Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bog Man Chicken

This is what I think of as Italian country cooking. It is really called Chicken Legs in Red Wine or Pollo Al Vino Rosso. Shelley called this dish Bog Man Chicken because in the serving dish it looked like something like 1000 year old remains, dug up in some peat bog. Like the Lindow man or something like that. Don't be deterred. It is great.Simple but very tasty.
I would suggest that you use a good full bodied red wine and not just some plonk you may have around. It makes a difference.

1 package brown mushrooms
1 good glug of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp rosemary assuming, you can't find fresh in which case use a full sprig
2 bay leaves
4 chicken legs
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 half inch slices of pancetta, cut into strips
Salt & pepper

Get a pan large enough to easily take all four chicken legs and thighs and heat it on medium high. Add the oil, let it heat then add the rosemary and the bay leaves and finally the chicken.
Brown the chicken well on all sides then add the mushrooms, stir them in.
Pour in the wine and stir again. Cook the wine and mushrooms until the alcohol evaporates this will take perhaps 10 minutes. Turn the chicken often.
At this point add the pancetta laying in over the chicken.
Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and cook the mixture uncovered for at least half an hour.
Stir and turn the chicken fairly often during this last phase of cooking.
When it looks like it is close to falling off the bone it is done.
Serve with rice, a vegetable and the rest of the bottle of red.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thai Red Curry Chicken Wings

This recipe originates at Meinhardt Fine Foods in Vancouver. I have played with it a bit. I think you will like it. A link to Meinhardt is at the bottom of the page.

2 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1 can coconut milk
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 pinch salt
4 lb chicken wings
7 oz Asian sweet chili sauce
1 fist full of Cilantro, chopped

Mix the red curry paste, garlic, ginger and salt together in a bowl. Add the chicken wings and mix them up until they are well coated. Transfer to a large resealable bag and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the wings and all the sauce in a roasting pan. Total cooking time should be about an hour.

After half an hour of so check the wings and stir them up in the pan so none are sticking on the bottom and so that the marinade spreads evenly as they cook. You might have to do this more than once during the last half hour of cooking. After an hour taste one, If they are not quite ready mix them up and leave them a bit longer.

When they are ready, take them out of the oven and put them into a large serving bowl, toss with the sweet chili sauce and sprinkle the cilantro over them all.


Meinhardt Fine Foods

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baked Beans with Molasses and Guinness

Boxing day I thought I would try and put a bit extra into baked beans. I played around with recipes and this is what I came up with. I thought it turned out quite well.

1 lb dried navy beans

A splash of extra virgin olive oil

¼ lb of double smoked bacon

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic finely chopped

¾ cup molasses

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 bottles of Guinness

2 cups stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)

½ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Put the beans and three times their volume of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Biol for about 3 or 4 minutes, take off the heat cover and let sit for an hour.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large oven proof casserole, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, then add the bacon and cook it just until it begins to turn colour then add the garlic. Stir for a few second then add the beans, molasses, mustard, chilli flakes, paprika, a little salt and pepper and stir it all together. Add one bottle of Guinness and some stock to cover the beans.

Put the cover on the pot and place it in the oven for an hour. From that point on check every ½ hour or so, each time stirring the mixture and topping the liquid up with the other bottle of Guinness and stock until the beans are covered. Then put it back in the oven. The process will take six hours or so, It is tough to be exact with beans. When they are ready let them sit for a bit to cool off and serve with some nice fresh crusty bread.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Radicchio Risotto

I think of radicchio as something I put into a salad but, I had seen a number of recipes in which it is cooked. Curious but skeptical , I thought I'd give this one a try. I encourage you to take the risk. You will be surprised. It was delicious.

1 head of radicchio finely chopped
6 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
115 gm thick cut pancetta cut into small cubes
1 large onion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
2 cups orborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
4 Tbsp chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Half the radicchio, cut out the heart and discard. Chop the remaining head finely.
Bring the stock to a boil then set aside but keep it quite warm.
Get a large saucepan, if you have one slightly larger that you normally use for risotto, one with high sides, use it. You will be glad you did when it comes time to put in the ridicchio in. Initially it takes up quite a bit of space in the pan.
Heat the oil and butter in the pan at a medium heat and add the pancetta, cook until it starts to colour. About 3 or 4 minutes. Then add the onion and the garlic and cook for about a minute then pour in the rice and turn the heat down slightly.
Stir the rice and when it begins to turn translucent, add the ridicchio and cook stirring for about a minute.
Increase the heat and add the wine and stir until it evaporates, then gradually add the warm stock, a ladle full at a time waiting until each is pretty much absorbed into the dish before adding another. Keep it bubbling.
Continue until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is creamy and fully cooked. It you run out of stock before this happens you can supplement with a little water without any loss of flavour.
Stir in the cream, the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon onto warm plates and serve immediately.