Archive for the ‘Poultry’ category

Chicken wings Korean or Buffalo style

July 21, 2020

Fried chicken wings are immensely popular and the Korean and Buffalo styles perhaps top the list. This is a way to get tasty and crispy wings without the hassle and mess of deep frying.

Wings, as many as desired
Kosher salt
Sugar
Neutral oil (canola, peanut, avocado, etc.)
Flour

If not already done, separate the wings and discard the tips. Put in a bowl and cover with water in which you have dissolved 1/4 c kosher salt and 1/4 c sugar per quart. Refrigerate for an hour or two then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees using the convection setting if available. Put the rack toward the top of the oven.

Put the wings in a dry bowl and toss with enough oil to coat. Add some flour and toss to coat. Arrange the wings, not touching, on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes then broil until the wings are sizzling and browned. They are perfectly fine served at this point, but for extra crispness turn the wings and broil for another couple of minutes. Remove wings to a bowl and proceed as follows.

For Korean style

Gochujang (Korean hot sauce)
Sriracha
White toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Thinly sliced scallions (optional)

Mix equal parts for gochujang and sriracha to mix with wings to coat. Put on serving platter and top with optional sesame seeds and/or scallions. Pass extra gochujang/sriracha sauce at the table.

For Buffalo style

According to history, or perhaps legend, buffalo wings were invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. The story goes that a favorite item on the menu was a fried chicken sandwich, but one evening the cook discovered that the supplier had brought a box of wings instead of breasts. Not wanting to disappoint customers, the cook came up with this now-famous recipe.

Frank’s or similar hot sauce (Texas Pete, for example, but not Tabasco)
Melted butter
Blue cheese dressing
Celery sticks

Toss the wings with the hot sauce and butter then serve with the dressing and celery on the side. Some people sub ranch dressing, but as best I can determine the original calls for blue cheese.

Chicken gravy without a chicken

March 4, 2020

When I roast a chicken, I really  like to have gravy with it. But you won’t have the carcass to make stock until the chicken’s been eaten, and in my experience there are never enough pan drippings for good gravy. There’s no need to resort to the jarred stuff, here’s how to make your own before you cook the chicken. I use wings for this because, weight for weight, they have more skin, and they are usually cheaper than other cuts. You can finish this recipe in a slow cooker, on the stove top, or in a pressure cooker.

2 to 2-1/2 lbs whole or cut up chicken wings (about 12 wings)

Put the wings in a single layer in a roasting pan and pop into a 450° oven. Roast undisturbed until the wings have turned a lovely dark golden brown. Remove the wings to your stock pot, don’t worry if some skin sticks to the roasting pan.

If more fat has accumulated in the roasting pan than you want, pour it off. Put the roasting pan over low heat and add 2 c water. Bring to a gentle simmer while using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the lovely bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour this liquid into the stock pot.

1 large carrot in big chunks. No need to peel if the carrot is clean.
1 celery rib in big chunks
1/2 a medium (baseball size) onion cut in 2 pieces. No need to peel if the onion is clean.
2 halved garlic cloves, unpeeled (optional)
1/2 tsp rubbed sage OR 1/2 tsp dried thyme OR 2 bay leaves (optional)
6 whole peppercorns
Big pinch of salt

Put all the above in your stock pot and add water to cover by about an inch. Cook as follows:

  • Pressure cooker: Cook for 1 hour once the cooker has reached pressure. Let pressure release on its own for 15 min then release the remaining pressure manually.
  • Stovetop: Bring almost to a boil and then cook, partially covered, at a gentle simmer for 4 hours.
  • Slow cooker: Cook on the high setting for 10-12 hours.

Use a spider or slotted spoon to remove most of the solids. You can pick the meat off the bones for your dog or cat if you wish, but otherwise discard–99% of the flavor has been cooked out. Strain the liquid thru a fine-meshed strainer. If there’s more fat than you want, use a fat separator to remove it.

This recipe makes 2 c of gravy. You can scale it up or down as needed. Leftover stock can be frozen almost indefinitely. If you have saved some of the chicken fat, you can use it in place of the butter. For a cream gravy, replace 1/4 c of the stock with half and half.

