Coratella

2015-11-27 - Coratella

Coratella is the Italian name for all the organs in the thoracic (chest cavity) and the dish includes the heart, lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys of either a young lamb, chicken or rabbit. We were fortunate to obtain a suckling Boerbok lamb from a farmer close to Dunedin and I went to the farm and slaughtered it myself, hence had access to all the organs normally discarded and seldom eaten in New Zealand. Coratella is also the name of the resulting dish.

Clean the organs making sure that all the blood is washed off, then cut it into cubes about 2 cm square. Dice two onions and two cloves of garlic and fry in some butter and olive oil until well soft. Ad all the organs, except the liver, and fry well over medium to high heat. While frying, ad a chopped red chili, two bay leaves, salt and pepper. When the meat is almost done ad the liver and turn the heat to high. Ad a handful of chopped parsley and fry for three to four minutes until livers are done, but still pink on the inside. Ad one glass of dry white wine and let it evaporate. Serve immediately with polenta.

Do not forget the good home made dry red wine!

ENJOY!!

HARD TIMES !!

Lunch today

2015-03-06 - Chicken Feet Pot2015-03-06 - Chicken Feet

Dairy prices are down, venison keeps falling, electricity is up and the courier companies are screwing us left, right and center, so here at Back Yard Farmer we are not wasting anything.  We have worked out using almost everything from the garden and are now working on using every part of the back yard chickens, starting with what we always discarded, the feet. I have often eaten chicken feet, mostly in some Asian restaurant, and the very best I had was on a recent business trip to Qingdao, China (along with an assortment of scorpions, tasty bugs and larvae like things – the food of the future). Strange how Chinese food does not taste as good in restaurants outside China. The same goes for Italian food, I suppose, unless one cooks oneself, so, here is Mrs BYF’s version of chicken feet – delicious although the cook was a bit squeamish to start off with.

Zampe di Gallina 

Chicken Feet Arrabiata  (Arrabiata means angry – so this is quite hot)

4 chicken wings or any other part of the chicken that is not dry white meat, skin on

6 to 8 chicken feet, nails removed (I had to do that myself, Mrs BYF baulked)

1 piece of fresh ginger just bigger than a thumb finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 large red chilli or as much as you can take, finely chopped

1 litre of chicken stock

small handful of parsley and sage finely chopped

4 table spoons of olive oil

1 cup of wine, red or white

Pre heat the oven to 200 deg

Use a cast iron pot with a close fitting lid, big enough to take all the chicken. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pot and brown the chicken pieces well on all sides. Remove and add the feet,  cook on medium high for a few minutes. Remove the feet. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot and add the chilli and garlic. Cook until the  garlic is soft but not coloured. deglase the pot with the wine, cook until the wine bubbles.  Add the chicken, feet and all to the pot, and cover the chicken with the stock. Bring to the boil on the stove, cover the pot with the lid and place the pot in the oven. Cook for 3 hours, twenty minutes before serving, add the parsley and sage. Eat with polenta.

Do not forget to enjoy this dish with lots of red wine!  ENJOY!

 

Low-Fat Fad Has Done Unfathomable Harm – Eat Healthy

Dreamtime

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/24/modern-diet.aspx

Quail Giblet Risotto (works for chicken giblets too)

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We are used to this dish made with chicken giblets, but, as you know we also have quail! I make stock with the quail  bones, and this risotto, every time when I have to cull. Risotto involves standing and stirring the pot all the time – no  answering the phone, getting the door or visiting the bathroom! 😉 The consistency of the dish must be just right, not too wet, not too dry and al dente. It takes some work but is worth the trouble. My smallest grandchild is particularly fond of this dish, to the  point where his grandmother once told me to stop shoveling it in after the 3 rd bowl – she was afraid he may pop.

Quail Risotto 

2 liters of good chicken or quail stock stock. I make my own, it is simple and easy and makes all the difference to the taste

2 cups of Arborio or Carnaroli rice. Yes, it has to be Arborio or Carnaroli, the normal rice does not have enough starch

10 quail giblets  (or 400 g Chicken giblets). One can save quail giblets by freezing them until enough has been collected

1 medium sized onion finely chopped

1 Large clove Garlic (more if you like) finely chopped

1 tablespoon rosemary or sage finely chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive Oil

3 tablepoon butter

pinch of dried chili flakes

1 cup of good white wine

salt andpPepper

Half a cup of grated parmigiano cheese ( stir it in at the end, or serve with cheese on top)

one bottle Sangiovese wine (to go in to the cook and the cook’s friends 😉 )

