Orange and Ginger Chicken

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
1.8-2 kg whole chicken, jointed (if you have a friendly butcher, ask him to do it for you)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
240 ml dry white wine
400 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp cornstarch
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large deep saute pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown all over for about 4-5 minutes, then transfer to a large lidded casserole dish.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the saute pan, reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes in the chicken-y butter and oil, or until softened.
  4. Add the ground and fresh ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and bubble vigorously for 30 seconds, then add the orange juice and stir well.
  6. Mix the cornstarch in a cup with 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the pan. Stir well and then return to the pan. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes until you have a lovely orangey sauce, season, add some orange zest and then pour over the chicken pieces.
  7. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. Then cook for a further 30 minutes with the lid off.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: My Family Kitchen

Orange Truffles

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, chopped
1/3 cup (2-1/2 fl oz) whipping cream
7 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed citrus peel
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
unsweetened cocoa powder

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, combine butter and cream. Cook on low heat until butter melts and cream bubbles around edge.
  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Cover and let stand until chocolate melts. Stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in egg yolk. Mix in orange peel, citrus peel, and Grand Marnier. Chill until firm.
  4. Form into 40 balls. Roll in cocoa. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
  5. To serve, place in small paper or foil cases.

Makes 40 truffles.

Source: Chocolates & Petits Fours

Duck Breast with Spanish Olives and Oranges and Rice Pilaf with Almonds

Ingredients

6 boneless, skin-on duck breast halves (2-1/2 to 2-3/4 pounds total)
salt and fleshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 navel oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives (not pimiento stuffed)
Rice Pilaf with Almonds (recipe follows) for serving

Method

  1. Score the fat covering each duck breast in a diamond pattern without cutting into the meat. Use a very sharp knife and make short cuts to control the knife more effectively. Press down and move the knife slowly back and forth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the skin is dark brown.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high, turn, and cook 7 to 8 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a breast registers 140°F for medium-rare.
  4. Pour off excess fat as it accumulates in the pan. Transfer the meat to a plate and loosely tent with aluminum foil.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the shallots and pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until softened.
  6. Add the sherry, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add the orange juice and stock and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
  8. Add the orange segments and any accumulated juice, the olives, and any juices from the duck. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the orange segments and olives are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Cut the duck breast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  10. Spoon some of the sauce with the orange segments and olives over the meat and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the pilaf.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds

Ingredients

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cinnamon stick

Method

  1. Spread the almonds in a dry skillet. Toast over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion for about 4 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute to coat the rice with oil.
  4. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the cinnamon stick, stir the rice once, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the toasted almonds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Lobel’s Prime Cuts

Pan-roasted Quail with Figs and Port

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme plus 4 large thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup demi-glace (sold refrigerated or frozen in gourmet markets), or 1 cup low-sodium, store-bought beef broth reduced by half and thickened with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour combined
1-1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium, store-bought chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons high-quality port
8 (4-ounce) quail (sold fresh and partially boned, 4 to a package)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh figs, halved (8 to 10 halved, dried white figs can be substituted)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds

Method

  1. Set a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat to warm it. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped thyme, and garlic to the pan and pan-roast, turning occasionally, until everything is well browned, about 12 minutes.
  2. Pour in the demi-glace and broth, return to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the port into the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. The sauce can be made up to this point, cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently over medium heat before cooking the quail.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  6. Season the quail inside and out with salt and pepper. If there is a metal frame inside the quail (often included by the purveyor to hold the shape while cooking), leave it in and remove it before serving.
  7. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan and heat it over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the thyme sprigs and quail, breast side down. Cook the quail until dark golden brown, about 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook the back until well browned, about 4 more minutes.
  8. Remove the quail from the skillet, set them on a cookie sheet, and keep them warm in the oven while you finish the dish.
  9. Add the figs to the pan in which the quail were cooked and roast over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Use tongs to pick out and discard the thyme sprigs. Add the warm port sauce to the figs and whisk the butter into the sauce to enrich it and give it a silken sheen.
  10. Divide the quail among 4 dinner plates, top each serving with figs, and spoon some port sauce over the top. Scatter some pine nuts over each quail and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nightly Specials

Apricot Amaretto Torte

Ingredients

1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 medium-size apricots (about 1 lb total)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar, divided
4 to 5 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup apricot nectar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Method

  1. Pour lemon juice into a medium-size bowl. Quarter and pit apricots. Add to bowl and turn to coat with juice. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, whirl almonds until finely ground. (Or finely chop almonds with a knife, then place in a large bowl.)
  3. To almonds, add eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, 1 tablespoon of the liqueur, and almond extract. Whirl or beat with an electric mixer until thick and well blended.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and butter. Whirl or beat until well blended.
  5. Spread batter in a greased, floured 9-inch cake pan with a removable rim. Decoratively arrange apricots in batter, overlapping as needed. Press fruit lightly into batter.
  6. Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven until cake just begins to pull away from side of pan and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (about 25 minutes; pierce cake, not fruit). Let cool slightly on a rack.
  7. While cake is cooling, stir together cornstarch and 6 tablespoons of the sugar in a small pan. Whisk in apricot nectar and orange juice. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and thickens slightly (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and remaining 3 to 4 tablespoons liqueur. Keep warm.
  8. Sprinkle cake with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove pan rim and cut cake into wedges. Serve with apricot-orange sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Low-fat Italian Cookbook