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

Oops, I did it again… cooked pork again that is, but this time with a cracking warm salad that is great for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, and will most certainly impress the heck out of Laura’s Mess. Is that title too long?

roast pork shoulder
I have accidentally cooked pork again.

When I say accidentally, I mean that I wanted pork, have been thinking about pork and 100% consciously premeditated this cooking of pork days ago when I handed over a sum of cash to purveyor of said pork and started contemplating how I would be cooking it, and there is not a court in the land that wouldn’t convict me and quite frankly I would convict me too… hmmm… I’m not sure whose side I’m on right now but I can see my lawyers’ stare as he frantically gestures the “shut the fuck up” signal, so I feel it is most definitely time to move on.

Now that I have established the fact that I definitely planned to cook the pork, the only remaining question to be answered was how that piece of porky was going to be cooked.

The porky in the pizza oven
The porky in the pizza oven

The porky coming out of the pizza oven
The porky coming out of the pizza oven

Ummm, at this stage I can't believe I am still taking photos...
Ummm, at this stage I can’t believe I am still taking photos…

(Just a little PS before I go on, although it may seem to the more astute amongst you that I only cork pork and eat burgers, I do cook and consume other things… just not that regularly…)

Enter my friend Andrea.

Andrea is Italian so obviously he owns a wood fired pizza or pasta restaurant. Andrea opted for the mobile wood fired pizza business as his career path, and recently he asked if we would like to look after one of his pizza ovens for a wee bit. Well quite frankly I was almost insulted that he thought that was even a question but I regained my usual composure quickly when he rocked up with pizza oven in tow. It is now parked happily in my backyard with it’s new friends; the fire pit, spit, bonfire and smoker. What a happy little oven it is now…

Andrea is friends with benefits.

Anyway, that’s clearly where the pork ended up along with a little roast vegetable number that is a ripper of a salad in its own right. The tahini coconut dressing is also a cracker and you should give it a go even if you think you don’t even like tahini. You are wrong and you will love it!

That salad with the tahini-coconut dressing
That salad with the tahini-coconut dressing

It is seriously worthy...
It is seriously worthy…
Yes
Yes

Just hurry up and eat it already
Just hurry up and eat it already

ROAST PORK SHOULDER with PUMPKIN AND BROCCOLI and TAHINI-COCONUT DRESSING

For the pork

1 pork shoulder roasted quite simply with a heap of salt and pepper and garlic.
I like to buy pork from Australia because quite frankly that’s where I live. You can be instructed how to roast a pork shoulder if you view this post right here… also, you can be instructed on how to make tantric sexy-time love by Katherine, the 64 year old dominatrix just down the street. I dare you to give that a try…

ROAST PUMPKIN AND BROCCOLI SALAD (serves 4)

• Cut however much pumpkin and broccoli you think you need to feed your crew
• Season and roast the pumpkin with a little oil
• When pumpkin is half cooked add the broccoli and a splash more oil
• When pumpkin is pretty much ready to go add a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach, chard or kale, and a handful of mixed nuts and seeds (I used almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds) and roast for another few minutes or until greens are wilted and nuts are toasty
• Serve with a lump of roasted pork and a good splash of tahini-coconut dressing

TAHINI-COCONUT DRESSING (serves 4 plus heaps leftover for other things)

2 cloves garlic
50g sugar
120g tahini
¼ cup soy sauce (gluten free soy is a good option to make this nice for your gluten intolerant belly)
200ml coconut cream
125ml lemon juice
250ml light oil

• Combine everything except oil in a food processer and blitz for 20-30 seconds
• While motor is still running, slowly add oil to emulsify
• Pour dressing all over everything because it tastes so damn good
• You like tahini now, eh?
• You’re welcome
roast pork shoulder

Pork Shoulder Roast with Brussels Sprouts and Apples… while you’re out doing cool shit

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Don’t worry, I am still alive… albeit just barely.

It’s been a hell of a couple of weeks in my world, as we have opened a restaurant. That’s right, our very own restaurant. So fucking exciting for us but oh how our lives have been turned a little sideways. I do know this was our choice and our doing so it is nothing I am complaining about, I am merely trying to give you an insight as to where I’ve been and let my Blogland friends know I still love you all. But just like the rest of my friends in the close and touchable world around me you will need to deal with my lack of attention and bare with me for a bit until my life settles back into some kind of routine that won’t be deemed total chaos… or there is of course the other option; you can hate me for ever, unfriend me, unfollow me and tell people that I’m shit, which is also totally fine by me ☺

Seriously my time at the moment is like the chocolate cake to the fat (possibly should read “weight challenged” if I cared) kid; there one minute and totally non existent the next.

