Scotch Quail Eggs

Proper Scotch eggs with lovely Scottish cheese and pickle

Photo Credit: Jamie Oliver, 2015

I am totally obsessed with the “Outlander” series of novels by Diana Gabaldon as much as I am about food and cooking. As with all of the books, the types of foods eaten by the fictional characters are often mentioned and in the 7th novel in the series, “An Echo In the Bone” mentions Scotch eggs in Chapter 74.

I have seen them before and they reminded me of a meatloaf with a boiled egg encased in ground meat. I never tried one, but after seeing them occasionally on cooking shows and eventually reading the Outlander books, my culinary curiosity went into overdrive…….

The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but they may have been inspired by the Mughlai dish nargisi kofta or “Narcissus meatballs” once served from the Imperial Kitchens of Maharajas of India and were are composed  of minced or ground meat—usually beef, pork or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onion. For the most part, koftas are still a popular dish in Afghan, Arab,  Indian,Palestinian, Iranian, Jordanian, Kurdish, Moroccan, Pakistani, Romanian, Lebanese, and Turkish cuisines.

Given the origins of the Scotch egg, it would have most likely been influenced by Indian cuisine, since The British first arrived in India in the early 1600s and soon established trading posts in a number of cities under the control of The East India Company. By 1765 the Company’s influence had grown to such an extent that the British were effectively controlling most parts of the country.

The earliest printed recipe for Scotch eggs first  appeared in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell—and later 19th-century authors—served them hot, with gravy.

In these modern times, Scotch eggs are a common picnic food. In the United Kingdom packaged Scotch eggs are commonly available in supermarkets, corner shops and motorway service stations. Miniature versions are also widely available, sold as “savoury eggs”, “picnic eggs”, “party eggs”, “snack eggs”, “egg bites” or similar. These contain chopped egg or a quail’s egg, rather than a whole chicken egg, and sometimes contain mayonnaise or chopped bacon.

In the United States, many “British-style” pubs and eateries serve Scotch eggs, usually served hot with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce, or hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair Scotch eggs are served on a stick. Scotch eggs are available at most Renaissance Festivals from Maryland to Texas.

Not fully committed to using full sized chicken eggs, I opted to use quail eggs for this recipe. And I must say, the results were spectacular!

Makes About A Dozen Eggs

Ingredients:
12  quail eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 pound good quality bulk pork sausage
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 sprig fresh rosemary , leaves picked and very finely chopped
1 sprig fresh sage , leaves picked and very finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh chives , finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley , leaves picked and finely chopped
1 whole nutmeg , for grating
Vegetable oil, for frying
English mustard

Directions:
Fill a pot two-thirds full of water and bring to a gentle boil. Gently add the quail eggs. Do not over crowd the pot and continue to boil for 4 to 5 minutes for hard boiled eggs. Remove the eggs from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into ice cold water. Peel when cold.

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Put the sausage meat into another bowl with the herbs, paprika,a good grating of nutmeg, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.Gently mix until combined.Divide sausage into 12 equal portions.

Place flour in a wide shallow bowl and panko in another wide shallow bowl. Pat 1 portion of sausage into a thin patty over the length of your palm. Lay an egg on top of sausage and wrap sausage around egg, sealing to completely enclose. Repeat with remaining sausage and eggs.

Whisk your large egg in a medium bowl to blend. Working gently with 1 sausage-wrapped egg at a time, dip eggs into flour, shaking off excess, then coat in egg wash. Roll in panko to coat.

Place the coated eggs on a plate and store  in the refrigerator, uncovered for 1 to 2 hours.

Attach a deep-fry thermometer to side of a heavy pot. Pour in oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat to 375°F. Fry eggs, turning occasionally and maintaining oil temperature of 350°F, until sausage is cooked through and breading is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.

Photo Credit: I AM A FOOD BLOG.COM, 2015

Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggs to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve warm with mustard.


Coconut Braised Chicken

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To be perfectly honest, I truly enjoyed cooking this dish in my new Le Creuset Signature Cast-Iron Round Dutch Oven, just as much as eating the most delicious braised chicken I have had in a while. This perfectly braised fragrant chicken stew is a cultural transformation of Asian, Central and South American ingredients—coconut, cumin, Mexican chorizo, cilantro and lime.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons canola oil
3 whole chicken legs
3 chicken thighs
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 dried chile de árbol, broken in half
1 Tablespoon Madras curry powder
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus sprigs
7 coffee beans, finely crushed (1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Add the chorizo and onion to the casserole 
and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chile and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, potatoes, curry powder and  chicken to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lime juice and butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. 


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To make the gremolata,  In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.


Spoon the braised chicken and potatoes into shallow bowls. Garnish with the gremolata 
and cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges.

Cook’s Notes:

This dish taste better the next day. The braised chicken can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Oven Fried Mustard Chicken

Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

Photo Credit: Carmen Strudy, 2015

Adapted from
Laurie Colwin, A Confidante In The Kitchen

This oven fried  Sunday-night-supper chicken dish, which can also be served at an elegant dinner party, is baked for about two hours (yes, you read that correctly: two hours) until its bread crumb-coated skin is crisp — yet the meat miraculously maintains its moisture. The recipe, adapted from the great food writer Laurie Colwin, is so simple to make that her original version was written out in a brief paragraph, casually instructing the home cook to coat the chicken with mustard, garlic, a little thyme, a pinch of cinnamon. The recipe has been adapted to include measurements and more specific direction, but that should not stop you from absorbing her nonchalance and confidence as you make it, the certainty that it will turn out delicious every time.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

¾ cup  Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups fine dry Panko bread crumbs
Two chickens, 2 to 3 pounds each, quartered, rinsed and pat dried with paper towels
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika, or as needed
Vegetable cooking spray
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine mustard, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place  the Panko bread crumbs in another large bowl.

Working in batches, coat  the chicken pieces  with mustard mixture. Shake off excess mustard, then coat completely with bread crumbs. Line a  large shallow baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray a baking rack with vegetable cooking spray.  Arrange the coated chicken in a single layer on top of the rack.

Dust the chicken with paprika and  lightly spritz with vegetable cooking  spray. Scatter butter pieces on top. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and crispy, about 2 hours. Depending on the oven, the size of the pan and the size of the chickens, baking time may be as long as 2 1/2 hours. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

Photo Credit: Carmen Sturdy, 2015