Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

Szechuan Chicken

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

This spicy Szechuan chicken recipe gets its heat from Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper and crushed chilies. Parboiling or “oil poaching” the chicken in hot oil helps make it extra tender.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, about 7 ounces each
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons Shao Xing rice wine, dry sherry or cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red chilies, or to taste
  • 2 slices ginger, minced, to form 1 tablespoon
  • Other:
  • 4 carrots, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

PREPARATION:

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. (Partially freeze chicken breasts first to make this easier).
Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the cornstarch into the egg whites.

Coat the chicken strips in the cornstarch mixture. Heat 1 cup oil in the wok. Cook the chicken strips briefly in the hot oil until they turn white. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. Clean out the wok and add 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrots. Stir-fry briefly and add the peppers.
Make a “well” in the middle of the wok and add the sauce. Heat briefly, then mix the sauce in with the vegetables.
Return the chicken to the wok.
Stir-fry 1 to 2 more minutes. Stir in the green onions. Serve with rice.
 

Sweet and Sour Chicken With Lemon

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chicken Bits:
  • 2 pounds skinned, de-boned chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • A little fresh ground black pepper, ground ginger and garlic powder to season flour (not a lot)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetables:
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch square bits
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch square bits
  • 1 large yellow onion, skinned, root end removed, cut into 1/2-inch bits
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and trimed, slice thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice (no added sweeteners)
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 – 6 drops red food coloring
  • 2 rounded tablespoons corn starch mixed in enough cold water to make a slurry

PREPARATION:

Directions for Making Chicken Bits
When cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces, remove any fat, gristle or connective tissue. If the chicken is soft-frozen or almost thawed it is easier to cut.
In small frying pan, add 1/2-inch vegetable oil. Heat to deep-frying temperature.
In a bowl mix eggs and milk. Beat until well combined.
Place flour and seasonings in a shallow bowl and mix.
Dunk pieces of chicken in the egg and milk mixture. Allow excess to drain.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour coating thoroughly. Here is your chance to practice with your chop sticks and keep the flour off from your fingers.
Drop pieces into the hot oil and fry until deep golden brown. Turn as necessary to cook evenly on all sides. When golden brown, remove to paper towel covered plate to drain.
Repeat until all chicken pieces are cooked. Set aside until assembly.

Directions for Making Sweet and Sour Sauce
Place pineapple and water in sauce pan. Heat over low flame. Slowly add sugar while stirring.
When sugar has dissolved, slowly add the vinegar and the lemon juice while stirring.
Add corn starch slurry and stir while heating. Bring to a boil.
Stir constantly until thickened. Add food coloring (a couple drops at first and then adjust until you have the red color you like) and stir well to mix. Continue to heat and stir until almost a syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
Note: You will be judging the thickness of the sauce while it is hot. It will thicken considerably when it is set aside and cools. Later, when added to the vegetables, the moisture from the vegetables will thin the sauce quite a bit.

Directions for Assembling Completed Dish
Add a little vegetable oil to a large frying pan or wok. Bring to frying temperature over medium heat. Add vegetables (but not the pineapple) and cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to caramelize.
Add sweet and sour sauce and continue cooking and stirring until vegetable are bite tender and sauce has re-thickened and clings to the vegetables.
Add pineapple and chicken bits and fold into the vegetables and sauce. Simmer until heated through. Serve.
Most home-made sweet and sour sauces are made with brown sugar and the sauce has the distinctive coffee color of the molasses in the brown sugar. This recipe produces a red sweet and sour sauce that looks just like the Chinese restaurant take-out food but we think that it tastes a lot better. Try it and see how easy it is to make tasty oriental-style food at home.

Kung Pao Chicken – a Recipe for Stir-fried Kung Pao Chicken

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Serves 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 7 to 8 ounces each
  • Marinade:
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Other:
  • 8 small dried red chili peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
  • 4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn, optional
  • 1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
  • a few drops sesame oil, optional

PREPARATION:

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine with the marinade ingredients, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 25 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables: In a small bowl, combine the dark soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.

Cut the chilies in half so that they are approximately the same size as the chicken cubes. Remove the seeds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the green onion on the diagonal into thirds.

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Stir-fry until it turns white and is 80 percent cooked. Remove from the wok.

Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the chili peppers and the Szechuan peppercorn if using. Stir-fry briefly until they turn dark red.

Add the sauce to the wok. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken back into the pan. Stir in the peanuts and the green onion. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.