So here is a dinner I cooked yesterday for our first day off as a family in a few weeks. This is something that works for me right now; so simple and soooo damn good. I put it in the oven in the morning when we left the house and it was ready when we returned hours later. I just needed to cook a few sides, open a bottle of wine or maybe two and then feed my face until it begged me to stop… I love it when my face begs me to stop…

#easytastygood just for you.

Out of the oven...
Out of the oven…

And ready to get into my belly. One bottle of wine would quite possibly have been enough but... well... nothing really. We just had two!
And ready to get into my belly. One bottle of wine would quite possibly have been enough but… well… nothing really. We just had two!

ROASTED PORK SHOULDER with FENNEL SEED, APPLES AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 pork shoulder, 4kg is enough for our family and another
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
500g Brussels sprouts, halved
500g green apples, quartered and cored
2 brown onions, sliced kinda big
A splash of apple cider vinegar
Salsa verde to serve

• Put the pork shoulder into a baking dish. Rub it with fennel seeds and a good hit of salt and pepper
• Whack it into the oven at 100C and get the eff outta dodge. Go and do some really cool shit with your fam for the day. Seriously, this bad boy is going to be loving life for a good 7 hours
• When you return 7 hours later you can bring the pork out of the oven and admire what it has become
• Place the vegetables in another baking tray. Moisten with a cup of the roasting juices from the pork and the apple cider vinegar, season, whack it in the oven and turn up the heat to 200C
• After 15 minutes the vegetables should be close to done. Give them a bit of a toss and send them back to the chambers of the furnace for another five minutes
• Return the pork to the oven too, just to give that crackling a working over. This make take up to 10 minutes but persevere, it will be worth it (if your oven has a top heat/grill/broiler function you can use this to really get the crackle going)
• Carve the pork and serve it with salsa verde, the Brussels and apples, and any other sides you fancy… and beer or wine… or even beer and wine also does the trick

For any one keen to follow our exploits try The Stockpot Kitchen on facey or insta

Roasted Pork Belly with Vegetables From The Garden

roast pork belly
We here at foodisthebestshitever are venturing forward in a new direction, we shall go forth and expand our culinary vision and facilitate this vision through the exploration of contemporary cuisines previously unbeknownst to us. We shall visit regions previously deemed out of reach, in the spirit of searching out something totally new and different.

Yes folks, today we shall be exploring the wonderful work of… well… pork.

Ok, you got me. I’m not doing anything profound or original for this blog. I am merely cooking pork again and am trying to make myself feel better about my addiction. I use the local free-range pork if that’s any conciliation for the armchair activists out there.

Today I’m talking pork belly.

Pork belly is one of my favouritest pieces of meat of all time. If I were a gay man I still think pork belly would be at the top of my favourite meat list. There is not a whole heap I don’t like about pork belly; it is flavoursome, luscious, tasty, delicious, really good and a whole heap of other synonyms for the same word. It is a meal that I always want a little more of, and I always cook extra so I have leftovers for the next day… and mostly that extra pork even makes it to the next day. Actually, a lot of the time we eat it all on the night… well, most of the time. You see, Jennee brings her “we all know the crackling won’t be any good tomorrow” game to the table (what I like to call her A game) and generally manages to convince us that it’s OK to finish the lot now because it is a certainty the crackling will contract a disease rendering it flaccid and inedible, in turn contaminating the remaining pork and making it unfit for human consumption.
Well, this night I was going to take my chances with flaccid crackling and rancid meat, as I was already hella keen on pork belly for my dinner again tomorrow. Hella keen…

We have had a good harvest of heirloom carrots and kale so they featured heavily in the meal. This is truly my favourite eating; food that comes from our own garden or is grown by people close to us. Food that was cared for before it hit the pan. Food that, well, food that just doesn’t come from one of the big supermarkets really…

The belly didn't really fit into the pan but eventually it did after a bit of post coital shrinkage set in
The belly didn’t really fit into the pan but eventually it did after a bit of post coital shrinkage set in

Porky belly all cooked up
Porky belly all cooked up
Those roast vegetables were damn fine
Those roast vegetables were damn fine

Yes, those roast vegetables
Yes, those roast vegetables

ROASTED PORK BELLY with VEGETABLES FROM THE GARDEN (serves 4)

1.5 – 2kg pork belly. That should be enough for leftovers…
½ – 1 teaspoon garlic powder
A good pinch of salt and pepper
A selection of vegetables from the garden/fridge. We had potatoes, heirloom carrots, radish and onion
½ tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
A bit more seasoning
Olive oil
Sautéed curly kale and jagallo nero (a spindly awesome type of kale) with oyster sauce and carrot top salsa verde to serve

