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Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Makes 4-6 portions

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole free range corn fed chicken - without giblets, we used a 1.5kg bird

  • 4 pandan leaves, tied into knots - 2 for the chicken, 2 for the rice

  • 1 inch fresh ginger

  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt

  • 4 spring onions – spilt into green and white parts

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 tbsp finely ground white pepper


For the Rice:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced into paste

  • 1 inch section of ginger

  • 720g jasmine rice or long grain rice (approx. 2 cups)

  • 720ml reserved chicken poaching stock

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 tbsp chicken fat - from inside the chicken*

 

For the Chilli Sauce:

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 2 tbsp reserved chicken poaching stock

  • 2 tsp caster sugar

  • 4 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and sliced

 

Garnish:

  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander

  • 2 baby gem lettuce hearts – washed and separated into leaves

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • finely julienne spring onions (reserved white parts)

  • finely julienne ginger

  • 1 cucumber - thinly sliced or cut into batons

  • dark soy sauce

 

Method:

1.     Heat up a pan or wok with the oil, and slowly render the chicken fat. In the meantime, mince or finely crush the garlic into a paste and add into the hot rendered fat along with the ginger to sweat. Don’t colour it too much, as you’re aiming to infuse here.

2.     Place rice into a large bowl, and fill with cold water. Use your hands to move the rice around in the bowl, and you’ll see the water going cloudy. Rinse the water, refresh with new water and do this two more times until the water becomes a little clearer. Drain, and add the rice to the wok and sauté for a minute.

3.     If your using a rice cooker like I am, add the rice, garlic and ginger mix into the rice cooker and set aside for later. If your using a pan, just place this into a pan ready to use when the chicken stock is ready*

4.     For the chicken, remove the wishbone and rub generously with salt inside and outside. Stuff with the green parts of the spring onion (setting aside the white parts for garnishing the dish), 2 pandan leaves, ginger and garlic.

5.     Heat up a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Carefully place the chicken into the boiling water and poach for 25 minutes or until the meat reaches 73c on the bone. The time it will take to reach this temperature will depend entirely on the size of your chicken. Remember to remove any scum that comes to the surface.

6.     Once it’s come to temperature, turn the heat off completely, and cover the pot with a lid and set to poach further for another hour.

7.     In the meantime, prepare the rest of the garnishes and sauces. For the sauce, add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

8.     Remove some of the stock water from the poached chicken and finish cooking the rice. Add the stock to the rice cooker and set to cook. If your using a saucepan, bring the stock and rice mix to a boil, turn it down immediately to low, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, still covered, let it steam for 5-10 minutes more. Give it a ruffle at the end to make it fluffy.

9.     Now the chicken should be ready, remove very carefully (don’t hold onto the legs as they will most likely fall off) and place into an ice bath to tighten the skin.

10.  Carve the chicken by removing each the legs, then slicing down the crown to remove each breasts and wings. Slice and drizzle some sesame oil on top.

11.  For the soup, strain the stock and heat up a portion in a saucepan with the white pepper. Season with salt if necessary. Add baby gem lettuce to the soup very last minute.

12.  Serve with the chilli sauce, finely julienne ginger and spring onion, soup, dark soy sauce, cucumber, coriander and fresh rice.

 

*If your chicken doesn’t have much or any chicken fat reserves inside the cavity, you can buy some extra chicken skin, or wings and render the fat from them.

 

If you don’t want the chicken to be served cold, carve when you remove from the stock water – however by placing it into an ice bath, means the skin goes tight and much easier to carve neatly. I tend to heat up the chicken soup and drizzle a little over my meat before I serve to give it a warmer edge.

 

Make sure the chicken is just about covered with the water by an inch – I’m using a very wide stock pot in this video therefore it required more water and I didn’t want to have a weak stock so I had a little under in the video. I made sure the chicken was cooking by lapping it occasionally with the water while it cooked then covered with a lid when it required.

Wagyu Katsu Sando

Wagyu Katsu Sando

Makes 2 portions

Ingredients:

For the Sandwich:
2 wagyu sirloin steaks – approx. 200g each
4 slices of thick white bread
150g Iberico pork fat
25g butter unsalted, cubed
4 eggs
100g plain flour
250g panko breadcrumbs
¼ white cabbage
½ cucumber – sliced finely
75ml pickling liquid (50ml water, 25ml rice wine vinegar, 12g sugar)

For the sando sauce:
1 tsp umami paste
1 tsp mirin
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tsp worschestshire sauce
1 tsp English mustard
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce

Method:

1.     Prepare the cabbage filling for the sandwich by finely slicing it on a mandolin grater. You can also add kewpie mayonnaise to the cabbage if you’d wish but I like the raw crunchiness texture for my sandwich. Set aside until needed.

