Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cooking Competition! Bacon-wrapped Chicken Leg Roulade


My nephew is joining a cooking competition in a tertiary institution and he asked me for some help. I thought, what a great way to bond with him, and readily agreed. First, I have to say, I admire his guts for even daring to sign up for the competition. I would have been frightened to death! I like to continue to believe that cooking need not come with stress.

The must-use ingredients are 3 boneless chicken legs, one 300g turkey breast and 4 eggs. Is this even normal to cook 2 poultry meats in one dish?? We cracked our heads to think of a recipe that would work. Together with his cooking partner, we spent the afternoon discussing recipes and deciding on cooking techniques that would yield a good dish in 90 minutes. Here's what we came up with - Bacon-wrapped Chicken Leg Roulade - a rather sophisticated dish to my mind.

We cut the turkey breast into thin long strips and butterflied the chicken legs, meaning, slicing it horizontally so it opens like a book to get a nice flat slab of meat. After marinating them with salt, pepper and freshly chopped rosemary, we barded it. We laid out bacon strips on a piece of aluminium foil, each overlapping the other, placed the butterflied chicken leg across at the bottom of the strips and of the foil, arranged the turkey strips on top of the legs, and basically rolled everything in, with the foil.



Next, we poached the rolled up meat for 25 minutes at medium high heat.


How gorgeous is this!


We chilled the meat in the freezer for 20 minutes, then took them out to pan-sear till brown and aromatic.


We cut up the rolls and were greeted with these moist, juicy, pink-blushies. I suggested they poach another 5 minutes during the competition so as not to risk an uncooked meat which would mean an immediate elimination.


The boys did a Baked Sunny with the eggs, and presented this to family members for food tasting. Every single one said it was delish, from fussy eaters to those not particularly fond of meat. The bacon gave a salty, smoky crunch and offered a good contrast to the soft, moist poached meat.


I was impressed with the boys' efforts and their enthusiasm and was delighted to have been a part of it. I call this a good day in the office for myself.

Don't know if they have cleared the Qualifying Round but they are already winners in my mind.

17 comments:

  1. Wow! Impressive! I'm so happy that boys today (well, most of them anyway) don't have this idea that cooking and being in the kitchen is just for the female species. There is hope for this world! :)
    This is an entry that's got me salivating too! They're already winners in my books! Well done boys! ... and aunty :D

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    1. Hi Ping, thanks for your encouragement. I will let them know!

      P/S: was admiring your raspberry ripple cheese tart the other day! How do you make such neat swirls?!

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  2. Is your nephew an aspiring young chef ? Takes after his aunt :) This dish is very appealing. My Mum is visiting and I was wondering what to cook. I think I will make this. Here's cheering your nephew and his partner, full support from Auntie Phong Hong!

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    1. Hi PH, he's just very interested to learn to cook. I got him a restaurant internship during his school hols and he did really well there. Thanks for the encouragement. I will let him know!

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  3. Luan Ee, a big hug across the other side of the globe to you and the boys! I wonder I can even wrap the Chechen meat so perfectly. When I watch cooking competition, I admire the guts of all the competitors. I told my Quay Lo, I can never cook under pressure. I prefer to cook for pleasure instead.

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    1. Hello Veron! Can't agree more with you, pleasure over pressure anytime. Have fun in your travels!

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  4. This dish is impressive and sophisticated. Is there any carbohydrate to go along when served? I was thinking of toast when I saw the eggs...

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    1. Hi Trish, they didn't have a carbo to go with this, they had hardly enough time. But your toast sounds like a really good idea! In fact, I was thinking bread crumbs underneath that baked sunny for those who want a reduced carbo meal.

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  5. this looks perfect and the recipe is not so difficult, I am going to save it and try!thank you!


    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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    1. Hello Ola! Yes, it's rather straightforward when you break down the steps in photos this way. Do try it abd let me know how it goes. Would love to see your pictures when you cook it!

      Your blog looks lovely, am now following you.

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  6. I will return later-trying to follow you as currently your followers service is not available or maybe I have problems with internet today:(

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  7. i always think a meat roulade always look very appealing if you present it well and in this case, yes! whatever it is, i think it's good to take part in competitions..nor for me tho..:))

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    1. Thanks. I used to take part in bowling tournaments and they kept my adrenalin high! But cooking competition is a clear no-no for me!

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  8. My son did a stuffed chicken breast using the poaching method but he used the cling film which is more difficult to wrap...aluminium foil sounds like a better choice...great looking dish! Bravo to the boys!

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    1. Hi Jeannie, thanks! Yes, I saw a Spanish chef in the kitchen use the cling film before. His Spanish mom taught him to do it that way. He did it easily but I found it difficult, so it's foil for me.

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