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Roast Harissa Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Roast Harissa Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Birds and Beets is a cafe in Gastown (Vancouver, BC) that makes one of the best roast chicken sandwiches I have ever had. The chicken is roasted with Harissa so I thought I’d see what I could reproduce at home. And, because I’m lazy and…

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

I love the texture that semolina flour gives to baked goods so I doctored up The Best Blueberry-Lemon Muffins from Alexandra Cooks (thanks for the base Ali!). Ingredients ½ cup butter, room temperature zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 cup sugar 1 egg, room…

Turkey Bone Broth

Turkey Bone Broth

I ordered some organic Turkey bones from Pasture to Plate and got a massive turkey carcass and two legs. I forgot about the legs but they wouldn’t have fit in the pot anyway! This recipe uses the Turkey Bone Broth recipe from Epicurious but I changed up the seasonings. I was lucky enough to get a packet of fresh bay leaves from Bon and Lee Roberts (@bonrobertsart and @leerobertsart) so in they went.

Note: If you live in Vancouver and haven’t checked out Pasture to Plate I encourage you to go take a look (and stop by the  shop on Commercial Drive). The quality is exceptional.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass (about 2 lbs of bones)
  • 20 cups water (to start, you’ll end up adding more as you cook the broth)
  • 2 yellow onions, rough chopped
  • 4 carrots, rough chopped (yes I know bone broth aficionados are shaking their heads – don’t care, I like carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery, rough chopped
  • Tbsp kosher salt
  • 10 pepper balls
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 allspice balls
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread the carcass and any other pieces out in an even layer in a baking dish or oven proof frying pan.
  3. Give everything a good grind of salt and some pepper and roast the bones for 45 minutes or until golden.
  4. Put the bones in a large stockpot.
  5. Add a couple cups of water to the roasting pan and “deglaze the pan” – you want all the stuff in the pan for your broth.
  6. Add the pan liquid to your stock pot and the rest of the water to making sure the bones are covered.
  7. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium.
  8. Start skimming off the scum that rises to the top and throw it away. This will take about 1 hour.
  9. Add vinegar, peppercorns, allspice balls, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary.
  10. Continue to simmer for 2 hours, adding water as necessary to keep the bones covered.
  11. Add vegetables and continue simmering for another 5 hours. Again, keep adding water  a cup at a time to keep the bones covered.
  12. Turn off the heat, pour through a collander to remove the bones and veg and then strain a second time through cheese cloth in a fine-mesh strainer (it just makes a nicer broth…and allows it to cool down).
  13. Pour into containers and cool further in an ice bath (or not…me I just let it cool in the fridge with the lids off for about an hour.
  14. It will keep in the fridge for a week, or you can put it in the freezer and use it later.

It’s delish!

 

 

Comfort Food Oatmeal

Comfort Food Oatmeal

Oatmeal. Cheap, filling, and good for you. There’s something about oatmeal made with cinnamon, apples and currants that says comfort to me. It’s easy and a great way to use up that less than crisp apple in the fridge. As a bonus, it makes the…

Easy Baked Ras el Hanout Chicken Thighs

Easy Baked Ras el Hanout Chicken Thighs

This is an easier version of Baked Moroccan Chicken Thighs. Ingredients 4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on 2 Tbsp Ras el hanout 2 heaping tsp sumac 2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt Fresh lime for serving Method Make a dry rub out…

Chicken Bone Broth with Lemongrass and Ginger

Chicken Bone Broth with Lemongrass and Ginger

Chicken bone broth is great on its own or as a base for sauces. This version is inspired by Thai flavours, but really I just wing it with whatever I have on hand. I make mine in the slow cooker because it’s easy and I’m lazy.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 2-3 stocks of lemon grass, peeled, smashed and cut in 2″ lengths
  • 4, 1/4″ slices of ginger (you can leave the peel on)
  • 6 cloves smashed garlic (leave out if you are following a FODMAP diet)
  • 2 pieces dried galangal
  • 6-8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp pink Himalayan rock salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 6-8 cups water (enough to cover everything by 2″)

Method

It doesn’t get easier than this: throw everything in the slow cooker, turn it on to low, and let it do it’s thing for 8-10 hours. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside to cool (use the chicken for Thai tacos – I are you). Strain the fixings out and then strain the broth through cheese cloth to clarify it a bit. Taste an adjust the seasons if you like. Put in containers, cool and put it in the fridge or freezer depending on how fast you plan to use it.

