Ashburton Cookery School Day 2

Only two days into the course and we were already cutting up a whole chicken complete with head, feet and insides to remove. Cutting off the feet through the ankle joint was fine, it was the neck that was most challenging. It was relatively hard to avoid looking at the head as I tried to force my knife through the neck, waiting for the crack. Then it was pulling out the insides, releasing a far from pleasant kitchen aroma. Once all of that was done, the bird looked a little more like a supermarket chicken and more like food, and less like an animal that had been alive just a couple of days ago, walking around doing and thinking what ever it is chickens like to do and think. Next we learnt how to remove the breast, legs and wings. Keeping the breasts out for our evening meal and freezing the rest for another day.

For lunch we made a red onion soup with parmesan croutons. I really am starting to see how much difference home-made stock makes to soups and sauces. I’ve tried making onion soup several times before, but have never managed to get it tasting this good. After lunch we made a mozzarella, olive and rosemary stuffing to use tomorrow and segmented oranges and grapefruits to have for dessert with the passionfruit sorbet we made in the morning. This was such a lovely sorbet to eat, refreshing but not too bitter and very flavourful. I’ve never been a huge sorbet fan, but today’s sorbet has converted me, so much so that I now desperately want an ice cream maker so that I can make more sorbets like this one at home.

For dinner we cooked the chicken breasts we’d removed from our chickens in the morning and served them with a delicious white wine sauce enriched with cream and butter, glazed carrots and sautéed wild mushrooms and courgettes.

We ended the day going over what we would be cooking tomorrow, a very exciting sounding line up!

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