Arroz con Pollo

Well, not a traditional version., but close enough. A nice warm and filling casserole of spicy chicken and savory rice. Reheats beautifully for lunches and has enough depth of flavor that you don’t get bored eating it after a few days.

Ingredients:
1 table spoon apple cider vinegar
2 tea spoon red pepper flakes
2 large cloves of garlic
1 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon pepper
6 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on if you want)
1 onion
2 bell peppers
4 cups chicken stock (1 liter)
generous pinch of saffron threads
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 dried yunnan pepper
1/2 tea spoon cumin
2 bay leaves
2 cups rice
ingredients

***

1. Combine the apple cider vinegar, pepper flakes, minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
marinade

2. Put the chicken in a large ziploc bag.
chicken1

3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage to coat the meat. Put in the fridge for 1 hour minimum, up to overnight.
chicken2

4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, chop the onion and bell peppers.
veggies

5. Pour the chicken stock in a large pot and bring to just under a boil.
broth

6. Warm the oil in a large enamel cast iron pot (Dutch oven or French faitout). Retrieve the marinated chicken and add to pot in a single layer over medium to medium-high heat. Allow to cook for a few minutes, just to get some color.
Don’t breathe in the fumes… vinegar and red pepper flames are hard on sinuses.
meat1

7. Flip and color the other side then set aside.
meat2

8. Your broth should be warm by now. Add the saffron, then turn the heat to low and allow to steep.
broth2

9. Drain excess fat from the pot (especially if you cooked your chicken with the skin on).
Add the vegetables to the pot. use the moisture from the onions to scrape up any tasty stuck bits. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until softened and the onions start turning translucent.
veggies2

10. Add the tomatoes.
tomato

11. Once the tomatoes are bubbling, add the ground cumin.
cumin

12. Add the rice.
rice

13. Stir the rice until it has absorbed the pan juices, about 3-5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot.
rice2

14. Add the saffron broth, bay leaves and crumble in the yunnan pepper.
liquid

15. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a low simmer and cover.
liquid2

16. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Then turn the heat off and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
cooked

17. Portion out and enjoy!
portion

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Lamb stock

A basic stock recipe that is very versatile. The same general recipe will work great with turkey or chicken carcasses as well.

Ingredients :
2 lbs of lamb bones (here : shoulder)
16 cups of water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 onion
2-3 sticks of celery
2 carrots
peppercorns (about half a tea spoon)
salt to taste
* any other vegetables you have that are starting to die in your fridge can be used here. I had some left over parsnips that made it in.
*any herbs you want to use. I had some parsley and watercress. They tend to make the stock cloudy but I don’t care.
ingredients

***

1. You’ll want to roast the bones if they didn’t cook along with their meat already. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
bones

2. Roast them for 30 minutes or so.
cooked-bones

3. Put at the bottom of a large stock pot. Cover with the water and add the vinegar. Let stand (no heat) for about 30 minutes.
vinegar

4. Add the vegetables and peppercorns. Cut the vegetables coarsely, you’ll be discarding them at the end anyways.
stuff

5. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) and allow to cook for several hours. Add the herbs once the bone joints start falling apart exposing the marrow. (about 5-6 hours).
herbs

6. Allow the herbs to seep in for 20-30 minutes. Then strain everything, add salt, if you want to. Allow to cool fully. The fat will rise to the top and can be discarded. The stock will set into a gelatinous mass and can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days or frozen.
stock

Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

Ingredients
2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.
apple1
***

1. Grind the spices together.
apple2

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.
apple3

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.
apple4

4. Add the rest of the spices.
apple6

The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :
apple6b

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.
apple7

The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.
apple7b

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.
apple8

And the darker balsamic.
apple8b

Mango Chutney

A delicious condiment with grilled meats, or in a roast pork sandwich.

Yield : 5 half pints.

