For reasons unknown the timetable at college was changed and this week there was no class. I had a whole day to do what ever I wanted to do…unheard of! There were some tasks in the category of ‘another day’, like cleaning my cooper saucepans (way over due as the before and after photos show), some garden tidy up, now that Spring has sprung, but also some catch up on recipe reading (..truth be known I started with the recipe reading and a coffee).
The copper took no time….a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of table salt….all done!
Having no class details to share with you, and being in the middle of the poultry segment of the course, I thought I’d review some of the poultry dishes I’ve made this year (to date). In hindsight it appears that I am something of a poultry tragic as clearly this has been the preferred protein at my table this year!
January: My husband jokes that he is probably one of the only guys whose wife is delighted with receiving a saucepan for her birthday. My gift this year was a beautiful copper gratin pan, so two weeks into the new year I made Chicken Casserole. So many dishes in my kitchen are made from ingredients I know simply work together – this was one of those.
February: Next came a family favourite, Duck Confit. Also, I started my course at Cooking School and began cooking some of the lessons at home. The Teriyaki Chicken has been cooked a few times, sometimes on skewers and sometimes just the marinated thigh.
Duck Confit with Potato Rosti
March: With the arrival of cooler weather, my thoughts turned to soup. I just love a hearty soup and here we have a thick and flavourful Chicken and Vegetable Soup. Autumn also saw the return of Roast Chicken for Sunday evenings, now, thanks to school, properly trussed. The first one was the one I did at college, the second was a free range (happy) chicken I did at home.
April: Top of the hit parade in April were, Chicken with Mushroom in White Wine Cream Sauce, Chicken Casserole a’ la Kathryn (i.e., free form – no recipe) and the first of many Tandoori Chicken dishes, a recipe from college which we enjoyed as it was Myrevisited a few times in April and May!
May: Something more technical, Duck Neck Sausage, in which the skin of the duck neck is used to encase a mixture of minced duck meat, onion, garlic, mushroom, herbs and spices. There were some Chicken Pot Pies and also the first ‘revisit’ to the recipe of the day, Duck Breast with Honey Soy Sauce. This dish is easy and so tasty and I cooked it again in August, recipe provided below.
June: I love the sous vide method of cooking, and this month I made a Chicken Ballotine which was wrapped in prosciutto. After being cooked in the water bath it was flash browned in the frypan before serving. The Ginger Chicken was a nice mid early Winter warmer.
July: Mid Winter July saw such gems as Pesto Chicken with Mushrooms, Chicken Tagine with Green Olives (pretty close to my favourite chicken dish), “Kathryninthekitchen’ Saffron spiced Duck Maryland and Tuscan Chicken. My husband calls any dish I make without a recipe a “Kathryninthekitchen” dish….I am so lucky to have my family’s support (and patience).
August: Again, the Duck Breast with Honey Soy Sauce, and a new recipe in my kitchen, Lollipop Chicken… a great way to use Chicken wings. Now that I am buying and jointing whole chickens, this is a recipe I will return to. They make good finger food at a party or even an entree and are very economical, two lollipops per wing. These were marinated in a spice mix, battered and deep fried…
September: Two new favourites are discovered via class, Red Chicken Curry and Chicken Breast wrapped in prosciutto and cooked on the bone (thanks Cooking School).
There are still three months of the year to go and I am sure poultry will continue to feature in my cooking given the versatility of the product & the amazing product available. One of my favourite local producers is Burrawong Gain, a family owned business producing premium pasture raised poultry, champions of humane and sustainable practices. I always look for organic & free range when I buy poultry (and meat) because as a consumer I feel a responsibility to ensure the best treatment of the animal and the land on which it is raised…plus it just tastes better.
I hope you tune in next week when class resumes and quail and duck feature. Bye for now!
Duck Breast with Honey Soy Sauce
An easy and delicious duck recipe I came across via a cooking school in Nice, Petits Farcis, run by Rosa Jackson. You might think that honey, soy and balsamic vinegar wouldn’t work together, but they do, and the sauce is a nice foil for the rich duck.
I haven’t been able to find ground green anise in Australia but a fantastic substitute is the Gewurzhaus blend called Duck, Duck, Goose. This blend is made from ground fennel, cassia, orange peel, star anise, juniper berry, clove and Sichuan pepper and marries well with the honey and soy.
- 2 Duck breasts
- 2 tbsp Honey – you can use a flavoured honey such as truffle
- 2 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp *Ground Green Anise or Duck, Duck Goose (Gewurzhaus Spices are available on line)
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar (extra to above)
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Turn the oven on to very low.
Skin side down trim the excess fat & skin from the duck breasts, turn over and gently score the skin in criss/cross pattern being carful not to cut the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the honey with 1 tsp of the balsamic vinegar, the soy sauce and the *green anise or the Duck, Duck, Goose blend.
Put the duck breast into a cold non stick pan over a medium heat, skin side down. When the fat starts to render, turn the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the skin is well browned – all the while spooning off into a separate bowl the rendered fat.
Turn the duck over and cook on the other side for approximately 5 mins. You want the duck meat to be pink inside. Set aside covered in foil in the warm oven.
Wipe out the pan and over a medium heat and add the honey mixture. Return the duck to the pan and turn in the mixture to coat. Deglaze the pan with the remaining balsamic (2 tbsp).
Serve the duck breast sliced or whole drizzled with the sauce
No, you’re not the only one! My husband actually bought me my first nice set. I’d always used old pots and pans mostly inherited from my mother. They were all dented from when she’d throw them across the kitchen. Seriously. But, they worked. But still, a beautiful copper gratin pan – you know he loves you!
I love the sound of your mum – made me laugh when I read your comment! I still have some of my Nanna’s old pans and other bits and pieces…she was 90 when she passed away (22 years ago) and I still use them 🙂
You should have signed this post off with a “cluck” and a “quack”
Check your PO Box on Monday….Cluck, Quack 😊🐔
Your dishes are so beautifully plated. Is this something you were always adept at, or has your time in culinary training increased this skill of yours as well?
That is very kind of you…truth be told I am just a novice. Being at Culinary College has indeed started shaping how I think about presentation. At home now I think about the size of the plate and the colour or shape of bowls I might use. I have a long way to go as yet…but I am so enjoying the journey. 😊