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Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mario Batali's Chicken Saltimbocca with Asparagus


Mario Batali 
         A few months ago, I went to my friend Monique’s for lunch.  She served a phenomenal dish that Chef Mario Batali had offered up in Food and Wine Magazine.  Ever since I went to school in Rome, I’ve loved Saltimbocca alla Romana, the Roman version of a dish popular from southern Switzerland to all the way down to the capital city.  Saltimbocca translates to ‘jump in the mouth’ which is about as high praise as any dish can get.  The original dish uses Veal topped with prosciutto and sage.  In Rome, chefs add another dimension by rolling up the veal, prosciutto
Expensive but worth every penny.
and sage and cooking the rolls in dry white wine.  Sweet Marsala wine is an option but most Roman chefs think this overpowers the delicate flavor of the Veal.  Mario Batali has substituted chicken cutlets and he makes his sauce using Vin Santo, literally Holy Wine, a sweet dessert wine from Tuscany.  And there lies the reason why I had waited all these months to make the dish.  It was well worth the wait.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Butter Chicken adapted from Sam Sifton and Suvir Saran

Inspiration and Photo Courtesy of The New York Times and Sarah Ann Ward
Suvir Saran
        The moment the thermometer drops below 60 degrees, I cannot wait to put some Indian food on the table.  This makes very little sense since the average temperature on the Indian sub-continent is 65.5 degrees.  And in Delhi, where this recipe was invented, the average is 77.4.  But I wait to serve Indian comfort food once summer is over. And I could not wait to serve this outstanding example of wonderful Indian cooking. Outside of India, this recipe is called Chicken Tikka Masala.  It may surprise you to know that this yogurt and spice-marinated dish with its onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and garam masala has only recently been deposed as Britain’s most popular dish. (It was replaced by Chinese stir frys.)  There are, of course, dozens of variations of this classic, whose origin dates from the 1940s. It was first served at a restaurant which itself was a first.  According to Suvir Saran in “Indian Home Cooking” (Clarkson Potter 2004), Moti Mahal (The Palace of Pearls) was India’s first, real sitdown restaurant where, when India gained its independence from Britain, Indians of all classes could enjoy a sit-down meal indoors.  From its kitchen came the first Butter Chicken, which, by the way, is what the dish is always called in India.  And Butter Chicken, by the way, is not swimming in butter although it does use a quarter pound of the stuff.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Perfect Dinner Party Dish: Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo adapted from Bon Appetit


The Pool was tented for the occasion.
What makes a dish perfect for a dinner party?  I’d suggest something that keeps the cook out of the kitchen so that he or she can really enjoy their dinner guests’  company as much as possible.  Last weekend, we were entertaining The Bride and Groom, that is our two friends, Jill and Steven, who have the distinction of being the only
The Wedding was
covered in "Vows"
in the New York Times.
couple who have been married at our house.   Turns out, this was a mere 6 years ago.  I thought it was longer, likely because it seemed to take a decade for the lawn to come back.  This year, the lawn had completely recovered from its wedding bell blues—except, of course, where a small dog, who shall remain nameless, left its marks this summer. 
Jill and Steven made the guest list of people they wanted to see.  And since there were both some new and familiar faces, Andrew and I wanted to be part of the group and not confined to the kitchen.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hugh Acheson's Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peas, Carrots and Hot-Sauce Butter



         Hugh Acheson is an Atlanta Chef who owns 5 restaurants there.  His first cookbook “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Re-Invented for Your Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter 2011) was awarded “Best Cookbook in American Cooking” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.  Not bad for a kid born in Ottawa, Canada.   You may remember Hugh from his stints on Top Chef as a contestant and later a judge. He started working in kitchens at age 15 and he’s been drawn to them ever since.   He ended up in Atlanta because his wife, Mary Koons, went back to her native Athens Georgia for Grad School.  He’s clearly taken to the south and today’s recipe is a great example of his new style of southern cooking.  First, the dish looks just beautiful.  The peas and carrots pop from the plate and the big, juicy, crisp chicken gets its crunch from Crisco, which is about as Southern as you can get. It relies on the time honored use of Buttermilk to tenderize the meaty Chicken thighs.  Why Buttermilk?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken Paella with Sugar Snap Peas in about an hour!