General Tso’s Chicken

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

The restaurant favorite is based on an authentic Hunan dish that translates roughly as “ancestor meeting place chicken.” If you like, you can thicken the sauce by whisking 2 teaspoons cornstarch in with the other sauce ingredients. For more sauce, increase the sauce ingredients by 1/2 (3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine, etc).

Serves 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
  • Cornstarch, as needed
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch for thickening sauce, optional
  • Other:
  • 3 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
  • 5 to 10 small dried red chilli peppers, according to taste
  • 3 – 4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying, as needed

PREPARATION:

1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine the chicken cubes with the egg, soy sauce, and pepper. Add enough cornstarch to nicely coat the chicken, using cooking chopsticks or your fingers to mix it in.
2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Thinly slice the green onions.
3. Heat the oil in a wok to between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit (175 – 180 degrees Celsius). Drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time, and deep-fry until crispy (3 to 4 minutes). Remove the chicken cubes and drain on paper towels.
4. Drain and clean out the wok. Heat 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced green onions and the dried chili peppers. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
5. Add the deep-fried chicken cubes back into the wok. Stir-fry until the chicken cubes are browned (about 1 minute).
6. Push the chicken up to the sides of the wok. Give the sauce a quick restir and add into the middle of the wok. If you added cornstarch to the sauce, stir it continually for 1 – 2 minutes to thicken.
7. Mix the sauce with the chicken. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Sesame Chicken

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 whole boneless chicken breasts
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine or dry sherry
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Sauce for Sesame Chicken:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TB dark soy sauce
  • 2 TB sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili paste, or more if desired
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • Other:
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see recipe directions for link to how to toast)
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying

PREPARATION:

Toast the sesame seeds and set aside.

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken for 20 minutes. 

To prepare the sauce: mix together all of the sauce ingredients.  Pour them into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to low and keep warm while you are deep-frying the chicken. 

To deep-fry the chicken: add the marinated chicken pieces a few at a time, and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken. 

Just before you are finished deep-frying, bring the sauce back up to a boil. 
Place the chicken on a large platter and pour the sauce over.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve the Sesame Chicken with rice.

Easy Orange Chicken Stir-fry

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup orange juice*
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 slice ginger, minced
  • Oil for stir-frying, as needed

PREPARATION:

Place the cubed chicken in a bowl, and add the marinade ingredients. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes. 

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce ingredients and the garlic and ginger.

Heat the wok and add oil.

When oil is ready, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until aromatic.

Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes color. Push up to the sides of the wok, making a well in the middle. Add the sauce.

Combine the sauce and the chicken. Stir-fry for another minute and serve hot.

*If you find the orange flavor too overpowering, try substituting a combination of orange juice and water to make 1/3 cup.

Chicken Chow Mein

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound mung bean sprouts
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 7 to 8 ounces each
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small piece (less than 1 teaspoon) cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
  • Other:
  • 1/2 pound dry wonton noodles
  • 2 medium ribs celery
  • 1 pound bok choy or broccoli
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 green onion (scallion, spring onion)
  • Vegetable oil for frying and stir-frying, as needed
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

PREPARATION:

One or 2 hours before cooking, rinse the mung bean sprouts so that they have time to drain thoroughly.

Cut the chicken into thin strips. Add the marinade ingredients, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes.

The following 3 steps can be completed while the chicken is marinating:

To prepare the sauce, whisk the water or chicken broth with the oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper and cornstarch and water mixture and set aside.

Soften the noodles by placing them in boiling salted water. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and drain thoroughly.

Wash all the vegetables as needed. Cut the celery and the bok choy into 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal. If substituting broccoli for bok choy, peel the stalks until no more strings come out, and slice thinly on the diagonal.  Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and slice. Cut the red bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and chut into chunks. Peel and chop the onion. Dice the green onion.

Heat a wok or frying pan over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the noodles. Fry in batches until golden. Remove the noodles from the pan.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and the meat. Let the meat brown briefly, then stir-fry until the redness is gone and the meat is nearly cooked through. Remove the cooked meat and onion from the pan.

Cook the rest of the vegetables separately, except for the green onion, seasoning each with a bit of salt while stir-frying if desired. When cooking the bok choy or broccoli, add 1/4 cup of water and cover while cooking. Remove each of the vegetables from the pan when finished stir-frying. Add more oil as needed.

Give the sauce a quick restir. Add all the ingredients back into the wok, making a “well” in the middle if the wok for the sauce. Add the sauce, stirring quickly to thicken. Mix everything together. Stir in the green onions. Pour the cooked vegetable and sauce mixture on top of the noodles. Garnish the chow mein with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.
Nutritional Breakdown based on 4 servings, Calories 434, 54 g Carbohydrates, 14 g Protein, 20 g Total Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 10 g Monounsaturated Fat, 5 g Polyunsaturated Fat, 5 mg Cholesterol, 7 g Fibre, 685 mg Sodium, 900 mg Potassium.

