French-style Quail with Fresh Figs

Ingredients

8 oven-ready quail (5oz each)
6 firm ripe figs, quartered
l tbsp butter
6 tbsp white Pineau de Charantes or dry sherry
1-1/4 cups chicken stock
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2-3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 tsp cornflour blended with 1 tbsp water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
green salad, to serve

Method

  1. Season the quail inside and out with salt and pepper. Put a fig quarter in the cavity of each quail and tie the legs with string.
  2. Melt the butter in a deep frying pan or heavy flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat. Add the quail and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning to brown all sides evenly. Cook in batches if necessary.
  3. Add the Pineau de Charantes or sherry and boil for 1 minute, then add the stock, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining fig quarters and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes until the juices run clear when the thigh of a quail is pierced with a knife.
  5. Transfer the quail and figs to a warmed serving dish, cut off the trussing string and cover to keep warm.
  6. Bring the sauce to the boil, then stir in the blended cornflour. Cook gently for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened, then strain into a sauce boat.
  7. Serve the quail and figs with the sauce and a green salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Taste of France

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Chinese-style Red-cooked Chicken

Ingredients

1 free-range chicken, about 1.6 kg
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light soy sauce

Sauce

6 litres chicken broth
3 cups shao hsing wine
2 cups dark soy sauce
1 cup light soy sauce
2 cups yellow rock sugar
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup ginger shards
8 green shallot stems, trimmed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
10 whole star anise
1/4 cup cassia bark or 4 cinnamon quills
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 medium piece dried orange peel

Method

  1. Place all sauce ingredients in a 10-litre stockpot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  2. Rinse the chicken under cold water. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity, but keep neck, parson’s nose and winglets intact.
  3. Lower chicken, breast-side down, into simmering sauce, ensuring it is fully submerged. Poach very gently for exactly 14 minutes. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface, adjust the temperature, if necessary, to ensure sauce does not reach simmering point again.
  4. Remove pot immediately from stove and allow chicken to steep in the stock for 3 hours at room temperature to complete the cooking process.
  5. Using tongs, gently remove chicken from stock, being careful not to tear the breast skin. Place chicken on a tray to drain, and allow to cool before cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  6. Combine honey and soy sauce, then brush this mixture over the chicken to glaze.

Source: Kylie Kwong

Italian-style Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

1-3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
salt and black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F, with rack in middle.
  2. Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute.
  4. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to 1/4-inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.
  6. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Transfer to sheets of wax paper, arranging chicken in 1 layer.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then saute half of chicken, turning over once, until golden andjust cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
  8. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put in oven to keep warm.
  9. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, arranging in one layer in oven.
  10. Add 1/2 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds.
  11. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  12. Stir in lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage.
  13. Serve chicken with sauce and pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

Japanese-style Teriyaki Steak

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 good-quality sirloin steaks, about 300g each
cooked rice, to serve

Light Teriyaki Glaze

3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp caster sugar

Method

  1. To make the teriyaki glaze mix together all the ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. If the sugar doesn’t dissolve, heat the glaze in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, or in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir again until dissolved.
  2. Heat a heavy frypan over medium heat and add the oil. Fry the garlic until lightly browned, then remove and drain on paper towel.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the steaks, browning each steak well on both sides.
  4. Add the glaze to the pan around the steaks and repeatedly flip the steaks through the glaze. Cook the steaks to your liking. As the glaze begins to thicken it will stick to the steaks. Remove the steaks to a warm plate in a draught-free place, pour over any sticky glaze left in the pan, and rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Slice the steaks, arrange the slices on a plate and scatter over the fried garlic. Serve with rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Adam’s Big Pot

Salmon with Green Asparagus Sauce

Ingredients

4 salmon slices (about 7 oz each)
18 oz green asparagus salt
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
scant 1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground white pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup vegetable stock (broth)

Method

  1. Wash the asparagus and remove the woody ends. Cook the asparagus in salted water for 15-20 minutes until done. Remove from the water and drain.
  2. Heat the cream, add the creme fraiche and wine and stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, add the asparagus.
  3. Sprinkle lemon juice on the salmon slices and cook in the hot vegetable stock (broth) for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Remove from the vegetable stock (broth) and garnish with asparagus sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Asparagus