Some soul searching whilst cooking chicken in Asian broth
I am a firm believer in that you have to give some to get some. This time I decided to give something up to get something new and it feels more like doing a free fall, head first, jump. There is a unique window of opportunity to start something new and I decided to take it. Moving out of London was the first step towards changing, well, pretty much everything. I have handed in notice at work, no more travel, no more secure income and the world is my oyster, as exciting and as scary as it might be. The natural question is what to do next… I adore anything that has to do with food and after years of experimenting I have a hot sauce ready to take to market! There are actually 2, one hot and one very hot. The greenhouse is full of chillies, I know I will have to source ingredients and chillies but it is nice to have a few growing here. I will do a test sauce when they are ripe. More about this to come as the website won’t launch until September so please watch this space!
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and cooking helps, the chopping, measuring, tasting and smelling works miracles and as always, it is a great way for me to relax. This weekend I wanted to do something special. I took another recipe from the E&O cookbook by Will Ricker, Chicken in Master broth. I will cook this again but I would replace the whole chicken with boned breast or thighs, it is easier to make sure the chicken is cooked through and even in size. I replaced some ingredients but did stick to the recipe as much as possible so I will only give the measurements for the ingredients I changed, the combination of flavors was beautiful.
I bought some chicken livers as a starter, they are so quick and easy to cook and so delicious.
Chicken liver and watermelon salad
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time about 7 minutes
- chicken livers
- 1 orange
- salt & pepper
- oil for cooking
- white sesame seeds
Trim the chicken livers and place in a hot pan with the oil. Add salt and pepper, then grate over some orange zest and finish them in the pane with the juice of the orange.
Whilst that is cooking cube some watermelon and slice some onion and lettuce. Slice the lettuce and place the hot chicken livers on top. Add the watermelon and onion, sprinkle with sesame seeds and it is ready to eat. I just served it with two forks, it is a perfect sharing dish.
Asian chicken broth
preparation time 15 minutes
cooking time 20 mins + 30 mins
- 1 whole chicken
- 9 dl or 4 1/2 cups of water
- dried shitake mushrooms
- 3 tbsp Chillify Hot hot sauce
- cinnamon stick
- star anise
- orange peel
- 2 tbsp palm sugar
- shaoxing rice wine
- 3 spring onions/scallions
- soy sauce
I started with the stock and used everything but the chicken. I cut the ginger very fine, I cut some orange peel off an orange and chopped the garlic.
Add everything to a large pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Set aside and let cool. If you have the time leave for a couple of hours and let the flavors set. We took the dogs for a walk, it was a lovely summers day.
The meadow was full of beautiful flowers.
We walked through a green passage.
There were sloes growing everywhere and I can’t wait to make sloe gin!
The view at the end of the tunnel was fantastic, it was so clear I could see the white cliffs of Calais, France across the channel.
The dogs loved the walk but it wasn’t a day for walking too far as they got hot in the sunshine.
Back home it was time to start cooking. The broth was delicious even cold. I cut the chicken in to 12 pieces. I brought the stock to a boil, added the chicken and let simmer. The recipe said 15 minutes but I would suggest 25-30 minutes instead if cooking the chicken on the bone.
The recipe calls for butter to pan fry the poached chicken in. I didn’t have any butter so I used coconut oil instead.
I mixed the coconut oil with hot sauce, orange zest, garlic chives and soy sauce.
I melted the spiced coconut oil in a pan and pan fried the chicken crispy. It was nice but I would skip this stage and just use the poached chicken for a lighter and healthier version, the broth has so much flavor it isn’t necessary to add more. another way to do it would be to mix the dry ingredients with corn flour and pan fry in oil.
I steamed a small, round courgette and boiled some jasmine rice with added spring onion and a diced tomato.
I am delighted to say that there was enough chicken and broth left for lunch tomorrow and I will make this again, perhaps with a firm, white fish.
Food finished, blog written, more work to be done so back to my thinking mode but also, as always, what will I cook next?!