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Heat the stock and keep it hot. Ad one table spoon of olive oil and one table spoon of butter, a quarter of the onions and a quarter of the garlic to a pan and saute until soft. Ad the giblets and brown slightly. Pour half a cup of white wine in and evaporate.  Turn the temperature down, ad the Chili, Sage or Rosemary, and braise in a drop of stock for about 30 minutes until tender. Use a pot big enough to hold everything with ample room for lots of stirring. Put the rest of the olive oil and one table spoon of butter in the pot and add the rest of the onion and garlic and saute over a gentle heat until the onion is soft but not coloured.  Add the rice to the onion mixture in the pot and stir a few minutes to heat through. Toast the rice and cover every grain in oil. Add a half a cup of good white wine and cook until the rice have absorbed all the wine. Turn the heat medium low and start adding a few ladles of stock, and stir constantly. Every time the rice becomes dry, ad a ladle of hot stock and keep stirring. When half cooked (ten minutes) add the warm giblets to the rice. Keep adding hot stock a ladle at a time and keep stirring until the rice is almost al dente.   The consistency should be very moist as the rice will still absorb moisture and dry out for some time. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper while cooking. Immediately take off the heat and stir in one tablespoon of cold butter and half a cup of grated Parmigiano (optional). Stir quite aggressively to make it creamy and smooth. Let it rest for about three minutes while the rice finisesh cooking in the residual heat and serve immediately. Top with grated Parmiginao cheese if not stirred in at the end. The rice must never be dry but must also never float in the stock. If you add the stock all at once you will end up with boiled rice, not risotto.  Each grain of rice should have its own glistening coating of stock, and should be chewy, not soft and soggy. In Veneto they serve risotto “all’onda” which means like the waves of the sea – very soft and they give  you only a fork to eat it – no spoon. This is also the way I like it, even though I am from Lombardy.

We often eat risotto as a main meal but it makes a great primi piatti if the main meal is  meat. I would serve a great Sangiovese red with this if there is any left after tasting the good wine while cooking.

Stock

2014-0318 - Stock Pot

Good stock is the one ingredient a kitchen should never be without.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken bones or (quail back bone, neck, wing tips and excessive skin) – About half a Kg in total or more if you want to make a stronger stock.

2 onions (No need to skin) – Washed and roughly cut up. Could be replaced with Leeks

2 large carrots leaves and all) – Washed and roughly cut up

half a bunch of Celery (Leaves and all) – Washed and roughly cut up. You could add celeriac leaves if you have any

salt lightly to taste

8 Liters of water

I often buy chicken frames from the supermarket (sorry, but sometimes I have to go there) or use the back bones and necks of the quails, when I slaughter, which are both good for stock even though different. Quails make a much stronger stock than chicken. You can also do a fish stock, by replacing the meat with fish heads and frames. I keep the stocks separate so I have different flavours for different dishes.  Put all the ingredients, including the water (cold) into a meat stock pot and boil over a low heat for at least two hours, but preferably more. Let the liquid reduced by about one third and keep topping it up with more cold water to keep it at this level. Stir every so often to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom.

Strain the liquid from the solids using a colander and return the liquid to the stock pot and heat until boiling again. Immediately pour into clean containers and seal immediately (I use 2 liter plastic buckets). Should the lids fit properly, the reduction in product temperature will form a very effective vacuum seal. If you have maintained a high level of cleanliness and your containers were  clean, the stock will remain good for months in the pantry, even though I normally keep mine in the fridge. Once opened it should be kept in the fridge and used within a couple of days. The vegetables  are good to feed to your Chickens and Quails.

With home made stock, soups are delicious and easy, pasta sauces and stews shine and you cannot make risotto without it. Braising meat and keeping it moist with the correct stock also ad complexity and additional flovour.

The Curse of the Cookbooks

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I had to photograph the result of a cooking discussion or, cooking bickering, if you must.

The great thing about being self sufficient and eating from the vegetable patch is the joy of harvesting something one grew oneself. It is organic and fresh even if, at time whatever is harvested is gnarled and puny it still tastes wonderful. The bad thing is that one is held hostage by the blackbird that eats all the seedlings the chickens overlooked when they were free ranging last time. The seasons and climate, especially here in Dunedin , dictate whether things grow or not and the person in control of the garden constantly suffers arched inquiries as to why in the world so much (or so little) of something was planted

Sometimes there is a glut of something and then the search for a great recipe, or, often many great recipes of one particular vegetable or fruit depending on the amount harvested. The frantic paging through the cookbooks begin, and since my 200 plus books are all about regional Italian cooking the search can not be narrowed down to, say, Indian or Chinese, and mutterings of  ‘ it was always in this book, where has it gone’ are commonplace. A lot of time is spent getting side tracked when I see something fondly remembered or something I always wanted to try. Once the recipe is selected sudden resistance from the household to the ingredients could flare up, prompting the beginning of a new search and the hauling out of more books!