2 TB butter
3 TB all-purpose flour
2 c stock

Melt 2 TB butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the flour and stir over medium-low heat until completely combined. Add 1/4 c stock and stir until you have a smooth paste–the mixture should be gently bubbling through all this. Continue adding stock in 1/4 c increments, stirring each time until completely smooth. A small whisk is ideal for this. Once you have added 1 c of stock, add the rest all at once. Stir and simmer until completely smooth and thickened. Taste for salt and correct if needed.

Mexican chicken enchilada casserole

January 7, 2020

Greatly simplified by the use of a jarred enchilada sauce. Homemade tortillas are best, but not necessary.

About 12-6 inch corn tortillas, preferably home made
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Adobo seasoning (preferred) or chili powder
1 small or ½ large green bell pepper
1 medium onion
2 cans red or green enchilada sauce (you may have extra, which can be frozen.)
1 small can chopped jalapeño peppers, or 2 fresh
1-12 oz package shredded Mexican cheese blend

If you have a sous vide gadget, dust the chicken with adobo seasoning or chili powder. Seal in the bag and sous vide at 165o for 90 min. Remove from bag and shred. Set aside.

Lacking a sous vide, poach the chicken in gently simmering salted water for 25 min. Remove to bowl and shred, then dust with adobo or chili. Set aside.

Seed the bell pepper, peel the onion, and dice. If using fresh jalapeños, seed and mince.  Sauté all in a little oil for a few minutes. If using canned jalapeños, add them at the end. Set aside

Pour a little sauce in the bottom of a 12” square casserole. Cover with a single layer of tortillas, cutting to fit as needed. Distribute 1/3 of the chicken, 1/3 of the pepper mixture, ¼ of the cheese, and enough sauce to just cover. Repeat 2 more times. Finish with a layer of tortillas, then sauce, then the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered at the middle level in a 350o oven until bubbling around the edges, about 40 min. Let cool for 10 min before serving.

Roast game hens with red rice and fruit stuffing

November 29, 2019

Red rice has a slightly nutty flavor that works perfectly in this recipe. Cooking it like pasta–lots of water–gives the best results.

2 Cornish game hens
Salt, sugar
1/2 c raw red rice
1/3 c raisins or currants
1/3 c dried cranberries
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped onion

Remove giblets from the birds and put them (the birds!) in a soup pot. Add cold tap water to cover the birds, measuring the water as you go along. Remove the birds and add, for each quart of water that you used, 1/4 c kosher salt and 2 TB sugar and stir to dissolve. Return the birds to the brine, make sure they are fully submerged, and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Bring 4 c water to a boil and add 2 tsp salt. Add rice, stir and lower heat to a simmer. Start checking after 30 minutes, and when done to your liking drain thru a strainer and set aside in a bowl.

Put the pine nuts in a small saute pan over medium heat. Shake the pan frequently and when toasted to a light brown add to the rice. Add a bit of oil to the same pan and saute the celery and onion for about 5 min. Add to rice along with cranberries and raisins. Mix well and taste for seasoning.

Remove the birds from the brine (discard brine) and pat dry. Stuff the cavities (you will likely have some leftover stuffing) and tie shut with small skewers and kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips under the body and, if necessary, tie the ends of the drumsticks together. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast at 375 for about 90 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer in the thigh and when the internal temp reaches 165 remove from oven. Let rest for 10 min before serving.

Miso-glazed chicken

October 12, 2019

Miso, a fermented soybean paste, is a prime source of umami, the mysterious fifth flavor that is so valued. It comes in two basic varieties, white (milder and a bit sweet) and red (stronger and saltier). It makes a great coating for baked chicken.

1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces (see note)
1/2 c white miso, or a mix of white and red
2 TB honey
1 TB soy sauce
4 TB softened butter
Black pepper

Note: This means 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and each breast piece cut crosswise into 2 pieces. Use the wings and trimmings for stock. Or, use 4 whole chicken legs, divided.