Ingredients
5 lb under ripe (but not green) mangoes
3 cups white sugar
1 table spoon molasses
1-2 jalapenos
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 oz tamarind paste
2 tea spoon brown mustard seeds
1 tea spoon yellow mustard seeds
10 green cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
1 tea spoon kalonji
10 cloves
1/2 tea spoon fenugreek
1/2 tea spoon salt

***
1. Peel and dice the mangoes. In a large bowl, combine the mangoes with the sugar, jalapenos, molasses, shallot and garlic. Allow to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can adda few pits in there as well. They will give you more pectin however, resulting in a very firm chutney.
mango1

2. Transfer into a large pot. Roughly grind all the spices with a mortar and pestle and add to the pot. Add the tamarind and vinegar. Heat on medium-low heat until the mangoes are soft.
mango2b

3. After 30-40 minutes the mangoes should be ready. Remove the pits and scrape off the flesh.
mangopits

4. Either using a potato masher or an immersion blender, break down the mangoes until no chunk remains.
mango2c

5. Scald the jars. Bring back the chutney to a boil and cook for 5 minutes (while the jars are scalding). This is a picture of teh chutney itself as I was filling the jars.
mango3

6. Process for 10 minutes.
mangos-done

Pulled Pork – sauce

I have been playing with alternative sauces for the Pulled Pork recipe I posted a while back. The original was a bit too acid for my taste. This is my new favorite sauce for this use..,

Ingredients
3 jalapenos, seeds removed, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon of the dry rub used for the pork
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt

ingredients

***

1. In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil then add the onions and jalapenos. Cook until the onions are translucent.
sweat

2. Add the tomatoes, canned tomatoes, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, reserved spices and honey. Simmer until the sauce has reduced and the tomatoes start falling apart.
omatoes

3. Blend until no piece of vegetable remains. Add salt to taste. Mix with the meat to taste.
blend

Pepper jelly (experiment 1)

Cooking with my mother in preparation of the holidays. This recipe is tasty, but not quite perfect… I think I’d swap out the cider vinegar for white wine vinegar. And I was not able to locate any liquid pectin… I think the powder one, even re-hydrated, did not set as well as it should have…

Ingredients
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced jalapenos
5 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup pectin
ingredients

***

1. Combine together the bell pepper, jalapenos, sugar and cider vinegar.
combine

2. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. It will bubble a lot and try to spill, so keep an eye on the pot. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
boil

3. Combine 1 pack of powder pectin with 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil for 1 minute. remove from heat and add a bit of water to make 3/4 of a cup.
pectine

4. While mixing, add the pectin to the pepper mixture. Allow to cool for 2 minutes then mix well for 1 minute. Transfer to warm sterile jar and process for 10 minutes to seal.
jars

Chèvre Chaud

A delicious appetizer, with just enough variation on the theme to be interesting, yet simple enough that it can be scaled up with ease.

The pictures and quantities below are for one portion, scale up as you require.

Ingredients
1 coffee spoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 coffee spoon Port
1/2 tea spoon Sugar (optional)
1 Fig
Baby Spinach (to taste)
Baby Arugula (to taste)
1 tea spoon Dijon mustard
1 table spoon Cider vinegar
1 table spoon Olive oil
1 pinch Ras el hanout
1 small Baguette
Goat Chesse (to taste)
Sliced almonds (to taste)
1/2 tea spoon Honey
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

ingredients

***

1. In a small pot, pour about 1 coffee spoon of balsamic vinegar and 2 coffee spoons of port. Allow to reduce on a very low heat. To make a thicker syrup you can add about half a tea spoon of sugar.
port

2. In a sealed container mix the Dijon mustard with the cider vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Shake until uniform in texture.
dressing

3. Cut the baguette on the bias. Lightly rub olive oil on both side of the bread.
bread

4. Toast the baguette slices.
toast

5. While the bread is toasting, wash and slice the figs. Grind the spices if you bought them whole.
prep

6. Assemble the croutons.

Left : Cheese topped with sliced almonds
Center : Figs, topped with the cheese.
Right : Cheese that has been seasonned on both sides with Ras el Hanout

Put back in the oven at broil until the cheese is warm and starting to melt.
assemble

7. Dress the greens with the vinaigrette. Drizzle a bit of honey over the crouton with the almonds. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the crouton with the figs.

Serve while warm.
final