Mikaraage Chicken Turger

Burgers, Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after Mike defeated Jonathan in the firemaking challenge and won his spot in the final three, the trio enjoyed one final day in Fiji before heading to tribal council. After copping a respectful grilling, Maryanne dominated the Q&A with equal parts charm and wisdom while Romeo was surprisingly confident in articulating why he deserved to be here. Sadly for him, it wasn’t enough to secure him any votes as he finished in third place.

Jeffrey then read the votes and despite playing a strong game, only one vote turned up for Mike as he took out second place, handing Maryanne a near unanimous victory as the jury crowned her the Sole Survivor. 

Once Mike was done smashing pizza on the after show, I pulled him aside to perk him back up after just coming up short. Mike had played such a dominant game, controlling his tribe before the merge and managing to form meaningful bonds that carried him far into the game. Never mind the fact he was smart and knew when to make a move, all while minimising the fact he was super buff and a massive threat.

Really the only major flaw was his game was not owning it and like Sharn in Australia – who suffered her third loss in the recent election – the jury couldn’t respect it and it cost him the game. While he was disappointed at the outcome, Mike being Mike, he was super upbeat and proud of Maryanne. Though it is easy to work through the pain when you’re smashing a Mikaarage Chicken Turger.

Super crispy chicken, velvety mayonnaise and creamy avocado, smooshed between two soft buns, how can you go wrong? Oh and did I mention crunchy lettuce and a punch of kecap manis. It is, so, good.

Enjoy!

Mikaraage Chicken Turger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
½ cup kewpie mayonnaise
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
100g cornflour
sunflower oil, for frying
3 avocados, mashed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
8 burger rolls
1 butter lettuce
2 tomatoes
¼ cup kecap manis

Method
Combine the mirin, soy, garlic and ginger  and 1 tbsp of the mayo in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat, before covering and popping in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

Pop the cornflour in a bowl and heat about 5cm deep of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take the chicken out of the fridge and press the chicken into the cornflour to coat before transferring the chicken into the pot to fry, two at a time, for about 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until the chicken is done.

To assemble the burgers, mash the avo with the lemon zest and juice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Split all the buns in half and toast on a griddle pan. Spread the avo on the base, followed by some lettuce and tomato, then the chicken, followed by a drizzle of kewpie and some kecap manis. Then devour immediately, greedily. Messily. Happily.


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Josh Karaagate Chicken

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 pairs made up of 20 new castaways, 3 veterans and 1 very special imported queen were marooned in the Australian Outback. The paris were split up from their loved ones and forced to compete as the hilariously named Blood and Water tribes. Sandra was obviously an icon, as was her daughter Nina who tragically got injured and medevaced from the competition like she was Khanh’s pants, as he repeatedly got dacked in challenges. Alliances were made and broken, daughters voted out mothers, sisters voted out sisters, Sam straight up stole an idol from someone’s pocket. One by one they were eliminated – most recently, the iconic KJ – until only four remained with Mark, Shay, Josh and Chrissy ready to battle it out for the win.

The tribe awoke on Day 46 with Shay excusing herself from camp to centre herself ahead of the final immunity challenge. She opened up about fighting hard to make it to this point, almost grateful that she lost Ben so early so she could fight all on her own. And damn, I’m as proud of her as she is of herself. We next heard from Josh and while it took us ten episodes to hear from him, his post-swap game was quite dominating and he truly has played a strong strategic game. However, given we haven’t been shown too much of that, I feel his fears about Shay winning final immunity may come to fruition and prove to be his spoiler.

Chrissy reflected on her time in the game, shocked by how much she has changed, particularly since she is well positioned to make it to the end. And given she has played far and away the best social game, she truly is well positioned to take out the win if she can articulate her game to the jury. If. Mark meanwhile reflected on how much Survivor has shaped his life, given it is how he met his wife, so thanks to the game, he has his son. Mark spoke about how proud he is to have completely flipped his game on its head from his first season to the second and as such, he is ready to take out the win.

The final four met with Jonathan on a cliff over the water where they learnt that this is officially the final immunity challenge of the season and that this year, they will have a final three. Jonathan then pulled out a phone and gave them all a taste from home with Chrissy’s kids promising to pop the cordials on ice, Mark broke down to hear Harry tell him that he loves him before Sam’s mum told him that his mum would be watching over him today and ugh, why am I bloody sobbing?! Like me, Shay sobbed as soon as she heard Ben and her parents voices and well, it was so damn pure. And then Josh spoke to his pregnant fiance and damn, Jonathan, there better be an ad before this challenge because I need to work through these tears.

But back to the challenge, the final four would each have to hold on to pegs hanging over a waterfall, moving further and further down them until there is only one person left standing. Who would progress directly to the final three, while one of the remaining trio would become the final member of the jury later that night. After breezing through the first level, all four moved on to the third peg as Chrissy wondered how in the hell any of them would reach the final one. While everyone appeared to struggle, Shay stood like a statue and honestly, I can’t tell if the outcome is just that obvious or, somehow, she is going to drop despite people fearing her winning this one since the merge.

Everyone made it to the fourth peg after an hour with Chrissy chatting away to Jonathan about how talking to her kids has made her focused on winning the season and as such, the boys should be nervous. Essentially. Since she spoke about needing to go with her head over her heart. After moving to the fifth peg, the pain really started to get to Chrissy though she managed to push through until the sixth peg before she ultimately dropped after more than 90 minutes. Mark started to struggle while Shay calmly stretched and breathed through the pain before Josh dropped out of nowhere mere minutes after Chrissy. After progressively getting more and more uncomfortable, Mark lost his grip and fell into the water handing Shay final immunity.

