seasoned at sea - Page 15

Twice Marinated Azorean Roasted Chicken

52 weeks of cooking – Portuguese

You know those dishes you’ve tasted while on vacation that are so fantastic they stick in your memory forever? I’ve got a few of those and most of the time I can recreate them to some degree, but when the name of the dish is vague and the language barrier so vast it makes it that much more difficult.

I’ve been to Faial Island twice, both times with Class Afloat, it’s part of the island group belonging to the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. The first time I went a fellow crew member had been there before and recommended a restaurant to the crew, but not the students so we could have a quite place to go. Depending on the size of a port you might not run into students, but Horta is very small and there are only so many restaurants open for dinner. Upon reading the menu everything sounded very simple, it had things like: assorted local cheese, bread, roast beef with potatoes, grilled fish, roasted quail, fried calamari. There was no way to discern what flavors might accompany these dishes, it might have said in Portuguese but I couldn’t read it.

We got the roasted quail as an appetizer and it doesn’t even matter what I got for dinner because this dish stole the meal. I can’t even begin to tell you what spices were rubbed on it, but holy darn it was great, we were fighting over the oil drippings on the bottom of the platter. They were tart with a warming spice and a sharp bite, juicy tender fall off the bone amazing little roasted quails.

When I returned to Horta the following year I headed straight for that restaurant and ordered the quail as a main along with some bread to sop up the oily juices. And no way was I going to share.

I’ve spent a long time thinking about that dish and wondering what went in it, I think I’ve finally found something that resembles it, not the same, but as close as I’m ever going to get. I served my chicken with a grain medley and sautéed broccoli with anchovies and olive juice.


Twice Marinated Azorean Roasted Chicken


  • 8 chicken thighs or several quails


  • 1 c beer or white wine
  • 1/4 c white vinegar
  • 4 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. cumin

To serve

  • lemon wedges


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together, put in a zip top plastic bag with the chicken and marinade for at least 8 hours, best overnight.
  2. Brown the chicken in a large pan in batches. When browned return all of it to the pan with the marinade and simmer until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  3. Remove the chicken and let the marinade continue to simmer until it reduces by half.
  4. Pour the marinade into a clean zip top bag and put the chicken in with it, let it marinade again, at least 8 hours.
  5. When ready to eat, broil the chicken until heated through, make sure to flip it to brown the underside. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Oat and Walnut Biscuits

52 weeks of baking – Oats & Nuts

Starting your day with a big pot of tea or a single cup in the afternoon was a ritual I hadn’t taken part in until I stayed with friends in England.

My husband and I went to the UK for a few weeks to visit some old boat friends. We took walks in the country side collecting wild garlic, went to the city to soak up some history, but always came home to have a hot cup of tea and chat about old times. Tea is a big part of British culture and as an American there is something very charming about it. We have our own coffee culture, but it is fast paced. Tea is something you sit down for and when you sit down for tea you are going to want a biscuit to go with it.

In the late afternoon tea can’t go unaccompanied, you need at least a basic tea biscuit or digestive to go with it. I really enjoy digestive biscuits, a standard British biscuit that screams out to be dunked in tea, just watch out you can’t dunk it to long or it’ll disintegrate. Of coarse you could have an American style cookie, but it’s not the same, a digestive is crisp, with a toasty oat flavor and not very sweet.

I’m always looking for a variation of that basic biscuit because I like a change. These biscuits have lots of texture and layers of toasty flavor, they also lack sweetness so they might seem plain, but are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of well sugared tea. Plus they are very sturdy so they can stand up to being dunked for a moment.


Oat and Walnut Biscuits


  • 1 c walnuts
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 3/4 c oat flour
  • 1/2 c flax meal
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and toast the walnuts and rolled oats until fragrant in a skillet.
  2. Roughly blitz walnuts and oats in food processor, you still want there to be some texture.
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together, then add the wet.
  4. The dough might appear dry, wait a moment and allow it to soak up the moisture. Roll out to 3/8 of an inch, cut into squares and place on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until the edges are golden.

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