Category Archives: Poultry

Poultry recipes

French Chicken Classic – Coq au Vin

Coq au vin
Coq au vin – a French classic.

Ever since we watched Julie & Julia movie, we’ve been wanting to try Coq au Vin which was featured in the film. It’s one of the famous French classics, it’s full of flavor and it’s easy to cook, too. The ingredients costs about 10 euros and it’s gluten free and suitable for paleo diet!

Ingredients for Coq au Vin

  • 1 whole chicken – pollo entero
  • 150 (5 oz.) of bacon – panceta
  • 3 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 4 shallots – chalotes
  • 1/2 a leek – puerro
  • 2 carrots – zanahornas
  • 200 g (7 oz.) of mushrooms – champiñones
  • 4  cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 bottle of red wine –  vino tinto
  • 3  bay leaves – hojas de laurel
  • 3 sprigs of thyme – ramitas de tomillo
  • 3 teaspoons of sea salt – sal marina
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Cut the chicken to a good size chunks. Leave the bones in the legs and wings, they bring flavor to the dish. First cook the bacon crispy. Brown the chicken cuts on a high heat in the bacon fat so that they get a nice crispy skin. They don’t have to be fully cooked at this stage. Put them on the side to wait along with the bacon.

You may notice that we didn’t use bacon in the pictures. This is due to the chicken, which was so called pollo corral. It’s fattier (and tastier) than regular chicken and we didn’t want this dish to be too heavy. But pork belly strips are true to the original recipe.

Peel the shallots and garlic and mince them. Chop all vegetables and mushrooms, but not too fine (see the pictures below). Sauté the onions and vegetables in butter for a few minutes, add the chicken and toss in a Dutch oven. Pour the wine on top.

Add all the seasoning including bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and cover with lid. Let the pot simmer on stove top for 40 minutes. Add liquid (chicken stock, red wine or plain water), if the ingredients are not fully covered. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Ingredients for Vegetable Puree

  • 3 large sweet potatoes – batatas
  • 5 parsnips – chivirías
  • 3  carrots – zanahornas
  • 4 tablespoons of butter – mantequilla
  • 1 tablespoon of honey – miel
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Peel and chop the vegetables. Boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes. Strain the water and save for later. Let the vegetables rest for a few minutes so they cool down a bit. Add butter and honey and mash the vegetables with potato masher. Add cooking water to get the structure right. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

¡Buen provecho!

Seared Duck Breasts with Pedro Ximénez

Duck breast with caramelized apples and Pedro Ximenez sauce
Duck breast with caramelized apples and Pedro Ximenez sauce

Sweet sherry is consumed especially in Málaga area. Spanish people don’t even call it sherry, it’s Málaga dulce or Vino de Málaga. One of the most popular grapes used for making this wine is sweet Pedro Ximénez. It’s a beautiful dessert wine, but there are a lot of Spanish recipes utilizing this fine product, too, for making a sauce. Duck breast with Pedro Ximenez sauce is one of them.

Ingredients for Pedro Ximenez Sherry Sauce

  • splash of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • 4 shallots – chalotes
  • half a bottle of Pedro Ximénez cherry – Málaga dulce de PX
  • pinch of sea salt – sal marina

Chop shallots very fine and soften in olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and bring to boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer until reduced to about half. It takes about half an hour. Season with salt to taste.

Ingredients for Seared Duck Breasts for 4 Servings

  •  2 large duck breasts with the fat on – pechugas de pato
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Place the duck breasts in room temperature about an hour before starting to prepare them. Score the fat. Don’t cut too deep, we only want the fat to be scored – not the meat. Put the breasts to a cold frying pan and put it on high heat. When most of the fat is melted (about 3 minutes), turn the breasts and cook the other side for another 3 minuts. Don’t toss the fat away, you’ll need it for the apples.

Season the breasts with salt and pepper on both sides and wrap them into aluminium foil. Let them cook in 200 ºC (400 ºF) oven for 10 minutes and rest another 10 minutes before cutting.

Ingredients for Caramelized Apples

  • 4 green apples – manzanas verdes
  • 3 tablespoons of duck fat – grasa de pato
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of brown sugar – azucar moreno

Peel the apples and cut them into thumb size cubes. Put a frying on medium heat and splash some olive oil on the bottom. Add the apples and sugar to the pan and fry them until they are medium soft. Don’t overcook them. There should be some structure left in the apples.