Just as everyone has been predicting all season.

Back at camp the tribe gave the usual half-hearted congratulations to Shay who was thrilled to be guaranteed to make it to the end. Given she is super kind, she apologised to everyone for ruining their plans before the boys went away for a chat. Which confused the hell out of the girls, given they are both going to the end. Shay and Chrissy caught up to decide who was the lesser threat out of the boys. Josh meanwhile was feeling like an absolute mastermind, telling Mark that they should both vote for Chrissy and hope that the girls don’t come up with a consensus and as such, they win out. Or, worst case, they go to fire.

Mark went back to camp to pitch voting out Josh to Shay while Josh moped to Chrissy about how they were both accepting of their fate and as such, they weren’t even going to try to get rid of her. Sadly for Josh, Mark had zero interest in going to the final three with him and as such, genuinely pushed for Chrissy and Shay to join him in voting Josh out. Particularly since he has a strong resume and is genuinely likeable. Sadly for common sense, the thought of voting out Josh breaks her heart and as such, Chrissy was unsure whether she can bring herself to do it. Despite knowing that sitting next to him essentially guarantees she loses.

At tribal council Shay admitted she was thrilled that everyone tried so hard in the challenge despite obviously destroying them. Chrissy attributed her performance to talking to her kids, with Mark agreeing how amazing it was to speak to his son as Sam quietly sobbed from the jury bench. Talk turned to the fact both Josh and Mark were in danger, with Josh admitting that he is well and truly bricking it. Mark meanwhile acknowledged that there really isn’t much any of them could do today, so he is hopeful that the bonds he built throughout the season will keep him safe.

Chrissy said that she is heartbroken to have to vote out one of the boys while Shay admitted that she is looking forward to seeing things implode a bit. Which is exactly what was happening as Josh started whispering to Chrissy that she needs to vote for Mark in the hope of confusing her. Which didn’t happen as Chrissy finally made the right move, banded together with Mark and Shay to boot Josh from the game as the final juror.

While Josh was obviously super disappointed to miss out on a place in the final tribal council, he was thrilled to join the iconic Australian Survivor Fourth Place Robbed Goddess club. And, you know, to be going back home to a pregnant fiance. As such, the visit was less about sorry you lost and more, congratulations for all you’ve got ahead of you. Most importantly, a big batch of fresh Josh Karaagate Chicken.

Karaage chicken is one of those things you can eat no matter what the time or your mood. A little sweet, a hint of spice, a gorgeous crunch and a big punch of juicy chicken; it is, to me, perfect.

Enjoy!

Josh Karaagate Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp dry sake
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into large bitesize chunks
peanut oil, for fryin’
1 cup potato starch
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method
Combine the ginger, garlic, sake, soy and caster sugar in a large bowl, and toss through the chicken until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge to marinate overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, pop a few inches of oil in a deep pot and place over medium heat until nice and hot. Take the chicken out of the fridge and combine the potato starch in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Working a few pieces at a time, toss the chicken in the starch and then gently pop in the oil to fry for a few minutes, or until golden and crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain and repeat the process until done.

Then, serve piping hot with some lemon wedges and wasabi mayo. And devour.

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Haylal Snack Peake

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways were dropped in the outback, far from the tropical islands we’ve grown accustomed to – thanks COVID! One by one they were felled as – yep, doing it – Phil, Janelle, Gavin, Benny, Mitch, Joey, Daini, Shannon, Georgia, Rachel and Simon headed home before the two tribes merged and formed the Fire tribe.

Instead of the Beauty tribe, which will always be a sore point to me.

Kez was the first victim of the new tribe before Chelsea was medevaced, leaving Baden to become the King of the Jury. He was quickly joined by Gerald, Laura, Emmett, Andrew, Dani, Wai and Cara, leaving Flick as the lone Brawn standing against George and Cara.

And by standing, I mean hunching painfully in a brutal final immunity challenge where the trio faced off for over five hours before Hayley took out victory and gave her the power to eliminate the final juror. Which obviously became Flick.

After a hard fought final tribal council where both George and Hayley clearly articulated their games, proving just how good they both were, the jury favoured Hayley’s more well rounded approach and awarded her the title of Sole Survivor. And, you know, the half mill.

As you can imagine, Hayley was buzzing as I sidled on to set to congratulate her, pulling me in for a massive hug. You see, Hayley and I are former colleagues and dear friends – you know how painful I can be, which is an asset to a researcher – so I was so excited to be there to share in her win.

Hayley dominated the game and made massive moves throughout the season, and while she was briefly voted out, she used that to her advantage, expertly adapting her play to make it to the end and rightfully take out the game. The only way I could truly do justice to such an epic, entertaining and at times chaotic run was gifting her a triumphant Haylal Snack Peake.

While I was late to the party when it came to the majesty of the HSP, I have well and truly made up for lost time when it came to the holy grail of food. The chips are crispy, the chicken is packing a punch, a little charred and oh so juicy that by the time you get to the garlicky sauce and gooey cheese, there is no denying this is made for winners.

Enjoy!

Haylal Snack Peake
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup Greek yoghurt
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
1kg chicken thighs, no skin, no bones (no jokes about me normally loving a bone)
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
2 cups grated cheddar
¼ cup smokey BBQ sauce
¼ cup garlic sauce
¼ cup sriracha
small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Start by mixing up the yoghurt through olive oil together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the chicken and toss with your hands, making sure that every piece is sopping with the marinade. Cover and pop in the fridge for six hours. Overnight is ideal, but like you, I don’t have time for that so six will do, ok?

