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Good evening, good morning, good afternoon, ni hao, ciao, bon jour, ca va?... wherever and whenever you are in the world: "Hello!"

My name is Kit Fennessy, and I've been writing this blog with your help for eight years, and there's over a hundred recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours. I hope you enjoy it, and please send me any feedback or suggestions about what you'd like to see herein through the feedback link at the bottom of posts.

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A big thank you, as always, to my sponsors at Blue Vapours (use them for all your design and advertising needs), and without further ado, let's launch into it.

Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kit's "Surfin' Bird" French Chicken


“Ba na na na na na, now now
Ba na na na na na, now now
Ba na na na na na, now now
Ba na na!
Surfing bird!”

My great discovery this summer was, yet another, recipe from ‘Taming the Flame’ by Elizabeth Karmel, that officiando of all things American and slow cooked with the lid down on your Barbie™ (as opposed to your Ken™), which I tried with great success hosting a party using the Jamie Durie Patio™.

She came up with an adaptation of a recipe by Julia Childs she calls “French Chicken”, and it is simply delicioso. Julia Childs? Who’s she? Visit her in a time machine here. Hilarious and you can’t tell me not the inspiration for the Chef from the Muppets.

The original recipe by Liz features in Vanity Fair here, but my recipe is funnier and has some good tips.


Kit’s “Surfin’ Bird” French Chicken

Serves four to six
Two small chickens (NB small, the timing is all wrong with larger birds) – around the 1 to 1.25 kg mark, free range please!
Half a cup of Dijon mustard
Two tbsps dry white wine
Melted butter 60 g (or three tbsps)
Olive oil ¼ cup
Three spring onions
Teaspoon of dried tarragon.
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A cup of white bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Two to three tomatoes

Prepare the chickens: Pat the chickens dry with paper towel. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut down either side of the chicken spine and remove (you can keep the spines in the freezer and use them later for chicken stock). This bit is gruesome and will make you feel like the guy from 'Silence of the Lambs' making himself a new suit.

Turn the chickens breast side up and flatten, breaking the breast bone with a heavy blunt instrument. This is a surprisingly satisfying and primal thing to do, beating your prey into submission on a chopping board. I’ve used, variously, a heavy security guard torch and a knife sharpening steel, but you could just as easily use a candlestick in the library with Colonel Mustard.

You should now have two butterflied chickens (with the wings tucked underneath), if you haven’t gone too far and beaten the chicken into a pulp (in which case scrap this recipe and move to chicken burgers). Season with salt and pepper. Liz suggests grains of paradise, but I have no idea what this is unless it’s an American euphemism for cocaine.

Light the BBQ, heat to medium (180 °C), and put the birds in breast up off direct heat (i.e. middle two burners turned off). Roast for approximately 20 minutes.

While this is happening, make up your mustard mix. Mix mustard with white wine. Melt butter and slowly drizzle into mustard mix with oil, mixing as you go to combine evenly. Add spring onions, cayenne pepper and dried tarragon (Liz uses thyme, but tarragon is the “king of herbs” and makes chicken taste so good and Frenchie).

Return to BBQ, turn breast side down and spoon some of the mixture onto the inside of the chicken cavities. You’ll need some left at the end, so don’t use heaps here, maybe about a quarter of the mix. Allow to roast for another 10 minutes.

Turn chickens back breast side up. Top with more of the mustard mix, a good dollop (about a third at least – but reserve a bit) on the breast, roast for another 10 minutes.

Now, top the chicken breast with most of the bread crumbs (leave some aside for later) once the mustard has baked a bit. This is to make a crunchy bread top on the breast, and probably the hardest thing to master. I’ve found the bread doesn’t brown as much as I’d like without the chicken falling apart. I’d recommend turning up the BBQ here to around 210°C and perhaps lightly drizzling a little olive oil over the crumbs to make sure they crisp; around a further 10 to 15 minutes.

By now the chicken should be cooked and the crumbs crunchy. You can test the doneness of the meat by inserting a thermometer in the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone. It should be 180°C. Another way to test chicken is to see if the oil runs clear out of the join between the thighs and the body, or you could just use your brain and have a look. Pull the chooks out and allow to rest for ten minutes.

While the chickens rest, top the halved tomatoes with the remaining mustard mix and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Put on the warming shelf of the BBQ at 210°C and crisp up the bread crumbs (ten minutes).

Serve half chickens with tomatoes and a green salad. Bon apetite, oh la la and yum a gum. Lip smackingly good, though your doctor will, as usual, be doing 360’s in his grave.

As always, your friend

Kit ///

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yoda Cake


Delicious this was. Posted holiday cake eating it is! Best Yoda Cake Ever! by Cara
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