Fashion Food Fatale & 'Good Chook’

November 23, 2010

Meet FashionFoodFatale's Elizabeth Clarke and Jane Walsh, our new favorite ladies from down under. Time to discover what Thanksgiving's like in the Southern Hemisphere...
Fashion Food Fatale & 'Good Chook’

A luxurious melting pot of culinary and couture delights, FashionFoodFatale is definitely one of our new favorite sites. Created by Elizabeth Clarke (stylist and fashion writer) and Jane Walsh (graphic designer and foodie), FashionFoodFatale features the most delicious news and fatally fabulous fashion the world has to offer. We especially love their Quick Bites (daily snippets of news you need to know along with their quippy comments), obvious adoration for Celine's Spring 2011 collection, restaurant reviews, Last Supper Q&As with interesting people from around the world, as well as the site's overall design and the care that is put into each image.

For the fourth installment of our food-focused mini-series, we asked Clarke and Walsh to discuss how they first got into cooking, what kind of dishes are their favorites, and also to get their recipe for ‘Good Chook’ roasted with Oregano and served with Creamed Corn. Enjoy!

StyledOn: When did you first get into cooking?
Jane Walsh: Pestering my mother to let me sift some flour or crack some eggs. My mum’s a fabulous cook so I had a great teacher. Even now, I still use the tricks and tips she taught me.
Elizabeth Clarke: I have always loved cooking but had to get serious about it when I married a man who loves good food, and has a truly wicked cook for a mother, so the pressure was on!
SO: What kind of dishes are your favorites to make?
JW: Give me the classics. Dependable, popular, and a delight to cook - roasts and old-school desserts, cakes! My other favorite is to experiment with Asian dishes. These flavors are intense and exciting, and particularly suited to the tropical climate of my home in Queensland.
EC: I adore warm and comforting fare, especially anything slow cooked.
SO: What makes for a great meal?
JW: Good wine, great company, a relaxed environment, and food that is simply cooked and packed with flavor and diversity.
Whether at home or in a restaurant, the same mix always works.
EC: A relaxed cook, great music and a beautifully set table.
SO: If you had to choose one: fashion or food?
JW/EC: Man cannot live on sourdough alone so we have to choose both! To us they are equally important.
SO: Favorite restaurants or chefs?
For sheer decadence, Caviar Kaspier in Paris. For beach side dining, Sean Moran’s Panorama on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. For a memorable meal that is sheer genius, the Krug Room at the Mandarin Hong Kong. For healthy nurturing fare, Axe at Venice Beach in LA and for the best steak frite outside of Paris, we love Balthazar in NYC.
SO: How will you be spending Thanksgiving?
We’ll be having an Australian-themed Thanksgiving at the beach, so seafood possibly a fresh Moreton Bay Bug salad with ruby grapefruit, crisp greens and a zingy Asian dressing; cranberry caprioskas; and mini coconut pavlovas with luscious mango cheeks in kaffir lime leaf syrup for dessert. Can’t wait!’s Recipe: ‘Good Chook’ roasted with Oregano and served with Creamed Corn
One of our all time favorite recipes is by Australian chef Sean Moran of Sean’s Panorama at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. This comes from his wonderful cookbook ‘Let It Simmer’, and is comfort food at its absolute best — succulent roast chicken with perfumed oregano, served on a bed of soothing creamed corned, with rich pan juices drizzled over the top. Apparently this is one of Nigella Lawson’s favorites too, so we’re in good company.

Serves 4

6 cloves garlic
2 generous handfuls oregano salt (see method for details)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 heaped tablespoons duck fat or butter
1 x 1.8-2 kg free-range chicken
1 lemon
8 salad onions (or red onions)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
500 ml chicken stock
250 ml dry white wine

For the Creamed Corn:
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
4 cobs fresh corn
50 ml olive oil
6 sprigs thyme
150 ml dry white wine
250 ml Chook Stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel 2 of the cloves of garlic and pick oregano leaves then grind to a smooth paste in a mortar and pestle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix duck fat or butter through paste.

With legs of the chook pointing toward you, slip your fingers under the breast skin to free it from the flesh, pushing carefully all the way down to the wing-bone joint on both sides, then slide seasoned fat in under the skin being careful not to puncture it as you go. Cut lemon in half and squeeze as you insert each half inside cavity of chook. Pull breast skin tightly toward you and make a small incision at the central point, about 1 cm in top of cavity, then tuck the end of each drumstick through this hole so that the legs cross (or truss and tie legs with string). At the other end of the bird, tuck any excess neck skin underneath and twist each wing tip back and under for support in the baking dish.

Trim onions, leaving a 3-4 cm of green stalk then peel. Whisk tomato paste with a little stock until smooth, then stir in remaining stock.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Pour wine into a suitably large, heavy-based baking dish and add onions. Sit chook in dish breast-side up, then pour stock mixture over bird and season well. Roast for 20 mins, then turn bird onto its side and return to oven for another 20 mins. Turn bird again for a final 20 mins, adding remaining unpeeled garlic cloves to dish. Remove from oven and rest for 20-30 mins. Leave oven on.

While the chook is roasting, make the creamed corn… In a small dry fry pan, toast cumin seeds over a low flame until fragrant, then cool and grind. Peel onion and chop roughly. Peel and crush garlic. Strip ears and silk from corn and cut kernels away from cob by running a sharp cook’s knife down sides, being careful to avoid any tough husk.

Heat oil in a small, heavy based pan over a moderate flame and sauté onions for several minutes until lightly caramelized. Add corn, ground cumin, garlic and thyme (stalk and all), then sauté for several more minutes until sugars just start to catch on base of pan. Deglaze with wine and stock, then reduce heat and cook at a steady simmer for 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally until corn is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then discard thyme sprigs. Set aside a large spoonful of corn, then blend remaining corn for a couple of mins. Pass through a sieve, then return saved corn and season well to taste. Keep warm or reheat for serving under chook.

Just before carving… Pick out onions and garlic cloves from chook dish and return to oven to glaze on a baking tray for a few minutes. Carve the chook in the roasting dish to catch all the juices. Remove carcass, squeezing juice from lemon halves into pan. Gently spoon excess fat from baking dish, then quickly reduce remaining liquid over a full flame to a saucy consistency and check seasoning.

To serve… Serve carved chook at once on a bed of creamed corn with the crisp garlic cloves and onions and a leafy green salad.


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