Sunday, 5 February 2012

Ballymaloe Day 12, 24th January - A Fowl Fiasco

Awoken by our feathered friends I was back in the Demo Kitchen with my filleting knife nice and sharp. We had one organic chicken between two from Aherne's, who supply Ballymaloe with their poultry. Firstly we took off the leg and split each one into thigh and drumstick, again searching for the elusive ball and socket joint. Then the breast and the wing, which is also split in two. Any excess skin was saved for roasting and serving as a snack (?) and then we chopped the carcasses up with a cleaver. I cannot believe I am wielding a cleaver and scraping down bones with a razor sharp knife! By the end of it I was sick of grappling with a warm, greasy chicken, but I did an okay job considering I hadn't done it before.

Onto the cooking, I chopped the breast into goujons (after a kind of small fish) the size of your little finger and fried then in a spice and almond paste made in the Magimix food processor. This was the first time I have ever used one of those, I struggled with the seemingly simple task of putting it together and getting all the freshly toasted spices in - half of them fell out the hole in the middle where the blade goes... I would definitely get one after I leave Ballymaloe though, along with the Kenwood chef and liquidiser they are one of the pieces of equipment they use a lot here.

I also continued the candied peel (a three day job), and made the kale salad. They love kale here but I am not a fan if I'm honest. The salad here is the nicest kale I've had though. I also found a slug crawling across my chopping board when I was preparing it - very organic! I found him a new home in the hen's bucket!

The afternoon's demonstration was a very glamorous menu, smoked salmon (smoked in Shanagarry), Ottelenghi Chicken and wonderful meringues. Rory did today's demonstration and everything looks amazing, the presentation was so good and I have a lot to learn. It was my dream menu though, exactly what I make for a country wedding or a feast on midsummer's eve. Gorgeous, sadly, photos don't do it justice.







Looking forward to Thursday morning in the kitchen!!