Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Monday, 23 July 2007

Arrrhhhh - the trauma of this weekend. I read Harry Potter all day Saturday (fantastic) and finished at 9pm. The problem then was that no one I knew had finished reading it (they still haven't) and I wasn't able to discuss it with anyone - I can't begin to imagine how JK Rowling managed to keep it all a secret for 10 years. Anyway a big thumbs up from me for the whole series and particularly the last book which I loved!

Yesterday, we painted our chicken coup red and white so it looks like an american barn. Progress is being made on the run so it should only be a few weeks now until the new hens arrive.

With spare time yesterday that I wasn't expecting, I cooked a nice Sunday lunch of Roast chicken stuffed with mushrooms:

Wild Mushroom Roast Chicken

1 whole chicken

200grams cream or mascapone cheese

150grams grated mushrooms

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp dried porchini mushrooms soaked in boiling water and Marsala wine.

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

400ml Marsala wine

2 tbsp cream fraiche

Begin by making the mushroom stuffing. Cook the grated mushrooms in a frying pan in the butter. Season well. Finely chop the porchini mushrooms and add them to the pan (reserve the soaking liquor for the sauce). Cook until the mushrooms have gone dark and smell woody and earthy. Leave aside to cool. When the mushrooms are cool mix them into the cream cheese and season. You could add other flavourings at this stage (chopped chives, lemon rind etc if you wished). Using a flat hand ease your hand between the skin and the body of the chicken so that you have a pocket across the top of the bird. Fill this pocket with the stuffing (the easiest way is to use a piping bag but a spoon works OK too). Brush the chicken with olive oil and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pour over 200ml of the Marsala wine. Cook the chicken following the directions on the pack that came with the chicken. The chicken is cooked when you pierce the flesh with a knife and the juices run out clean. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside. Place the roasting tray with the juices from cooking over the heat, add the remaining Marsala and some of the mushroom soaking liquor and allow to simmer. Season to taste. Stir in the cream fraiche and continue to heat gently until the sauce thickens. Serve with new potatoes and roasted vegetables with the sauce poured over.


David Hall said...

Well, did he die or not? :o)

A cracking recipe Hannah, a really lovely and different way of roasting a chicken. I have to do this soon, will post back with thoughts. There may be something you would like to try on the Blog......x

Joanna said...

My son stayed up all night reading, and has also finished - but you are both eclipsed by the speed reading lady who apparently broke a world record by reading it in 45 minutes and one second!

My daughter cooked supper yesterday while we were all at the cricket - chicken and mushrooms - but she stuffed the mushrooms, rather than using them to do the stuffing. Delicious. However, I will show her your version, because chicken and mushrooms are her two favourite foods.

Thanks for sharing


Marie said...

That chicken does sound delicious. I'll have to give it a try! Would love to see some pictures of the chicken coup once you have the new hens!

Kate said...

Hi Hannah :-)
Would you be interested in taking part in a blogging event to raise awareness of conditions in the broiler chicken industry? Full information and details of how to participate are available at http://amerrierworld.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/let-them-eat-chicken/