Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bali and it's fabulous spicy chicken dish! kitchen! kitchen!

Spicy Chicken Over Rice
I am really trying hard to keep up with my blog on a regular basis. So, enough excuses, here is my version of a Spicy Balinese Chicken dish as inspired by my niece Catherine. She is a great cook and we constantly rattle off ideas and recipes. With a bit of tweaking I came up with this fabulous and aromatic dish! Don't get thrown off with the recipe and the long and "wordy" instruction. I assure you that as soon as you have all the ingredients gathered up and ready everything will be breezy and balmy just like being in Bali.

'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers"....Shakespeare

Here's what you need:

Kaffir leaves (these are lime leaves -most important ingredient - available in any Asian or Indian gourmet store either fresh or in the frozen section)....bay leaf is a substitute if you must ( but Kaffir leaves really "make" this dish). Kaffir leaves could also be ordered online at
12 medium cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped or halved
1 - ginger about 2" long peeled and roughly chopped
1 large sweet onion or 1 cup shallots - roughly chopped
2-3 red chiles or jalapeno or serrano roughly chopped
OR: reconstituted dried chiles
2 tsp. ground turmeric
4 limes/lemons -juice and zest
2 tbs. coconut oil
1-1/2 lbs of chicken thighs
1- 1/2 lbs. of chicken wingettes or drumsticks
10 or more kaffir leaves -
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped Cilantro for garnish

What to do next....
Combine the garlic, ginger, onions, in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and pasty.
In a pan heat the coconut oil over medium heat and add the chile mixture paste, add the turmeric and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant and softened. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
In the meantime, place the chicken pieces in a baking dish; squeeze the lime or lemon juice all over and zest from the lime; salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add the cooled, cooked chile paste and KAFFIR LEAVES (tear up the leaves to get the intense fragrance). With your hands, rub the mixture into the chicken until well coated. (cut a small piece of the chicken meat and microwaved to taste and correct the seasoning) - Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Put the oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat it to 350F.
Bake the chicken uncovered, until tender and cooked (should register at 180F on the meat thermometer)
for about 50 minutes. To reduce the sauce and more browning - lower the temperature at 195F for another 20-30 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with cooked jasmine rice and the sauce on the side.
Suggestion: On a separate pan add the cooked jasmine rice and coat with the sauce before serving as a side dish.

Friday, January 2, 2015

roasted hock of kitchen! kitchen!.....and a very happy 2015 to all!!

Roasted Hock of Lamb

Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, and Garlic
 The magical spices for roasting

Now, that the season of festivities is behind us, hopefully, I will be able to play catch up with my cooking blog.

.....and here I am with my beautiful roasted hock of lamb with roasted potatoes and string beans.... Now, don't limit yourself with just potatoes and string beans, those are just what I have in ready supply.You could play with your imagination with whatever you have in your fridge ; and instead of potatoes you could serve it with rice, or any grains for that matter. You are the mistress/master of your kitchen, and don't you forget it! The ingredients I used as a marinade are rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic smashed to submission; salt, and freshly ground black pepper with about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Massage the marinade all over the hock and let it stay for at least an hour. The longer it continues to rest in the marinade the better the result. Preheat the oven to 350F. In the meantime, in a large skillet or cast iron pan ( I have several sizes of those cast iron pans - they are my workhorses in the kitchen); HEAT THE PAN WITH with 2 tablespoons of olive oil;  brown all sides of the hock; add the potatoes and roast in the oven for about 35-45 minutes according to your desired "doneness". I prefer the lamb hock to be a little pink inside - but , hey, I won't judge you if you prefer your meat well done and you may roast the meat longer. As for the string beans - I blanch them in boiling water for exactly 30 seconds and coat them with the hot juices of the lamb hock before serving. I suggest that you serve it with SALSA's what you  need for the SALSA: parsley or cilantro, thyme, oregano and tons of garlic (don't worry about your "breath" for later - it's so good you wouldn't even care); salt, black pepper, olive oil, apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons) and pulse in the processor. Taste to correct the seasoning and add more olive oil if it's too thick. Add some minced scallions (by hand) for some texture. And you are welcome to add some chili pepper to the ingredients for a bit of a kick...AND  ENJOY!