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Grab a bunch of metal skewers and a baking dish that they can precariously balance either side on so they are elevated. I’m not the best at explaining, but it will make sense in a bit. Remove the chicken from the fridge and thread on to two parallel skewers, jamming the thighs close together so they look like baby kebab sticks (I obviously couldn’t be bothered to Google it).

Once they’re all on skewers, line the baking dish and balance the ends of the skewers on the sides of the dish so the chicken is elevated from the base. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for half an hour, or until brown and glorious. Remove from the oven, baste with the juices and return to the oven for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven again when it is charred, baste and leave to rest for five minutes.

While you work on the fries, stand the skewers upright and carve the chicken from them like the do at a kebab shop (side note: how hypnotic was watching that, drunk at 2am?) and leave to rest in their juices.

To assemble, pop your chips in a bowl, top with the cheese and follow with a generous helping of the chicken. Drizzle with the sauces, add a bit more cheese and a sprinkle of parsley to feel healthy.

Then devour like you haven’t had a decent meal in 48 days but are also thrilled to be victorious.


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Butter Flicken Pielmateer

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Pie, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways Mad Max-ed their way into the outback before being divided by smarts and strength. While the Brawns were victorious in the first immunity challenge and the iconic Phil tragically became the first boot, they soon settled for a string of rewards as Janelle, Gavin and Benny were booted from the game. Eventually the Brains returned to tribal council where Mitch found himself booted before Cara sacrificed herself for George. But, gag of the season, found herself saved by a twist sending her to join the Brawns.

This appeared to give them a run of luck as Joey soon followed before a switch gave both tribes a Brawn majority. Against all odds, the Brains took control as Cara accidentally voted Daini out before Shannon was ousted by her nemesis Simon. Georgia and Rachel soon followed due to a vengeful George before Dani decided that blindsiding Simon was urgent as he was sent from the game with two idols in his pocket.

After the tribes merged to become Fire – rather than Beauty, which is still a sore point – where Queen Kez was idolled from the game, thanks to George telling the Brains who to play it for. While Chelsea was on medical leave, Baden and Hayley were booted to Redemption Rock before Hayley won her way back to camp and Baden became the King of the Jury. Poor Chelsea was then officially medevaced, unable to join the jury, before Gerald, Laura, Emmett and Andrew were booted from the game and joined the jury. Aka Laura’s Angels.

Flick got lucky and picked an urn that stopped her from getting the boot, meaning we were officially out of non-elimination episodes. With that Dani was the next to go before George and Cara turned on Wai and after Flick played her hidden immunity idol, was booted from the game. Which brings us to the last episode where Flick won immunity and somehow Hayley convinced Cara and George to turn on each other so that she can beat Flick in the final immunity challenge, meaning she would take the other one to the final two. And given George was the most likely to listen to her Hail Mary, Cara was the lucky one to join the Fourth Place Robbed Goddess Club.

The final three awoke on day 47 with Flick thrilled to make the final three, particularly as the last Brawn standing. She was proud of the social game she played, attributing it to her longevity in the game. She reflected on how tough the game has been mentally, particularly after she tragically lost her mum.

On the walk to the final immunity challenge we checked in with George, who came into the game running it like a political campaign and was thrilled to execute it perfectly. He reiterated that luck didn’t play into him making it to the final three, but instead his determination and perfect planning to overcome all the obstacles. One of those being the fact he isn’t physical, but watch out, because he is going to win the final one.

Last up was Hayley who was giddy to make it to the end as a superfan, though knew both her competitors are not to be underestimated. While George was sneaky and tactical, Flick was a beast. Hayley’s secret weapon is the fact that she is the perfect mix of both and like the other two, she is ready to claim victory.

Speaking of the final immunity challenge, the tribe joined Jonathan where they discovered three cages of horror amongst the ruins of the outback. Each of them would have to stand on narrow pegs within a cage and hold on to spikes on a roof which would lower throughout the challenge until only one was left standing. But before we got to the challenge, Jonathan made us all cry as he wheeled out their families! First up were Hayley’s boyfriend and bestie, followed by George’s mum and sister – who were adorable – and Flick’s boyfriend and best friend, who made her feel safe enough to break down over the loss of her mother and ugh, you know I am absolutely sobbing.

Damn you Jonathan and your glorious guns.

With the warm and fuzzy moment of the episode out of the way, the loved ones were sent to the bench as the final three jumped on their pegs and settled in for hours of torture. After half an hour, shit well and truly got real as Jonathan lowered the roof slightly and all three immediately hunched over and started to feel the burn. After an hour, talk turned to why the final three were still fighting with Flick and George sticking it out for their families while Hayley was just a beast that wanted to do it to prove that she can. After two hours the roofs dropped forcing them into squats.

All three were still fighting as the sun went down and the challenge ticked over to three and a half hours long. Poor George started to dance on the pegs, holding on for another hour before dropping out and leaving the girls to fight it out for immunity. Both Hayley and Flick were like statues as Jonathan dropped the spikes for the last time after five hours, which immediately got both of them struggling. Hayley tried to stay zen while Flick was vocalising and breathing through the pain, holding back tears as she tried to hold on for her place in the game. As her best friend willed her on, Flick openly sobbed through the pain before finding a second wind as Hayley started to shake. Eventually though, Flick asked Jonathan to help her out of the cage, as a shocked Hayley took out final immunity.

