Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bigoli al'anatra

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The freezer is emptying out quickly in preparation for the 2013 share. I have been terrible at posting. It is so easy during the season to sit down weekly as a part of the rhythm. This time of year weeks and months pass and I don't even realize it. Most of our meals have been using sauces that I create from frozen cubes of vegetables. We put them over cous cous, brown rice, pasta, quinoa, etc. 
This is one of my very favorite dishes from Italia. I actually modified it a bit and used the slow cooker. I cooked the whole duck for 4 hours on high, then removed skin and bones and cooked another hour. Then we shredded the meat and broth in our blender. It is also very difficult to find bigoli in the U.S. so I used bucatini, which is very similar. It is a thick spaghetti with a hole (like a straw). It was so wonderful. Our kids actually loved it. I used a bag of heirloom celery and frozen pureed tomatoes.

Bigoli al'anatra (Duck Bigoli)
4 duck legs and thighs, skin removed
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces red wine (Chianti preferred)
1 (28-ounce can) tomatoes, peeled whole
1 cup chicken stock
2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash the duck legs and remove all fat. Pat dry.  In a heavy-bottomed casserole or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until smoking. Add the duck legs and cook until brown on all sides and remove, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and celery and cook until softened, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, chicken stock and dried mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add the duck legs and return to a boil, lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Remove the duck legs and allow to cool. Pull all meat off the bones and return to pot, without the bones. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until quite thick. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Fill a large pot with 6 quarts water and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook bigoli until "al dente", about 8 to 9 minutes. Heat the sauce, drain pasta and toss in pan. Toss to coat and serve immediately. * Recipe from Mario Batali

Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken with Bok Choy

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A recent find that we enjoyed using bok choi frozen from the summer's share.

Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken with Bok Choy
About 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (note: you can use bone-in thighs but will need to cook the chicken about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (divided)
About 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (usually 2 smallish or 1 largish head)
salt and pepper
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange them in the bottom of a slow cooker. Combine the next five ingredients (through the canola oil) in a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon on the brown sugar; whisk until well blended. Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. Meanwhile, wash and chop the bok choy (you will use all the green part and some of the sturdier white part -- discard the base as you would with celery). When the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker temporarily and add the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar to the cooker liquid, stirring to dissolve. Stir in the bok choy until it is a bit coated with the sauce, then place the chicken on top of the bok choy. Replace the lid and cook on HIGH for about another 8-10 minutes or until the bok choy is tender. May be served over brown rice. * Recipe from Kitchen Ninja - adapted from Mom's Kitchen Handbook and A Year of Slow Cooking