Flood goals #2: roast chicken with fruity nutty stuffing

roast chicken with fruit stuffing
The rivers and creeks that have swelled more than Gina Reinharts chin banks will eventually subside. The waters shall recede like George Costanza’s hairline and the semi rural vista shall become apparent once more. It shall sink to depths lower than teenage despair, it shall become shallower than last years prom queen and as weak and feeble as my famous person analogies. That’s what the water will do…

Until then we shall relax and enjoy this forced hiatus from the outside world. At a town meeting we shall decide that we actually prefer this cessation of ties with the outside world. We shall talk about forming our own government and who should be in charge. We will be divided through our options, heightened with a splash of cabin fever. Alliances would be formed. Weapons would be made. The townsfolk will become angry and fights will break out. Oh no, Piggy got smashed with a rock.

Maybe we just need to hope and pray for these waters to subside a little quicker…

While we wait I will take that chook I spoke about last post – you know, the chook of noble upbringing and reputable past – and I shall make a stuffing worthy of being rammed into it’s butthole. And then, my friends, I will indeed ram that stuffing into the chook’s butthole and then we shall roast it and eat it in our bellies.

That’s what I’m going to do.

Stuffy stuffy stuffing
Stuffy stuffy stuffing

Nah, that chook's stuffed mate
Nah, that chook’s stuffed mate
I do believe this would be called the money shot
I do believe this would be called the money shot
Oooh. Nom nom nom
Oooh. Nom nom nom
I told you braised greens were a good side...
I told you braised greens were a good side…

It was really good
It was really good

FRUITY NUTTY CHOOK STUFFING

1 thick slice sourdough bread, diced nice and small
2 dried figs, chopped,
1/4 cup almonds or cashews or whatever your favourite nut might be right now or a mix of the lot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
A big handful chopped herbs – parsley, sage, rosary and thyme (yeah, sing it)
A splash of white wine or apple cider to moisten slightly
1 chicken to put the stuffing inside of
Oil
Butter
Salt and pepper

• Pre heat oven to 180-200C

• Massage all of the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl (Yeah massage. Get right in there. But probably leave the essential oils out of this one…), season with a little salt and pepper and then leave to soak up the love for a few minutes

• Get the stuffing into the chicken. I do not believe there is polite and tidy way to do this so I just stuff it in there best I can

• Rub the chicken with a little oil to get it’s sweaty bald man sheen on, and then season with salt and pepper

• Into the oven for 1hr 20mins or something thereabouts – until the juices in the leg joint run clear is a good indicator. After 1hr rub chicken down with a little butter to get that all over tan going on. Once that sexy bitch is cooked rest for 15 minutes and then carve. Pan gravy and braised kale from the garden was a damn fine side for this delicious bird

When the water was at it's peak it would have been close to 2m up that cactus in the fore ground
When the water was at it’s peak it would have been close to 2m up that cactus in the fore ground

What’s Liz Having For Dinner Tonight

This one’s for Liz and her flood party challenge. See: it’s gonna flood.

She’s got tinned potatoes (just a little side note here… tinned potatoes? That’s farkin’ awesome), tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, spam, lettuce, pumpkin, parsley and quinoa. Ahh quinoa (pronounced kinwah), another one
of my personal fav’s.

I’m going out on limb here since I don’t have any actual knowledge about cooking spam, but I am going to pretend
that I know heaps about it and, say with conviction, that tonight Liz will be cooking a bumper meal of… spam and
tomato “cassoulet” with a quinoa crust, crushed potatoes and parsley and a simple leaf salad.

Yeah kid.

OK. First the cassoulet. If you want to see a prime example of a cassoulet in all it’s glory, suss out the version
Guillaume Brahimi does on sbsfood.com.au.

But, if you wanna make a flooded-in-and-have-to-use-the-stuff-in-my-cupboard-and-i’m-not-even-sure-what-spam-
is-doing-there cassoulet, then this is the recipe for you.

Pre-heat oven to 180C.
In an oven proof pan fry off one diced onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
Add yer spam, chopped into bite sized chunks. Fry for a minute or two and hopefully it will start to brown up.
Add a couple of tins of cannellini beans, a tin of tomatoes, a bouquet garni (back a few posts), seasoning and a splash of water or stock to moisten it up.
Cover the top with a layer of cooked quinoa (suss out how to cook it a couple of posts back), just like you were putting breadcrumbs on yer mac and cheese.
Brush or douse with a little olive oil or butter and into the oven for 30 minutes, or until brown and crusty.

For the crushed potatoes I am assuming that potatoes in a can are already cooked, so maybe just put them in a microwave safe bowl and crush them a little with a masher or your hands. Heat them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then mix in some butter (don’t by shy now), a handful of chopped parsley and some salt and pepper. Heat the potatoes when your “cassoulet” is almost ready so they are still hot when you eat.

And the leaf salad. Whatever leaves you have, a handful of picked parsley and a sharp vinaigrette of 1 part lemon juice or vinegar, 3 parts olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Dress this puppy at the table when you’re ready to eat so the leaves don’t get soggy.

Let me know how you go…

it’s gonna flood

it’s bloody wet in my neck of the woods at the mo’ and there’s a definite chance of being flooded in, and abandoned by the outside world…. just the way i like it!

i truly enjoy it.

so it’s time to load the fridge with beer, and maybe a little whiskey for later on, illegally download a shitload of new release movies and get a big pot of gruel on the stove to sustain you in this, your time of need. well…. we might be able to do a bit better then a pot of gruel. i’ll turn to my favourite rainy day staple, a big ol’ pot of ragout (or stew).

you’re gonna need-
4kg stewing/braising beef or lamb or some quality sausages, cut into good size chunks
(feel free to replace some of the meat with du puy lentils or white beans for some more fibre or a fun way to stink out your loved ones. and it really is delicious)
2 carrots, peeled, medium dice (1cm ish)*
2 celery sticks, same treatment*
2 brown onions, same again*
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed, or 2 Tbls minced garlic from the rancid smelling jar a the back of your fridge
some kinda bouquet garni**
1 cinnamon quill
2x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 bottle of red wine

first, have a glass of red. it’s cold. it’s wet, and let’s face it, you’re not going anywhere.
heat a large heavy based pot over med-high flame, add one Tbls oil followed by the meat and a bit of salt and pepper. brown meat until starting to caramelise nicely and a lovely smell fills your kitchen. remove from pot. add mirepoix to pot with another Tbls of oil and cook out for two minutes. add garlic and cook for a further minute. add meat back to pot and deglaze*** with remaining red wine. all other ingredients go in…… now. lid on, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours. i guess this could also go into a slow cooker?

taste for seasoning and check the meat is tender. garnish with salsa verde and serve with pasta, polenta, steamed rice, potatoes of any description, in a pie or jaffle, etc, etc.

*these three veg are also known as a mirepoix, which forms the base of many french stocks, stews and sauces. remember that, ok.

**usually a combo of bay leaves, parsley and thyme sprigs tied together and used flavor stocks, soups and stews, but removed before consumption. it gets bastardised no end these days so feel free to chuck in what you want.

***this one i’ll let you find out for yourself as you clearly know how to use a computer.