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Old 26-11-2009, 10:01 PM
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Default Chicken and Pumpkin - TGRWT #20

Itís not really surprising that Chicken and Pumpkin share aroma molecules, they are both so bland and lifeless by themselves. This round of TGRWT is hosted by John Sconzo on his blog. I immediately had a few ideas that started knocking around in my head, one of which was a terrine, this idea even got started and half way through before I realised that it was going to taste like crap, simple because I had left the flavours more or less to fend for themselves. I tried the half done combination and while I got a strong mouthful of both the pumpkin and chicken, there wasnít anything exciting about it, in fact, it reminded my many childhood dinners.

I didnít want to start a different terrine so I decided to have the two elements separate on the plate. For the chicken I chose a thigh that I then stripped down to resemble a drumstick (thereís probably a term for that). I like the extra flavour of the leg meat and preparing the cut like this adds something different to look at on the plate. The pumpkin got roasted, pureed, mixed with a little cream, coriander and beef stock and then set with agar in Acetate tubes. The final touch to the pumpkin was to be rolled in some peanut powder.

A lesson beyond the one already mentioned above is that plating a dish and trying to take pictures is never a good idea if you need to leave for work in 5 minutes. There are obvious changes I will make when attempting this again, it needs a salad of Coriander and baby herbs, and some kind of sauce to finish the affair. As it stands, it was an effective way of comparing the two flavours and one that I think worked very well. The*earthiness*of the pumpkin was matched by the chickens own subtle*meatiness. The*smoky*paprika and the peanuts were a complete surprise and where only really added on a whim to see what they would contribute, to tell the truth I was a little smitten and think that this might end up making an*appearance*on the new years menu if perfected. If left alone chicken and pumpkin have as much place on a plate as any unseasoned product, it needs other ingredients to elevate them, but do coexist very well.

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