Archive for the ‘Chicken’ tag
Back in the winter of 2000, I had the opportunity to live and teach scuba diving on a tiny island off the East Coast of Thailand called Koh Tao. Koh Tao is the furthest North in a small island chain in the Gulf of Thailand, consisting of Koh Saumui (anyone seen Meet the Parents?), Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao (translated, it means Turtle Island). It was, to put it mildly, paradise. My beachfront, private bungalow was $5/night, and the food was incredible. This may be one of the reasons that I don’t cook Thai food very often…because there is absolutely no way that I could begin to replicate the dishes that I ate over the course of that winter, and I most times don’t even want to attempt it.
That being said, I have no problem making a spicy Thai peanut sauce. Why? Because while I was there I never once ate a spicy peanut sauce. I want to say that it’s an American adaptation to Thai food, because while they cooked with peanuts quite often on Koh Tao, they were always left whole and cooked into a dish, or crumbled on top of pad Thai. Peanut butter was not a staple on the island, so I feel no compunction about cooking this meal. And while it certainly can’t be called “authentic”, it had a lot of the flavors that I remember, and was, in short, delicious. And it’s super easy, and quick.
This week marks week 52 of the Food52 competition. I’ve only been a part of it for about 20 weeks, but it’s been an incredible experience. I’ve had a lot of fun, cooked some great food that I never would have cooked otherwise, and met a lot of wonderful people through the site (not to mention, of course, winning two competitions…?!) Congratulations to all the winners, and also to Amanda and Merrill for a job well done! I look forward to year two of Food52!
Yesterday for a neighborhood BBQ I decided to incorporate both Food52 themes into the dinner: your best cucumber, and your best use of lemon, thyme, and the grill. Luckily I am up on the Cape and I actually have access to a grill, so I had to give it a shot. This chicken dish was born out of my fear and loathing of dry chicken cooked on the grill, so I pounded it thin, stuffed it with spinach that I had previously sauteed with garlic, pancetta, and lemon juice, marinated it in oil, thyme, lemon, and pepper, and grilled it quickly on both sides until cooked through. The dish is finished with a summery gremolata of…what else? Lemon zest and thyme! It was a big hit with the neighbors.
Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Column in the New York Times is frequent stop on my internet food travels, but I have to give Kate credit for pointing this recipe out to me yesterday. It seems that anything he makes with chickpeas is worth our time, so I decided to give this recipe a try. I don’t own a tagine, as most people don’t, but a dutch oven worked just fine. You can’t serve it at the table like they do with a real tagine, but we obviously weren’t going for authenticity here. The beauty of a true one-pot meal is often overlooked (and in my case, rarely achieved…usually I wind up using every pot I own in the course of making a meal). This dish is a winner for its simplicity and the use of a flavor profile that most of us don’t experience every day.
My cousin Erik, who lives out in Boulder, CO, recently sent me a recipe that he loves. He prefaced it by saying that this recipe “wasn’t pretty” and that I would need to do something to “dress it up” for the photos on the blog if I were to cook it. He was correct, in that the chicken comes out rather purple, since it is cooked in wine, and everything else winds up a dark shade of red. However, that aside, this dish was great. Warming, tangy, and filling. If this is what the peasants eat, I’d never want to be King.
As New York City was hit with another big winter storm (Snowpocalypse Now: Redux? SnOMG 2?) I had the ingredients for chicken noodle soup just sitting in my fridge. So I did the obvious after a romp through the snow in the park, and made a chicken noodle soup. I almost feel embarrassed to call this a “recipe”, because it’s really easy and it was made with ingredients I had on hand, but I will include it here because it is the “second life” of my roast chicken recipe. Actually, I used some of the leftover chicken in the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, so this is the third meal we’ve gotten out of them. Don’t throw out those carcasses, because they will make a great dishes that aren’t even close to leftovers!
In this case I used two carcasses, one of which I’ve had in the freezer for a few weeks since cooking fried chicken. Never throw out old chicken carcasses, pork bones, or beef ribs. You can make great stock from them, and you never know when you’ll want to whip up a batch of homemade soup. Like when you get home from running the dog around in knee-deep snow, and all you want is comfort food. Two dried chipotle chili peppers added to the broth give this soup a warm, zesty finish. A few vegetables, some herbs, noodles, and your chicken, and you are on your way to “so-far-from-Campbell’s-soup-in-a-can-you-can’t-even-say-Warhol” heaven.
For a Sunday dinner, a roast chicken is always a crowd-pleaser. This roast chicken, which is stuffed and cooked over a bed of onions and potatoes, is my favorite way to do it. There are “three-Bs” to follow when roasting a chicken: Brining, Butter and Basting. Follow these rules, don’t rush anything, and you will have a chicken that is crispy, juicy, and is sure to be a favorite.
Or at least, relatively simple. You can prep this whole meal in less than 15 minutes, let it bake for 40 minutes, and have dinner in an hour. Serve it with a side of rice, pasta, or the polenta I’ll tell you about, and it’ll feed 4, no problem, and cost per portion is around $5. Quick, simple, tasty, cheap. All the makings for a good weekday meal.
Ok, I know that this is my second posting on wings this week, but I had extra wings left over from the Superbowl party, and the temptation to come up with a sauce proved to be too great to resist. The most traditional Buffalo wing recipe is 1 part Franks Red Hot, 1 part melted butter, tossed with fried wings. Very easy, slightly spicy, very tasty. There are an infinite number of variations to this sauce, just as with barbecue sauces, and every wing enthusiast has their own.
About a year ago, Fatty Crab opened an Upper West Side branch on Broadway between 76th and 77th (Warning: their website has sound effects). I’d never been to the Village location, so this made it very convenient for me to check them out. And believe me: I’m glad that I did. The fatty duck is a crispy, spicy taste explosion; the pork belly buns are baconly succulent (only outdone by Momofuku in my opinion, and yes, I made up the word “baconly”) and the wings are lick-your-fingers-and-dip-anything-you-can-find-in-the-sauce good. Sweet, sticky, and spicy. I decided that I had to make them for the Superbowl party I was attending, and was determined to find a recipe that was somewhat close to the Fatty Crab original. They are apparently inspired by Malaysian street food, the “Jalan Alor” wing. Imagine my surprise and delight when a quick Google search pulled up Chef Zak Pelaccio’s own Fatty Crab Malaysian wing recipe, on FoodandWine.com. Unbelievable. I love the interwebs.
Here’s a quick, easy recipe for the chicken parmesan I made last night. I’ve made this (and the simple sauce) enough times that I usually just eyeball everything and adjust to taste, but I’ll give you the basic proportions to make 4 chicken cutlets and the requisite sauce (serves 4).