Sunday, October 24, 2010

40 Clove Chicken - delish

Mr Mel & I love to cook together on weekends, we cook well together, and have had some delicious dishes and some near disaster dishes.

A couple of weeks ago we cooked a
Roast Duck, after visiting the Nulkaba Hatchery. On that same trip we purchased a free range chicken. And yesterday we decided we'd cook roast chook for dinner, so I went googling.

I recalled watching a Jamie Oliver show where he cooked a 40 garlic clove chicken, so I searched for it, and one of the links that came up was to a blog I visit daily,
Not Quite Nigella, Lorraine from NQN has a brilliant blog, it's so obvious she's doing something she loves, and has found her calling, her niche so to speak.  I find Lorraine and her blog inspiring, and love trying her recipes.

So we got set to cook
NQN's Roast Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves, Mr Mel was a bit dubious at first, thinking 40 cloves would kill the taste of the chicken, but once he saw the photos on the NQN website, he was converted, he is a sucker for cripsy skin chicken.

We don't have an oven proof dish with a lid, so we used a baking tray with foil on top, and cooked the potato, pumpkin & sweet potato separately. We added thyme to the rosemary to pop inside the bird, as our thyme is growing madly, and needs to be used up.

Our oven is very dodgy, we have plans to replace it, but that's another story..... In any case the 1.5hrs cooking time, that I'm sure works perfectly in 'normal' ovens, meant 2.5hrs in our dodgerama oven. Even with adding an extra hour, the chicken was tender and moist, with a lovely subtle garlicy sweet yet earthy flavour.

We poured the juices from the pan into a frypan, reduced them, then added some gravy powder, and squeezed a few of the cloves, mixing them through the gravy. We served some of the roasted garlic cloves with dinner (3 each), and popped them out of their skins, they we scrumptious.  We've put the rest (around 25) into the freezer to use in future meals.

The end result was delicious, thanks Lorraine :)

Recipe - from NQN site with a few of my own tweaks

1 free range chook

1 lemon, halved
1 sprig of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp oil
1 cup white wine - we used chardonnay
1 cup chicken stock
salt & pepper

1 - Preheat oven to 180c. In frypan heat oil, brown breast side of chicken until lightly golden. Lift out with tongs. Stuff chicken with lemon, rosemary, thymem and about 8 garlic cloves. Tie up the legs, our cavity was still quite open with legs tied, so we stuck toothpicks through the bum of the chicken into the lemon, to hold it down. Place chicken in baking dish, add wine & stock and remainder of garlic cloves. Cover tray with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

2 - After an hour remove the foil, brush the chicken with a light coating of oil, salt & pepper. Bake for another 30 mins, or until golden & cooked, our oven is terrible, took another hour and a bit, most would take 30 mins.

3 - Remove chicken from tray, pour the liquid and any 'bits' into a frypan, reduce slightly to remove some of the liquid, mix through some gravy powder, squeeze a couple of garlic cloves, and stir well. Reduce again until consistency you want.

4 - Serve with roast vegies, gravy, and a few extra cloves per person.
Till next time,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kiva - update

Just a quick post after I've been on the Kiva site, reloaning my repayments, I realised it's been a while, back in June, since I updated on Kiva. My old post is here.

To update, of my now 46 loans, 25 are full repaid.

Currently as at 19th October 2010 the team I made, Aussie & Kiwi Savers is made up of :

79 members
501 loans (202 are 100% paid back already)
US$12,600 worth of loans

Again, just for any newbies I'm not advocating everyone get involved, I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in joining us reads everything they can on Kiva, either through the Kiva website   or by googling Kiva, and make your own decision.

There but for................. rings so true to me when I think of Kiva.......

Till next time,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our 1st Goat Curry

Mr Mel & I headed to the Newcastle Farmers Market on Sunday, our first time there, it's a great market, good variety of stalls, but not that big you're sick of it half-way round.

While wandering through one of the sheds we saw a stand for Booma Boers (goats) we had a chat with the owner, very down to earth guy, explained to us what the different cuts of goat are best for, and how he cooks it. So we thought why not we'll give it a go.

We took home 2 forequarter chops of goat, and hit Google for some recipes, there are heaps online, majority have a curry slant, so we thought we'd go curry, and found a recipe at that sounded nice and looked like an easy convert to the slow cooker.

