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December 2000 Issue
Ginger -- Zingiber officinale
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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Note: Please feel free to use the Measurement Conversions tool to convert any unfamiliar units in the recipes to those you are more comfortable using.

You know, sometimes you can get carried away in the kitchen -- at least, I know I can. Have you ever had one of those days when you're in there, you're chopping, slicing, and dicing, and all of a sudden a simple meal for four people turns into the equivalent of the tale of the loaves and the fishes? I have days like that all the time. Before I'm done, I've switched pots three times to accommodate the burgeoning stew, soup or whatever else is on the simmer.

Well . . . last month's column on ginger was kinda like that. Remember I told you my friend Steven was helping me by researching and testing the recipes?? Well, he got carried away. Since they all seemed so yummy and different, I had a hard time deciding which ones NOT to use. So I left it up to Ronda -- she's the editor and chief cook and bottle washer around Seasoned Cooking.

It seems Ronda didn't want to be the one to make that decision either. So instead we ended up with a two-part column. Welcome to "Ginger Part Two".

There are lots more interesting recipes in store for you and plenty of good eating besides. So sit back, relax, and read on. And don't forget to try them out! Before I hand over the column to Steven again, here's a quick rundown of the recipes in this article:

 

Ginger Chicken

  • 2 teaspoons 5 aroma powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground Szechwan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon 5 pepper mixture, or freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 20 slices of fresh ginger
  • 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled but slightly crushed
  • 1 chicken of about 1 1/2 kg (I strongly recommend free range chickens, they taste better and I think they absorb the herbs a lot more.)
Mix the 5 aroma powder, Szechwan pepper, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture evenly into the inside of the cleaned chicken. Now mix the sage, marjoram, ginger, and garlic in a bowl, spread the mixture evenly inside the chicken and close with a skewer.

Preheat the oven to 240° C or 475°F.

Place the chicken (breast up) in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180°C or 350°F and cook for a further 40 minutes. Now turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, lay it breast down and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. Carefully remove the skewer and drain any fluid that may have collected inside. Cut the chicken with a sharp knife or a good pair of chicken scissors into four portions and serve on preheated plates. I served it with French bread, chilled Balaton (a dry Hungarian red wine) and a fresh seasonal salad. The reaction was, "when are you going to do this one again Steven?"

 

Barbecued Chicken Legs with Soy Sauce and Mustard
  • 450g chicken legs, skinned and boned
  • 3 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange peel finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smooth parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
Lay the skinned and boned chicken legs on a baking tray.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a mixer until they have an even texture.

Spread the mixture evenly on both sides of the chicken legs.

When the charcoal is glowing, grill the chicken each side for about 10 minutes, till they are nicely brown. (The finger test is a way to see if the are just right, press the flesh in the middle with your finger, when the flesh just stops giving in to the pressure of your finger then the meat is done to a "T".) Serve with a fresh summer salad and freshly baked Ciabatta (just out of the oven) and garlic butter.

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