After a brief moment congratulating each other on fighting so hard, the final three headed off to tribal council where Hayley praised George and Flick’s determination in the challenge, but was ultimately grateful that as a pain researcher, she knew exactly how to work through it. Eventually talk turned to who Hayley wanted to sit next to in the end, admitted that both Flick and George have played great games and as such, she is still unsure. Hearing this, Flick reminded Hayley that George has played a dominant game and as such, could easily convince the jury that he deserves the crown.

On the flipside, George went simple and pointed out that Flick has a bunch of votes already locked in in the Brawns and as such, Hayley has the best chance if she is there in the end with him. While Flick disputed that she doesn’t believe any of the votes are locked in, George simply asked Queen Hayley to sit opposite her King. Flick fought back tears meanwhile as she asked her to reward her for fighting hard and pushing through, though knew that ultimately Hayley needed to make the decision that is best for her.

With that, Hayley voted and as expected, Flick was booted from the game and became the final member of the jury. Despite the horrible feeling of being cut so close to the end, Flick took her boot in her stride and took me into her arms for a big hug. As you know, I’m a big part of the Big Wave community and as such, was Flick’s first coach in the sport. And while I knew she would be feeling down, I also knew that a delicious Butter Flicken Pielmateer would be the perfect thing to mark a game well played.

Like Michaelia Cash, I love curry – it’s my favourite fe-ood. I also passionately love pies, so it should come as absolutely no shock that I believe a butter chicken pie is where it’s at. Lightly spiced, sweet and creamy in a delicious flaky shell? Perfection.

Enjoy!

Butter Flicken Pielmateer
Serves: 4-8, depending on hunger.

Ingredients
1 batch Dusty Ray Butters Chicken
2 sheets shortcrust pastry
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and get to work making your Dusty Ray Butters Chicken.

Once the oven is hot and your filling is good to go, start by cutting each sheet of shortcrust pastry in quarters and press into 8 individual pie dishes. Divide the mixture amongst the dishes and smooth the tops. Cut the puff pastry into quarters and press into the top of the pies, crimping the edges to seal. Pierce a hole in the top, brush with the whisked egg and transfer to a baking sheet.

Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp. Remove and sprinkle with some turmeric and cumin, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Then devour, sad to have lost our chill Queen.


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Chicken Kezadilla McGee

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Dani and Simon were enjoying holding all the power over on Brawns. However after the Brains evened things up thanks to Hayley, Dani and Chelsea grew tired of Simon’s power specifically, convincing the Brains to work with them to throw the challenge and boot him from the game. While everyone was easily convinced, Dani pushed hard to get the tribe to do her bidding, making it clear it was her move. This annoyed Hayley, who decided she needed to be knocked down a peg and instead threw some votes on Dani as a backup to guarantee Flick is safe should Simon play his idol/s. Ultimately Simon was blindsided, zaddy king, while Dani was left back at camp, irate to have received some votes.

After tribal council Hayley, Flick and the Brains were thrilled by the outcome of tribal council, while Dani called out Hayley for casting some votes against her as a back-up, knowing that if the blindside failed, she would have gone home. While Dani continued to rage, identifying Hayley as the next to go, Queen Hayley just calmly explained that she couldn’t afford to have Flick go home given they are tight and as such, loaded some votes on Dani as a back-up. Simple as that. And ugh, I love how businesslike she is.

The next day the tribes ventured straight to Jonathan where Flick shaded Simon for being blindsided by his own arrogance. Dani tried to sell herself as the mastermind of the move, while George was confident that the Brains were peaking. Particularly since Brains and Brawns are no more, as the tribes are merged. With that, the final 13 dropped their buffs, grabbing a new stunning dark teal number – finally mixing things up – and were gagged for their first individual reward challenge.

Everyone would need to dig up sacks and then use a see-saw to land their sacks on poles, with the first person to land two scoring the first choice at the merge buffet. With everyone that comes after them getting the dregs, including hidden items, a boiled egg and a phone call home. Gerald, Baden, Emmett, Laura and Emmett were first to start shooting their sacks, with Emmett first to land a bag before the rest of the tribe joined them. 

George landed a sack, quickly followed by his second, immediately snatching a burger from the feast. Hayley finished second and snatched herself a steak and beer, allowing her and George enough time to catch up on the state of their tribes. Despite being the last to get her sacks, Chelsea was next and jagged herself a phone call home. Dani picked a baked potato, Wai went for a covered item of pancakes while Cara lucked out with some donuts. Emmett got a surprise jar of lollies, Baden got a hidden boiled egg, Laura grabbed surprise pizza and wine, while Andrew got smashed avo, Flick picked a bowl of rice leaving Kez and Gerald to fight it out for the banana and milk.

With the challenge over Chelsea finally gave her boyfriend a call, breaking down as they caught up and the tribe cutely yelled out to Jimmy in the background. And well, Chelsea is now fired up and ready to fight for the win.

The tribe finally ventured to the merge camp where Kez was thrilled to be reunited with her gal pals, while Wai was shocked to have made it this far while Emmett tried to bring the remaining Brawns back together. While they technically had a numbers disadvantage, Emmett was confident that given George and Cara have always felt on the bottom of the Brains, he could take control of the merge tribe and well, game. And given how elaborately he spoke about felling the brains, it doesn’t feel like things will go well for him since pride, you know, comes before the fall.

Talk turned to what to call the tribe, with Emmett suggesting ‘Love’, while George wanted to call it ‘Queen Elizabeth’ or ‘Unity,’ which Dani thankfully shut down. Sadly however she didn’t kill his next choice, ‘Fire’. With that, the Fire Tribe were born and Dani got to work telling all the Brawns just how dangerous Hayley is and that she needs to be the next to go.