Ras el Hanout Baked Moroccan Chicken

Ras el Hanout Baked Moroccan Chicken

For this Moroccan chicken I used the marinade for grilled Moroccan Chicken (but left the skin on and upped the garlic) and make a rack of sliced onions sprinkled with sumac olives to bake instead of grill (no BBQ). Ingredients 4 chicken legs (skin on),…

Black Bean Sliders

Black Bean Sliders

This recipe is a take on my Mom’s recipe. Like her, I have “difficulties” following recipes so I’ve adapted it a bit. Ingredients 1 chopped yellow onion 1 Tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 8 0z sliced mushrooms 1 C toasted walnuts 1.5 C…

Scary Delicious Spot Prawn Stock

Scary Delicious Spot Prawn Stock

I had never cooked fresh spot prawns before and decided to give it a whirl. I got 1 lb of prawns from Skipper Ottos not thinking too much about how I was going to prepare them. It didn’t occur to me, until I got there and saw people in line with plastic buckets, that they would be alive. I blame brain fog from COVID-19. At first I thought about a shrimp boil, but then Santiago, the very helpful spot prawn “disher outer,” mentioned pan frying them in butter and garlic, heads on and all. Now here is where my laziness kicked in. Sounded good (at the time).  But, karma has a way of evening the score.

I had also ordered some frozen hake fillets and yellow tail rock fish so I packed the bagged spot prawns in a cooler bag with my frozen fish. By the time I got home the prawns weren’t moving and I thought I’d killed them…nope.

Santiago had warned me that if the prawns died with their heads on then the meat would go mushy quite quickly so I thought I had better cook them up right away. I put a pot on to boil, but then started worrying about how long it would take, so I switched over to my trusty Lodge cast iron frying pan, melted some butter and let the pan heat up. Then I tipped in my spot prawns. At first it all seemed like your usual shrimp fry up…until…the prawns woke up. I guess the cold from the frozen fish must have made them dopey because all of a sudden they started jumping (I kid you not) out of the pan. Of course I let out the most ridiculous scream and then while I scrambled around looking for a pot lid big enough to cover my frying pan, more jumped out. I managed to get them all back in the pan and then had to hold the lid down. It was at that point I started feeling bad. Not bad enough not to eat them all when they were done, but I will admit to a pang of remorse. It’s also kind of gruesome. You have to twist their heads off.

To make up for my barbaric spot prawn eating ways, I decided to get every last bit of goodness out of the crustaceans that had given their lives to feed me. So, after I finished eating all the prawns (I never made it past standing in the kitchen snarfing them down), I put all the heads and shells into a pot of 12 cups of water and turned on the heat. Then I went looking for a good shrimp stock recipe. All of them were pretty similar so I followed Emeril’s Rich Shrimp Stock recipe as much as I follow any recipe, which is to say, loosely. What follows is what I did.

Ingredients

  • Heads and shells from 1 lb of spot prawns pan-fried in butter and garlic
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper balls
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 large onion, ends trimmed, peel on, cut in half
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots rough chopped
  • tops and fronds from one fennel bulb
  • 1 heaping tsp of Old Bay Seasoning

Method

  1. Put everything in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce to low and simmer for at least 1 hour.
  3. Strain, cool and store in the fridge (or freeze if you aren’t going to use it within a couple of days).
Chai Jiffy Rolls

Chai Jiffy Rolls

Chai Jiffy Rolls are a twist on the recipe for Jiffy Cinnamon Rolls in Jean Paré, CM’s Muffins & More cookbook. I got a copy of this book from a dear friend back in 1987 with special instruction to make sure I baked the Cinnamon…