Chicken & Turkey | Dani Valent

Chicken & Turkey

Chicken & Turkey2018-12-07T11:42:32+00:00

Chicken is such a frequent addition to our weekly meal roster, loved for its versatility, nutritional qualities and ease of preparation. It’s a ubiquitous meat in many parts of the world – indeed, Australians each eat an average 47 kilograms of chicken a year. That’s a lot! However, it’s not too long ago that every chicken was a special occasion, perhaps a Sunday roast shared at a bustling family table, then the bones picked clean and used to make a stock.

I have a two-part project with this page, which I’ll be adding to frequently. My first aim is for us all to understand chicken a bit better. I want us to know our way around the physical chicken, hence this carving primer. I also want to equip you all with great recipes to make the most of it in all kinds of meals.

Part two is a hope that all this information will help us to honour the chicken and its place in culinary culture. I think it’s sad to see a special occasion meal relegated to cheap protein, eaten unthinkingly in nuggets, wraps and the like. I would prefer we eat less chicken but better chicken, beautiful free-range slow-grown birds that we can cook and eat as though every bite matters – because it does.

I hope you enjoy the Turkey content too, especially around Christmas and Thanksgiving time.

Cutting Chicken Chat

Marty Dixon from John Cesters at Prahran Market is a chicken expert. I nabbed him for a series of videos, starting with this low-down on the break-down of a whole, fresh chicken. This introduction to butchery is all about understanding the structure of a chicken – with this knowledge and a sharp (though inexpensive) boning knife, you’ll be an expert chicken chopper in no time.

Chicken Recipes

We’ll be adding to this page frequently – upcoming videos include a primer on how to carve a roast chicken, and Marty Dixon’s delicious Jerk Chicken. Plus, there are heaps of other great chicken recipes on the site. Dive in here.

Jerk Chicken

‘Jerk’ is a Jamaican style of flavouring and cooking meat, using a dry or wet rub to impart flavour, then following up with cooking and smoking over a grill. Watch the video here and check out the complete recipe page.

Carving Roast Chicken

Our final video (for now!) with the fabulous Marty Dixon sees him showing us how to chop up a cooked chicken. I know that a lot of people find it tricky to portion a bird so that everyone gets their favourite bit and all the parts stay nice and neat, so I thought you’d appreciate this no-nonsense tutorial.

Talking Turkey Buffe

A turkey buffe (often called ‘buffet’ in poultry shops) is turkey on the bone with the drumsticks removed. It’s much easier to cook evenly than a whole bird. My Turkey Buffe and Herby Quinoa Stuffing recipe is an absolute crowd pleaser and makes an impressive edible centre piece for your Christmas Day table. Watch my intro video then  check out my turkey buffe recipe.

Chicken Recipes

  • I visited Thermomix Mexico HQ to ask them which key Mexican dish I needed to cook when I got home. They told me pozole! This rich and satisfying soup is a meal in itself, with the hearty goodness of corn, black beans and chicken.
  • A turkey buffe (often called ‘buffet’ in poultry shops) is turkey on the bone with the drumsticks removed. It’s much easier to cook evenly than a whole bird. The turkey is first brined to add moisture and flavour, and its skin given some butter-loving before being stuffed with festive tri-coloured quinoa.
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    A flavourful marinade takes these juicy chicken chops to next-level deliciousness, plus we get great grilling tips from chicken expert Marty Dixon.
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    Everybody needs a simple chicken soup in their repertoire: this one is warming, sustaining, nurturing and nourishing. Steaming a whole chicken in the Varoma is brilliant for all kinds of reasons. Firstly, the chicken juices drip over the vegetables and into the mixing bowl, flavouring everything and forming a healthy broth at the same time. Steamed chicken also remains incredibly juicy. It’s a really clean way to cook too, with very little mess to deal with at the end – love you, Thermomix!
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    A good matzo ball (in my opinion) is fluffy and has some texture. That's why I make my own matzo meal so I can keep some larger crumbs, and I beat my egg whites separately. My radical intervention is to add a few Vietnamese flavours, inspired by pho noodle soup
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    Slow-cooked chicken in 30 minutes? Sounds crazy, right? But that’s what we get with this Mexican chicken: after just half an hour, you end up with shredded chicken that looks and tastes like it’s been slow-cooked for hours. Serve it with your own tortillas and a vibrant salsa and you’ve got a simple but special meal on your hands.
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    We make a golden-crumbed and crisp schnitzel with a gluten-free crumb based on healthy cauliflower. It's so quick and easy. Partner it with a 10-second salad and dinner is done.
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    Do you think you're the kind of person who doesn't make a terrine? You're wrong! You can easily make this picnic-friendly chicken and pistachio loaf and serve it up with pride and delight.
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    ThermoStar Tim makes the Tandoori Chicken from my Entertaining cookbook. As he says, it's really easy and, as you'll see, it's adaptable too. Please join me in my project to make 'hot pineapple' a craze!
I love my Elk top & Obus pants

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My business card says ‘Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.’ I do all these things with equal passion, which is why I’m sometimes sitting at my laptop with an apron on! This is where I share all my best bits of writing, recipes and videos. There are free areas of the site where you can stay up to date with my journalism and get a taste of my cooking adventures. Sign up as a member and you’ll get access to my awesome and ever-growing library of cooking videos and recipes, focusing on Thermomix.

This is a place for inspiration, chefs’ secrets, practical tuition and happy creativity. If you like cooking and eating delicious food and basking in the compliments of family and friends, this site is for you. You’ll be amazed what you can create with my recipes and videos as your guide.

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