The OF Blog: A Feast of Ice and Fire Cookbook review, Part II: Honeyed Chicken; Oatcakes

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Feast of Ice and Fire Cookbook review, Part II: Honeyed Chicken; Oatcakes

After the success I had in making the honey biscuits (cookies), I thought I would try two more recipes from the A Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook.  The first recipe I tried was for Honeyed Chicken, which involved taking a chicken (I substituted a single breast with skin for a whole chicken and reduced the ingredient portions to 1/3 of the listed measures as a result), rubbing it with melted butter and salt, and baking it for nearly 1 hour (I baked at 410°F instead of the recipe's 450° due to the size of the breast).  In the meantime, I mixed together in a saucepan and set at simmer honey, apple cider vinegar, butter, mint (or rather 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract), and raisins.  The recipe called for this to go roughly 30 minutes, or until the dried fruit (I had no currants on hand) began to fill out. 

The problem I ran into, and this is more a matter of reduction of ingredients to 1/3 portions, is that in less than 15 minutes at simmer, the mixture began to carmelize.  Although I added enough water to rescue the mixture, you can see in the photo that the sauce turned out to be much darker and thicker.  Despite this, the mixture of sweet and sour did make the chicken breast taste delicious.  Knowing the perils of the reduced mixture simmering, I think the next time I try to make it that it'll be set at a slightly lower setting, but I certainly will try it again in the near future as even with the problems detailed above, the taste was good enough for me to want to have it again.  I just wished the raisins hadn't carmelized in the process, as I do love eating raisins from time to time.

The second recipe I made, Oatcakes, went much better.  I have made oatmeal cookies numerous times in the past, but never had I had to take a mixture of butter, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla extract, flour, and oats and roll it out (after chilling it as two flattened disks for an hour) as if I were making biscuits.  After doing that and making 28 halves, I experimented some and made almost half of the 14 sandwich wholes with a chopped pine nut/olive oil paste (as suggested in the recipe), others with strawberry jelly (not pictured), marshmallow paste, and even one with French Vanilla ice cream (not pictured).

By itself, the sandwich halves are a bit drier and crunchier than the oatmeal cookies I've made in the past.  However, when combined with a jam or spread, they turned out well.  The pine nut spread took some time getting used to, as there was very little sweetness to the sandwich, compared to the other mixtures.  These came very close to the image provided in the cookbook and while I am uncertain if I want to devote over an hour to making them (the oatmeal cookies I make rarely take more than 10 minutes of prep time, with no chilling), they certainly did taste very well.

Sometime later this weekend or next week, I'm going to try the Lemon Cakes recipe and perhaps a catfish variant on the Almond Crusted Trout recipe.  So far, so good with these recipes, even with the problems outlined above.

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