• Pre heat oven to 160C
• Season pork belly with salt, pepper and garlic powder
• Roast pork belly in oven for 2.5-3 hours until the smell causes you mouth to water and your loins to stir, and it is super tender
• While pork is cooking chop your assorted vegetables into fairly similar sized chunks. Put them into a separate oven dish, lube up with a splash of rendered fat from the pork belly, splash with the vinegar and season. After the pork has been cooking for 1.5 hours the vegetables can go into the oven too. Roast for one hour or until vegetables are just cooked, and then remove from oven until pork is ready. Once pork is ready turn the oven up to 180-200C and return the vegetables to the oven for a final five to ten minutes to get a bit of crispness, and that should do the job on the pork crackling for you too (if crackling is being a bit stubborn a few minutes under the grill (broiler) will sort it out)
• Carve the pork and serve with roast vegetables, carrot top salsa verde and sautéed greens… and try not to eat it all tonight…

One more look at that pork belly
One more look at that pork belly

Herby lemony garlic really good roast chicken

really good sunday roast chicken
Today, I think we can all agree, is Sunday. A day synonymous with relaxing, god and the Sunday roast. I am going to help you out with a recipe for a really good roast chicken, the relaxing and god things you’re going to need to sort out for yourself. I could say it’s the best roast chicken but my tastes will sometimes change more often than my underwear (yeah, like twice a week), so I will say this was a really good roast chicken that I wanted at the time besides, I’m sure there are at least a few celebrity chefs out there who have the copy right on claims “the best ever”… wait a minute…

When I made this chicken it was Thursday. I know that Thursday is not Sunday but my face wanted roast chicken. Plain and simple, my face really just wanted roast chicken.

I had spent 10 hours in the kitchen prepping for a party we were catering for, but I really needed to spend that little bit of extra time getting a roast chook on for dinner.

I’ve told you before, my face is a needy little bitch when it decides it wants something, and this occasion was no different.

I had a few bits and pieces floating around the kitchen, so I was pretty confident… or over confident… or just pretty happy with my own abilities, that I would be able to pull this one off. And no, that is not a lead in line because as you know, once I paint a picture for you, you cannot physically un-see it. It shall be with you forever and, quite frankly I have grown to like you and I don’t think that’s anything you deserve ☺.

Load the chicken up with the herby garlic lemony goodness
Load the chicken up with the herby garlic lemony goodness

Dana is not going to be happy with this photo. Not enough day light. Well Dana, there's not enough bloody day light in the day at the moment so this is all I got
Dana is not going to be happy with this photo. Not enough day light. Well Dana, there’s not enough bloody day light in the day at the moment so this is all I got

HERBY LEMONY GARLICY REALLY GOOD ROAST CHICKEN (Serves 4 or so)

1 chook, chicken, buk buk burguuuuk. Free range. We all use free range now right? Size 16 is good
5 cloves garlic, smashed roughly
¼ preserved lemon, flesh removed, chopped
1 handful each fresh thyme and tarragon
1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or pork fat

• Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and rub them together a little
• Put the chicken into a baking dish
• Pour the herb mix over the chicken and rub them a little more. Massage it a little and get it into all the little nooks and crannies. Yes, even into the chooks bottom
• Roast at 180-200C for about an hour, basting with the pan juices a couple of times during the process
• Check the chicken is cooked by gently pulling the leg away from the body
• Rest chicken for 10-15 minutes
• Carve and eat it with the roasting juices salsa verde for a little something different. I’ll tell you all about salsa verde very soon my friends

The Sunday Sesh… with my old mate Toodles

This is a little suggestion for your next Sunday roast typed by the hand of my old friend, confidant and peer (Peer? What an ass spank of a word. Who the fuck created that word anyway? It sounds like a word that should be reserved for exclusive use by the royal family… although I guess they wouldn’t have much cause to use it. What, with not having much of a peer group and all), Todd. Or has we know him, Toodles.

I was working in kitchens with this lad when he was a wee pup and very quickly he stepped up and proved he could cock his leg and piss like a big dog, and is now rocking the restaurant scene in Sydney Australia.

I know full well that this is most likely gracing the eyes in your head a little too late to affect anything you may being today, but shit happens and you should try and get over it quickly.

Grazza

SUNDAY SESH

Who says being able to cook good is a bad thing. Probably no one ever, actually. But, any way, I feel like a roast. It’s a Sunday. End of a massive week & I feel like getting this shit started. Enough reason for me.

Personally, I don’t drink cider because I just don’t see the point in drinking cider when there is beer??? So when the Mrs leaves cider in the fridge for 6 months I decide to find it a home.

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Apples roasted with muscovado sugar & cider.

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What goes great with a pork roast? More pork of course.

Image 2
Roast is almost ready….

Image 1
Pork roast, brussels sprouts with bacon, roast pumpkin, onions, truss tomatoes, roasted apples & gravy baby. Sounds terrible, hey?

Image 4
Some Turkish delight from my mates at Christopher’s Cake Shop for dessert and I’m done. I’m as happy as a pig in a pile of mud.

Happy Sunday people.

#foodisthebestshitever