        There's no one dish supper quite on the level of a great paella.  It combines protein--sometimes several of them--with carbohydrates and then, for good measure, adds some vegetables. The one big drawback to paella is the interminable time a good one takes to make.  So this recipe from Bon Appetit caught my eye when the magazine put it in a feature called ‘Fresh and Easy Dinners’. It actually toppped their list, and was pictured on their cover.  If you’re ever had a paella in Spain, you know it is hardly ‘quick’ and involves a special paella pan. But this one uses any heavy skillet you have on hand and gets dinner on the table in about an hour.  Considering my memories of paella, that's simply astonishing.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus, Peas and Cremini Mushrooms


         Spring has been notable here for tempting us to believe it’s actually arrived. This is followed by plummeting temperatures the next day convincing us all it has not.  In New York City, you can count on the oddest collection of outfits this time of year.   The winter weary—mainly males—can be counted on to don their shorts and tee shirts the minute it gets close to 60 degrees.  They are accompanied by vast numbers of people who resist any wardrobe change until it’s at least 75.  At least that’s the impression I get standing on line in Trader Joes’ between a guy who looks ready for a run in the park and a woman who is wearing a wool hat, coat, scarf and gloves.  Ah well. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Enchiladas Suizas with Mexican Cole Slaw



The Battle of Puebla
       Once again we're celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a tried and true favorite.  This post is the # 2 most viewed page in all of Chewing the Fat's history.   This sensational recipe for Enchiladas is hundreds of page views ahead of # 3.  The second recipe on the page, the one for Mexican Cole Slaw, is certainly reason too for its popularity.  Our records show hundreds of searches for the dish that have wound up on these pages.  So with Cinco de Mayo today, I wanted to share these two great dishes and wish you "Feliz Cinco de Mayo". And I wanted to share a little of the fiesta's history with you.  So here goes:  
      Cinco de Mayo, the celebration of all things Mexican, isn’t really celebrated in Mexico.  It is true that it commemorates the defeat by the Mexican Army of French troops in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th 1862.  However, only the state of Puebla shares the party spirit that is such a part of Cinco de Mayo in the US.   The rest of Mexico waits until September 15th to celebrate their Independence Day.  So how did Cinco de Mayo get to be an American tradition?  Apparently the holiday was created spontaneously by Mexicans and Latinos living in California during the American Civil War.  They supported the fragile cause of defending freedom and democracy by celebrating the unlikely victory by a Mexican Army over the greater fire power of France.   Who knew? 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chicken with Shallots from Sam Sifton in the New York Times Sunday Magazine via Rishia Zimmern adapted from Martha Stewart


Sam Sifton 
As fond as I am of the current food crew at The New York Times, I still miss Sam Sifton.  He was the Deputy Dining Editor in 2001 when he was almost instantly tapped to become the Dining Editor a position he held till 2004.  He was with the Times a Culture Editor from then until 2009.  That year he took over from Frank Bruni and became the Restaurant Critic for the Times.  The burnout rate for that job is high: Sifton ate out almost nightly until his last restaurant review appeared almost two years to the day that he started.  But for all of us who miss him, Sifton has graced the Food page of the New York Times Sunday magazine periodically ever since.  And one of those times was a recent Sunday when the recipe I am sharing today appeared.  It was wildly popular--so popular in fact that one of its key ingredients completely disappeared from some grocery stores.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vinegar Braised Chicken and Onions or Poulet Saute au Vinaigre


