Displaying items by tag: poultry

If you do not have a mill that grinds spices coarsely, place them in a plastic bag and smash them with the bottom of a heavy pot. If plums are no longer available, soak 6 prunes, cut them up, omit the sugar and substitute for the plums.


3 Muscovy duck breasts

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Salt to taste

8 prune or blue plums, pitted and coarsely chopped

½ cup red wine

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice 1-inch slashes across duck skin, being careful not to cut into the duck meat itself. Coarsely grind peppercorns, coriander seeds and fennel seeds and rub spice mixture into duck skin. Season with salt.

Place duck, skin side down, in a cold oven-proof skillet and turn burner to medium-high. Cook on stove top for 5 minutes or until skin is golden, then pour off fat and flip the duck skin side up. Add plums to skillet and cook 2 minutes, or until meat is seared.

Place in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until duck is pink. Remove from oven, take out the duck and keep it warm.

Discard all fat from skillet, leaving plums. Add wine and sugar to skillet over high heat and reduce for 3 minutes or until about 2 tablespoons of liquid remain. Add stock and bring to boil. Boil until stock is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Scrape into a bowl and use an immersion blender to puree plums into sauce. Return sauce to skillet over low heat and stir in butter until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice breasts into 1-inch slices and divide among 4 plates. Coat with sauce. Serves 4

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A kind of a Cobb salad on bread. The green herb mayonnaise is superb on the sandwich but also as a dip or a condiment with salmon or chicken (fresh herbs are available everywhere right now).

Grilled chicken has the most flavour, but you can also use leftover or poached chicken. Chicken thighs are juicier, but breasts are fine.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices pancetta or bacon

Green Herb Mayonnaise:

2 tablespoons chopped basil

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

¼ cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped arugula leaves

1 tablespoons lemon juice

2 avocados

½ cup mayonnaise

1 baguette or 4 rolls

2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

Preheat grill to high. Combine olive oil and mustard and rub onto chicken thighs. Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill for three to five minutes a side, or until cooked through.

Set aside to cool. Fry pancetta slices in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about five minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Combine basil, mint, parsley, green onions, arugula, lemon juice, ½ an avocado and mayonnaise in a food processor. Season well with salt and pepper. To store, press plastic wrap into the surface to keep it from discolouring.

Thickly slice chicken. Peel and slice remaining avocados. Cut baguette into four lengths, and slice each section in half, lengthwise.

Toast bread if desired. Spread herb mayonnaise on both sides of each baguette. Cover bottom side with iceberg lettuce, chicken, avocado and one slice of pancetta. Press the top half down firmly on top. Serves 4.

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The curry provides a little background texture; the dish itself is not hot. You can substitute mint for the lemon balm if you wish, and add 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind. Serve with rice and stir-fried snow peas. Figs are not native to Canada, although there are people trying to grow them on the West Coast. If you want to go local, use plums instead.

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 teaspoons garam masala

¼ cup fresh lemon balm, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup vegetable oil

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 figs, halved and stem end trimmed

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Mix ginger, garlic, garam masala, lemon balm, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons oil in a food processor or by hand. Set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and fry chicken, skin side down for 2 minutes or until skin is golden. Turn over and brown second side. Remove chicken from pan and rub with reserved lemon balm mixture. Place chicken in an oven-proof baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Toss figs with balsamic vinegar and sugar and olive oil. Place, cut side down, around the chicken. Add orange juice. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until juices run clear. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

Cut breasts into ½-inch slices and surround with figs and any juices. Serves 4.

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A Mexican take on chicken salad. Serve on a large platter on a bed of greens. Buy some good cornbread and serve with it.


½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup salsa

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1 barbecue chicken, skin and bones removed

1 sweet onion, diced

1 roasted red pepper, sliced

2 tomatoes cut in chunks

1 avocado cut in chunks


Mixed lettuce

2 cups tortilla chips

Combine mayonnaise, salsa, lime juice and coriander to make dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Shred chicken and mix with onion, red pepper, tomatoes and avocado. Toss with dressing. Place on bed of greens.

Surround platter with tortilla chips. Serves 4


Other chicken salad suggestions:

Combine mayonnaise with curry paste and toss with apples and onions for a curried chicken salad

Combine mayonnaise with Thai green curry paste and toss chicken with sliced mangoes, red onion and cucumber for an Asian experience.

Combine mayonnaise with garlic, lemon juice and chopped thyme.  Toss chicken with chunks of red onion, anchovies, olives, red peppers, green beans and little new potatoes for a French take.

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A Mediterranean version of chicken soup that uses Israeli couscous instead of the more traditional rice.  It is the perfect soup for Rosh Hashanah. Israeli couscous is a tiny round pasta that looks like pearl barley but tastes like pasta.

6 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup Israeli couscous

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring broth to boil in large pot, slowly stir in couscous. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until couscous is softened.

Beat together eggs, lemon juice and dill in a bowl. Slowly stir in several ladlefuls of soup. Add warm egg-lemon mixture back into soup and cook together for 2 or 3 minutes. Do not boil because the soup will curdle. Season well with salt and pepper. Serves 6

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img_0192I like to use chicken thighs with the bone in for maximum flavour. However I do remove the skin to make sure that the spices are infused in the chicken meat. You can use boneless thighs as well but cook 10 minutes less time. For people who prefer breast meat, cut each breast into 4 pieces and again cook 10 minutes less time.

