Last Sunday I whipped up a Turkey lunch for the family. Now, using the word ‘whip’ makes it seem as though I had an easy time but other than the sheer huge size of the poultry, the rest of it was simply that easy.
The turkey I bought was an 8pounder baby. Now, that’s not very big but I don’t usually cook on a large scale. The first problem I had was finding a receptacle big enough for brining it overnight.
After much trial and error, I found the biryani pot which I took from my Mama but never returned. It was still a tad too small and the top of the turkey was exposed but it was the best given the circumstances.
The brining liquid was simple. Water, salt, lemon and orange peels, peppercorns, Bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, onion, garlic. Brine overnight.
I’m a working mom. Yes, I do have a helper but that doesn’t mean the helper does everything so I do my bit too. So often, I find myself in the kitchen trying something new for the family to try.
Growing up, my mother used to make for us chicken pies. From scratch, mind you. She’ll make the pastry herself and the filling and voila! As little kids, all we had to do was pop one in the mouth. Ok, several mouthfuls. They were delicious and something my brother and I always looked forward to.
But, like I said, I’m working a full time job. But I do want to make pies. So I found an easy way and that’s to use ready rolled shortcrust pastries. Just cut them into rounds, place on a muffin tray, add the filling, brush the tops with and egg wash and then done! In the oven they go.
If a busy working mom can do this in less than an hour, so can you! 😆
I first learnt this dish from my maternal aunt who had learnt it from her mother in law. It’s very hot but not in your mouth hot. The heat gets to you from the inside. Very visceral and if you follow the traditional Eurasian recipe, you will then put in all the leftover viscera into the dish.
What makes this different from the usual Southeast Asian curries is the liberal use of mustard seeds in the rempah (spice paste). And what makes this special in this region is also that it’s a dish the Eurasian usually cook for Christmas. And since my aunt had learnt it form her mother in law who grew up in a Christian family then, this makes it the most authentic recipe I can get from a family member.
The seasoning which makes this dish different is vinegar! Yes! Distilled white vinegar. I used about 10 tablespoons in total after constantly tasting till I get the right balance. Salt and sugar of course too.
Today’s meal is so simple but soooooo flavourful. Maybe I can call it chicken provencale but I don’t want to offend any food purists out there. But all I know it’s definitely delish! Served with my garlic and rosemary focaccia (well, the Italians had to make a presence here because currently it’s the easiest bread I know how to bake!). The family totally loved this dish!