Catherine de Medici
Mother of 3 French
Kings
       As far back as the 16th century, Lyon, not Paris, has been the gastronomical capital of France.  It was then that Catherine de Medici, the Queen Consort of King Henry II, an Italian noblewoman by birth, brought cooks from Florence to the French court.  They prepared dishes from the agricultural products from the various regions of France. This was revolutionary, combining the know-how of the Italian cooks with the unmatched produce of France.  The resulting regional dishes were elevated in status because they were, after all, what royalty and the nobility were eating.  The cuisine created in Lyon represented the crossroads of many regional specialties.  A terrific variety of ingredients were available: summer vegetables from farms in Bresse—to say nothing of its famous chickens—and neighboring Charolais, game from the Dombes, fish from lakes in Savoy, spring’s first fruits and vegetables from Drome and Ardeche and of course, the wines of Beaujolais and the Rhone Valley. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mason's Kid-Friendly Favorite: Pop Pop's Sticky Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing on the Side

Photo by Alex Mathews      
Mason William Mathews

      Just in case you somehow missed it, I  spent 5 of the happiest days of my calendar year visiting my son and his family in California.  Surprise, surprise, I cooked.  I have a lot of theories about cooking for children and my grandson, Mason, aged 5, bore several of these out.  Now Mason has always been an adventurous eater.  Ever since I saw him tackle a bowl of Guacamole at age 2, I’ve been impressed by his palate.  But he did lay down the law when, at 3, he was confronted with a Chicken Curry I made.  “I don’t like spicy”, he declared.  So this trip I was determined to make amends.  And what better way to do so than by serving him Chicken Wings.  One of my theories is that small children are overwhelmed by big food.  Unlike a full-sized piece of chicken, the Chicken Wing is just the right size for a 5-year-old hand to handle. Now, how to make them memorable, kid-friendly and something even grown-ups would find irresistible.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs


        
          In my family, the only person who could express any food dislikes was my Father.  He had a couple of them.  But as children, any misgivings we had about what to eat were not paid any attention to. You ate what was put in front of you.   That was particularly true if you chose something from a menu and then claimed not to have understood what you were ordering.  You ate it or you went hungry.   Now, when I see a fussy eater or a child whose diet is seemingly limited to a single item, repeated night after night, plate after plate, I really feel sorry for the kid. I don’t know what makes a picky eater but I think a lot of parents are enablers.  They’ll do anything to avoid mealtime meltdowns even if it means some very questionable eating habits and the poor nutrition that results from them.   But of all the questionable kid’s meals that I’ve seen, aside from those really terrible ‘Lunchables’, the chicken nugget frightens me the most.  Is it really chicken?  Where does it come from?  Breaded and fried, dipped into sugar-y sauces of one flavor or another, how good can it be to eat these things on a regular--let alone daily--basis?  But there ways of weaning children off the nuggets and onto something that will open their budding palates to flavors they might actually enjoy.  And since you control what goes into these fantastically tasty morsels, you can then control what’s goes into your child.  Introducing…Vietnamese Meat Balls!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Honey-Chile Chicken Wings from Chef Tim Wood of Carmel Valley Ranch, CA


        
Chef Tim Wood of
Carmel Valley Ranch 
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a big dish of wings plunked down in the center of the dinner table for everyone to pick up and pick at.  That’s what we did the other night.  Along with a big green salad, it was a perfect thing to eat.  I love chicken wings—crispy on the outside, meltingly tender inside.  And what I loved about this recipe is that these wings are broiled--not fried.  This technique makes them extra crispy.  Then an easy glaze makes them all the things a great chicken wing should be—sweet and salty and sticky.  The glaze itself is made with rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey with a kick from crushed red pepper flakes steeped in the sauce.  I found this recipe in Food and Wine and with it a story about how the latest guests at a renowned California hostelrie are honey bees.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken "Pollo Arrosto" adapted from a Saveur recipe by Evan Kleiman of Los Angeles' Angeli Caffe

This great rustic Italian
recipe hails from Los Angeles
If you’re looking for a great dinner party Chicken recipe, you can’t do much better than this.  The combination of lemon, garlic and rosemary gives the dish great depth of flavor.  The chicken is crispy on the outside and meltingly tender inside.  The dish can be multiplied or divided depending on how many guests you’re entertaining.  When I made it, I was expecting 10 for dinner.  I felt quite a bit like the BBC character Hyacinth Bucket (Bouquet).  Whenever she gave one of her “Candlelight Suppers”, the guests inevitably bowed out at the last minute.  I managed to lose 3 after the chicken had gone into its marinade.  But the evening turned out to be magical as the remaining guests all had a much more intimate dinner that they all raved about. And I was left with lemon-y, garlic-y cold chicken with which I made a chicken salad I’m still dreaming about. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Adobo Chicken with Bacon and Bay Leaves from Chef Paul Qui. And an Asian-inflected Tomato and Burrata Salad




