Popcorn chicken

This is a firm family favourite, of course it is, it involves deep frying, but the chicken is so so tasty I can see past the painfulness of cleaning up post fry.

Although, I read it somewhere that the trick with deep frying at home is to do it in a really deep saucepan so your stovetop and surrounds don’t end up slicked with oil and they were right! You still get splatter but nothing like what I was getting using a wok.

So my main suggestions here are to make sure you use the right flour for dusting – sweet potato/potato/tapioca flour is what you’re looking for. Keep the bits of chicken nice and small so you can pop them in your mouth. Marinate the chicken for as long as possible. And don’t think of bypassing the spice salt, it, like a good salad dressing, makes the dish.

Popcorn chicken with five spice salt

Popcorn chicken
 
Delicious little bite-sized pieces of fried chicken with an earthy five-spice salt
Author:
Ingredients
For the chicken
  • 1kg boneless chicken thighs cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • scant tsp of Chinese five spice powder
  • Sweet potato flour (also known as tapioca flour, I often use straight potato flour)
Five spice salt
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ tsp five spice
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • pinch of chilli powder
Instructions
  1. Toss the chicken with the marinade and set aside for as long as you've got
  2. Toss the chicken in the potato flour - I am very gung-ho at this step, I'm sure you're meant to go gently and toss a few bits at a time but I chuck the whole bag of flour in a large bowl and dump the chicken in and toss to thoroughly coat
  3. Heat the oil and then fry the chicken in batches for about 3 minutes until nice and golden. Again, I know the cardinal rule of not overcrowding the fry but last time I did the whole 1kg of chicken in just three batches and guess what, it worked! I will leave this to your better judgement and patience
  4. Skim out any bits between batches and secretly eat
  5. Drain on paper towel
For the salt
  1. Combine all the ingredients and then scatter over the cooked chicken.

 

Five spice salt

New Favourite

I’ve told you about The Tallest Man On Earth before, but this is a whole set at a music festival. This is the only way I will be a part of a music festival. The whole idea of being jammed in with all those punters makes me hot and not in a good way.

I found this somehow today, basically looking to see if he was coming to Australia because I missed him last.

I’m feeling weird today. I just really want an all-enveloping hug from a man where I can feel swallowed up while drinking in his smell. That’s all.

Anyway, that’s not likely to happen any time soon so I shall keep listening to Kristian Matsson and grow accustomed to the longing.

 

Onward.

Cinnamon buttermilk waffles

Cinnamon buttermilk waffles

I absolutely adore cinnamon and will consciously try to work it into as many dishes as humanly possible. Having said that, the overnight waffles are still the favourite in this house but these come in a very close second.

Now I know some of you are going to read the recipe, see you have to whisk the egg whites and move right along. I know this because I was one of you. The reason ricotta pancakes never get a work out in this house is for that very reason, having to separate the eggs and whisk the whites. But here’s the thing, it takes about three minutes. Three. So just do it ok? Ok.

Buttermilk cinnamon waffles with maple syrup and strawberries
Buttermilk cinnamon waffles with maple syrup and strawberries

Cinnamon buttermilk waffles
 
Not only do they taste great you house will smell of cinnamon, so winning all round really.
Author:
Serves: 8 waffles
Ingredients
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk*
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
* If you don't have buttermilk use 1½ cups of yoghurt mixed with ¼ cup milk or 1½ cups sour cream
Instructions
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients
  2. In a bowl whisk the eggwhites until soft peaks. So you're not trying to make meringue, but you want it to stay in the bowl if you tip it upside down
  3. Mix everything together except the eggwhites
  4. Gently fold in ⅓ of the whites until well incorporated and then the rest.
  5. Cook according to your waffle machine instructions.

 

New Favourite

Via Blackbird. Of course.

The playlist it is a part of is just lovely.

 

Onward!

allconsuming kitchen staples: pizza dough recipe

My go-to pizza dough recipe that is as forgiving as the sun is hot.

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There are eleventy gagillion pizza doughs out there and all of them probably work equally well. This is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe I have been making for more than a decade. You can make paper thin crusts with it or thicker doughyer (so a word) ones if you prefer.

Recently we’ve been getting more fancy with our pizzas, thoroughly pricking it all over with a fork, brushing it with oil, and topping with some sweet grape tomatoes. Into the hottest oven your oven will go until its clearly bronzed, pull it out, squish the tomatoes flat, drape over some prosciutto and rocket and let sit for a wee while so the meat and greens can wilt.

IMG_20160202_192358

Similarly, another pizza bianco – brush oil over your flattened dough, top with some roasted cubes of pumpkin or sweet potato (I do this while the dough is proofing so the kitchen is warm from oven) and again maybe some tomatoes or sliced red onion. Bake, then pull out of the oven and dot over some goats cheese or ricotta and greens.

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Finally, another one – brush the base with oil then cover with finely sliced mushrooms – and I mean cover generously – and dot over some crumbled blue cheese then cook. Heaven.

Anyway, this is meant to be about the dough not the toppings!

This dough is very forgiving. Sometimes I barely knead it, sometimes I think I over-knead it but it still comes up trumps. Basically operate on the mindset that once it’s smooth and has come together it’s done.

IMG_20151011_175441

I get 8 roughly-30cm bases from this.

 
allconsuming kitchen staples: pizza dough
 
My go-to pizza dough
Author:
Serves: 6-8 bases
Ingredients
  • 20 g dry yeast
  • 30 g salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • 1 kg flour
  • 625 ml warm water
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk
  2. Add the water and bring it all together into a shaggy mess
  3. Tip onto a floured bench and knead for 5-10 minutes until it all comes together into a smooth dough
  4. Oil the bowl you used to mix everything together, then put the dough back in the bowl, cover and put in a warm place for about an hour.
  5. When you're ready to use it, you can either portion it out into 6-8 portions or simply rip a large handful off to then roll out.

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