Sue’s Famous Mediterranean Chicken Bake

A couple of weeks ago, we were so lucky to have the in-laws visit from Adelaide. This is Dusty’s mum’s famous dish. It’s always a favourite, comes out perfect and there is NEVER any left overs! The chicken’s tender, the potatoes crispy but soft on the inside and oh, I love the lemon that sits at the very bottom soaking up all the juices. Nom, nom, nom! I’ve included the use of essential oils in this one and it came out amazing!

Ingredients

6 chicken thigh skin off, 4 small potatoes, 2 tomatoes, 2 lemons, 2 cloves of garlic, ½ cup black olives pitted, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 drops Rosemary essential oil, 4 drops Lemon essential oil.

Instructions

Preheat the oven 220 degrees celsius. Slice 1 whole lemon and line the casserole dish. Slice chicken thigh in half and score thickest parts of meat. Line evenly in the casserole dish on top of the lemon slices. In a mixing bowl, add cubed potatoes (skin on), tomato in quarters, finely chopped garlic, ½ cup of black olives, juice of 1 lemon, grate half lemon rind, rosemary & lemon essential oils, salt, pepper to taste and olive oil. Mix well and add fill up the casserole dish covering the chicken. Put in oven and cook for 1.5 hours.

 

Steam BBQ pork buns

Last weekend, I made steam BBQ pork buns. It’s a rare treat as I don’t often make it and really missed authentic Vietnamese home cooking. It spurred me to get the steamer out and make something delicious! I’ve added a drop of ginger essential oil to help cut through all the sweet & saltiness of this dish. Try it, you’ll be surprised!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots or red onion
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 drop of ginger essential oil
  • 1½ cup sliced pork belly

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (you can also just use a regular mixing bowl and knead by hand), dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Sift together the flour and corn starch, and add it to the yeast mixture along with the sugar and oil. Turn on the mixer to the lowest setting and let it go until a smooth dough ball is formed. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 2 hours.
  2. While the dough is resting, make the meat filling. Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for a minute. Add in sliced pork belly and fry until cooked. Turn heat down to medium-low, and add the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and dark soy. Stir and cook until the mixture starts to bubble up. Add the chicken stock and flour, cooking for a couple minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool. Add 1 drop of ginger essential oil and stir through while it’s cooling down. If you make the filling ahead of time, cover and refrigerate to prevent it from drying out. A neat trick is to also take a pair of scissors and cut up the meat so that it’s little bit sizes too.
  3. After the dough has rested for 2 hours, add the baking powder to the dough and turn the mixer on to the lowest setting. At this point, if the dough looks dry or you’re having trouble incorporating the baking powder, add 1-2 teaspoons water. Gently knead the dough until it becomes smooth again. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for another 15 minutes. In the meantime, get a large piece of parchment paper and cut it into ten 8cm squares. Prepare your steamer by bringing the water to a boil.
  4. Now we are ready to assemble the buns: roll the dough into a long tube and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Press each piece of dough into a disc about 4½ inches in diameter (it should be thicker in the centre and thinner around the edges). Add some filling and pleat the buns until they’re closed on top.
  5. Place each bun on a parchment paper square, and steam. I steamed the buns in two separate batches using a metal pot steamer (be sure the boiling water does not touch the buns during steaming process). You can use the wooden steamers too! Once the water boils, place the buns in the steamer and steam each batch for 12 minutes over high heat.

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