Happy to report that the curry was delicious, alot stronger flavour than lamb (stall man said it was due to lower fat content, because they're more active than sheep and eat a wider variety of plants).  The meat fell off the bone, and was melt in your mouth.

We added a bit more chilli than in the recipe as it didn't have a real kick when we tasted it early on, next time we'll probably add more of all of the spices to give it a bit more of a punch, but the base flavour was nice.

So goat is going into rotation in our house.

We eventually want to have a small farm and become as self-sufficient as we can be, raising goats for cheese was part of the plan, but now raising them for meat is part of the equation, yay!

Have you ever tried goat?

Till next time,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Poor Little Duckie

DP & I have driven past the sign pointing to Nulkaba Hatchery many times, saying we should check it out, well on Saturday we did.

It's a small farm, raising free-range chickens & ducks, when we drove in there were 2 big white dogs sleeping under a tree, apparently 'guarding' the stock.

As we turned the corner there would have been thousands of ducks sitting on the grass, under trees, wandering around on the grass. Near a barn there were hundreds of baby chickens, wandering through dust, and swimming in puddles. 

We pulled up, there was 1 other car there (they were buying chickens & related stuff to set up a pen at home), and went into a little room come shop. There was a wall of free range chicken, duck & quail eggs. Another wall of honey & jams (I had to resist the passionfruit jam). A feezer of frozen chickens, ducks & quails, and a fridge of the same.

We selected a duck & a chicken from the fridge, and a dozen free range eggs, totalling $31, which we thought was pretty good value.

We were hoping for duck breasts but went with the whole bird, as the hatchery is still waiting on Council approval to build a processing factory to sell breasts etc.

The owner of the hatchery gave us instructions on cooking the duck (our first), in an oven bag, slow and not too hot, because they're free-range they don't have as much fat as intensively farmed ones, therefore can't be cooked to hard.

We went shopping for fresh veg to cook with the duck and were set.

Now I don't know how much blame we can lay on our dodgy as hell oven (which we're replacing soon), our our cooking skills, but we cooked it at 180c for an hour in the bag, then out of the bag for another 30 mins.  The skin was kind of crispy in spots, but the meat (when we could find it!) was quite overcooked we thought.

It still tasted nice, but it was hard work to get much meat off the bird, we made a terrible mess of the poor little duckie.

The experience has probably scared us off cooking a whole duck again for a while, but we're keen to try cooking breasts on their own, we will not allow duck to be our nemesis :)

Till next time,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our To-Do List

Ok so it may seem a bit obsessive, but I love tracking things, at the moment I have spreadsheets for:

  • mortgage
  • super
  • shares
  • debt
  • horse expenses
  • weight loss

And a few months ago Mr Mel & I decided that we need a list of things we keep thinking of we need to do, that we forget to get round to doing.  And since we started it, we've got through a couple, which is better than none, so I thought I'd list our to do list here too, so I can track it (I did say a tad obsessive!!).

So here goes, this is our list:

  • Security system for house - 90% done - being installed next week
  • House & Contents insurance re security 
  • Solar installation for house - 5% done - have 2 crews coming out to quote
  • Look into Sasha's Blend for the pug
  • Build shelves in laundry
  • Paint 2nd toilet walls & door
  • Sell lounge suites taking up the garage
  • Replace dying Mazda - DONE - I love my new i30 :)
  • Investigate extended warranty on the Ford - DONE - signed up, covered for next 3 years
  • Blog - not this one, a new one that we'll both work on - 10% done - I have setup the domain
  • MYOB for business - 90% done - I detest it, but almost done for the 2009/10 year
  • Personal & Business tax for 2009/10 - 90% done - as per MYOB 
  • Replace office chair - DONE
  • Get treadmill working - DONE
  • Get allergy test done
  • Water tank
  • Organise & book trip to Brisbane for Mr Mel - work related (he works for himself)

So that's the list, we're working our way through, and adding more now and then.  We have them written on a whiteboard on the side of the freezer (faces out from kitchen), so we see the list all the time, and often stand there planning.  It won't happen overnight but it will happen :)

So dear readers, do you have a to-do list, or are Mr Mel & I, as we kind of suspect, a tad freaky??


Till next time,


Related Posts with Thumbnails