If you’ve been following the blog, you might remember how my other geeky food blogger friends and I have been doing a number of fandom-themed months with fun hashtags. Well, now we finally have a website, thankfully put together by the forever awesome Katharina of Pretty Cake Machine.
My friends, I bring you Fandom Foodies.
This clearly isn’t our first recipe rodeo. August brought us #RedwallAugust themed off the works of Brian Jacques, hosted by Diana at Fiction Food Café. September I hosted how to cook your favorite Pocket Monster with #PokeNOM. Last month Carrie from Witchy Kitchen celebrated the spooktacular works of Tim Burton through food with #Burtoween.
This month, Bryan of Lvl.1 Chef has been more than happy to host #ZeldaMonth, a recipe round-up inspired by Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda game franchise. Check his site out for all of the delicious dishes inspired by everyone’s favorite pottery-smashing game sprite!
I will say that I was no stranger to Zelda growing up, but the first game that really stuck with me (or at least the first one my brother would surrender the game console to let me play) was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I can’t remember if it was the story, gameplay, or costumes that really hooked me. I know the music still remains as one of my favorite game scores to this day.
No, I think what really drew me in were the diverse worlds and cultures within Hyrule. Though fragmented and insular (understatement of the year if you remember the number of errands you need to get past the darn guardsmen), Link is only able to save these cultures by breaking their barriers and bringing elements from them (sometimes literally) together. This is the inspiration behind my dish for #ZeldaMonth : Lon-Lon Milk Braised Cucco.
As you may have guessed from the title, I will be braising a whole cucco (feel free to use a chicken if you don’t want risk death by sharp, pointy beaks) in some rich and healthy milk from Lon Lon Ranch. To pay homage to the volcanic Goron City and the desert-dwelling Gerudo Fortress, I first mixed up a spice rub of smoked sea salt and harissa powder and slathered that all over the bird before browning it in some butter and olive oil.
I then set the bird in a tagine with garbanzo beans also from the Gerudo Fortress, and Epona’s carrots from Lon Lon Ranch. For some Hyrule Field and Kokiri Forest flavor, I also included some fresh chives from Link’s lawn clippings and shelled Deku seeds (which look and taste suspiciously like pistachios). Since no Hylian feast is complete without a contribution from the Zora’s Domain, I also added a dash of fish sauce to remind you of your travels through Lord Jabu-Jabu.
If you’re still wondering what that beautiful piece of breakable pottery is, it is a tagine. The one pictured is from World Market and costs about 25 dollars or less. I painted it with a solid stick paint pen, designed to handle temperatures up to 425° F. The hottest you want to cook the tagine is up to 325° F, and you’ll still want to season it first. If you want to try this dish before investing, a large stoneware casserole dish with a lid should do just fine.
So here it is, a dish worth braving all the lands of Hyrule and the threat of feathery death under hundreds of pointy beaks! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did (especially with some herb-crusted bread). Make sure to check out Fandom Foodies and all the other tasty recipes hosted for #ZeldaMonth at Lvl. 1 Chef!
Lon-Lon Milk Braised Cucco
Equipment: Stovetop, skillet, vegetable peeler, 11-inch or larger seasoned tagine or large stoneware casserole dish with a lid, pizza pan or cookie sheet, aluminum foil, kitchen twine, oven.
- 2 tablespoons smoked sea salt
- 2 teaspoons harissa powder
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
- 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2-4 dashes fish sauce
- handful fresh chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup crushed pistachios
- 1 lemon
- 3-3.5 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Season your Tagine:
- Submerge the tagine in a large stockpot pot of water and let soak for 24 hours.
- Remove tagine from the pot, dry it with a soft towel and brush some olive oil over any unglazed edges or surfaces. Place in a cold oven and set a timer for 2 hours, then turn the oven on to 300° F.
- Turn the oven off after 2 hours and let cool completely with the door closed.
- Wash the tagine by hand, dry it with a towel, and rub all surfaces of the tagine with olive oil and a paper towel. The tagine should be ready for use now.
For the recipe:
- Mix the smoked sea salt and harissa powder together in a small dish and rub all of it all over the chicken. Let it sit while prepping the other ingredients.
- Melt the butter in the skillet with the olive oil on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the chicken with a pair of tongs and brown on all sides for roughly 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.
- Add a single layer of carrots and beans to the bowl of the tagine or casserole. Place the chicken on top of the bed, spine-side down on top.
- Peel the lemon rind with the vegetable peeler and set aside. Slice the lemon into quarters and stick one inside the cavity.
- Tie the legs together with twine and tuck the wings under the body. Add slices of lemon peel to and around the body, then pour in the chickpeas and carrots into the bowl meet its inner edge. Scatter half the chives over the lot, pour the milk and fish sauce over the vegetables. Dot the remaining butter on top of the chicken and vegetables.
- Cover the tagine and carefully place into a cold oven. Place a pizza sheet with foil underneath to catch any spills. Set the timer to 3 hours and the temperature to 320° F.
- When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and let the tagine cool with the oven door open for at least 15 minutes before carefully removing. Set the tagine on a cork trivet or a dish towel to prevent extreme temperature changes or cracking.
Remove the lid and stir vegetables and pan juices together. Scatter pistachios on top.
- Pull off sections of chicken and serve in bowls with vegetables, pan juices, and fresh sliced bread.