2.     Bring the pickling liquor to a boil then take it off the heat. Add the finely sliced cucumber to the liquid and set aside to pickle. This will take around 10 minutes.

3.     Heat up a large frying pan and melt the Iberico pork fat. Place the sliced bread into the pork fat, and add 25g butter per slice, and toast one side only. Set aside on a paper towel to cool.

4.     Next prepare the meat by trimming the ends off to make the steak slightly larger than the slices of bread. Season with salt.

5.     Heat up the vegetable oil until 200c.

6.     Whilst the oil is heating up, make the sando “tonkostu” sauce by mixing them together in a bowl.

7.     Now breadcrumb the meat by making an egg wash, flour and breadcrumb station and coating the meat in the flour first, then egg and finish with panko breadcrumbs. Set aside until the oil is ready.

8.     Test the oil is ready by placing a couple of breadcrumbs into the oil and see if they sizzle quickly. If it browns too quickly then it may be too hot, if it doesn’t fry at all, then your oil isn’t hot enough. Best to use a probe thermometer here to be sure.

9.     Carefully place one of the steaks into the oil, and fry until golden. This will take around 5 minutes, turning halfway, depending on the size/shape of your steak. Ideally the breadcrumbs will be golden and your meat inside will be medium rare (50c).

10.  Once they are golden and set aside on a paper towel, to pick up any excess oil, coat the non-fried side of bread, and the katsu on both sides liberally with the tonkotsu sauce. Add the cabbage and then wedge together very tightly. Trim the ends off, and cut in half to serve. Finish with the pickled cucumber to snack on. Enjoy!

Baby Berry Crumble

Baby Berry Crumble

This recipe makes plenty of puree for the little one that’s packed with vitamins from the fruit, but if you want to treat yourself to a tasty dessert, set aside a couple of portions of crumble mix before you blend it and top it off with a crumble topping, recipe found here.

Makes 10 portions (approx. 1ltr puree)

Freezes up to 6 months

Ingredients:

  • 4 pears - washed

  • 1 punnet of blackberries, blueberries – washed

  • 1 punnet of frozen summer berries

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 vanilla pod (spilt in half)                             

Method:

1.     Core and roughly chop the pears into large chunks, then place them into a large wide pan on a medium heat.

2.     Add the berries, cinnamon and vanilla pod (and scraped seeds) into the pan with a tablespoon of cold water.

3.     Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. If the mixture looks a little dry, add another tablespoon of water to help cook the fruit.

4.     Once it’s come to a boil, cover with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

5.     Once the fruit is well stewed, remove the vanilla pods then place into a blender and blend until smooth consistency.

6.     Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and place into a large container or pan in an ice bath (can be an empty sink with iced water), to help cool the mixture down quickly for it to be ready to portion.

7.     Once the mixture completely cooled down, use a clean ice cube tray, baby food containers to portion the mixture. My favourite is using Doddle Bags which are re-useable food pouches.

Doddle Bags : www.doddlebags.com #notanad

You  can experiment with the type of fruit you use, whether its apples as a base or more blueberries and currants, or strawberries, there’s plenty of options to explore. Try to find what’s in season or ripest to get a really sweet puree.

Crumble topping

Makes 3-4 portions

Freezes up to 3 months

Ingredients:

  • 100g (1 cup) rolled oats

  • 30g (2 tbsp) brown sugar

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 40g butter, cubed and fridge cold

  • 60g (1/2 cup) almonds, walnuts, roughly chopped - optional                             

Method:

1.     Preheat oven to 180c (350F).

2.     Blend half the oats into flour. Place the oat flour with the rest of the oats in a bowl, along with the sugar, spices and salt.

3.     Add the cubed cold butter and using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix through the chopped nuts if using.

4.     Place on top of the crumble fruit base and cook for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

You can easily double the recipe to make enough to freeze, then you’ll always have a tasty, healthy treat in no time.

If you want to make this crumble topping baby friendly (10 months plus), I’d switch the sugar with coconut sugar, and make sure the butter is unsalted and leave the nuts out (unless you are sure your baby doesn’t have a nut/peanut allergy).