        
I’ve been wanting to make this classic Filipino chicken dish forever.  Especially after I went to Kalystyans (www.kalustyans.com123 Lexington Avenue NY NY 10016 Tel 212-685 3451) and spent an unspeakable amount of money for a jar of Adobo seasoning.  Once I got home, I realized that Goya makes a superb version for about ¼ the price I paid for at Kalustyan’s .  Ah well.  That only made me more anxious to use my hyper-priced version. Fortunately, Food and Wine magazine arrived and in it was my longed-for recipe. Better yet, it was from Chef Paul Qui, winner of Top Chef Season 9.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mu Shu in Moments from Gourmet Magazine


Ready to be folded, Mu Shu in a Moment!


        
Restaurant General Tso's Chicken
the good, the bad and the ugly.
In our bid to eat healthy, Chinese food has taken quite a hit. We never order it for takeout.  And our visits to Chinese restaurants are few and far between.  But take heart.  We have discovered how easy it is to make Chinese food at home.  Not only does this keep the exotic flavors on our table from time to time, it also solves a lot of the issues we’ve had with the food to begin with.  Despite last week's news that salt might not be all that bad for you, Chinese cooking packs extraordinary levels of the stuff.  The current recommended daily intake of sodium is 2300 mgs. Or about a teaspoon.  A restaurant serving of General Tso’s chicken comes in at 3200 mgs. And, at 1300, more than half the calories that an adult is supposed to consume all day (2000).  That’s before you added an egg roll, which will send the sodium count up another 400 mgs. and the calorie count up another 200.  So much for the General's chicken. But surely Chinese vegetables are healthy?  Not so fast.  A plate of stir-fried greens comes in at 900 calories, eggplant in garlic sauce, 1000.  Then there’s MSG, monosodium glutamate, which has had a bad rap since the 60s when it was associated with “headaches, flushing, sweating, numbness, chest pain, nausea, heart palpitations, and weakness” according to Yale Scientific (www.YaleScientific.org). It was even called “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”.  However, according to YS, “researchers have not found any conclusive evidence that links MSG to any of these symptoms, though it is acknowledged that a small minority of people may have mild, short-term reactions to MSG.”  So there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Herb-Butter Roasted Chicken with Tuscan-Style Bread Salad adapted from Chef Ryan Hardy in Food and Wine Magazine




Sometimes when I write a post, the food gods seem to be hovering overhead.  This recipe came to my attention when it was posted as a great idea for a Mother’s Day meal. Talk about timely.  Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th this year.  Since presumably Mother will be given the day off, it will fall on some lesser cook’s shoulders to make a meal that any mother could love.  So right off the bat, you know this recipe cannot be terribly complicated.  Dear old Dad should be able to pull this one off whatever his level of kitchen competency.  If that’s not enough of a reason to make this dish, perhaps your ears will perk up when I tell you it’s the invention of a Chef called Ryan Hardy.   Chef Hardy, I have since found out, is about to open one of New York’s most anticipated new restaurants. The James Beard Award nominee's new place is  called Charlie Bird and it will open on May 15th, at 5 King Street in Soho.   Since it won’t yet have opened, there’s no taking Mother there for her big day.  But anyone can celebrate with this dish.   It looks like you’ve gone to a lot of trouble, but in truth, it’s not hard to pull off at all.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

White Chicken Pot Pie inspired by Melissa Clark in The New York Times



        
It’s awfully close to putting-away-the-pot-pie-recipes time.  But this one is so good, I hope it gets in under the wire and if not, do save it for a rainy day.  It’s that good.  The reason I rushed to make it was that I’d managed to end up with not one but two half-eaten rotisserie chickens. They’re perfect for a recipe calling for cooked chicken. In fact, they eliminate a whole step.  They are a stand-in for poached boneless, skinless chicken breasts so they cut cooking time down. While you don’t end up with the poaching liquid called for in the original recipe, Chicken Broth is a perfectly suitable substitution.
        
