Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Pea and Ham - from a Chicken?!

I'm Bzzing again and this time its a product that I'm really keen to try as I do inevitably use a lot of stock cubes in my cooking. Knorr Stock Pots. Whilst I reckon I'm a dab hand in the kitchen I baulk at the idea of making my own stock.  Way too much faff on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing that only those of a certain age (and perhaps only in Scotland?) will get the "pea and ham from a chicken" reference.  See the You Tube clip at the end of the blog post if you haven't a clue what I'm on about.
my bzz kit - Knorr stock pots, vouchers, recipes
First impressions - they take up a lot more room in the cupboard than traditional stock cubes.  No way of using a half quantity. (I often use just half a stock cube.)  Price - 8 chicken stock pots £2.41, 8 chicken stock cubes £1.38.  

The first thing I made using them was Hot Banana Chicken from a recipe card I picked up at Forfar Farmers MarketThe cardboard box and individual tub was easy to open. Always a bonus if you don't have to battle to get into something.  The instructions say that you can add the jellied stock straight into your dish or dissolve it in water first.  I tried to squeeze and pop the jelly out of its tub but that didn't work.  So I then went to spoon it out and it emerged in one satisfactory blob.  It dissolved much more easily than the traditional cubes and you could actually see tiny bits of herb and carrot in it.  Smelt lovely too - very soup like.
Hot Banana Chicken
Whilst the chicken stock pot undoubtedly did its job in this recipe and proved easy to use, it wasn't really the best of testers in terms of taste as it was overpowered by the strong flavours of the dish.  I'd bought the Hot Banana Chutney at Pitmedden Gardens specifically to cook this.  Really good dish which I'd definitely make again as its a perfect half way between a curry from scratch and a cook in sauce.  Nice and fruity and both boy and girl loved it.  But the stock pot added nothing extra.
jelly in the pan
Next I tried a vegetable stock pot in a bechamel kinda sauce for fish pie. Worked much better in this and gave a really nice flavour. So much easier to dissolve than cubes and no grainy bits. Onwards to a hastily thrown together chicken and mushroom risotto. Again worked very well in this and gave a lovely deep colour and rich flavour. Get me with my fancy risotto spoon.
Nigel Slaters Pork and Lemon Polpettines are a favourite in this house.  (Although thanks to Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy they have been renamed "Pontipines")  The stock in this dish forms the sauce with the scrapings of the bits stuck in the pan and the jellified chicken stock pot worked really well in what always is a superb dish.
So stock cubes or stock pots?  Despite my first impressions I think there is probably room in my cupboard for both but I'd be selective in what I used when saving the more expensive pots for when they can make a real contribution to the dish. Lastly the promised you tube clip. Pea and Ham from a Chicken?  Now that's clever.


2 comments :

  1. I am from the US and I loved your blog and the video was hysterical. Thank you for sharing

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  2. Loved your stockpots comments; I'm busy experimenting with Maggi & Knorr; the herb fusion my favourite

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