23/11/2014

Chicken Chasseur

Classic French cuisine ...

Chicken Chasseur

Just the word "cuisine" can bring people out in a sweat when they're faced with that notion and put in front of a stove. Couple that with "French" and those people will be running for the door.

But, relax ...

Just because it's French Cuisine doesn't mean it's especially complicated; quite the contrary, in fact, given how rural France is and how much of their cuisine is simple rustic fair elevated to daft levels of culinary highs by Chefs who really should just come down to earth a little.

Chicken Chasseur is about as rustic as you can get. Cooked over an open fire, this is Hunter's Chicken, Pollo a la Cacciatore or whatever you want to call it in whatever language.

Chicken Chasseur

Chicken - Thighs, for me: 5 of them
Mushrooms - Portobello in my dinner: 3 large
Tomato - Keep it simple: carton of chopped tomatoes
Tomato Purée
Onion - 1 Medium
Garlic - 3-4 Cloves
Herbs & Spices - Thyme & Ground Coriander
Seasoning - Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Fat - Your favourite paleo fat or Lardons of Bacon

Cut up the chicken pieces into large chunks, or if you have meat on the bone just keep it as-is, so full thigh, full wing, whatever.

Take a large lidded skillet and a little of your favourite paleo fat or if you actually prepared for this, bacon lardons and seal the meat. Medium heat ... don't be nuking this thing!

Toss in a shredded onion and fry off until soft.

Add in sliced mushrooms to soak up all the lovely fat. Garlic, too, sliced.

Pour in a carton of chopped tomatoes and beef up with a little tomato purée.

In with the dried herbs, spices and seasoning.

Top up with water, bring to the boil, lid on and settle over a low heat for a couple of hours to cook through, soften, tenderise and reduce.

Ready to eat?

Just cook off the last of the liquid with the lid off while you boil some potatoes or rice, or cook through some rice noodles. Something starchy, anyway.

I went with lovely creamy mashed potatoes. Mash.

Plate up and gobble down hungrily and hopefully a little messily ...

Grilled Mackerel & Stir Fry Vegetables

Got a load of veggies to use up? Shred the lot and stir-fry 'em ...

Grilled Mackerel & Stir Fry Vegetables

Now you need some protein.

Ha! Fish! Mackerel! I love mackerel ...

Fish

Gut your fish and fillet, v-boning to remove the middle bone set and slash the skin.

Fry off in a skillet with a little butter, skin side down until crispy then flip over, turn the heat off and let the flesh cook through in the residual heat.

Meanwhile ...

Stir-Fry Vegetables

I don't need to tell you how to do this, do I?

Suffice to say, shred whatever you want and toss it through with a little fat in a skillet or wok.

Serve

Serve out, vegetable down, fish on top, lemon or lime wedge alongside, perhaps an avocado? This was my breakfast, so I did just that ... and forgot the boiled egg.

20/11/2014

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

Leftover are great! Instant dinner ...

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

I have some pre-cooked rice in the fridge (resistant starch, and all that) and some leftover cubed vegetables from some meal, or other. Protein? I have a fish! It's a mackerel ... lovely soft, fatty flesh.

What to do, then?

Well, I could spice up the vegetable rice with some chilli, or do it the other way around and jerk my fish. Let's do that ...

Jerk Seasoning

Simple stuff, this, and good to make in a batch.

You need Scotch Bonnet peppers, fresh thyme, spring onions, sunflower oil, black pepper and sea salt.

Blend the lot together. The bulk comes from the spring onions and the Scotch Bonnet pepper, fragrance from the thyme and a good saltiness, so over-salt, from the sea salt, wetness from the oil and the black pepper adds another depth of hotness (hotness, not heat) to it.

But, sunflower oil? Well, yes. I know, there's the omega-6 thing what with all that linoleic acid but as Mark points out in his Is it Primal? post, not all sunflower oil is bad. Grab yourself a cold-pressed example "which preserves vitamin E and reduces oxidation" that is a "high-oleic/high-stearic oil".

... and relax.

The quantities are up to you, but I would advise you start out just blending the Scotch Bonnet pepper together with some spring onions and then start to add the oil, then the thyme, then salt and pepper. You'll build up a sense of how YOU want your jerk seasoning as you go.

Fish

Take your fish, gut is and lay it flat on a board.

Slash the skin both sides, gently so as not to go through the bone and massage some jerk seasoning into the slashes.

Under the grill for 5-7 minutes each side, just to make the skin bubble and you're done.

Vegetable Rice

Combine your pre-cooked rice and leftover vegetables, chopped up, in a skillet with a little (that is a little, since our fish is fatty) of your favourite paleo fat. All together now, "goose fat, for me" ... and cook through.

Serve

Serve out, vegetable rice down, fish on top ... perhaps with a little soured cream alongside.

Breakfast

I still had some rice and vegetables left, so did much the same for breakfast but served with a pickled herring ...

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

Dead simple! Two great meals for the price of one concept.