Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Garlic Chicken and Summer Squash

I was so busy today, between shopping at the farmer's market with the cutest baby in the world and working on my book, that I almost forgot to make dinner.
We bought a free-range chicken at the butcher the other day and thawed it today. In my half-crazed hurry to get it started, I just threw the first few things I found in the house together in a bowl, slathered it on, and got cooking. The squash was a $2 find at the farmer's market.

Ingredients for chicken:

One whole chicken, innards removed and rinsed under cool water
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh sage, ripped up into bits
a few random shakes of seasoned salt and seasoned pepper
three sprigs of thyme and a couple of whole sage leaves
two garlic cloves, halved

Once the chicken is rinsed off and set on the roasting pan, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Gently push your fingers under the skin of the breast and drumsticks to separate it from the meat. Stuff the last three ingredients into the cavity of the chicken. Mix the minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, sage, and the random shakes of spices in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the skin and under the parts of skin you pulled up. Bake for 1 hr and 20 mins or until thermometer reads at least 160 in the thigh.

Ingredients for squash:

4-5 small summer squashes, chopped thickly
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp garlic salt

Fill a medium pot with about 1 inch or so of water, then add a steamer grate. Throw squash in and cut up the butter so bits of it are all around the squash. Sprinkle garlic salt over all, then cover and cook, steaming about 10 minutes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Leftover Duck Concoction

I posted in my Christmastime entry that I made Duck with Orange Sauce for my family, using the recipe you find if you click on the link. My husband and I bought a frozen duck for $18 at the same butcher where we found the ox tails and, after thawing it for a few days, I made it again last night. The duck itself is quite easy, but the sauce in that recipe is to die for! Anyway, there was still meat left on the carcass so we stuck it in a ziploc bag in the fridge and I decided to make something with the rest of the meat today. Do not underestimate the usefulness and tastiness of duck fat. This would be best served with a side or on top of mashed potatoes, or perhaps some wild rice.


Leftover duck meat, trimmed off the carcass, including skin
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 tsp white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
leftover orange sauce

Start off by dropping the butter and olive oil into a frying pan on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, swirl it around in the pan, then add the onions. Sprinkle salt and sugar on top of that, and mix the onions to coat them in everything. Let them cook on low-medium heat until they begin to turn brown, or caramelize.

Cut all the meat you can off the duck carcass, making sure everything is in bite-sized pieces.

Pick the orange rind out of the orange sauce and throw away. Then add the duck and at least half of the leftover orange sauce (about 1/2 cup or so) to the onions, stirring everything around to mix well. Allow to cook on medium heat another 5-10 minutes.

Serves 2-4 people, depending on whether you put it over rice/potatoes or not.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stewed Oxtail in Red Wine

Do NOT underestimate the incredible tastiness of ox tail. You would think that, like the tongue or hoof, ox tail would be categorized in that "unusable" category of really cheap cuts of meat. However, given that the entire Asian culture considers the tail a delicacy, ox tails are in short supply and the cost has risen considerably in recent years. We found a nearby butcher who sold them, and my husband was dying for me to make ox tail stew again. But I wanted to try something different, and so found a recipe online and made it a little more my own. It takes a long time to cook, but dear god is it ever worth it.


About 2 to 2 1/2 pounds ox tails
1/2 large onion, cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup plain flour
2 Tbsp tomato paste
a little less than 1 cup of red wine (200mL)
1 can beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt

If the oxtail isn't already cut into sections (splitting the vertebrae), do so now. Rinse meat under water. Dump flour onto a plate and heat the butter up in a large, deep skillet. When butter is melted, drop the oxtails into the pan and brown on all sides (takes 10-15 minutes). Set aside.

In the same pan (add a little more butter if you wish), sauté onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 10 minutes. Pour in red wine, tomato paste, bay leaf and beef stock; cook and mix until it comes to a boil.

Toss in ox tails, turning over once to coat in sauce, then cover the pan and cook over low heat for 2 1/2-3 hours. Remove bay leaf and add salt and pepper and mix well. Serve with/over mashed potatoes.
Feeds 4 people, very rich broth.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Garlic Broiled Chicken and Two-Color Mashed Potatoes

I got the chicken recipe off and it came out quite good. It's easier to cook dinner when there's someone home to watch the baby, but barring that, a well-stocked play yard is always helpful. This dinner serves 6, if you add a microwave vegetable, and only takes about 30 minutes to make.

Chicken Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
6 chicken drumsticks

Preheat broiler on high. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and parsley. Cook 1-2 minutes on high, or til butter melts. Arrange chicken in baking dish and cover with the spice mixture. Broil chicken for 20 minutes, or until chicken is firm and juices run clear.

Potato Ingredients:

2 white/russet potatoes, baked (I use a microwave since it's faster, just poke with a fork and cook 7-8 minutes on high and turned over once)
1 yam/sweet potato, baked
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk

Bake the potatoes then scoop the insides out of the skins and into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash all together with a potato masher. Make sure all is mixed well. Simple, but tasty! Add more butter if you wish.