satay-spackled roast chicken

Tonight’s meal is decidedly anti-Irish. Nothing against St. Patrick’s day, but I really felt like something savoury and spicy. Behold: the satay-spackled roast chicken! (Inspired by a recipe in Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook, 1976.)

  • one 1½ kg chicken, washed and dried, dressed
  • one medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • one garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 chili peppers (your choice of heat levels)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp whole fenugreek
  • ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind (fresh or dried)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine onion, garlic, chili peppers and 2 tbsp coconut milk in blender; puree. Grind all whole spices in a spice mill or mortar and pestle. Heat oil in heavy skillet. When hot, add onions and spices, mixing rapidly and frequently. Remove from heat when puree pulls away from the pan.

Use spatula and puree to spackle the chicken. Place breast up in a baking pan, filled with the rest of the coconut milk. Place pan in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, basting with the milk. Return to oven for an additional 60 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes wiht the coconut milk. For the last 20 minutes, increase temperature to 400°F, turn chicken over again, and brown the breast meat. Remove when done (a meat thermometer helps).

(It was so good, I couldn’t help but start eating before taking a photograph…)

Serve with basmati rice and an arugula-and-tomato salad.

butternut leek enchiladas with tomatillo salsa

Ingredients

Enchiladas:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 2 leeks, sliced on a 45° bias
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp each white and cayenne pepper
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil (not extra virgin!)
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used an 80/20 mozzarella/pecorino romano blend)

Tomatillo Sauce:

  • 3 cups tomatillos, husks removed
  • 6 fresh Roma tomatoes
  • 3 jalapenos (canned or pickled are fine)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash and leeks in a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish. Season with the garlic (pressed in a garlic press) and the other seasonings. Cover Drench in oil, then roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Boil 2 liters of water. Add the tomatillos and roma tomatoes. Continue to boil until tomatillos are soft, and roma tomato skins burst. Drain, then remove tomato skins. Place in a blender along with other sauce ingredients, and blend to desired consistency.

Remove baking dish from oven. Spoon squash-leek mixture into corn tortillas, adding about 1 tablespoon of grated cheese to each. Roll and place join-side down back in the baking dish. You will be able to fit 8 enchiladas in the center, then place the remaining 4 on the edges. Return to 400° oven for 7 minutes. Cover with Cover with ~1 cup of the sauce, then ~1 cup of grated cheese, then return to oven for a final 7 minutes.

butternut leek enchiladas with tomatillo salsa

Serve with quinoa, covered with the remaining sauce. Serves 4-6. Inspired by CSA farmer Sapelo Farms.