Meanwhile Gerald tried to charm George with some union poetry, while Hayley calmly charmed Laura into bringing all the Brains back together. Which Hayley desperately needed since she is at a massive disadvantage with the rest of the tribe locked together against her. But Hayley being Hayley, she realised she needed just two more at the next vote, so spoke to Flick and Gerald about joining the Wai, Baden, Andrew, Hayley and Laura alliance. Hayley reminded Flick that the other alliance are in control of the game and have compelling cases to win, and as such, she and Gerald need to join with the desperate people to make a move and take control, boosting their own resumes.

Flick caught up with Chelsea, who quickly shat on Hayley’s pitch – obviously – before returning to Hayley and assuring her that she is all in, but is worried about how exactly she will be able to pull Gerald to their side. WIth that, Hayley quickly disappeared to try and come up with plan B through Z. She caught up with her solid five to desperately try and think of said plans, while the other eight confidently laughed it up back at camp. But given that Hayley still has an idol and is ready to play to take one of her rivals out, I don’t think they should let their guards down.

Again, pride. Falls. All that jazz.

George meanwhile was off on his own, trying to play both sides. First things first, he pulled Emmett aside to talk about booting Hayley due to her scrambling. However Emmett shared that he’d prefer to flush out the idol instead and get rid of her next. As such, George went for a walk to the well with Hayley, Laura and Baden, pointing out that he would rather jump back to the Brains and as such, will get the information to ensure Hayley plays her idol at the correct time. And you know, destroy the hopes and dreams of the Brawns.

With so much scrambling already complete, the Fire tribe joined Jonathan for the first immunity challenge where they would each have to hold a bar above their heads to keep a ball balanced in a gutter. Last one standing taking out victory. Gerald was first to drop, followed by Wai and Hayley. This made Dani feel confident enough to drop, followed by Laura and Cara. Kez, Flick and Baden dropped out in quick succession, leaving Chelsea, Emmett, Andrew and GEORGE to battle it out for the first individual immunity of the season. Tragically he was the next to drop, followed by Chelsea – who got too confident with her shoulder presses – before Emmett desperately tried to get Andrew to take a deal. Before Andrew dropped after a valiant fight, handing Emmett immunity. And further solidifying the target on his back.

Back at camp Emmett’s confidence was at an all time high, thrilled to survive the first merge tribal council and you know, stack the odds in the Brawns favour. That being said he was still pretty intense about keeping the Brawns strong, with Flick clearly irked by his attitude. That being said, the group stood firm and locked in their vote for Laura, but are planning to make Hayley nervous enough to burn her idol. To solidify the Brawn majority, Emmett shared his lolly jar with his allies while George charmed them with his Labor caucus shtick.

And then he took all the information to Hayley, in exchange for she and Brains voting out the person he wants without blowing his cover as a double agent. Well, after George pulled Emmett aside to assure him that Hayley is panicked and he advised she definitely play her idol for herself. He then approached Dani and lied that she is the Brains target, all while Kez spotted an oddly clean rock at the edge of the billabong. Before she wadded over and pulled out her second hidden immunity idol, right in front of George who was well and truly over the Brawn confidence stepping over into arrogance.

Kez caught up with Flick and Gerald to let them know about her idol, while George focused his attention on forcing the Brains to throw their votes on Kez instead and burn both idols in a single tribal council. As such, he ran to find the old Brains and quickly told them about Kez and that they would be voting for Kez but are to pitch things for Dani, while playing the idol on Laura and saving her. Which isn’t nearly as confusing as that sentence made it sound. This won’t be another Cara/Daini situation, I promise.

The Brains meanwhile spread the information around, though Hayley wasn’t exactly confident whether she could trust George enough to follow through with his plans. And while she searched her brain to try and find a way this isn’t also the best move for George, she struggled and as such, felt like it had to be a good idea to follow his lead.

At tribal council Emmett’s confidence was in full force while Baden admitted that despite the apparent numbers advantage for the Brains, a couple of them had sadly jumped ship. George tried to give non answers to keep everyone happy and zen, without spooking anything. Kez admitted the vote is split in half, but she would be voting for trust while Dani was just straight up confident. Speaking of Emmett, he said the Brains five are the biggest threat to him because he’s never tested trust with them before Hayley tried to boss the situation and point out that she has the hidden immunity idol and as such, won’t be going home despite their confidence.

George implored both sides to stick to the plan while Kez agreed they all just needed to power on ahead. Emmett doubled down, assuring Jonathan that everyone in his alliance is on the same page and ready to move forward. Flick meanwhile knows that the game is about deceit, but at this stage needs to stay focused on trust. At this stage. Laura reminded everyone that she has correctly played an idol in the past, while Hayley agreed it is hard to do but they need to keep it random to try and outwit the Brawn majority. Kez continued to preach loyalty and admitted that she is not worried, before Hayley reminded everyone only one person wins this game and as such, sticking with a super majority is kinda the worst possible idea for all of them.

With that the tribe voted, Hayley listened to George and played her idol for Laura, ultimately negating eight votes cast against her. This made the Brawns very nervous, though poor Kez wasn’t nervous enough to play her idol. After the eight Laura votes were read, the rest were split between Dani and Kez with Queen Kez ultimately booted from the game before she passed her idol off to Flick – is this legal?! – after Wai asked her to leave some pants for her to wear like a successful Angelina/Natalie jacket moment.

Like Simon before her, Kez is just such a delightfully fun person, that she didn’t let a blindside get her down as she happily arrived at Loser Lodge. I pulled her in for a hug and told her how gutted I was to see her go, though grateful that she would no doubt appear on an All Stars soon. And while it seems to have become my go-to platitude, do you honestly think Simon and Kez aren’t locks to return?!

