rise up beautifully, I promise.  If it looks like they’re burning, they’re done.
  6. Remove and serve with a suitable gravy of your choosing.
You can, of course, use a bigger pan and do one big pudding.  If that’s the case, mum usually sliced up some onion and scattered that over the batter once it was in the pan at step 4.  It might need another 10 minutes or so to cook.
If this doesn’t work for you, blame my mum!
These Yorkshires would make a superb accompaniment to the Rustic Lamb Pasties Parcels over at m’colleague’s blog.