Dahlia and Melissa in the Kitchen
The genesis for this recipe was an article Melissa Clark wrote about the ‘white food’ diet her 4 year old daughter Dahlia rigidly clings to.  Dahlia likes carb-laden dishes like Mac and Cheese and this Chicken Pot Pie, which would be relentlessly white were it not for an optional cup of peas.  I latched onto the peas to make some gesture to Spring’s arrival.   Now Dahlia is not the first person to embrace white food.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas and Spinach adapted from Bon Appetit



         While we're all anxiously awaiting Spring, Winter weather is still in our forecast.  Cold temperatures and Indian-inflected dishes seem made for each other.  This dish, which appeared in last month’s Bon Appetit, really drives that point home.  It’s a rich stew full of the aromas of the sub-continent but without most of the heat that gives Indian food its reputation for spice.  It’s all in one pot and if you serve it with Naan, that’s all you’ll need.  But Basmati Rice would make a great accompaniment too.   I’ve been a fan of Indian cooking ever since I was kid and working in London for a summer.  Believe it or not, the British national dish is said to be Chicken Tikka Masala, a colonial era import from, where else, India. One thing that seems universal in how Indians prepare chicken is that they inevitably skin the bird.  Since I find this a very tedious thing to do, I was pleased to see that our local Whole Foods sells skinned chicken parts.  Not just any chicken parts either but air-chilled chicken parts! (To see why that is important you only need read   http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/09/vinegar-braised-chicken-on-bed-of-leeks.html.)  But as to why Indians always skin their chickens, I went to an expert.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup and her recipe for Chicken Stock



         Winter weekends are just made for hearty soups, especially on those days when you are dodging snowflakes or stuck indoors because the weather’s just too cold.  So when I found myself shut in during the Great Blizzard of ’13, I pulled out the cookbooks on the hunt for a great soup.  Now Italian Wedding Soup is a staple on many a soup board in New York.  For some strange reason, I’d never eaten it.  But with its comforting chicken broth, its tiny pastas and robust meatballs, and its good-for-you vegetables, it seemed like the perfect thing to serve for a Saturday supper.  And the perfect place to find a recipe for it is from Easthampton’s own, Ina Garten.  The recipe, from Ina’s 2008 classic “Back to Basics” (Clarkson Potter), is none too labor intensive—if you don’t count the part about making your own stock.  But stock-making on a cold day is almost therapeutic. I’ve included Ina’s own recipe for Chicken stock after the Wedding Soup recipe.  Since I did go ahead and use homemade stock, I can’t vouch for a version without it. But supermarket broth is certainly an option.  Just let me know how it tastes!

Monday, January 21, 2013

90 Minute Coq au Vin from Cook's Illustrated


  
Julia Child with her "Coq"
         Cold winter nights are made for eating Coq au Vin.  And on a cold winter afternoon, the aroma of this great French classic cooking fills the kitchen with comfort.   A “Coq” is French for rooster and there lies the rub. In France, roosters were kept as long as they were good breeders.  They lived for several years before they were slaughtered.  They needed long and slow braising—often four hours on the stove--before they could be considered edible.   Red wine not only added flavor, it helped tenderize the old meat of the rooster.  Julia Child is credited with introducing Americans to the dish.  It was one of her signatures.  Wisely, Julia eschewed using roosters or capons and instead used a whole, young, cut-up chicken, something the French had also glommed onto by this time.   This greatly affected the cooking hours for the better.  Julia’s original recipe can be on the table in about 2 1/2 hours.  That may not sound like an unreasonable amount of time for something that is this good.  But in 2006, Cook’s Illustrated decided that this “basic chicken stew” shouldn’t even take that long to cook.  So they set about to make it start to finish in 90 minutes.  And I have to say, they did a bang up job.