Put the chicken in a large bowl. Mix all the other ingredients until well blended–you may still have some flecks of butter visible. Add to the chicken and mix well. Place skin side up in a baking pan with some separation between pieces. Bake at 375f until nicely browned and the inside of a thigh registers 165f.

Congee with chicken, scallion relish, and crispy shallots

March 24, 2018

Congee is Chinese comfort food at its best. At its simplest it is, like fried rice, something to do with your leftovers – cooked rice, some shreds of meat and vegetables, cook in broth until the rice is soft and soupy. But it can be made as a more formal recipe, as this one, and is worthy of serving to guests.

The chicken:

2 large chicken thighs with bone and skin (about 1 lb)
1 tsp black pepper
1 TB oil
2 c low salt chicken stock
5 scallions, white and green parts, in 1 inch lengths
2 inch piece ginger cut into coins (no need to peel)
4 garlic cloves, halved (no need to peel)
1/4 c Chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry
1/3 c soy sauce
2 whole star anise
2 tsp Chinese hot pepper paste (optional)

Heat the oil in a soup pot and brown the chicken well on all sides. Remove excess oil from the pan. Turn chicken skin-side up, add all remaining ingredients, then simmer gently for 60-90 minutes until the meat is very tender. Remove chicken from the pan and take the meat off the bones, discarding bones and skin. Set aside. Strain cooking liquid thru a fine-meshed strainer. Set the broth aside and discard the solids. Shred the meat and set aside.

The Relish

5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 fresh hot red pepper such as a Thai bird chili or a ripe jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c unseasoned rice vinegar

Mix all ingredients and set aside

Crispy shallots

Thinly sliced shallots, about a cup
2 c vegetable oil

Place oil and shallots in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle bubbling and stir occasionally until golden brown. Strain and spread on a paper towel, salting lightly.

Note: Strain the shallot-cooking oil thru a paper coffee filter and save it. It can be used for frying again or as a tasty change to your salad dressing.

Final prep

1 c raw short-grained rice
Chicken cooking liquid
4 c water
2 c low salt chicken broth
Shredded chicken

Put all except the chicken in a heavy bottomed soup pot and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 to 1-1/2 hour, stirring frequently, until the rice is very soft and soupy. Add some more water if needed. Remove from heat, stir in the chicken, and serve in bowls, passing the relish and shallots separately.

Chicken “shakshuka”

January 13, 2018

Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish that, in a nutshell, consists of eggs poached in a well-spiced tomato sauce. It is great! I was making it the other night and to my horror discovered that I had no eggs–but I did have some boned, skinned chicken thighs. I subbed the thighs for the eggs and the result was very tasty. Serve with toasted pita bread and a salad.

6 boned, skinned chicken thighs
1-28 oz can of peeled plum tomatoes
4 fresh Anaheim chilis
1 medium onion
4 large or 6 small garlic cloves
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 TB paprika, either sweet or spicy, your preference
1 tsp black pepper
Chopped parsley

Stem and seed the peppers and peel the onion. Chop both. Peel garlic and slice thinly. Put tomatoes and their juice in a bowl and crush with your fingers.

In a deep skillet, saute the peppers and onion in a little oil for a few minutes and then add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and black pepper. Stir for a minute then add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste for salt, then add the chicken and stir around until the chicken is well covered by the sauce. Cover and keep at a low simmer for 30 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.

Chicken with porcini mushrooms

December 23, 2016

The rich umami flavor of dried porcini makes this specially flavorful.

1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
4 whole skin-on chicken legs
2-3 shallots
1 c dry white wine such as an Orvieto or pinot grigio
2 or 3 red-skinned potatoes
1/4 c minced chives

Cover the dried mushrooms with about 2 c of boiling water. Strain thru a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Set the mushrooms and liquid aside separately.

Peel the potatoes and cut each into 4-6 chunks.

Separate the legs into drumsticks and thighs and trim away any excess fat and flaps of loose skin.Pat dry with paper towels.

Peel and thinly slice the shallots.