Though maybe that is because I know Kez so well. You see, we first met about five years ago on the bodybuilding circuit – I also trained Teresa Guidice, which is another story for another time – and we just became the best of friends. Mainly because she is a damn boss and I have a passion for riding coattails. Given she lived in the bush for four weeks with only bikepants, I knew that she would need something fiery to warm her up post boot and as such, quickly plated her a Chicken Kezadilla McGee or two.

Like Kez, a quesadilla is the ‘fun one’ of Mexican cuisine and well, this is quite a stellar one at that. A little bit spicy – to quote Daini – dripping in sour cream and paired with a whack of citrus and a tonne of cheese, this is near perfection. Like my Queen Kez.

Enjoy! 

Chicken Kezadilla McGee
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
800g chicken thighs, diced
4 chipotle chillies in Adobo Sauce
400g can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
8 large tortillas
1-2 cups Lady Guagamole
1-2 cups Pico de Vincent Gallo
½ cup sour cream
jack cheese, to taste
1 lime, cut into eighths

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and once hot, saute the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chicken and cook, stirring intermittently for a further five minutes, or until browned. Add the chipotles and diced tomatoes, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and remove from heat.

To assemble, place about ¼-½ cup of the chicken on each tortilla and spread over half, while spreading guac on another half. Divide pico de gallo between the tortillas, followed by sour cream and a generous heap of cheese. Fold in half to form a semicircle.

To cook, brush a large griddle with oil and place it over high heat. Once scorching, reduce to medium-low and one at a time, cook each quesadilla for a couple of minutes on each side, or until crisp and cooked through.

Remove from heat, squeeze with some lime juice and devour while piping hot.


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Veronica Green Curry

Main, Poultry, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the queens put on a comedy show about life’s grandest of comedie, love. In what is fast becoming tradition Bimini slayed, Lawrence got in her head, Tayce focused on sharing her gold another day and A’Whora was bleeped as quickly as a gay thot is banned from Instagram. More importantly, villain Ellie emerged, desperate to claim a win, scheduling the show to screw over Lawrence and A’Whora and while their rage ended up impacting Ellie’s performance too, it worked as A’Whora landed in the bottom opposite her bestie Tayce. Before Tayce, Tacye’d and eliminated her from the competition.

The queens ventured backstage in utter shock after A’Whora sashayed away with two badges against Tayce, who had only one to go with her three bottoms. Tayce on the flipside was not shocked, given she knows how to turn a lip sync and knows she will always slay. Ellie meanwhile was thrilled that A’Whora didn’t write a nasty message on the mirror to her about the set order. This led Lawrence to continue ranting about Ellie daring to play the game strategically, brutalising Ellie by pointing out that it wasn’t really worth it, given she never won that badge. Much to the delight of Tayce and horror of Bimini, as the two delights congratulated Ellie on having the guts to do it slash made sure she was ok.

Things were still tense the next day as Lawrence continued to shade Ellie’s track record, while Bimini was proud of herself for really cementing herself as a contender. Even more so than last week, when she cemented herself. Tayce meanwhile was more delighted by the fact that Lawrence could not let things with Ellie go, laughing that A’Whora would be over it as soon as she found herself under a cock. The only thing stopping Lawrence’s rage was the arrival of Ru for this week’s mini challenge requiring everyone to indeed love puppets. Yes, it is the puppet gloryhole shadefest. Ellie was first at the whole reaching deep to grab Tayce, Lawrence scored Ellie – oh god – Bimini scored Lawrence, leaving Tayce with the one and only Bimini Bon Boulash.

The dolls split up to drag up their puppets’ lives, before puppet Tayce arrived in her shocking dishrag dress talking a million miles an hour, sounding a bit like Baga Chipz but ultimately being entertaining as hell. Lawrence didn’t destroy Ellie as badly as I thought, being charming and sassy while reading her for filth. Once again Bimini was hilarious, charming and brutal and ugh, give her the crown now, please. I live. Oh and then Tayce was hilarious despite being nothing like Bimini. Once again – again – Bimini took out another well earned victory, this time earning her the right to cast the roles in this week’s Maxi Challenge, acting in the soap opera BeastEnders. Unlike Ellie however, Bimini opted not to be shady – probably because she was not really feeling threatened – and let the queens take the role that they liked after selecting herself the role of Scat Slater.

With that Bimini took Tayce aside to give her her breastplate for the challenge, allowing Ellie and Lawrence time to clear the air. And while Ellie was quick to apologise and explain why she did what she did, Lawrence really couldn’t let it go and Lawrence, you need to move on otherwise you’re only going to hurt yourself. Back over with the duo oozing with charm, Tayce was bouncing her tits and giddily planning not to blend the pale tits to match her skin tone to add more comedy.

Again, I love her.

Before we could see more from my loves, the girls were interrupted by the arrival of Eastenders’ own Natalie Cassidy to give the girls an acting masterclass via Skype. From screaming “Rickay” to working through their emotions saying “Bubbly’s in the fridge,” the take away was to add light and shade which is clearly something unique to British soaps, since Toadie’s mullet never screamed nuance to me. But I digress.

The queens arrived on set to shoot with Michelle Visage who encouraged the girls that this could be a classic … if they nail. Right out of the gate Bimini and Tayce slayed, while poor Lawrence couldn’t even get through the door on her first cue. She and Ellie then caused each other to spiral, missing line after line, even forgetting character names. Meanwhile my loves Bimini and Tayce sat on the sidelines thrilled that this is more likely to be the trainwreck of the scene rather than them. Michelle then stopped filming to give Lawrence a pep talk, reminding her to get out of her head ASAP, less she wants to bomb. Before immediately ending the shoot.

