freshly shucked

freshly shucked oysters

As soon as I stepped through the door to our local fish shop, I was informed by the fellow serving that he was in the middle of shucking oysters, and was asked whether I ate fresh oysters. I mumbled yes, and off he went to the back of the shop to get me an oyster. While I was waiting, I was wondering how it was going to be brought to me, and started to juggle my purse, keys, and shopping bag.

The freshly shucked oyster was brought out on the half shell, and it was even seasoned with a few drops of lemon that he grabbed from the fridge as he went past. I had to go to the checkout counter to put my stuff down, and then I just tipped up the shell to allow the oyster to slip into my mouth. Oh wow. Heaven. It was fresh.

So in addition to the fish fillets (baby snapper), scallops, prawn butterflies, and mussels for our paella, I got a dozen freshly shucked oysters.

Usually, we have fresh oysters with lime juice, avocado, and tomato. Tonight, we had them as an entree with just fresh lime juice. Fortunately, our lime tree is currently producing tasty juicy limes. H agreed that it was worth a spontaneous purchase.

Our seafood paella was pretty nice too. It is a tried and true recipe, adapted from the Chicken Paella recipe in the Mt Barker Free Range Chicken Free Recipes brochure. We simply substitute a selection of seafood for the chicken. Although, because there is only two of us, we ‘sort of’ halve the ingredients. Following is the complete recipe without substitutes:

Mt Marker Free Range Chicken Paella
Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: 4

1.5kg Mt Barker Chicken, portioned
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 large onion, diced
200g chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
400g diced tomatoes (can use tinned)
1.25lt chicken stock
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 chilli, chopped (optional)
3g saffron
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
Olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley

In a large fry pan heat olive oil and fry onions till transparent. Add garlic (and chilli if using) and capsicum.

Add chicken and fry till sealed.

Add chorizo and cook till colour changes and release oil. Add saffron.

Stir quickly and reduce heat. Add stock, tomatoes and bring to simmer.

Add rice and stir frequently till rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and stir in parlsey. Serve immediately.

Tip: You may need to add more stock as different rice blends can have different absorption.

—///—

So for two, we halve the ingredients. Although, it doesn’t matter whether we are having chicken or seafood, we tend to more than half the weight for the chicken. That is, we have found about 400g of chicken or seafood for two people is more than enough. Also, we put in a ‘good’ pinch of saffron that would be no way near 3g, probably < 1g. What has probably made the difference this time is the chicken stock from Good Stock, that we obtained from our local butcher (Claytons Quality Meats).

Also, if you have the bandwidth, Mt Barker Free Range Chicken have an amusing (well, I think so) advertisement, see: Mt Barker Chicken at the Movies (MPG 1.9Mb).

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