Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guest Blog: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell

Bacon & Chicken Casserole Recipe, aka, Robin and Alex Pretend to Be Foodies
So, if this was a dinner party, here’s the part right after we’ve taken your coats and Robin has fussed over your drinks and I’m still in the kitchen slicing bread and putting the finishing touches on the salad. We’ve complimented your outfits, (your shoes are fantastic, but you already knew that) and now we’re settling in for a pre-dinner cocktail and conversation.

So who the heck are we?

We’re writers, I guess is the primary thing, though we’re brand new to the whole concept and still kind of wide-eyed and amazed at everything. Our first book, Blood Howl, was released a month and a half ago with Dreamspinner Press, and as it’s the first in a series we are now inches away from finishing the second book, Blood in the Sand.

Also, we’re both giant nerds, we have two spoiled cats, and we live in a small town that we both will not be sad to move away from. We’re partners and have been together for over three years now. Someday, I will propose and Robin will, I hope, say yes, and we’ll have a wedding with gorgeous clothes and more fabulous shoes and lots of cake. For now, though, not only is that not legal where we are, it’s also a lot of work. So we live together and we write together and we cook together.

If this was a dinner party, here’s where we’d ask you all about yourselves. What do you like to read? Do you write? What do you do when life gives you time off? I knit, when the cats let me, and Robin is a hobby artist and we both like video games and music (Robin headbangs, I prefer things I can sing along with loudly in the shower). We’d talk, we’d laugh, and then we’d eat.

Everybody loves food, right?

If this was a dinner party, if we’d invited you over for wine and food and good company, I think this is what we’d serve (Robin note: provided you eat meat. I just only recently started! And of course I started with bacon.). So I’ll leave Robin to give out the recipe, so maybe you can have it for dinner one night and it will almost be like we’re eating together:

In Blood Howl, Alex and I threw in a mention of one of my favorite dishes, the Bacon and Chicken Casserole. (And Alex will be interpreting the New Zealander recipe. This is a super easy, super delicious dish.) Behind the cut, for length:

450 g Steaky Bacon 2cm chunks (Alex note: That’s a normal grocery store sized package of the good, thick bacon for us on the right side of the pond)

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Chicken Jointed into 8 pieces (Yes, they do mean take a whole chicken and chop it up. Or you can just use already broken down pieces - I prefer dark meat, it has more flavor and the leg/thigh quarters are super cheap, but breasts work well, too, if you don’t want to worry about bones.)

4 medium carrots peeled and cut into 4cm chunks (Just chop them up into fingertip sized chunks, whatever you prefer.)

10 Baby Onions peeled and halved (Yeah, I don’t know what this is. I like red onions, because the sweetness pairs really well with the salt, but you can use whatever you have. Green onions might make a nice addition as well.)

8 Garlic Cloves peeled

400 ml chicken stock (That’s about 1 ¾ cup. Be aware that if you’re using store stock that’s going to add quite a bit of saltiness, along with the bacon.)

Thyme, Rosmary or Sage (Pretty much whatever you’ve got that’ll work with the chicken and bacon. This is a very forgiving recipe. I prefer sage and some basil, but use whatever you have, especially if it’s fresh.)

Put the bacon into a small saucepan of cold water and bring up to the boil to remove excess salt.

Drain, and dry the bacon on kitchen paper.

Heat up a frying pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil, sauté the bacon until nice and golden and crispy, remove to a casserole,

Add the chicken to the pan, adding more oil if necessary

Saute the chicken for a few minutes until golden, then remove from the casserole and sauté the carrots, onions and garlic for a minute, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add them to the other sauted ingredients in the casserole.

Deglaze the frying pan by adding the stock over a high heat and dissolving all the juices on the bottom.
Pour the stock into the casserole.

Add a sprig of thyme or rosemary or sage and put into an oven at 160c (that’s 320 Fahrenheit) for about 45 mins or until cooked.

Strain the juices if you like (if you have not added flour at the start) and spoon any fat off the top and add back in to the stew.

Sprinkle with some chopped parsley if you like.

(This is seriously amazing with some crusty bread and a nice spinach salad or whatever other light sides you’d prefer. Scary good!)
- Robin (and Alex)

About the Authors: Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell live in the Midwest with their two cats, Starsky and Hutch. Their first book, Blood Howl, is available for sale at Dreamspinner Press. They can be found at their blog and on Facebook.


Sherry Gloag said...

Best wishes with your new book, good to see you here. have fab w.end.

Na said...

Sounds like you have the recipe for success in both food and writing :) This post made me hungry all of a sudden ...