A few weeks ago I decided to make breakfast in bed for Mr Blues because I thought he deserved a bit of spoiling since everything in my life has been revolving around Dogs That Dine. I had visions of carrying through a breakfast tray that even Instagram would be proud of. In the end, the only fan was the pedal bin he recently bought from Homebase.
Haha okay, it wasn’t that bad but it really didn’t go well. I was “grilling” bacon and well…about two hours later he appeared through to ask what the hell I was doing. Erm…grilling bacon? Do you need the cornea transplant?! (it’s these little jokes that get me through) Turns out I had only switched the grill light on and not the actual grill. Erm…
So he was overjoyed when he found out I was going to Cook School Scotland for the day and he had high hopes they were going to teach me how to turn on appliances (though I’m still blaming the cooker). Thankfully for us both, I learned so much more and overcame my fear of handling and cooking raw chicken.
The day started with tea and warm scones which is how every day should start in my opinion. The scones alone made the 6:45am alarm (on a Sunday no ess!) worthwhile. After being given a run down on the day’s cooking activities, it was time to head through to the kitchen. There were so many Masterchef style stations set up I was literally waiting on Gregg Wallace or John Torode walking through the door.
The aim of the class was basically to show how much can be done with one chicken as nothing needs to go to waste. After being shown how to joint a chicken (still can’t quite believe I did that), the carcass was used to make chicken stock, chicken drumsticks (coated in the most delicious marinade), butter chicken curry (using the chicken thighs) and one of the breasts was used to make Chicken Milanese. Never thought so many dishes could be created from only single chicken.
Then it was time to sit down to a feast of epic proportions. The food was delicious (if I do say so myself) and it really highlighted how far one chicken can go. From my chicken alone, so many dishes were produced that could have fed at least two people (anything left over they box up into containers to take home – even the stock!). I’ll definitely be trying some of the dishes out on Mr Blues because I think he would love them, particularly the chicken drumsticks.
This is definitely one of the best things I have ever done. I’ve avoided buying chicken for a long time because I can’t stand cooking with raw meat but now I can’t wait to dash out and buy a full chicken! Actually, my mum loved the dishes so much that next week we are going to buy a full chicken each and have a competition to see who can make the most dishes. I’m pretty sure with the new skills I’ve learned I’m going to win..
Speaking of skills, I did learn a few tricks on the day that I thought I would share:
- The easiest way to peel ginger is with a spoon.
- To turn your clove of garlic into a paste sprinkle a little salt over it before applying pressure with a knife. It acts as an abrasive and helps to break down the garlic.
- Don’t use a plastic spatula to pour out melted chocolate or cake mix because it does such a good job there’s no need to lick the bowl! (that was one of my personal tips thrown in for good measure)
I had such an amazing day thanks to Cook School Scotland and Yelp. Yelp is a fantastic review website that anyone can join so I highly recommend signing up and writing some reviews (you will get addicted, trust me). It’s a great way to meet new people and there’s always so many events going on. Really surprised me how much there is to do on my very own doorstep.
For my chicken challenge, I need some more inspiration! What are your favourite chicken dishes to cook?