The Night I Almost (Food-)Poisoned the Rennetans.

We’re in Phase one post-Circuit Breaker and we’re about to go into Phase two at the end of this week. While Singapore slowly loosens its Covid-19 measures and life starts to return back to some kind of pre-virus normality, I’m still happily pulling bread out of the oven.

I’ve always thought myself too impatient a person to bake bread, what with all the proofing and second proofing. It takes too much time compared to cake where I throw everything into a mixing bowl, pour it out into a tin and shove it straight into the oven to get cooking. I’m still not the most patient person but acquainting myself into the world of sourdough has made me learn to take a step back, and realise that there are some things of beauty that need time to reach its peak.

With sourdough, how my starter behaves is out of my control. I have learnt the importance of working around my starter rather than trying to force everything to fit around my schedule. Now, I realise that by working with my starter, it also works along with me and we’ve figured out a way to work together… most of the time.

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I made sourdough brioche just this weekend. Half this loaf contains cranberries while the other half was left plain.

And I also baked up a batch and a half of milk buns with assorted fillings. This was made using instant yeast instead of sourdough. It’s nice to return to yeasted breads every so often. It’s a lot more predictable to work with and less of a challenge. Still, it yields delicious carbs for our hungry tummies!

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As you may be able to see, most of these flavours were requested by the hubs. He’s not into savoury buns so the ham and cheese were more for Mum and Dad.

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This is what happens when you overfill the gula melaka (palm sugar) coconut bun. It finds a way to seep out partway through baking.

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I have to admit that was a little hasty to get the brioche baking so it was ever-so-slightly underproofed.

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Hubs was still extremely happy with it because it meant having brioche french toast for breakfast.

And now we come to my bit of confession from my post-title. Last Saturday, I decided to try my hand at roasting a whole chicken for our family for dinner. I have never roasted a chicken whole before because usually, with just Florian and I at home, I’ll just roast a couple of chicken legs or pan-sear some breast. I really wanted to try a recipe for Kecap Manis (sweet dark soy sauce) Roast chicken that included garlic, lemongrass, coriander seeds, turmeric and coriander stems (did not have this so used chives lol) in its marinade.

I happily cleaned the chicken out the day before and marinated it overnight.

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Two mistakes I made:

  1. I should have taken the chicken out maybe an hour earlier to come to room temperature. I forgot and took it out about a half hour before roasting.
  2. I roasted the chicken about 50min but based on its weight, should have added another 10-15min onto the timer.

As a result, the chicken looked pretty but it was still undercooked when we cut into it, all ready for dinner.

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Thankfully, there is nothing 6 minutes in the microwave couldn’t do to save it. It turned out quite delicious and perfectly cooked to eat. We devoured about two-thirds of the chicken and saved the other third for sandwich filling the next day.

Since we were having something Asian, I made some charred cumin-turmeric cauliflower because we need vegetables!!!

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And these super awesome Bombay potatoes. These were so yummy and so easy to make that I want to share the recipe with you! I’d share the roast chicken one too but the recipe still needs a bit of tweaking so once I’m happy with it, (which means I’m going to have to roast another chicken or two… or three), I’ll post the recipe up!

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Bombay Potatoes (Serves 4)

350g potatoes, cut into large cubes
1″ pc ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
180g tomato puree
1 tomato, diced, or 8 cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
pinch of salt
2 green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp garam masala
small bunch of coriander, chopped (optional)

  1. In a pot, cover potatoes with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook 8-10 min until tender. Drain water and steam dry.
  2. Heat oil in frying pan and saute onions with salt. Cook for about 12-15 min until golden, soft and sticky. 
  3. Add green chillies, mustard seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, cumin and garam masala. Fry for 1-2 min until fragrant. 
  4. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, grated ginger and minced garlic. Bring to a gently simmer. 
  5. Add potatoes and stir in gently. 
  6. Once everything is heated through, check and adjust seasoning. Dish onto plate and garnish with coriander. Serve hot! 

This is really a flavour bomb and will be a great side to any roast you are thinking of making. I imagine it’ll also go really well with dosa (think: Masala dosa) although I’m still trying to perfect my dosa making skills, or a vegetarian filling for flatbreads – yes carbs on carbs. What better what to eat carbs?!

Let me know if you get round the trying this. I promise you, you’ll have no regrets!

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