Archive for the ‘Bayleaf’ Category

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Chilli PeppersCucumber
The traditional way to make this involves poaching the chicken, which is delicious.  I never get round to it, so tend to make it with leftovers from a chicken roast:

cold chicken
3 spring onions
white pepper

chicken carcass
1 onion
1 carrot
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 mug rice
2 mugs cold water
1/2 tsp salt

Cucumber pickle
1 cucumber
1 cup vinegar
1 small chilli
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Once you’ve stripped all the chicken off the carcass, put the chicken in the fridge.  Put the carcass in a big pot with a peeled chopped carrot and onion and two bay leaves.  Cover with water and bring to boil.  Simmer for an hour or two, then strain and throw away the bits, leaving the liquid to cool.

Meanwhile wash the cucumber and cut into batons or thin slices.  Chop the chilli finely.  Mix the chilli, cucumber, vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl and leave to macerate.

When you are ready to eat, cook the rice.  Bring the rice, 2 mugs water and 1/2 tsp salt to boil.  Simmer for around 10 mins until water has evaporated.  Taste the rice.  If it is ready and the water is nearly gone, put a lid on the pot and turn up the heat for 30 seconds to generate steam, then turn off the heat.  If not yet done, add a little more water then retest a couple of minutes later.

While the rice is cooking, bring the chicken stock to boil.  Season with a dash or two of light soy sauce.  Finely chop the spring onion.

To serve, pack the cooked rice into a small bowl, then turn one out onto each plate.  Arrange the cold chicken next to the rice.  Pour some chicken soup into a small bowl for each person, sprinkle in some spring onions and season with a shake or two of white pepper.  Serve with the bowl of cucumber pickle on the side.

I absolutely love the clean, fresh tastes of this dish.  To eat it you can take a spoonful of rice and dip it into your chicken soup.  You then have the succulent pieces of chicken (more so if you make this by the poaching method), and some fresh and spicy cucumber to give it all a lift.  We are having this tomorrow night and I can’t wait!

Chicken Liver Pâté

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Fresh Onion

1/2 Onion
1 large clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Tub chicken livers (around 400g)
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp favourite tipple (brandy, whiskey, calvados, port, madeira, sherry)
1 slice lemon
1 bayleaf

Chop onion and mince garlic.  Fry gently in oil, then add chicken livers.  Keep stirring and prodding.  Make sure the onion and garlic don’t burn as they will taste bitter.  The livers are done when not too bouncy and cooked through but a little pink in the middle.  Add Whiskey and stir (at this point I come over all cheffy and tip the pan to let the gas ‘flame’ the liquor).

Tip the lot into a blender.  Put 1 tbsp butter in the hot pan and leave it to melt.  Add the remaining butter to the mixture in the blender along with the salt.  Blend to your desired texture (I like it quite fine).  Taste.  Spatula the pâté into a tub or kilner jar and spread the top flat.  I like to be able to cover it so my fridge doesn’t smell of garlic.  Top with the bayleaf and lemon slice, then pour over the melted butter from the pan.  Leave to cool then cover and store in the fridge.

I like to make my own pâté as then I know what’s in it and can reduce the butter and garlic a bit as some of the shop bought ones are too much.  This makes a lovely starter or is good with crackers and a glass of port.  And some gherkins.  I like to keep the livers a little pink which also means when you cut into the pâté, the inside will be a bit pinker.  That is as it should be!