Kosho marinated chicken
1. Dissolve the salt in 1L hot water. In a large tub or pot, mix in the other 3L cold water. Add the chicken and make sure it’s all covered with the brine. Leave in the fridge overnight.
2. Once the chook is brined, drain well and discard the brine.
3. Rub some of the fermented kosho (see recipe page 26) and oil all over the chicken. Leave to marinate for an hour or two.
4. I like to barbeque the chicken over coal. Alternatively, it can be roasted in a hot oven at 180ºC for 30–40 minutes, depending on the size.
5. Once cooked, cut it up or serve whole, garnished with coriander. It can be served hot, room temp or chilled. All delicious. Any leftovers will keep for two days in the fridge. It makes a great sandwich the next day.
Matt’s notes: Get your hands on the best chook within your budget. Brining the chicken is completely optional, but it has its benefits. First it will taste better, as brining gets the seasoning the whole way through the meat and helps to keep it very succulent once cooked. Secondly, its a great way to prolong the life of a fresh chook. If you have a chook that you’re worried you might not get to, brining it will give you an extra 3–5 days life on it. The chook will need to be butterflied – if you’re not confident doing this, ask your butcher to do it as it can be cut before brining. It can actually be cut however you like, but I love the way a whole butterflied cook presents and it’s all on the bone so it will be full of flavour.
Fermented brown rice
1. Place the rice into a jar or bowl. Add at least double the amount of water as there is rice and leave on the bench to ferment for 24 hours. This will lightly sour the rice and start to help break down the husk so we can get maximum flavour and nutrients from it.
2. Once fermented, strain it and place rice into a pot and cover generously with water. Add any trimmings of ginger, tumeric, old cloves of garlic, a lemon or lime leaf and some spices if you like. Once boiled, turn to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes, until tender. Drain off and pick out any big chunks of the aromats. Dress the rice with olive oil, salt and heaps of cracked black pepper. Serve hot or at room temp. Rice will keep cooked for two days in the fridge. Rice that’s been in the fridge overnight actually makes a far superior fried rice.
Matt’s notes: Make sure you’re buying Australian rice. Buying in bulk is a great way to minimise waste, it’s cheaper and I find if you’ve got some rice, eggs and pickles around, you’ve always got a quick, healthy meal.
Charred lettuce, peas, green onion
1. Get your barbeque nice and hot. Pod the peas, leave them raw. Remove any stringy parts. Wash the spring onions well. Leave them whole.
2. Lightly oil the pea shells and spring onions. Barbeque them till charred and tender. If you’re cooking them in a pan on the stove, start off in a dry pan, no oil, to get a char going.
3. Once cooked, remove and once cool enough to handle, finely chop the pea shells. Cut the root and top half off the spring onion. Cut the base half for the salad and set aside. Finely chop the top half and root. Lightly smash the raw peas in a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Add the chopped spring onion tops and pea shells. Smash to make a paste. Season with mustard and vinegar and loosen it to a dressing / salsa with olive oil. Mix in the fresh peas.
4. Cut the lettuces in half. Lightly oil the cut side and blacken on the barbeque. Remove and leave to cool a little. Cut length ways. Lay on a plate and cover with the charred dressing. Serve hot or at room temp.
Matt’s notes: This dish is best cooked on a coal barbeque but is also great on a regular gas barbeque or can be even cooked in a
pan on the stove. It’s great as it uses the pea pod and the tops and roots of the spring onions. It’s also a great use for any limp old lettuce that might not make the cut for a salad. Any leaf can be used for the dish. Just adjust the cooking time to best suit. Kale or silverbeet leaves work well or even beetroot and carrot tops.
Photography: Jane Langhorst