Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Recipes by Petula Clark: Chicken Curry; Chocolate Mousse; Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce

Petula Clark's Chicken Curry

1 cleaned broiler-fryer chicken (about 3 pounds), cut into pieces
1 stalk celery, cut in 3 pieces
1 small onion, peeled and cut into pieces
1 small carrot, washed and diced large
1 small bay leaf
4 sprigs parsley
Water (to cover chicken)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons butter or chicken fat
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
1 small apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped or 2 tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
About 2 cups chicken stock
Cooked chicken pieces, skinned, bones removed and cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup light cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup seedless raisins, soaked in warm water or brandy
Mango chutney

Stock: Place chicken pieces, celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley and enough water to cover chicken in large stock pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, discarding any surface material that forms. Cover; reduce heat to simmer. Cook until chicken is tender, about 2 hours.

Remove chicken to plate. Strain stock; cook, uncovered, to reduce in volume to about 2 cups. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill. Remove layer of congealed chicken fat that forms on surface.

Curry: Heat butter or chicken fat in large skillet; sauté onion in fat until golden. Add garlic and apple or tomato. Cook over low heat until apples are soft.

In small bowl, combine flour and curry powder; stir into onion mixture. Cook a few minutes to blend into thick, smooth paste. Gradually add chicken stock and chicken, stirring often over medium heat, cooking until curry is thick. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste. Add raisins. Cook slightly longer to desired thickness.

Serve over hot cooked rice. Serve mango chutney on the side. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Petula Clark's Chocolate Mousse

4 ozs. (or squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut up
1/2 cup sweet butter
4 eggs, separated
6 tbsps. finely granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

1. Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler, stirring with whip until chocolate is barely melted.

2. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture is thick and smooth. Place bowl over saucepan with few inches water that is barely simmering, being sure the bowl is not resting in the water.

3. Warm mixture over low heat, stirring constantly for a few. minutes. Remove bowl from heat, continue beating until mixture has cooled and is the consistency of mayonnaise.

4. Whisk chocolate-butter mixture into cooked egg-sugar mixture until well blended. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into chocolate mixture. Spoon into individual petit pots (or glass dessert cups). Refrigerate several hours (or overnight preferably) before serving. Serve alone or with mounds of slightly sweetened whipped cream. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Chocolate addicts prefer the pure chocolate flavor. However, for flavor variations: add vanilla sugar (made by putting a piece of vanilla bean into the sugar bin), flavor extracts (vanilla, brandy or orange), liqueurs or brandies (orange, creme de cacao, Cointreau or kirsch), strong coffee, and-or garnishings of shaved dark chocolate, ground chopped pistachio nuts or toasted almond slivers.

Petula Clark's Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce

For the mint sauce:

1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
3 tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup malt vinegar

1. Pick young leaves from stalks, wash, dry well. Pick off leaves, mince finely; put in glass mixing bowl with sugar.

2. Heat vinegar to boiling; pour over mint and sugar in bowl, stir until sugar is dissolved. Let mixture cool and stand several hours before using.

To prepare the leg of lamb:

6-lb. leg of lamb
2 cloves garlic
Sprigs of fresh mint (or dried mint leaves)
1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Watercress, then lemon slices

1. Insert slivers of garlic and mint in slits cut into meaty part of roast with sharp, slender knife. Rub outside with lemon juice, season well with salt and pepper.

2. Place skin-side down on a rack in an open roasting pan.l Insert a meat thermometer so bulb reaches center of the thickest part of the leg, making sure it does not rest on bone or fat.

3. Roast uncovered in preheated 300 degrees F. oven until thermometer registers 170 (rare) to 180 (medium), or allow 30-35 minutes per pound.

4. Remove leg to heated serving platter. Garnish with watercress and slices of cut lemon. Let stand a few minutes before serving. Serve with fresh mint sauce, Brussels sprouts or crunchy (barely-cooked petits pois or string beans. Roast serves 8-10.

Thoughts: If desired, sauce can be sweetened slightly according to taste. When fresh mint is not available, dried mint flakes may be substituted in recipe, or a mint or tarragon vinegar substituted, slightly sweetened. 

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