Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post-baking belly filler

After my Saturday afternoon baking exertions, I was in need of a proper meal (as opposed to all that spoon-licking and taste testing I’d been doing all afternoon) So I cleaned up my baking mess and started on a chicken and apple hot pot (p135).

The recipe uses chicken pieces – in my case, drumsticks, since that’s what I had in the freezer - bacon, apple/orange juice and slices of apple. The first thing to do is to take the skin off the chicken – a tip here is to use a paper towel to grip the skin and pull it off. It comes off really easily that way.

Then you have to coat the chicken in seasoned flour. I put the flour, seasoning and chicken pieces in a plastic bag and shook it around, achieving nice even coating without getting flour all over my kitchen.

Once the chicken pieces are coated, you brown them in a frying pan, then set them aside while you prepare the rest of the hot pot: fry up some onion, bacon and garlic, then add a couple of blanched and chopped tomatoes (I used canned ones instead) and some apple and orange juice. I didn’t have any actual apple and orange juice, but I did have some apple juice and an orange, so I mixed up my own.

After this, the chicken goes back into the pan with some apple slices. Simmer for 20 minutes and the hot pot is ready. I served mine with rice to make it go a little further.

It was a nice enough meal – nothing spectacular, but tasty enough. I’d expected something with more of a sauce, but actually most of the liquid had cooked out by the time it was ready. I’d probably prefer it with about twice the liquid. The apple had gone a bit soggy too – perhaps because I just used an eating apple instead of a cooking one.

I’m not sure why the chicken drums had to be coated in flour – this is something I’d usually expect to do for a nice crunchy coating if I were baking or frying the chicken pieces – since these were basically casseroled, the flour coating had just gone kind of soggy. I don’t think I’d bother with that part again.

In spite of this, I think I’d make chicken and apple hot pot again. Though it doesn’t look terribly appetising in the picture, it’s quick and easy, filling, reasonably cheap and nice enough that I’m perfectly happy to eat it. Next time, though, I’ll be adding extra liquid and maybe putting the apple in a little later in the cooking time.

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