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Posts Tagged ‘food safety’

Gastronomically yours,

June 25th, 2017

Butter Chicken Finger Lick’en

Thanks everyone who attended yesterday’s barbecue class at Friendly Fires!

As promised, this post/blog is for you and those who wanted the butter chicken recipe…

 

Chickens are domesticated fowl. It is the most widespread domestic animal with an estimated

global population of more than 25 billion.

It is believed that the chicken was domesticated somewhere in the region of India and Vietnam over 10,000 years ago. They were domesticated from the wild red jungle fowl species that still runs wild throughout most of Southeast Asia.

I tested this week’s recipe using chickens from Crazy Acres Farm located in Indian River. They offer farmgate sales of chicken, turkey and pork.  I’ve divided the recipe into two parts: first we must make Tandoori chicken, then we use the Tandoori chicken to make butter chicken. I recommend making these dishes over two days.  On day one make the Curry in a Hurry chicken but double the recipe so that you can produce the butter chicken on the following day using the left over Curry in a Hurry chicken.

Curry in a Hurry Chicken
Ingredients:
Two – two pound chickens
Two tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp. Curry in a Hurry
2 tbsp. of canola oil
Method:

Rinse the chicken and the body cavity of the chickens with fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Make small incisions in the breast and leg pieces with a sharp knife.
Stir together Curry in a Hurry and oil.
Rub the chicken with the oil mixture and allow the chicken to marinate a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Roast the chicken in a pre-heated oven at 400 °f or over a charcoal fired bbq, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180°f/85°fc Timing will depend on the size of your birds. For faster cooking time; break down the chicken into smaller pieces, keeping the bones in.

Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

2 cooked Curry in a Hurry Roasted chickens

Two pounds tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

One large cooking onion, coarsely chopped

Two-three tbsp. Minced ginger

Eight cloves of garlic minced

One and one half cups of butter

One tbsp. Sugar

3/4of a cup of heavy cream

One tsp. Curry in a Hurry

 

Method:

With the bones left intact cut the chickens into pieces and reserve. In a medium to large size sauce pot combine the whole spices with the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Occasionally stir the mixture and cook it until the tomatoes become soft. Puree the tomatoes into a smooth sauce with an immersion blender. For a very smooth sauce push it through a sieve.  Return the sauce to the stove. Stir in the butter and sugar. Let the sauce simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Next add the chicken pieces and Curry in a Hurry. Let the chicken heat through and finish it by stirring in the cream. Serve over rice.

Gastronomically yours,

March 26th, 2017

Egg-zactley!!
I remember watching Rocky Balboa drink raw eggs while training for his big fight. If Rocky only knew that humans can only absorb about 50% of the protein in raw eggs, whereas the proteins in a cooked egg have a 90% bio-availability he may have had this scene deleted from the movie.

Eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients used in the kitchen. We commonly use eggs from chickens but duck, and goose eggs, are frequently used around the world by many cultures. Quail eggs are considered a delicacy and are commonly used in Japanese preparations where they may be served raw or cooked in sushi. Colombian’s enjoy quail eggs as a topping on hot dogs and hamburgers. Although wild birds’ eggs are edible they are often protected by laws which prohibit collecting or selling them.

Chicken eggs intended for human consumption are unfertilized as laying hens are usually kept without roosters. Fertilized eggs can be consumed as refrigeration prohibits cellular growth delaying the development of the embryo. Egg shell color is determined by the chicken. White feathered chickens typically lay white eggs with the brown feathered chickens laying brown eggs and on occasion a bird will lay both colors.

Egg yolks are often used as a binder or emulsifier in the kitchen. The albumen, or egg white, is high in protein but contains little or no fat and can be aerated to a light, fluffy consistency. Beaten egg whites are used in desserts such as meringues and mousse.

Sometimes when boiled eggs are overcooked, a green ring can appear around the yolk. This is caused by iron molecules reacting with sulfur compounds within the egg. It is not always a sign of the eggs being overcooked as it can also occur when there is an abundance of iron in the cooking water. The green ring does not affect the egg’s taste.

Locally farmed eggs are usually at most a week old compared to those from large-scale producers, which could age up to two months in cold storage. Fresh eggs have egg yolks that will stand up more firmly when cracked open onto a surface and often surpass the grade “A” standard in yolk form and shape, as well the yolk exhibits a richer mango colour.

 

Many residents in the City of Peterborough and outlying areas had their feathers ruffled by city council when they proposed to ban the practice of raising chickens within city limits. The debate was passionately defended on all sides but before questions as to why chickens cross roads, and to whether the egg or the chicken came first, common sense and a contemporary approach in thinking prevailed with everything going to the birds. As many urban centers across Canada allow backyard chicken farming I’m nothing short of confused as to why this became an issue let alone a dramatic discussion. I will forgo entering the cats on leashes arena for all culinary intents and purposes.

The best thing that came out of this political process was that it brought more awareness to urban animal husbandry practices and has increased interest in raising chickens in our own yards and empowers you to control what your chickens are eating and their living environment while producing a perfect source of protein. You will also be able to quickly process your kitchen scraps and lawn trimmings into compost which in turn can be used to propagate your own vegetable gardens. For those of you familiar with Disney’s The Lion King, it’s a circle of life thing Simba.

The daily chores involved with raising chickens is about as intensive as having an unleashed cat, feed them every morning, provide them with plenty of fresh water, let them out in the morning and put them in at night. Every couple of months you will need to change the litter or shavings in the floor of the coop and run. A coop is the house that your chickens will live in which and must be designed to protect the birds from the elements and any predators. Position the coop in a shaded area, allowing 1 cubic meter per chicken.  Nesting boxes could be incorporated into your design as it promotes the chickens laying their eggs in the same spot making them easier to find. If you plan on raising your chickens year round you will need to insulate the coop with a venting system for sufficient air circulation. The floor should be covered with shavings which will need to be changed over every couple of months and will provide your gardens with ample free fertilizer. You will need to have a run attached to the coop which is a fenced-in area that will contain the birds and protect them from daytime predators.  Allow 1 sq meter per bird when constructing the run.

Chickens are highly social creatures so you should have a minimum of three birds. Heritage breeds like Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, and Ameraucana are easily tamed and will behave more like pets. They are considered to be excellent layers that will begin laying around 4 – 5 months of age where other breeds may take up to six months before they begin laying.  This selection of breeds provide a colourful variety of birds but an even greater variety in egg shell colours which will shift in hues between white, taupe, brown, blue and green.

Incorporating chickens into your urban farming practices is great way to way to educate your family on how are food cycle works and allows for hands on learning in a practical environment and is enjoyed by all ages. All of your chicken supplies and chicks can be sourced from local farm supply companies. They require advance ordering which allows you to plan and build your coop and run in a timely manner knowing when your chicks will arrive.

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