Heat over medium-low heat a covered skillet that is large enough to hold the chicken comfortably in one layer. Film the bottom with olive oil and add the chicken, skin side down. Cook slowly, uncovered, until the chicken has a rich brown hue. Flip over and repeat for the other side. Remove to a plate.

Remove most of the fat from the pan.  A convenient way to do this is to wad up a paper towel and holding it with tongs soak up the excess fat.

Add the shallots and saute for a few minutes, then pour in the wine. Simmer until reduced a bit then return the chicken to the pan along with the potatoes and mushrooms. Add about half the mushroom liquid and season with S & P. Make sure the potato pieces are nestled between the chicken so they are exposed to the liquid. Cover and maintain at a simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is done and the potatoes soft. Check now and then and add more mushroom liquid if needed. The final dish should not be soupy but should provide a small amount of sauce for each diner.

 

Brunswick Stew

May 31, 2016

Brunswick stew apparently got its name from Brunswick County, Virginia, as an adaptation of Native American food. At its heart are meat and corn cooked together, and the meat was traditionally rabbit and/or squirrel. The recipe has changed over the years (although when I see the &$*&#&*# squirrels eating my birdseed I have other thoughts), and now usually uses chicken with an occasional addition of small amounts of pork side meat. And of course there are as many recipes as there are southern cooks. Here’s one I like. Serve with southern-style cornbread.

1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
A few chunks of carrot and celery, perhaps 1 c of each
1 large garlic clove halved
Big pinch salt
A few whole peppercorns

Put the chicken in a soup pot and cover with cold water. Add the other ingredients and bring to the simmer for 20 minutes. Cover, turn off heat, and let sit for another 20 minutes.Remove meat from pot. When it’s cool enough to handle, take the meat off the bones. Use your fingers to shred the the breast meat and set aside.Reserve the leg meat for chicken salad or some other use. Put all bones and skin back in the soup pot and simmer for another hour or so. Strain thru a fine colander and discard the solids. You should have about 8 c of stock, the exact amount is not critical. Set aside, skimming excess fat if needed.

1 large or 2 small baking potatoes
1 baseball-sized onion in large dice
2-9 oz packages frozen Lima beans, thawed and drained
2-14 oz cans creamed corn
2-14 oz cans diced tomatoes with juice

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch dice. Cook in well-salted water until just barely tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat a little oil or bacon fat over medium heat in a Dutch oven  Cook onions and Lima beans for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes, corn, and tomatoes and stir for a moment.

The chicken stock
1/4 c hot sauce such as Frank’s or Texas Pete (avoid Tabasco)
1 TB salt
2 TB sugar
1/2 TB or more freshly ground black pepper

Add the above ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.

The shredded chicken
1/2 stick butter

Add the chicken and butter and stir until the butter melts. Check for salt, pepper, and spiciness and adjust as desired. Enjoy!
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Chicken with wild mushrooms

April 7, 2015

This simple dish emphasizes the flavor of the mushrooms, I like this with oyster mushrooms or chanterelles, but many others would work – a mixture is nice! Note: DO NOT use mushrooms you have picked yourself unless you know what you are doing, or you might end up sick or dead.

8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
1 to 1-1/2 c slivered mushrooms
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 c dry white wine such as pinot grigio, or 2/3 c dry white vermouth
Salt, pepper

You need a covered nonstick skillet large enough to hold the chicken in one layer without crowding.

Trim excess fat and flaps of skin from the chicken. Place in the cold, dry pan with the skin side down. Put the pan on medium heat. As the pan warms up the chicken will start sizzling and after perhaps 10 minutes the skin will develop a lovely brown color. Turn the chicken and brown the other side. Remove from heat and check to see how much chicken fat has rendered. If necessary, remove some of it by tipping the pan to one side and using a wadded paper towel held with tongs to soak it up.

Return the pan to the heat, scatter the mushrooms and garlic over it, and pour in the wine. Add salt and pepper to taste, Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer slowly for 1/2 hour. Add a little more wine if it looks dry. The goal is to end up with just a small amount of sauce, perhaps a cup. Serve with rice or pasta.

While the chicken is browning, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they are partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt.


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