The girls are finding it hard to deal with the 10 items for the cook-off but luckily we have a few recipes that are simple and easy to make. This issue is dedicated to fowl play in the kitchen. Ouch, God or at least some one who hates puns will get me for that one and I feel I deserve whatever just desserts I get.
The reason why I chose this theme is the love affair Crees have had with chicken and other fowl. The love affair is easily proven as I remember how my old buddy Willie Chicken got his nickname. His dad, when returning from the bush, used to buy a bunch of chickens and have a family feast with them. He was the first Cree “Chicken” and it was only natural I guess to pass on the nickname to Willie.
In my own family I remember how grandma used to love chicken. So much so that when my Uncle Don (then a bachelor) and myself were living with her, Don had to ask her to cut out the chicken as that was all we had eaten for five days running. Eggs for breakfast, chicken sandwiches and/or soup for lunch and some type of a main chicken course for supper. A very versatile bird the chicken.
As you will notice I start off with a Cornish hen recipe that I recently came up with. It was so good that two days later I made the same dish and allowed a couple of co-workers a small taste. They were as enthusiastic about it as I am.
Will’s Cornish Hen for one
I was looking at the Cornish hen recipes and decided that I would just strike out on my own so I looked in the fridge and cupboards to see what I had that would look interesting and healthy. Below is the delightful product of my imagination.
1 Cornish Hen
1 teaspoon liquid smoke hickory flavoured
1 teaspoon Worchester sauce
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic butter
1 bunch asparagus
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take liquid smoke and Worchester sauce and rub on chicken. Add pepper, salt and Italian seasoning on top off chicken.
2. Cut heads off of asparagus. Coat with walnuts, dash of Italian seasoning and garlic butter. Stuff in cavity of hen.
3. Take remainder of asparagus as well as the asparagus stems, add any remaining walnuts and lay on bottom of pan. Put chicken on top of it. Put in oven and cook for one hour. Take top off and cook for another half hour at 400 degrees F.
Tex-Mex Stove Top Chicken
An easy-to-make dish. Depending on the salsa you choose, it can be as spicy or as mild as you and your family want it to be.
1 tablespoon canola oil 6 chicken breast halves, cubed 1 /2 cup chopped green pepper 1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups chunky salsa 1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup quick cooking rice
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and chicken and sauté until the chicken is lightly browned.
2. Add the green pepper and onion and sauté until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
3. Add the salsa and broth and bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the rice and mix well.
5. Toss the cheese on top of the dish, cover, and remove from the heat. Let rest for five minutes to cook the rice and serve hot.
Southern Pecan Chicken
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
4 cups ice water and ice 4 tsp salt
3/4 cup ground pecans
2 whole eggs 2 tblsp milk
2 tblsp honey 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, course ground fresh 1. Marinate the chicken breasts in iced salt water for 30 minutes.
2. Beat milk with honey, and then add beaten eggs, salt and fresh ground pepper.
3. Put egg wash in one shallow bowl, and pecan meal in another.
4. Dip each chicken breast in the egg wash, then into the pecan meal and pat the meal into the breast to form a crust.
5. Place the breasts in a shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F, or until the breasts are done through.
Chicken and Rice Jubilee
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup long grain rice
2 1/4 cups milk
2 cups diagonally cut carrots 1 green pepper, cut in strips 1 red pepper, cut in strips 1 teaspoon salt 1 /2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped cashews almonds, toasted
1. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.
2. In a large frying pan, cook chicken in butter over medium heat until chicken is lightly browned on all sides.
3. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic; cook until onion is softened.
4. Add corn starch, rice and cook for 2 min.
5. Stir in milk, carrots, pepper strips, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Just before serving, sprinkle with cashews.
Chicken Wings Buffalo style
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) Louisiana or other hot sauce
1/2 stick margarine
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon of celery seed
1/8-1 /4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/8 teaspoon of garlic salt
dash of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 teaspoon of Tabasco
1. Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat until the margarine is completely melted. Stir occasionally. This makes enough for about 30 wings.
1. Fry the wings in a deep fryer set at 375 degrees F., using vegetable or peanut oil. Frying 15 wings at a time for 12-15 minutes works well.
2. Drain the wings for a few minutes then put them in a bowl.
3. After all the wings have been fried, pour the sauce over them, cover the bowl, and shake to completely coat the wings.
* They can be eaten immediately, or you can put them on a baking sheet and bake them for a few minutes to get an extra-crispy coating.
Wild Rice Casserole
1 cup wild rice, uncooked 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced thickly 1 cup minced onion 3 cups vegetable broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
1. Rinse wild rice well.
2. Combine wild rice, mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a 3 quart casserole dish.
3. Pour broth over it all, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.
Leith’s Broiled Veggies
Almost as tasty as Leith herself, this kind of side dish will also wow a crowd of six to eight people.
20-24 large brussel sprouts
1 red onion or 1 /2 Spanish onion
3 small peppers: green, red and yellow varieties
12-16 white mushrooms or 4-5 portabella mushrooms
1 pound string beans or asparagus
1/2 pound feta cheese
1/2 can whole or sliced black olives drained
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper corns
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1. Cut all veggies into large chunks.
2. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl except feta, olives and crushed pepper corns.
3. Marinate veggies for at least three hours before broiling. Mix them around every so often.
4. Place on cookie sheets and broil for 25 minutes close to the heat element. Stir frequently so they won’t burn (they should brown though.)
5. Take veggies out and add feta, olives and crushed pepper corns to the top.
6. Broil for five to seven minutes longer. Serve hot.
Fowl Grill’n Tips
Fowls are chicken, ducks or other feathered friends. Generally they are considered healthier than other meats to eat. The folowing tips are for the BBQ.
1. Coat the cooking grate lightly with vegetable spray to keep the chicken from sticking. Prepare the fire 1/2 hour before grilling.
2. Add flavour through aromatic wood chips like hickory, mesquite or fruitwood.
3. The grill will be ready when the charcoal is about 80 percent ashy-gray. Cook chicken over a medium-hot fire. You should be able to hold your hand a few inches above the coals for 3 to 4 seconds.
4. Turn fowl every 5 minutes to insure even cooking and doneness.
5. Cook fowl until the juices run clear. The white meat should reach an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F. Dark meat should reach an internal temperature of 180-185 degrees on a meat thermometer.
6. Use tongs instead of a fork to turn the fowl. This will prevent loss of juices.
7. Skin on a whole fowl or parts helps prevent drying and toughening. You can pull the skin off after the chicken is cooked, if desired.