I created this dish sometime ago for my grandson, to have a complete balanced meal in one plate. It had to be tasty, soft, easy to chew and swallow. Buckwheat kernels, both raw or brown, are used as a base, with some meat as a protein, supplemented with variety of vegetables. To increase a nutrition value of the dish, I use chicken stock as liquid ingredient. However, boiling water can be used instead. For protein ingredient I use chicken, lean pork, turkey or deboned lamb shanks. The first three could be used both raw or cooked, while lamb shanks I always cook beforehand. As I make this dish on regular basis it is much easier to have chicken or any other meat cooked in bulk, portioned and frozen for later use. When cooked for adults, vegetables are sliced and not grated, as I do for children. As I use Bio-Oz buckwheat kernels, grown in Australia and certified gluten free, I do not need to wash buckwheat before cooking to minimise the risk of cross contamination.
For kids I serve buckwheat kasha with butter.
The dish can be cooked in bulk, eaten fresh and/or frozen in individual servings.
We like our buckwheat texture similar to that of wet risotto, moist and not dry. The way I cook it, however, allows to have each kernel soft but still keeping its shape.
- 1 mug buckwheat kernels
- 2 onions
- 2-3 carrots, depending on their size
- pumpkin in quantities equal to carrots
- chicken meat, cooked with stock
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 table spoon olive oil
- 1 table spoon coconut oil
- pinch of fennel and caraway seeds
- 1 table spoon of garlic and chilli preserve (homemade)
- sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
Note: sea salt quantity depends on the type of liquid for cooking, if using chicken stock, adding sea salt might not be necessary.
Process of buckwheat preparation using fresh meat (pork) can be found here.
Chicken and stock
- put sliced and chopped vegetables in a pot: onions, carrots, cauliflower leaves or stalks, any leftovers like green parts of leek, tired tomatoes, etc.
- add 6-8 chicken drumsticks
- cover with cold water
- add seasoning: fennel seeds, garlic and chilli paste, sea salt, fresh thyme
- cook until boiling point and then simmer for 1.5-2 hours
- let the contents of the pot to cool down to just being lukewarm, the longer the process takes place, the softer meat and more flavours in the stock you will get
- separate meat from skin and bones
- put the stock through the sieve
- make desirable portions of meat, covered with stock
- freeze individual portions if necessary
Buckwheat with chicken and vegetables
We had a bad day yesterday, our gas cook-top gave up and we had to do an emergency shopping for a hot plate to survive the time before the new cook-top can be installed. I could not believe that the only place out of all big chain electrical stores, we were able to find something was K-Mart. And it was the new one for me – an induction hot plate.
I was not even sure, that it would be possible to reproduce the texture of the dish I wanted. I cooked this time in a different pot, not the cast iron Duch oven Staub or Le Creuset, I usually use, where the last stages of cooking happen when the pot is taken from the heat, covered with a blanket and is left to rest for 2-5 hours, depending on the day schedules. However, to my relief, everything worked fine, and actual cooking even took less time.
- heat olive and coconut oil in a pot with thick bottom
- when oil heats up, add fennel and caraway seeds
- add onion, sliced in semi-circles, season with salt and pepper after 1-2 minutes of frying
- reduce heat to low or even minimum and cook until onions become translucent
- add carrots and pumpkin
- add cherry tomatoes cut in halves or quarters
- add garlic and chilli preserve (or any other spice mix)
- add chicken meat, it can be added as a frozen block
- if meat added frozen or semi-frozen, cook until it defrosts in the pot, stir all ingredients
- add water, twice the volume of buckwheat (1 cup of buckwheat kernels to 2 cups of liquid), if chicken meat has plenty of liquid in it, take this into consideration
- cook simmering on low heat, covered with lid, until carrots are nearly ready
- add buckwheat, stir
- cook on low to medium heat until the surface looks dry, there is still liquid in the pot and characteristic bubbles appear on top
- cover the pot with a lid, place kitchen towel on top, cover with blanket (I use special cover for the pot. As I use this approach of final cooking in the resting pot often, I knitted myself 2 covers to fit the size of two pots, used for these purposes)
- let the dish rest at least 60-90 minutes
- the residual liquid will be absorbed
- in covered cast iron Dutch oven and similar pots, the dish will stay very warm for 3-4 hours.
That’s the look when the dish is ready to be taken from the cook-top, rest and cool down slowly.
Cooked and fully rested, with all residual liquid absorbed.
Ready to be frozen.