¡Buen provecho!

How To Make Stocks from Scratch

Vegetable stock simmering
Vegetable stock simmering

About every two months or so we cook our own stocks. It takes time, but it gives you the pleasure of using the ingredients you would otherwise throw away and also the flavor is something else that what you would get from stock cubes.

When we cook fish, we always ask the fish counter to give the heads and bones even if we ask them to cut the fish into fillets. When we have chicken or chicken wings, we collect the bones for the stock. Same goes for beef bones etc. (and actually you can use bones from the ribs, too, even if it’s pork). We pack them to the freezer to wait our weekend stock project.

The whole project start from the vegetable stock. Begin to collect vegetables peels  a few days ahead. You can use potato, carrot and onion skins and tops, paprika and tomato stems and skins, etc. But you cannot use only those, because the stock would become bitter. You need to use fresh ingredients as well. Most supermarkets in Spain have stock vegetable packets containing carrots, celery and swede. We grabbed four of those and in addition 4 big onions. There was also a sweet potato from previous days dinner and it ended up in the pot as well. And we had some leftover champignon mushrooms, too. You can basically use whatever you have in the fridge as long as it fits roughly into vegetable category.

Ingredients for Vegetable Stock

  • 10 carrots – zanahornas
  • 4 big onions – cebollas
  • 1 whole celery – apio
  • vegetable skins – cáscara vegetal
  • 4 tomatoes – tomates
  • 5 bay leaves – hojas de laurel
  • 10 sprigs of rosemary – ramitas de romero
  • 10 sprigs of thyme – ramitas de tomillo
  • 1/2 dl (1/4 cup) of sea salt – sal marina
  • 20 whole black peppers – pimientas negras
  • 10 l (1/4 gallon) of water – aqua
  • 1/2 cup of brandy – brandy

Use a big sauce pot for making the stock. Cut all vegetables roughly and place in the pot. Put the pot on high heat and pour brandy on top. Mix well with the vegetables. When all the alcohol has vaporized pour in the water and bring to boil. When the water begins to boil add bay leaves, salt, black peppers, rosemary and thyme. Lower the heat so that the stock simmers slowly and cover with lid. Stir ever 30 minutes and let it simmer for 3 hours. Add water, if needed. The idea is to get as much stock as possible and squeeze every last bit of taste out of the vegetables.

After three hours the stock is good, but it’s not ready yet. But it’s ready enough for using as a base for rest of the stocks. What remaining vegetables stock you have left after using it for other stocks, let it still simmer for about an hour before pouring the stock through a large sieve to get filtered stock. Let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes for later use.

 Ingredients for Beef and Chicken Stock

  • 300-500 g (10-15 oz) of bones – huesos
  • 1 l (5 cups) of vegetable stock – caldo de verduras

This method of making beef and chicken stock is exactly the same. You can actually roast the both bones at the same time, but you need to boil the stock separately, of course.

Preheat the oven to 100 ºC (200 ºF). Place the bones to an oven tray and roast them in for 2 hours. After that put the bones to a large sauce pot along with the vegetable stock. Put some vegetables from the vegetable stock to the pot, too. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 2 hours. Check the taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Filter with a large sieve, let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes.

Ingredients for Fish Stock

  • 1 kg (30 oz) of fish bones and heads (with gills removed) – huesos de pescado
  • 1 l  (5 cups) of vegetable stock – caldo de verduras

Put the fish bones and heads to a large sauce pot along with the vegetable stock. Put some vegetables from the vegetable stock to the pot, too. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes (no more!). Check the taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Filter with a large sieve, let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes.

Ingredients for Crab Stock

  • 300-500 g (10-15 oz) of crab shells and heads – cáscaras y cabezas de gambas
  • 1 l (5 cups of vegetable stock – caldo de verduras
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of brandy – brandy

If you have a smoker, smoke the shells and heads for 20 minutes. If not, you can place them in a 100 ºC (200 ºF) oven for 20 minutes. After that place the shells in a large sauce pot and put the pot on high heat. Pour the brandy on top, mix well and after the alcohol have vaporized add the vegetable stock. Put some vegetables from the vegetable stock to the pot, too. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes (no more!). Check the taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Filter with a large sieve, let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes.

¡Buen provecho!