Food, glorious food... done my way. Pretence of perfection

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Worlds Best Tasting Chicken

Farmhouse Direct's chicken is just simply wonderful. It has such a rich chicken flavour that I just couldn't bear to hide it. It was good enough to just eat on its own... but I was (eternally) hungry so... PS it costs quite a bit, but you're paying for quality so... beans on toast for me for the rest of the week!

Look how juicy that is! Oh, yeah... I quickly pan fried the chicken with just a little seasoning, then just finished it off in the oven for 10-15 mins (around 200C ish) til the juices are clear and the skewer is hot to the touch (of your lip). Leave to rest.

I made this dish two days running, and just varied the cream sauce. The sauce is made in the same frying-pan that the chicken was started in (which was transferred to a roasting tray for its stint in the oven), to which was added a little butter and lots of field mushrooms (sliced). Then I added a touch of chicken stock before the recipes diverges...

1) a drizzle of white wine vinegar, a little wholegrain mustard and the pan juices from the resting chicken.

2) sliced garlic, little bit more butter and again the pan juices.

The final ingredient was Jersey double cream (almost clotted!).

This is tonight's version (2).

I served the juicy, succulent, aromatic chicken sliced and by itself, so I could choose how much mushroom/sauce I wanted with the chicken. The sticky rice helped to soak up the sauce.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rosemary and Cremé de Cassis II

This is my second try in recent days. The first attempt bugged me... so this time I tied it in a pie crust. I tried the icing a different way too and it seems to have set and not run all over the place!

Oh, the orange bit on the pastry at the bottom of the pic is orange marmalade... the crust broke on me so I tried to glue it together. It worked as far as I can tell.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rosemary and Creme de Cassis fun

My colleague "Stuie" had invited a few work colleagues around to his for lunch at his nice little place in Old Trafford, Manchester. The food was delightful, home made stuffed breads and "zucchini" bakes etc... but he had also challenged me to make a dessert using two things you wouldn't usually associate with each other.

His white chocolate and basil base with strawberries and balsamic vinegar dressing looked great and was divine to eat. Now it was my turn. The below picture shows how my first and only attempt looked the night before. Last minute as usual! No recipe either, but it felt right... silly boy.

Lovely looking isn't it? It is a rosemary chocolate base with a cremé de cassis icing. ...the not too sweet topping really helped the not sweet at all base and together they tasted divine. All you nee to do is warm some double cream with some crushed rosemary, then after removing the rosemary just dump in some dark chocolate. At this point saner people than I would be thinking this would make a great pie filling... too easy I lament!

The topping is made from golden icing sugar (regular readers would know how much the golden sugar has messed me about in the past!) with a few tablespoons 0f water and cremé de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur).

This is where it all goes wrong! Because the golden sugar made the icing a dirty cream colour I had to put more blackcurrent liqueur in to turn it pink/blackcurranty. This meant it was never going to bl**dy set properly, and would mean it spread out on-top on the choccy (see pic). In The next morning it had separated a bit too. No worries, I'll just roll it, to make it a) easier to roll , and b) easier to eat.

I could b1tch about why it went wrong, but suffice to say it took me longer than planned to get to said lunch and consequently my dessert had melted into each other. The rescue plan was then to be able to spread it onto digestive biscuits, but since I'd tried to rescue it by putting it into the fridge it was too cool to spread... so (if this were a film Leslie Nielsen would be playing me) to soften it I put it in a oven that was cooling down after being used... it only needed a few seconds...

The chocolate fondue was nice ( :'-( ) but was blown out of the water by the strawberries and white choc... oh well, live and learn!!!