Elimination Day arrived with Ru inspired by Survivor and gifting the girls with letters from home. The top four gathered around to read their letters, with Ellie reading Bimini’s letter resulting in my love breaking down in tears about wanting to make their mum proud. Tayce’s letter was read to her by Bimini, with once again her mother lovingly backing her for the win and proving why parents need to back off their own bullshit and let kids feel their vibes because Tayce and Bimini are thriving because of it. Lawrence and Ellie’s mums were also delightful, loving and supportive, but you don’t need to hear me praise these four women in the same way. Just know that they are all amazing and have done a wonderful job with their children and fostered the environment to let them thrive.

On the Panto Dames runway Lawrence was a delightful sewing machine complete with stunning mint hair. Tayce meanwhile was a gorgeous Tinkerbell in blue, Bimini channelled full panto realness as a gaudy baby doll while Ellie was glorious as a shimmering queen of hearts. As is oft the case, the acting challenge fails proved to be a fake out as the girls all slayed the performance. Bimini was loud and trashy, Ellie was delightfully camp, Lawrence was a scrappy villain and Tayce was totally demented.

Ru praised all the girls for delivering a killer acting challenge before Michelle read Lawrence for getting in her head in the challenge and told her that she needed to trust in herself, because she delivered. That being said, they all lived for her panto inspired runway. Tayce was universally beloved in the acting challenge despite not leaning into the Karen of it all. That being said, Ru didn’t live for her runway given it was panto rather than panto dame. Bimini once again received universal praise for literally everything she did, from the arch of her back scrubbing the floor to her stunning, playful runway that was full panto dame realness. The judges loved everything about Ellie’s performance in the acting challenge and lived for her runway, before Michelle ominously praised everyone for delivering a killer performance and advised that this will well and truly be the most difficult challenge to judge both here and in the US.

Backstage the girls were excited to slay the challenge but slowly started to panic, realising the judges will be splitting hairs and as such, anyone could land in the bottom. Tayce in particular was terrified, given the judges didn’t love her runway given it was lacking the dame and she couldn’t fathom surviving a fourth lip sync ahead of the final. This led to her throwing Ellie and Lawrence under the bus for being under the bus, with Ellie shifting the blame solely on to Lawrence. Which led the Scots to once again start fighting over who was worse and to not start blaming each other.

Ultimately Bimini continued her victorious streak, taking out her record equalling fourth win of the season while Lawrence was deemed safe, leaving Tayce to once again face off, this time against Ellie. And oh did they battle from the very first note of Steps’ Last Thing on My Mind.  Each queen hit every letter of every syllable, Tayce was duck walking, Ellie was cartwheeling into a death drop in a damn fucking hoop skirt. There were splits, flips, kicks, voguing and urgh, I was so grateful when Ru decreed that both queens shantay and stay, because THAT was a lip sync. Meaning all four queens would be progressing to the finale, which is convenient given Veronica finally received a negative COVID test and was able to join me to celebrate the season and her place in the pantheon.

As she walked into the Werk Room, I didn’t give her a traditional hug out of the utmost of caution against catching COVID – hey, I’m paralysed by fear, ok. I’ll get locked out of Australia – I did give her a really warm and loving smile, assuring her that while her momentum was stopped dead in its tracks, I am confident we will see her at the end of Season 3. Which proved to be enough to perk her up, as did the Veronica Green Curry.

Spicy and warming with an aggressive punch of freshness, there is honestly nothing better than a green curry. Which yeah, I say about most things, but I love food, ok?

Enjoy!

Veronica Green Curry
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1kg chicken thighs, diced
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 onion, sliced
½ cup green curry paste
1 cup broccoli florets
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 zucchini, seeded and sliced
2 cups coconut milk
1 ½ cups chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 red chilli, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
¼ cup thai basil leaves
jasmine rice and coriander, to serve

Method
Pop the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss the chicken through the starch and add to the pan, and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet before adding the curry paste and cooking off for about five minutes.

Add the vegetables and stir until well coated before stirring in the coconut milk, stock, lime leaves, chilli and the cooked chicken. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce, sugar and basil.

Serve immediately, piping hot before devouring. Galvanised and ready for a triumphant return.


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Chickenico Panangio Curry

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Main, Poultry, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets

Well, well, well, look what we have here! Another international version of Survivor with a hot host – hi Jeff, Jono and Matt! – is begging for me to head to the filming location to provide culinary comfort for their crushed castaways.

Yes, Nico Panagio has finally reached out to me to see if he could leverage our close personal relationship to get me out to Samoa for the latest season of Survivor SA.

While I played hard to get for a couple of minutes, I knew there was no way I could say no to such a dear friend. Particularly when they are as hot as Nico and the tropical location is always conducive to some shirtless action.

I’ve known Nico for a couple of years after fleeing to South Africa and trying to break into the entertainment industry over there. While all my scenes were cut from our co starring vehicle Semi-Soet, I couldn’t be too mad given it brought us together.

I invited him over to Australia on his way to Samoa to formally give him my answer, bringing him to tears of joy that I would be joining him on set of Survivor SA over a big vat bowl of delicious Chickenico Panangio Curry.