Mongolian Chicken

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I like to serve this with a steamed green vegetable, and thick fresh noodles that have been pan-fried in soy sauce and sugar (2 teaspoons light soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sugar for each 1/2 pound of noodles). Serves 2 to 4.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 pound chicken breasts or thighs, skinless, boneless
  • Chicken Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed into 4 teaspoons water
  • Other:
  • 2 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (1/4 teaspoon for a less spicy version)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying, or as needed

PREPARATION:

Briefly blanch the mung bean sprouts in boiling water (15 – 30 seconds). Drain thoroughly.
Cut the chicken into cubes that are between 1/2 and 1 inch (it’s easiest to do this if the chicken is partially frozen). Add the marinade ingredients. Marinate the chicken for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and remaining vegetables. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar and water or chicken broth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the 2 teaspoons cornstarch with the 4 teaspoons water and set aside.
Rinse the green onions thoroughly and chop on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
Heat a wok on medium high to high heat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil, swirling so that it coats the sides. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Stir-fry until it changes color is approximately 80 percent cooked. Remove the chicken. Clean out the wok.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, green onion and hot pepper flakes. Stir-fry for 15 seconds, then add the chicken back into the pan. Stir-fry briefly, then push to the sides. Add the sauce in the middle. Give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick restir and add to the sauce, stirring. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
Add the chopped onion, cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the bean sprouts, cook for another minute, and serve hot.

Spiced and super-juicy roast turkey

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Serves 12

Preparation time overnight

Cooking time 1 to 2 hours

Ingredients
For the turkey
4-5kg/9-11¼lb turkey
6 litres/10 pints 11fl oz water
125g/4¼oz packet table salt
3 tbsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp caraway seeds
4 cloves
2 tbsp allspice berries
4 star anise
2 tbsp white mustard seeds
200g/7oz caster sugar
2 onions, quartered
1 x 6cm/3in piece of ginger, cut into 6 slices
1 orange, quartered
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp clear honey
handful fresh parsley, optional (only if you’ve got some parsley hanging around)
For the basting glaze
75g/2¾oz butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Method
1. For the turkey, place the water into your largest cooking pot or bucket/plastic bin and add all the turkey ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt, sugar, syrup and honey. (Squeeze the juice of the orange quarters into the brine before you chuck the pieces in.)
2. Untie and remove any string or trussing attached to the turkey, shake it free and add it to the liquid. Add more water if the turkey is not completely submerged. Keep the mixture in a cold place, even outside overnight or for up to a day or two before you cook it, remembering to take it out of its liquid (and wiping it dry with kitchen-towel) a good 40 or 50 minutes before it has to go into the oven. Turkeys – indeed this is the case for all meat – should be at room temperature before being put in the preheated oven. If you’re at all concerned – the cold water in the brine will really chill this bird – then just cook the turkey for longer than its actual weight requires.
3. For the basting glaze, place the butter and syrup into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, while stirring, until the ingredients have melted and combined.
4. Brush the turkey with the glaze before roasting, and baste periodically through out the turkey roasting time.
5. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Cook the turkey for half an hour at this relatively high temperature, then turn the oven down to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and continue cooking, turning the oven back up to 220C/425F/Gas 7 for the last quarter of an hour or so if you want to give a final, browning boost to the skin. For a 4-5kg turkey, allow two-and-a-half to three hours in total. But remember that ovens vary enormously, so just check by piercing the flesh between leg and body with a small sharp knife: when the juices run clear, the turkey’s cooked.
6. Just as it’s crucial to let the turkey come to room temperature before it goes in to the oven, so it’s important to let it stand out of the oven for a good 20 minutes before you actually carve it.

Organic roast turkey

Thursday, October 18th, 2007
Serves 8-10

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time over 2 hours

Ingredients
1 organic turkey, 5kg/11¼lb in weight
60g/2oz butter
 

Method
1. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Put the turkey, breast side up, in a roasting tin, smear over 60g/2oz butter and cover loosely with foil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn down the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 20 minutes per 500g/1lb. Baste from time to time with the buttery juices.
2. Uncover the turkey after this time, turn the heat back up to 220C/425F/Gas 7 for 30-40 minutes to brown the skin.
3. Take the turkey out of the oven and test it is cooked by putting a skewer into its thigh. The juices should run clear.
4.Cover with foil again and allow to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before carving.
5. Make a gravy with the juices and serve with bread sauce and bacon rolls.