Saturday, 16 November 2013

Recipe: Sticky chicken drumsticks

This poor blog post has been loitering about in draft form for weeks. Poor neglected blog. Anyway, these chicken drumsticks are yummy and very easy. They're economical too, which always is helpful in the aftermath of Christmas. 

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks: a recipe my me

You will need:
Chicken drumsticks (my pack had 8 but use however many you have/want)
Soy sauce
Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
Chilli flakes
Ginger, sliced
Garlic, chopped anyway you like
Spring onions, sliced
Thai herbs such as coriander or thai basil

1. Mix your marinade ingredients together - I don't measure, I just pour. A good few slugs of soy, a squeeze each of the kecap manis and honey, a shake of chilli flakes. I also added about a 1/4 cup of water. Place the chicken drums in a bag or a bowl and pour the marinade over, cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour, preferably longer if you can. 

2. Slice a thumb sized knob of ginger, the spring onions and get the herbs washed and ready to use. 

3. Place the marinated chicken drums into a baking dish, cover with the sliced ginger, spring onions and herbs. Cover with foil and bake for as long as you need until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. 

Recipe: roast chicken with kale and spinach gratin, with roasted kumara

Roast chicken with kale and spinach gratin, with roasted kumara

First, make the roasted garlic that you'll add to the kale and spinach gratin. To roast garlic take a whole bulb of garlic, slice the top 1/3 off until you can see the individual heads are revealed. Place the garlic onto a sheet of foil and cover with a generous splosh to olive oil, some salt and pepper. Fold the foil up to make a pouch and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 30 - 35 minutes. The garlic will be soft and easy to squeeze out after this time. Reserve until you're ready to use it. 

I was watching Rachael Ray recently and she made this recipe with swiss chard, which I think is what we call silverbeet. I decided I could probably do it with the kale and spinach I had in my refrigerator. Here's the link to Rachael's recipe but I have made some modifications.  
  • 2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or rainbow chard (3-4 large bundles) – for a quick shortcut, substitute 4 boxes spinach (10 ounces each), defrosted and wrung dry
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk (We have lite (2%) so I used that)
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg (I didn't use this)
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic, cloves squeezed from skins and pasted
  • 2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly shredded (I didn't have any so I used grated tasty cheese)
Serves 4

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Stem the chard (I used a mix of kale and spinach), leaving the leaves whole. Wash them well before use. Salt the boiling water, add the chard and wilt – the pot will be packed at first.

Boil the chard for 10 minutes, then drain it in a colander and run it under cool water. Let the chard drain once again and squeeze out the excess liquid in a clean kitchen towel (I wasn't prepared to lose a towel so I used my hands and squeezed hard). Chop.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cook 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg (I didn't because I didn't have any). Stir in the roasted garlic paste. Thicken the sauce to coat the back of a spoon and adjust the seasonings, to taste.

Layer half of the greens in a medium casserole (8-10” long). Top with half of the b├ęchamel sauce and half of the cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.

I served this with some roasted orange kumara (sweet potato for anyone who doesn't live in New Zealand). 

We also had some roast chicken - a lazy roast chicken choice tonight, but a very yummy one.

Yum! This was definitely a hit in my house. I'll happily eat kale again, I might try it without a creamy sauce next time too.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hot toddy

The best cure in the world for a cold. Lemon, honey, ginger...and scotch! When I was younger my mum would make this for me with an aspirin added. I'm a little dubious about adding an aspirin to this already head clearing concoction so I'll keep it as is. Fingers crossed it clears the cold out of me...

Juice of a lemon
A knob of grated ginger
A squeeze of lemon
A good slug of scotch (whisky)
Boiling water

Mix all in a mug, stir and enjoy.

And, just for fun - something which has perked me right up - my newly lobster coloured husband. You're welcome.