So, cooking, its something we do. Arguably all sentient races will have some form of food variation and arrangement that they engage in, which may or many not include the application of heat. Last night I experimented with a staple; stuffed, roasted chicken. I wanted to do two things; combine things I never had before, and make a stuffing that was lighter than traditional bread based stuffing.

Ingredients:

  • One whole chicken, rinsed.
  • Greens (mix of chopped kale and chopped collards, raw)
  • GARLIC (real garlic, not powder, not pre-chopped out of a jar)
  • shallots
  • carrots
  • FRESH mint leaves
  • Jim Beam Maple*
  • 2 slices thick bacon or four slices regular*
  • mushrooms (white button, about 10 golf ball sided ones)
  • red quinoa
  • millet
  • margarine (or butter, or some form of spread, I used a non dairy spread)
  • spices: Turmeric, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage,

 

One of the things that always amuses me in far future science fiction is when they mention going out to eat and getting cuisine that’s from Tuscany or is Jamacian, or Bavarian. I just find the idea that cooking styles won’t fuse, mutate and rearrange beyond recognition as humans spread to a hundred stars or more. Just from life here on our own dirtball we know that onions grown just outside Toldeo, Ohio are going to taste different from the same variety of onions grown outside Austin, Texas or Kingston, Jamaica. A whole different planet? Assuming they grow at all, the local conditions will dictate a different taste.

Take the quinoa (about 1 1/2 cups) and Millet (about 2 tablespoons) combine in a sauce-pot with four or five medium or large garlic cloves (crushed then chopped) and bring to a boil in roughly twice the water as dry ingredients for five minutes. Allow to cool, dump into a large mixing bowl.

Cook the bacon* in a skillet on medium-low, retain grease in pan. Slice the mushrooms top to bottom and brown on one side in the skillet (lightly salt), sprinkle turmeric on the other side.  Remove from pan place in mixing bowl with quinoa and millet.

Do not dispose of the skillet.

Turn on oven, preheat to 350f. Prepare roasting pan (make sure you have a rack).

You’ll need about a gallon (not packed) of chopped, rinsed greens (this time was roughly 2/3rds kale, 1/3 collards. I’d prefer the reverse, substitute spinach if you love it. Put half of this into the mixing bowl with the quinoa and mushrooms.

Chop very finely (to slightly larger than peppercorn size) about a cup and a half of carrots. Add to the mixing bowl.

Add about 3/4ths a teaspoon each of sage, rosemary, thyme, 1/2 a tsp each of salt and pepper to mixing bowl. Add about two or three more garlic cloves also smashed and chopped fine.

Rinse and finely chop the mint leaves add to bowl.

Rinse the chicken in cold water.

Hand mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. (If you are any judge of volume you’ll note this is way more than actually fits into a chicken, shut up and keep mixing.)

Stuff the chicken.

Take the rest of the stuffing, put it in an oven safe glass bowl, cover with foil, put into the oven and remove at the same times as the chicken.

Rub the chicken down with margarine or whatever spread you use. (Unless its vegemite or marmalade because that’d just be weird.)

Peel and cut into large chunks 2-4 carrots per person and drop into the pan.

Add an inch or two of water to the skillet you cooked the mushrooms in. Warm on medium for one to two minutes so that it loosens the bacon grease, mushroom bits and spice, pour into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Add about 2 tablespoons of margarine to water and carrots in the bottom of the pan.

Remove the skin from the shallots, cut into thirds. Place in pan with carrots. Add some salt and pepper, and if you’re so minded, another garlic clove or three. Add about 1 tablespoon of lime juice to pan.

At this point your oven should be preheated.

Cover pan, cook until meat thermometer says 150f (yes I know.), baste the birdy.

Now that the chicken is nearly cooked, take that other half gallon of greens you’ve nearly forgotten, dump them into the pan.

Keep covered unto the thermometer says 165f, remove cover from pan and allow to brown.

When browned, remove from over, remove chicken from pan, allow to stand for 5+ minutes minimum then slice.

You now have something that will look like this on your plate**:

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Wherever we end up as a species, here on earth with the last human taking one last breath or twenty one millennia from now dying a few billion at a time in a galactic war, I doubt we’ll ever lose the love of sharing meals with each other.

 

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*The bacon and Jim Beam Maple are to make the cooking more enjoyable, no need to add them to the mix.

** For whatever reason chicken or white meats always look slightly pink with my camera, I suspect the lighting.

 

Also, note there will be bloggage tomorrow to, and its even about books.