Archive for the 'chicken & turkey' Category

Roast Duck with Apple-plum Glaze

Roast Duck 1 Roast Duck with Apple plum Glaze

I’ve been cooking a lot of duck lately. It seems to be the new thing – and a good option when you want something special for Thanksgiving but don’t (for some crazy reason) want to cook an entire turkey. I love turkey leftovers, and so roasting a monsterous Big Bird is never a problem around here.

Duck is a little different – it has thicker skin than a chicken or turkey, with a layer of fat underneath. The bonus here is that every duck comes with a free jar of duck fat, which will keep in your fridge indefinitely and make ethereal roasted potatoes or duck fat fries. The trick – to poke the skin with a bamboo skewer in a few places (without piercing the meat underneath – this is easy to do if you just pinch the skin and poke it through) to give the fat a few extra places to escape. Then start roasting the bird, pour off the rendered fat about halfway, at which point you can add herbs, citrus, whatever you want to stuff the duck with, and roll some potatoes or crabapples in the fat in the bottom of the pan to roast for the second half.

Somehow, I missed taking photos of the process. Part of the reason: it was early morning, and still dark.
My first batch of jelly didn’t quite get to the jelling stage when I had to pull it off the stove and leave – and so I set aside a small jar before putting the pot back on the heat to finish cooking. I used it to brush on the duck as it cooked – toward the end, so that the skin had a chance to crisp first, and it didn’t burn. You could do this, or not – and use regular jelly if you do; no need to source some that hasn’t set properly.

Roast Duck with Apple-plum Glaze

The apple-plum glaze makes use of a glut of crabapples in the back yard; alternatively, you could use any bottled apple jelly.

1 3 lb. whole duck
olive or canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 orange, quartered
fresh rosemary, thyme and/or sage
whole crabapples (optional)

Apple-plum glaze:
2 cups crabapples, halved or quartered
1 cup plums, halved, or fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar (approximately)

Preheat the oven to 450F. Pat the duck dry with paper towel and place it in a roasting pan. Poke through the skin-without going into the meat-with a bamboo skewer or the tip of a knife in several places. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you like, tuck the orange and herbs into the cavity – otherwise wait for halfway through the roasting time, after you’ve poured off some of the fat for later use. This way it will go unflavoured.

Meanwhile, put the apples and plums into a small pot with 2 cups water and bring to a simmer; cook for 20-30 minutes, until the fruit is very soft. Place a colander over a bowl and strain the fruit into it, pressing down on the solids to get as much out as possible. Transfer to a saucepan, add the sugar and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, until thickened. Set aside. (You’ll have more glaze than you need; refrigerate about half for a sweet-tart jelly.)

Roast the duck for 30 minutes, then remove the duck from the oven and pour most of the fat from the pan into a jar (store in the fridge for up to a month). Brush the duck with the glaze, stuff it with the orange and herbs (if you haven’t already), slice the whole crabapples around their middles and add them to the pan if you like, then reduce the heat to 350F and return to the oven to roast for 1 1/2-2 hours, until the legs wiggle in their sockets and a meat thermometer reads at least 175F.

Let rest 15 minutes before carving. Serves 6.

button print gry20 Roast Duck with Apple plum Glaze

October 09 2014 | chicken & turkey | 6 Comments »

Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken 1 Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken

One thing I love about my job is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone in small ways… if it were up to me, I’d leave Chinese food to the pros (and Vietnamese food, and Thai) – part of what makes it taste so good is the not knowing what exactly went into it, the experience of making ginger beef / lemon chicken / mu shu pork night after night in well-seasoned woks and skillets. Who am I to pull off a proper batch of lemon chicken? We talked about citrus on CBC this morning, and with Chinese New Year coming up on Friday, I figured I’d give it a go.

Lemon Chicken 2 Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken
Lemon chicken 3 Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken

And really, the ingredients that go into this are not at all exotic – you need not even venture down the aisle of the grocery store that has coconut milk and rice noodles and other no longer particularly extraordinary ingredients. It’s is really no more than chicken and soy sauce and lemon and honey and cornstarch – it’s all in how you put them together. Everyone liked the lemon sauce – which had the colour of unfiltered apple juice, rather than of lemon pie filling (it’s common to not use stock and add yellow food colouring) – but the chicken, which is simply marinated, dipped in cornstarch and fried, could be doused in any number of sauces – homemade or jarred sweet and sour sauce or some such.

It’s not that I want to replace Chinese takeout or food court ginger beef – but if you’re so inclined, it’s fun to DIY.

Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken

Chicken:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry and cut into strips or 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 egg white
½ cup cornstarch
canola oil, for frying

Lemon Sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
finely grated zest of a regular or Meyer lemon
½ cup lemon juice
1 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce

Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces or strips and put into a zip-lock bag with the soy sauce and ginger. Refrigerate for an hour, or overnight. When you’re ready to cook, add the egg white to the bag and squish it around to coat the chicken. Put the cornstarch into a shallow bowl.

To make the sauce, bring all the ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook for a couple minutes, until thickened.

Heat a couple inches of oil in a heavy pot or skillet set over medium-high heat. When it’s hot but not smoking (a scrap of bread should sizzle when dipped in), dip pieces of chicken in the cornstarch to coat, then gently lower into the hot oil. Cook in batches, then remove from the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour the lemon sauce overtop and toss to coat; serve immediately, over rice.

Serves 4-6.

pixel Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken
button print gry20 Crispy Chinese Meyer Lemon Chicken

January 28 2014 | chicken & turkey | 8 Comments »

Next »