 

 

Given how delicious this sweet, spicy curry tastes, maybe the tears of joy were related to such a glorious meal? I mean, delicately cooked juicy chicken with the earthy peanuts, a kick of chilli and the zing of lime? There is nothing better.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickenico Panangio Curry
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
coconut oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 yellow capsicum, diced
½ cup panang curry paste
2 tsp chilli paste
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
12 kaffir lime leaves
400ml coconut cream
1 cup chicken stock
750g chicken thighs, roughly diced
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a good lug of coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the capsicums and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir in the curry paste, chilli, peanut butter and kaffir lime leaves and cook for a further minute.

Stir through the coconut cream and stock, bring to the boil and add the chicken. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce has thickened up.

Add the fish sauce and cook for a further minute before adding the Thai basil leaves. Remove from heat and serve immediately on a bed of fluffy rice. Then devour, with your favourite, sexiest friend.

 

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Chickwendy Empanadiaz

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.

Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.

On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.

Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.

Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.

Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.

Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.

Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.

Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.

Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.

Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.

The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.

While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.

“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”

“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”

You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?

 

 

In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickwendy Empanadiaz
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares.  Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.

Don’t tell Sia.

 

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Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

As you will soon start to notice is a pattern, like Amanda – though unlike Dan or Jon – I am the reason that Lizzy Caplan scored the role of Janis Ian and as such, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join me and help celebrate this year’s Mean Girls’ Day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week.

Not that it wasn’t optional though, of course. Honestly.

Anyway, I met Lizzy through Seth Rogen and current Survivor cast-member Mike White on the set of Freaks & Geeks. While it was only her acting debut, she completely blew me away and I deemed her worthy of my tutelage.

Given I am an excellent teacher – don’t you dare say anything about those unable to do, teach – I finesse her skills and within a couple of years, she was knocking on Teens’ door and making her way onto the A-list.

Lizzy’s career has absolutely blown up following her breakout performance in Masters of Sex, so we sadly haven’t been able to pal around as often as we’d like. Thankfully as soon as she heard Mean Girls celebration, she dropped everything, ran into my home and giddily reminisced over a big old Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine.

 

 

There is nothing I love more than a tajine, if only for the general festive look of a tajine. Add in succulent chicken and the tart kick of lemon and olives, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp saffron threads
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
8 chicken thighs, bones in
olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cinnamon quill
⅓ cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 Preserved Lemonika Radulovic, flesh removed and cut into strips
2 cups chicken stock
½ lemon, juiced
parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method
Combine the garlic, ginger, saffron, paprika, cumin, chilli, coriander and turmeric with a a good whack of salt and pepper and blitz with a stick blender to form a thick paste. Rub the chicken thighs with the fragrant glob, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in the base of our tajine and sweat the onions on low for about ten minutes. Add the chicken thighs and seal on both sides. Add the cinnamon, olives, preserved lemon and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for half an hour.

When the chicken is completely falling off the bone, remove from the heat, stir through the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve immediately on a bed of couscous and devour.

 

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John Coq Au Ransling

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favourites, Survivor: South Pacific

While I kind of dropped off the radar – which as you know, I will strike from memory in the coming weeks – as soon as Wendell defeated Domenick thanks to Laurel breaking the tie on Ghost Island, I am super pumped by the fact that in sub five weeks Survivor: David vs. Goliath will be back and all will be right in the world.

Because let’s be honest, no matter how terrible a season can be any survivor is better than no Survivor because there will also be a Michael or Brendan to thirst over.

As has become the tradition, I decided to reach out to some of my dearest Sole Survivor friends to countdown to the latest season … and since they were all unavailable, I decided to invite John Cochran.

I joke, I joke! I love Cochran and he is my dearest friend … now. But damn did I hate him during the horror that was South Pacific. The self-deprecating humour, the inability to fit in with the jocks and not wanting to get naked in the water – it was like watching myself on screen and I just couldn’t handle it.

Thankfully his flip to Coach and Co’s side led to a glorious Sophie victory, so I apologised to him for my heavy use of voodoo during the season and we slowly, tentatively became the best of friends. A friendship so strong, I couldn’t even bring myself to hate him when he voted against my lover Malcolm in his winning season.

Say what you will about the season being terrible and made for him, Caramoan had some killer moments – the TEETH, Malcolm losing his pants, Dawn seething about missing out on the family reward – and Cochran ran the game, well and truly deserving his victory.

While we couldn’t run the odds since the cast is yet to be released, we do agree that Probst’s friend, creator of Enlightened and The Amazing Race contestant Mike White – who was clearly visible in the preview at the end of Ghost Island – should become an icon of the game … and the hot cop will most likely be my number one thirst trap. Though maybe those opinions were just the John Coq Au Ransling talking.

 

 

Like his oft joked about daughter – with Sophie, obvi – Aubry Bracco, I can’t bring myself to see him without the sweet flavour or bacon, mushrooms, chicken and sweet, sweet wine. This time, however, the wine is white and hot damn does it still taste amazing. Rich and creamy, Coq au Riesling is all the fun of Coq Au Vin but with a lightness … that is removed by addition of cream. But it’s cream, so you know what, so what, who cares.

Enjoy!

 

 

John Coq Au Ransling
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
6 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken thighs, diced
250g mushrooms, sliced
750ml Riesling
1 cup cream
salt & pepper, to taste
handful parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Melt the butter in a large pan and sweat the onions over medium-low heat for five minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered before adding the garlic and cooking for a further minute or so.

Reduce heat to low, add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or until browned and glorious. Add the chicken and cook for a minute to brown the sides before drowning, giddily, in wine. Crank up the heat and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking, covered for half an hour.

Remove the lid and stir in the cream and cook for a further five minutes, or until slightly reduced. Season, sprinkle with parsley and remove from the heat. Serve immediately, and devour with a generous hunk of French Sourdough. Like a Paige de Keragne, for instance.

 

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