Spice Mixture:

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


12 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skin removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups sliced onions

1/2 teaspoon saffron, crushed, optional

1 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

1 cup chicken stock or water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

18 pitted prunes

Combine garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of mixture over chicken thighs and leave to marinate for 30 minutes, reserving other half of mixture.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and sauté for 3 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from pan and reserve.

Add onions to pan and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to medium, add spice mixture and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions are golden and very soft.

Add honey, parsley and coriander and stir together. Add lemon juice and stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add prunes and cook for 5 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through. Serves 6

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This is a Moroccan chicken pot pie that is spicy, sweet and utterly delightful. Use chicken thighs with the bone in. Bone and skin them after cooking because it makes the broth much more flavourful. This is a spectacular dish for entertaining over the holiday season. Serve with a salad of radishes and bitter greens.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon saffron threads

3 pounds chicken thighs

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

2½ cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon harissa or Asian chili sauce, or to taste

¼ cup chopped coriander

¼ cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 eggs, beaten

Almond sugar mixture:

1/3 cup butter

1 cup finely chopped roasted almonds

2 tablespoons icing sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 package phyllo sheets


½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 1 minute, then add garlic, ginger, cinnamon and saffron threads. Sauté 1 minute longer.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to skillet and sauté 2 minutes per side or until slightly browned. Add stock and harissa, 2 tablespoons each of parsley and coriander and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken, cool and discard bones and skin. Shred chicken and reserve. Reduce liquid in skillet over high heat to 1½ cups and add lemon juice. Reduce heat to low.

Whisk eggs into liquid, whisking until the mixture is creamy, has some curds and is thickened. Season with salt and pepper and stir in remaining parsley and coriander.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in icing sugar and cinnamon. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Melt remaining butter and lightly brush a 10-inch cake pan or 12-inch oven-proof skillet with melted butter. Place a circle of phyllo in the pan to cover the base and brush with melted butter. Drape 8 phyllo sheets overlapping slightly to cover centre sheet. They will hang over the side. Brush each sheet with melted butter.

Layer almonds on the phyllo base. Add chicken and top with egg mixture. Fold overhanging pastry sheets over pie and cover with 2 more sheets of phyllo. Tuck edges in and brush top with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown.

To serve, slide or lift onto a serving dish. Dust top with icing sugar and make a crisscross pattern with cinnamon. Serves 8 to 10.

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Bruce and I had this salad at Red Ochre restaurant in North Adelaide, Australia as part of a beer dinner given by the James Squires Beer Company, a large micro-brewery that is popular all over the country. The dish was matched with a wheat beer. The chef used crab instead of shrimp. If you want to make the substitution, buy good-quality fresh crabmeat, as opposed to the frozen variety. 

1 400-millilitre can of coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

¼teaspoon Asian chili sauce

1 lime leaf

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

3 ounces raw cleaned shrimp, chopped

½ long fresh red chili, slivered

1 shallot, thinly sliced

½ cup slivered snow pea pods

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 Boston lettuce leaves or other soft lettuce

¼ cup coriander leaves

1 teaspoon very finely chopped lemon grass

Combine coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, chili sauce and lime leaf in a pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Add chicken and poach for 7 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.

Add shrimp to pot and poach for 2 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove shrimp and set aside.

Remove pot from heat. Add fresh chili, shallots and snow peas to broth and cool.

Pull chicken into shreds. Combine with cooked shrimp. Remove vegetables from broth (discarding lime leaf) with a slotted spoon and add to chicken. Add 3 tablespoons of broth to chicken and shrimp mixture to moisten, sprinkle with lemon juice and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place lettuce leaves on 4 small plates. Spoon salad onto leaves, sprinkle with coriander and lemon grass. Serves 4.

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Here is a more complex version of the classic Scottish cock-a-leekie soup.

5 cups chicken stock

2 leeks, white part only

6 ounces ground chicken

½ cup finely chopped leek leaves

½ teaspoon garlic

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons finely chopped prunes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Combine chicken, leek leaves, garlic, tarragon, prunes and mustard. Season well with salt and pepper. Using a heaping 1 teaspoon measure, roll into small chicken balls. Cook one to taste for seasoning. Reseason if necessary.

Bring soup to boil on medium-high heat, reduce heat to simmer and add remaining leeks and chicken balls. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken balls are cooked through. Ladle into 4 soup bowls and sprinkle with a little parsley. Serves 4.

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I love this dish because of the way the flavours work together. At the restaurant, it is served with a goat-cheese perogie. To simplify things, we have turned the filling into a potato side dish. If you prefer perogies, you can stuff dumpling skins with the potato mixture and sauté them in the rendered duck fat.



2 bunches radish, trimmed and thickly sliced

¼ cup red-wine vinegar

1½ teaspoons sherry vinegar

1½ teaspoons honey

3 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup water


4 duck breasts, about 225 grams each

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Sea salt


Combine radishes, vinegars, honey, sugar, salt, butter and water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook until liquid is syrupy, about 8 minutes. Reheat when needed.

Using a sharp knife, cut through the duck skin in a cross-hatch pattern, being careful not to cut the flesh. Season with salt and pepper, and place the duck skin-side down in a cold pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn heat to low and continue cooking for 12 to 15 minutes, draining fat from pan as needed, or until fat is rendered from skin. Raise heat to high and turn breast over to finish cooking for 2 minutes (it will be rare) or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat and allow the meat to rest.

To serve, divide goat-cheese mashed potatoes (recipe below) among 4 plates. Place a nice pile of radishes next to it. Spoon some of the warm radish liquid onto the plate. Slice duck and place on top of radishes and potatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serves 4.

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