Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stuff a Duck

Okay, this was a chicken, but I am counting it as "how to stuff and bake poultry." Awesome thing to learn, right? Heres to russian roommates in Tajikistan! This girl is a phd at NYU on Russian-Arab relations. And yes, she speaks both languages.)There are more recipes to come from Masha, but most I find hard to transcribe a) because the ingredients are russian and I have very little hope of finding them once I leave this, the land of the former soviet republics, and b) she always says she is "trying" a recipe. But I've wisened up and started taking photos the first time. Worry not.


1. clean poultry and rub the skin and inside with salt and pepper

2. chop up your stuffins - in this case peaches and fresh herbs

3. stuff chicken/duck and put some more around the edges

**use a pan that fits snuggly the size of your poultry**

4. cover

5. bake at ~350F until you start to smell the distinct "cooked chicken" smell

6. uncover and allow to brown

7. cut into it to make sure it is actually cooked

**note: the pan will be FULL of juice by the end of this, especially if you use a lot of fruit. I am going to try to find a way to turn this into a gravy or just thicken it from the start. I do believe my mom can do that, so stay tuned...**

Ingredient ideas:

**Chicken with peaches, fresh mint, and some purple herb from the Tajiki Bazaar... no clue what it actually was, but when fresh herbs are 3-bunches for 25 cent... you just use what smells good and enjoy it! (Pictured here)

**Duck with Apples: halving the apples is enough before stuffing, but dont worry about dicing them up.

Apricot Purée

I feel that my entire life I have been trying to find the right topping for pancakes. Syrup has a great flavor, but it just fades away and you get too much sugar. Fruit has no adhesion with the pancakes... But this was it. It has a naturally light sweet flavor, and is a a full, rich texture, making the basic starch of the pancakes into a more substantial dish.

Here here to living with a bunch of girls who know how to cook in the off-the-top-of-the-head, working-with-what-you-find-in-the-Tajiki-bazaar way. This one goes to Jaimie, whose sometimes-british accent makes me love her all the more.

Oh, and I am in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. More on that to follow, but for now all you need to know is to not hate on the ugly dishes.


Bunch of Apricots

Complicated, right? It only gets better.

Wash, halve and pit the apricots (take out the seeds) and freeze them.

Thaw them.

Apricots apparently dont take to freezing well, so this gives them a sort of watery, gooey consistency. At this point, put them in a pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until you get a beautiful, thick, apricot goo. Call it a fancy name like "pruée" and put it over pancakes or pork. Can't wait to try the second one.