Cockatrice Pie

Terra at the Returner hideout“Food! Food! Bring me everything ya got!”

—Sabin Rene Figaro, FFVI

This savory treat goes great with Narshe Spiced Wine or a tankard of strong ale on a cold winter night.

  • 1 16-oz. package of frozen puff pastry dough (2 sheets)
  • 2 cups prepared stuffing
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked cockatrice or turkey
  • ½ cup turkey gravy
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce

Defrost both sheets of dough at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll each sheet of dough and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut each sheet into 4 squares.

You should now have 8 squares of dough. In the center of each square, place ¼ cup stuffing. Stir together the turkey and gravy and place ¼ cup on top of each pile of stuffing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes to each square, and top with 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce.

Start with the first square and fold each corner to the center of the pile, pressing the corners together until you have a messy bundle. Gently lift the bundle off the paper and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 7 squares.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 pies.

Roast Cockatrice

XII cockatrice“Lo, the mighty cockatrice, proud-feathered sphere, known as much for its ill humor as its dire rotundity. The great naturalist Merlose once remarked: ‘…live they in the sands and other arid climes, whereabouts they moveth in a rolling fashion most peculiar.'”

—bestiary entry, FFXII

  • 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage, crushed
  • 1 12- to 16-pound cockatrice (you can substitute a turkey if necessary)
  • 2 large lemons
  • 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • ¾ oz. fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • About ½ bottle of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc (1½ cups)
  • ¾ oz. fresh sage, stems removed, chopped finely
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Rub salt and dried sage together in a small bowl. Rinse the cockatrice inside and out with cold water, removing neck and giblets, if any. Drain, cavity down, before placing breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with about half the sage salt. Flip to breast-side down and sprinkle with the remaining sage salt. Refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

Set oven rack at lowest position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain off and discard any liquid from the roasting pan. Slice the lemons in half. Stuff the lemon halves, rosemary sprigs, and thyme sprigs inside the cavity.

Put the pan in the oven and begin roasting, uncovered. Meanwhile, mix together the olive oil, butter, wine, and sage. After the cockatrice has roasted for about 30 minutes, remove from oven and baste all over with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and return to oven, making sure to turn the pan so the cockatrice cooks and browns evenly.

After another 30 minutes, remove from oven, turn breast-side up, and baste all over with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and return to oven, again turning the pan.

Check on the cockatrice after another 30 minutes have passed, baste with the remaining olive oil mixture, and turn the pan. The breast should be beginning to brown; if not, continue roasting for another 15 minutes or so.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue roasting. Every 30 minutes, baste with juices and and turn the pan. After the cockatrice has been cooking for a total of three hours, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. The bird is ready when the thermometer reads 160 to 165 degrees.

Transfer to a platter or carving board and let rest 30 minutes to 1 hour. Pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add apple cider. Scrape the pan until the cider boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from the pan. Add chicken broth, stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Spoon off as much of the fat as possible from the measuring cup of juices. Add the juices to the pan and continue cooking, about 10 minutes more. Strain into a warm gravy boat and serve with the roast cockatrice and Echo Herb Stuffing, if desired. Save the carcass for Cockatrice Soup, and use any leftover meat to make Cockatrice Pie.

Airship Salad

Aeris and airshipCid: “Wow, what a ship!”

Setzer: “That landing really messed up the engine. It’ll take a while to fix.”

Cid: “I’ll help. No machine can stump me!”

Setzer: “Don’t touch anything!”

Cid: “Go kill time in the casino! I can speed this crate up!”

—FFVI

You can use any dressing you like with this recipe. Here are two suggestions: Trader Joe’s low-fat parmesan ranch dressing, or for a more indulgent choice, Russian dressing (first three ingredients of the linked recipe).

  • 7 oz. chopped butter lettuce (about 5 cups)
  • 8 oz. cooked chicken or turkey breast, cut into strips
  • 8 oz. smoked deli ham, cut into strips
  • 4 oz. crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 lb. Persian cucumbers, ends removed, cut in half, then quartered lengthwise
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, washed well and cut into wedges
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, warm (optional)
  • Watercress sprigs or microgreens, for garnish (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salad dressing

Divide ingredients evenly between 4 bowls. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Per serving (does not include salad dressing): 509 calories, 27 g. fat, 17 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fiber, 47 g. protein, iron 12%

Treasure Hunter’s Sandwich

Locke in South Figaro“You’re Locke, right? Edgar told me about you. Is it true you’re a thief?”

“That’s TREASURE HUNTER!”

—Terra and Locke, FFVI

Treasure hunters don’t settle for empty-calorie white bread and processed meat when they’re on the go!

Instead of buying a sub at a fast-food sandwich shop, treat yourself with nutritious whole grains, minimal-ingredient condiments, probiotic yogurt cheese, and fresh veggies.

Spread each piece of bread with mayonnaise and add mustard. Sprinkle one piece of bread with pepperoncini and pile with turkey breast, cheese, and avocado. Add salt and pepper and top with greens. Sprinkle with vinegar, if desired. (Not too much, or your sandwich will be soggy before you get to Narshe!)

Slice in half lengthwise and serve with pickles.

Makes 1 serving: 535 calories, 25 g. fat, 37 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fiber, 36 g. protein, iron 21%

Kohlingen Pub Sandwich

Kohlingen Pub and Inn“We meet again… Just need ‘nough to feed my dog.”

—Shadow, FFVI

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 2 slices of whole-grain bread
  • 1 oz. pepper jack cheese
  • 3 oz. sliced turkey

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet. Saute onions over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.

Push onions to the side and put bread slices in the center of the skillet. Place cheese on top of one piece of bread. Scoop the onions onto the other piece of bread, and top with turkey.

Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for about a minute, until cheese is melted. Flip the bread and cheese onto the other piece of bread. Use a spatula to transfer the sandwich to a plate. Slice in half diagonally and serve with pickles.

Cockatrice Soup

Cockatrices“A fool will buy a sack of feathers for his pillow, but a wise man… he’ll buy the whole stinking cockatrice and get his fill of meat into the bargain.”

—Jules, FFXII

Shot a cockatrice? Save the leftover bones and meat for this healthy soup.

  • 1 meaty cockatrice frame (you can substitute turkey)
  • 1 large onion, quartered (leave the skin on for color)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 3 large carrots or 6 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • 1 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, crushed
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lb. cooked turkey, chopped
  • 12 oz. broccoli florets (about 8 cups)
  • 12 oz. cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
  • 8 oz. whole-wheat rotelle pasta (about 3 cups)

Place the cockatrice frame in a large pot. Fill with water to cover. Add quartered onion. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Let cool for 1 hour.

Put a colander on top of a large pot. Drape with cheesecloth. Strain the bones and stock into the colander. Discard bones. Cover the stock and refrigerate overnight.

Skim the fat from the broth. Bring to a simmer over low heat.

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly.

Add carrots and continue to cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and spices and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour in 16 cups turkey stock. Freeze any leftover stock for later use.

Stir in cooked turkey, broccoli, and cauliflower. Add thyme sprigs and bring to a boil.

Stir in pasta and continue to boil, uncovered, about 10 minutes, until pasta is tender.

Makes about 14 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 162 calories, 4.1 g. fat, 0.8 g. saturated fat, 0.7 g. poly. fat, 1.7 g. mono. fat, 24.2 mg. cholesterol, 99 mg. sodium, 307.9 mg. potassium, 18.4 g. carbohydrates, 2.8 g. fiber, 13.4 g. protein, vitamin A 20%, vitamin C 54%, calcium 4%, iron 9%