These trying times made us all the more appreciative of each other: our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We learned to value the next person because he or she matters. All these eleven months we were driven to slow down, somehow, for the most part of the year, and in all aspects, that every day becomes a decision to be productive or just sulk, having experienced loss or pain or both, or even more.
Despite all that, we still have something to be thankful for, if not too much. This Thanksgiving, for a fortnight, we tried to express this gratitude to the persons whose lives meant a lot to us, whose functions we can’t live without by sharing the blessings we received.
A box of Pollo Relleno, or stuffed chicken, by O&M or Oliver & Maude from dear family friends was sent to us. Eagerly, the following day, a quarter cup of homemade softened garlic herb butter was gently brushed on the fowl’s skin when thoroughly thawed as into the oven, preheated 15 minutes at 300℉, it went for about 45 minutes to an hour, together with some slices of potatoes and a bundle of bunched and tied lemongrass. Instructions on the box indicated at least 30 minutes of roasting in the oven, but we love our roast on the crispy-crunchy side.
A quarter-chicken serving of Oliver & Maude‘s Pollo Relleno, roasted to a mouth-watering crisp.
The aroma of the intermingling of garlic herb butter and lemongrass roasting filled our place while basting and brushing on the chicken’s skin every 10-15 minutes. There was no need for turning over the stuffed chicken anymore. And then the oven chimed after a full hour, so the chicken was taken out to rest for about 10 minutes for an easy, clean slice. Rendered shimmering, deep golden now, that crispiness was achieved as served on a platter.
The extra garlic herb butter from basting, clarified now, was used as a sauce and drizzled over the relleno slices. Firmly and still moist, the stuffing held on together, and the skin did not break when sliced about a centimeter thick.
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Proudly Philippine-made and artisan, Oliver & Maude also produces flavors, not just dips, cheese pairings, rice or pasta toppings, or aperitifs, but may be used as seasonings and relishes for other fares. These gourmet specialty selections are assembled in small batches to nurture small farmers. Under the ¡BUEN PROVECHO! (O&M Home) gourmet line of delectable all-natural Spanish Bicolandia flavors that are perfect on the table for every occasion, these items boast of a flavorful presence.
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Crunching down a slice of the Pollo Relleno was a prelude to more flavors to come, especially with other items on the table. The balance of sweet and salty ground meat was pronounced with a hint of smokiness, while the smooth texture of the moist and not-sticky stuffing provided a feel of tender and lingering juiciness until the first bite was fully ingested. A succession of appreciative munches and ruminations took place next while enjoying God’s graciousness through his instrumentalities, thankful for the gift of faith and the blessing of hope, notwithstanding the social distancing restrictions.
Featured image: Pollo Relleno and product photos by oliverandmaude.
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