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Posts Tagged ‘Stuffing’

We cooked this fantastic recipe for Easter, avoiding the temptation of Spring lamb which is ridiculously expensive at present. Plus we think lamb is tastier later in the season when they are a bit older. This is the sort of recipe that Jono would choose, but I decide it looks too fiddly and we opt for something else. Something this weekend made me relent and give this a go … probably the prospect of a long weekend and nothing much to do!

Make friends with your butcher and ask them to debone the rabbit for you. The stuffing and rolling seems a bit tricky when you’re doing it and ours looked far from pretty but if you tie it tightly with string, wrap in some cling film and leave in the fridge for an hour, it will all stay together nicely and looks great when you cut it out. Be brave.

Wine Suggestion: Good with a Chianti Classico from a better producer and, if possible, a little age for some of the tertiary bottle development characters to emerge. For us we had a bottle of the Tenuta Sant’Alfonso, a single vineyard wine made by Rocca delle Macie from our cellar.

Stuffed rabbit – serves 4 to 6

  • 1kg deboned rabbit (about 1.2kg unboned)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 30g currants or sultanas
  • 200ml white wine
  • about 100g soft breadcrumbs
  • 10-12 slices streaky bacon or pancetta

Spread the deboned rabbit out over a work surface. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft, then add the tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomato purée, pine nuts and currants and cook for another minute. Add 100ml white wine and bubble until most of it has disappeared. Start adding the breadcrumbs, a handful at a time, until you have a stuffing that is neither too wet or too dry. It should clump in your hands and stay together but not feel too sticky. Season.

Make a pile of the stuffing, shaping with your hands, about 7cm from the less fat end of the rabbit. You need to leave a generous margin near the edges so the stuffing doesn’t squeeze out. Roll the rabbit into a fat log shape, tucking in the sides as you go. Wrap the joint in the bacon or pancetta and tie firmly widthways and lengthways with kitchen string. You can set it aside in the fridge for a while now if you need, we found this useful to firm it up a bit.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/Gas 6.

Heat some more oil in a frying pan, then brown the rabbit on all sides. Transfer to a deepish roasting tin, not too much bigger than the rabbit. Add rest of the wine to the frying pan, scraping the meaty bits on the pan with a wooden spoon, then pour this over the rabbit. Roast for 45 minutes until nice and golden on the outside. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving in thick slices.

(Original recipe from Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Rachel Roddy, Headline Home, 2017.)

 

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Lemon & Pistachio Chicken

Diana Henry is one of our favourite food writers and we can’t recommend her book of chicken recipes, A Bird in the Hand, highly enough. This lemon & pistachio chicken from that book is nothing short of delicious. She cooks this every year, and we think we may too.

Wine Suggestion: There’s a richness to this dish that demands an equal wine like Zind Humbrecht’s Pinot Gris Calcaire from Alsace that had an excellent balance of depth, fruit, freshness and texture.

Lemon & Pistachio Chicken – serves 6

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 120g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 40g white breadcrumbs, plus extra if needed
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • good pinch of caster sugar
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 large skin-on boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 300ml chicken stock

Put the shallots, garlic & half the thyme into a pan with 50g of the butter and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, then tip into a large bowl.

Chop the pistachio nuts or blend in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and nuts to the shallot mixture. Add the lemon zest and juice, oil, sugar and parsley. Season well and stir to make a stiff, coarse paste. If the mixture is too dry add a little more oil and it too wet a few extra breadcrumbs.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the point of a sharp knife into the thicker end of each chicken breast and cut a cavity that runs along the length. Season the chicken inside the pocket, then use a teaspoon to fill the hole with the stuffing. Squeeze the sides together to close the incision as much as possible. Season the chicken on the outside, drizzle with a little olive oil and put into a roasting tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the chicken from the tin and skim off the fat from the juices. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and splash in the white balsamic vinegar and stock. Bring to a rolling boil and reduced until slightly thickened. Add the rest of the butter and thyme and serve poured over the chicken.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

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This roast chicken was inspired by Darina Allen, who had a new method for keeping the Chicken skin moist – using butter soaked muslin. It works excellently so we’re converts to this technique!

Traditional Roast Chicken with Stuffing and Gravy – to serve 4

  • 1 chicken
  • chicken stock

FOR THE STUFFING: 

  • 45g butter
  • 75g chopped onion
  • 75-100g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley and thyme)
  • a little soft butter

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/gas 4.

Make the stuffing: sweat the onions gently in the butter until soft, then take off the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, herbs and some seasoning. Leave to cool.

Season the inside of the chicken, then half-fill with the cold stuffing. Put the rest of the stuffing into the neck end.

Weight the chicken and calculate the cooking time (15 minutes per 450g and 15 minutes over).

Melt 4 tsp butter and soak a large piece of muslin in the melted butter, cover the chicken completely with the muslin and roast for the calculated time. You can take the muslin off for the last 10 minutes if you want the skin really brown.

Check that the juices are running clear when pierced with a skewer, then leave to rest.

To make the gravy: spoon off any surplus fat from the roasting tin. De-glaze the pan juices with the stock and use a whisk to to stir and scrape the caramelised bits from the bottom of the tin. Boil it up well, season and thicken if you like (we like it runny).

Serve with greens and mash.

Wine Suggestion: Oaked white wines go well with roast chicken with Chardonnay being the obvious pick. We were a little extravagant and had a superb Chardonnay / Auxerrois blend from Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace. It’s a Vin de Table as Chardonnay is not an authorised grape for the region and as the wine is all about texture, minerality and structure , pushing the boundaries a lot, you could argue it is controversial on tasting as well; we thought it superb and thought provoking. As it opened up in the glass over the meal it worked better and better, matching flavours, complimenting them and adding nuances. The wine: Zind Z010 (obviously 2010 vintage, but Vin de Table wines are not allowed to say anything about vintage or region on the label).

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