Pok Pok Pok … Who’s there? Chicken. Chicken who ? …. I don’t really know!
To tell you the truth, I never really get the chicken jokes. I get them ok, but like so many of you, I don’t find them funny. Unless of course Andreas and Mathias tell them, and the soft hearted mom that I am, cannot help but to laugh at their jokes. So I guess that after all, most people that laugh at chicken jokes have their own reason to do so.
My favorite though would be :
Why shouldn’t you tell an egg a joke?
Because it might crack up!
Conclusion, maybe I should stick to story telling and cooking, rather than jokes, in fear of cracking up the chicken egg :) (hmmm …. sorry about that – I had to)
Talking about chicken though, this Honey Pot Roasted Farm Chicken recipe is a must try.
Farm raised chicken used to be a tradition in Haiti before we got all the imported stuff in. This had nothing to do with the trendiness wave of eating farm grown, non GMO, natural and organic. It was just the way things happen on an island.
Nowadays, it has become rare to find it in the supermarket, and even when you do, the thought of buying it rarely comes to mind, as it is not as soft as the chicken meat we have gotten accustomed to eating.
This recipe will get you thinking otherwise though. The sweet and caramelized coating that the honey brings to this preparation is simply delicious. It is easy to make, as you just need to forget it on the stovetop for 2 hours. In every bite, if you are like me, you will taste grandma’s cooking. Mamie, my own grandma, used to hide her recipes secretly in a drawer in her memory. I like to think though that I inherited my passion for cooking from her. Mamie was the type of lady that would smile proudly when you complimented her on her recipe, then suddenly realizing that she had smiled, would take it back, and pretend it was no big deal… something simple, tossed here and there… not to give it any importance. And when you’d ask what she put in it. Then the secrecy began. “Nothing” she would say … “A little spices here and there. What I had on hand truly.” And nothing more would come out of her.
My good friend Christine, my cousin Christelle and I were once commissioned by our parents as teenagers to go learn the tricks of the trade in her kitchen. The plan was that we would go on a Saturday to her place and learn how to make her traditional, exquisite, delicious chicken pie (pâté au poulet) that she made all the time.
Meeting was set weeks in advance and we were to be there at 10 o’clock sharp.
We drive all the way up to Malique, a really beautiful, untouched, highly green area in the upper hills of Pétion-Ville, to her house early saturday morning. My grandma had a thing for this area way before anyone even knew it existed. This neighborhood was completely virgin, and when you drove up the dirt road leading half way to the top of the mountain where she lived, you would pass old trees that looked like they had been witness to the past 200 years of passerbys, and that they could tell you all the secrets of this jungle like area. Little did we know we should have asked them for her recipes, because once we reached there, to our big surprise, a nice table was set for brunch, and the pie was …. well, ready to go in the oven.
Her idea of sharing the recipe, simply ended up in stick it in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees. Punto Barro!
Hmmmm… I should try to replicate that chicken pâté one day in memory of her, and see how it turns out. I’ll certainly keep you posted on that one.
In the mean time, try this easy chicken recipe, and enjoy your “Ti Poule Pye Chèch” as we call it here, which literally translates to “Little Skinny Leg Chicken.” We do have an imagination and overly expressive and descriptive language. That’s the beauty of creole!
One tip though, if you feel like using your fingers, go for it, because as the boys proudly said when eating it, the best part is the fingerlicious good bone sucking.
A delicious meal, to share with family this weekend. Serve with your favorite sides, which here I have accompanied with some delicious fresh corn in cooked in garlic butter and topped with grated parmesan cheese, and a little jasmin rice with sliced almonds coated in sea salt butter with dried raisins.
Ingredients for 6-8 people
2 farm chickens seasoned and cut into pieces 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon garlic paste 3 spring onions 1 large onion 2 carrots julienned into large sticks 4 tbsp honey 1 cup water in bowl that had seasoned the chicken 1 tsp Herbes de Provence Salt and pepper to taste
For the marinade: 1 whole garlic (about 10-12 cloves) 1/2 cup fresh parsley 4 small leaks 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Clean thoroughly and separate your whole farm chickens into pieces. Legs with thighs, breasts, wings, gizzard, neck, etc. Season them abundantly with your marinade that you will have mixed in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Peel the onion and slice it into large cubes.
Cut your onion springs in two, keeping the bulbs whole.
You will need a large deep saucepan with cover as we will cook this on the stovetop.
Heat the saucepan with your 1 tablespoon olive oil and add a tablespoon garlic paste, and then the onion and onion springs.
In your saucepan, roast for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring regularly.
Remove the contents of the pan, add the extra tablespoon of olive oil and put in place the chicken to brown. Brown on all sides and add a little extra oil if you feel you need some.
When the pieces are golden brown, drizzle the honey and coat all the 4 sides of the chicken pieces. Let them caramelize a few minutes before mixing.
Put the carrot sticks, onions and onion springs in pan on top of the chicken and pour water throughout in order to almost cover the chicken meat. Add freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste again, and add the Herbes de Provence. Cover and cook to a simmer for 2 hours over low heat, or until your chicken meat is soft and thoroughly cooked. You will want your sauce to have thickened and your pieces to be roasted in the delicious honey sauce.
Turn off the heat and let stand uncovered 10-15 minutes before serving so that the sauce may thicken some more.
Serve with your favorite sides.