Sunday, 22 June 2008
Royal Foodie Joust - Poulet d'Abricot
It's Royal Foodie Joust time again. If my calculations are correct, this is the 12th joust and that means the RFJ is almost 1 year old!! I almost didn't make it for the Joust this time as I just couldn't find the time to do anything. However...
Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to
Sorry, sorry. Does that ever happen to anyone else? You know, you start writing something and what you write reminds you of a song and you just cant get it out of your head? Anyone? Anyone??
Anyway, James Taylor has left the studio. As I was saying, just yesterday morning,
while in the midst of doing something very secret and that I can't talk about until the 29th, The Lovely Wife asked me if I wanted to do anything for lunch with some chicken that was in the fridge. I immediately thought of this month's Joust but realised I didn't have any apricots anywhere.
Nothing that a quick trip to the neighbourhood supermarket wont solve! I already had a rough idea of what I was going to make. My son came along with me for the ride and I was just planning to buy some mushrooms and dried apricots since fresh apricots are not only rather hard to come by but are rather pricey too. Would you believe that today they had some fresh apricots??!!!
I gave my son the choice of deciding whether we should buy fresh apricots or the dried ones (double in cost!!) so if I got in trouble with the Lovely Wife, I could always blame my son - as if I would do that :) We both reasoned that since neither he nor his sister had ever tried fresh apricots, we would get the fresh ones. So that was that.
The ingredients for this joust were Apricots, Ginger and Butter. Now usually, that would scream out something sweet like a pie or cake or even the Apricot Almond Cheesecake I made for my very first Joust. I decided however to go the unconventional route and do something savoury.
This is what I did:
1 inch ginger
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp rosemary
250gm Portobello Mushrooms
Handful of almonds
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
Clean and cut chicken into pieces.
Chop Onions and garlic and slice ginger thinly. Set aside. Cut mushrooms into large pieces and set aside. Cut apricots into thick slices. Heat oil in pan and sautee the onions, ginger and garlic together with the basil and Kaffir Lime Leaves. Add in the mushrooms and cook till tender. Add in the chicken and mix well before adding in the apricots. Add in a little water if necessary. Meanwhile make the roux sauce by melting the butter and then adding the flour. Cook the flour and then add in the milk. Continue to stir until mixture thickens. Add the sauce to the chicken mixture and allow to simmer until sauce is really thick and apricots are soft and have released their flavour. Season with salt and pepper. Before servings, toast some almond slivers and sprinkle on top.
I served this with rice and as a garnish, I added thinly sliced fresh apricots. That lent a nice crunch and extra tanginess to the dish. The kids were rather hungry and the creamy chicken was quickly devoured. Both my son and daughter loved the apricots in the chicken and they liked the fresh apricot garnish even more! The Lovely Wife loved it too and while stuffing her face, managed a "well done Honey!"
Now I needed a name. I contemplated naming this dish Creamy Chicken with Apricots and Mushrooms but I decided that I would make the dish sound exotic by giving it a French name and thus Poulet d'Abricot was born!
So with the Joust completed, a new dish discovered and even a fancy schmancy name created, I can go back to singing. Which is what I think I will do. Now, I just know the Lovely Wife is going to start wondering who Suzanne is...
I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again