Tag Archives: chicken

Thanksgiving 2015

28 Nov

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Thanksgiving 2015 was a small and lovely gathering of 3.

I spatchcocked a chicken (no turkey this year), made Smitten Kitchen’s decadent Cauliflower Cheese, roasted some delicata squash and sautéed brussels sprouts. For dessert, we feasted on homemade pumpkin pie from Joy the Baker’s Homemade Decadence cookbook, hand-whisked soft whipped cream and coffee cake.

To entertain ourselves and help us digest between dinner and dessert courses, we played Guitar Hero and watched Nathan for You. A great evening indeed.

Thank you, Thanksgiving, for letting me have the day off to do what I love most, cook delicious food and spend time with my favorite people!
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My Experience with Blue Apron

5 Nov

When it comes to food, I like to be in control. I like to be the one picking out groceries and I like to be the one cooking. But honestly, grocery shopping can be a pain sometimes.

Inspired by the discount offer of two free meals for first time users of Blue Apron (Blue Apron has also been sponsoring some of the podcasts I listen to lately), I decided to try out the services. With my discount offer, I paid about $40 for three meals intended to serve two people (regular price of about $60).

Blue Apron is a food delivery service that takes care of the grocery shopping, allowing customers to enjoy and focus on the cooking experience. After noting dietary preferences, Blue Apron ships three pre-shopped and pre-portioned meals on a week-by-week basis. The food gets carefully portioned and packaged and is shipped in a refrigerated box.

I wanted to keep an open mind, so I did not check off any dietary preferences to see what they would send me. The week before my delivery, Blue Apron sent me an email with the ingredients and recipes I would be receiving:

  • Pan-Seared Salmon with Arugula, Candy Stripe Beets & Horseradish Sour Cream
  • Greek-Style Braised Chicken Thighs with Fingerling Potatoes
  • Caramelized Pork & Congee with Crispy Shallots & Black Garlic

Each meal is slated to take an average of 35 minutes to prepare. While no nutrition information is provided for individual recipes, Blue Apron notes that each meal contains between 500 and 700 calories per serving.

Below I discuss the meals I received and cooked, showing pictures and providing individual feedback for each recipe.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Arugula, Candy Stripe Beets & Horseradish Sour Cream

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I cooked the fish on my first night Continue reading

Happy Passover

15 Apr

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Happy Passover. Or if you don’t celebrate, Happy Tuesday.

This year, I made a small dinner for a small crowd. Charoset, a light salad, spatchcocked flat-roasted chicken with carrots and parsnips, maple-roasted sweet potatoes (I used less syrup than the recipe calls for and added in some cinnamon). Complete with matzo sheets and red wine. Dessert was coconut macaroons from the bakery I work at, with a few squares of chocolate and a few more sips of wine.

A few more old favorite Passover recipes:

Matzo Lasagna

Kiss n’ Swirl Meringues (use Kosher for Passover vanilla, or omit altogether, if you do not consume vanilla on the holiday)

xo

Stephanie

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“Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup

17 Jan

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You know that area right underneath your nostrils? Mine is red and dry because I have been blowing my nose for almost a week now. Yuck. Colds are the worst. I still have energy to go about my usual business, but I’m just a snotty, gross mess.

Alas, chicken soup.

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Funny enough, a few days into the snotty sickness that has been permeating my apartment, I received an email from my boyfriend’s mom with a recipe for a fantastic chicken barley soup. Must have been mother’s intuition that we needed comfort.

This “Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup is heartier than the typical clear-broth chicken soup. Blending some of the broth with cooked potato, onion, celery, and garlic lends a creamy texture without any cream. If your favorite kitchen tool is an immersion blender, raise your hand! Makes life so easy.

Adding a little barley to the soup offers a nice contrast, a bite of texture. Barley is a great source of whole grain, it is rich in fiber and protein, and it turns the soup into its own meal.

I used a homemade turkey stock for this soup. It is so easy to freeze a bunch of leftover odds and ends of vegetables and prepare a quick stock. After I made a vegetable stock, I strained it, and then added it back to a pot with the neck and giblets I had in the freezer from my Thanksgiving turkey. There’s some good dark meat on the neck of a turkey, so don’t throw the neck away! Prepare your stock the day before if you want to get ahead.

So I had turkey stock in my chicken soup. No big deal. If you are short on time, you could just use water instead of stock, and add salt. Or buy stock. Either way.

Note that you could buy pre-cooked chicken, but I found it very easy to just toss two breasts (save the bones for stock if you want!) in the oven while I was preparing the rest of my ingredients.

“Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup

Recipe from Lucy, by way of Jackie

This makes a LOT of soup, about 10 servings (you could freeze extras, bring some to a friend, or halve the recipe)

2 T butter or oil
2 onions, chopped
6-7 celery sticks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C russet potatoes, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 C pearl barley
8 -9 C stock (I made my vegetable stock, strained it, and added the neck and giblets that were in my freezer from Thanksgiving and simmered for ~1hour)
2 bay leaves
1/2 C white wine
2 bone-in chicken breasts (or slightly less than 2lbs), pre-cooked and shredded (see below for how to cook)
salt and pepper to taste

First, cook your chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done (165 degrees F). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones (save the bones in your freezer for stock), and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot melt butter (or oil) and saute onions, celery, garlic until soft.

Next, add potatoes, 6 – 7 C chicken stock, and thyme. Cook until potatoes are soft (15- 30 min), then use an immersion blender or transfer 3/4 of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

Return this mixture to the pot, add the carrots, barley and bay leaves.  Cook partially covered for 30 minutes. Add more stock for a soupier soup. When barley is tender, add wine and chicken, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes to warm up the chicken.

Spatchcocked Flat-Roasted Chicken

5 Apr

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Buying a whole chicken is a great way stretch your dollar, as it is significantly cheaper than buying the chicken parts separately. The other day, I had 2 breasts in my hands 😉 ready to go and ended up switching them out for a whole chicken because it would save me a few bucks. I bought my chicken directly from my farmer’s market vendor, so I felt reassured that the chicken lived a relatively happy life. As Deb from the Smitten Kitchen says in her cookbook, the smaller, cleaner chickens from the greenmarket really do taste incredible, and there is no need to add anything extra.

With a whole chicken at my side, it was time to start SPATCHCOCKING. I only recently heard the term while listening to Tracy talk about it on the Joy the Baker Podcast. Basically, you cut the backbone out of the chicken with your kitchen shears and lay the chicken flat in a roasting pan (check out the Adam’s spatchcocked chicken while you’re at it, and Tracy’s great pictures. Hopefully they won’t gross you out too much). Doing this allows the chicken to cook evenly in a relatively short time, and the breasts won’t overcook before the legs are ready. A great idea for holiday entertaining.

As Deb points out in the head note for this recipe, from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, she learned to have faith that chicken skin will crisp itself in a high-heat oven, and not to load it with oils and rubs. The only oil in this recipe is used for the potatoes. The chicken skin provides all of the lubrication that the chicken needs.

From Thomas Keller, Deb learned to rain the salt down on the outside of the bird and to trust that it won’t leave the chicken too salty, just perfect. Salt is key. While it gets a bad rep. these days, salt makes a huge difference in flavoring dishes cooked from scratch.

This chicken was simple and juicy. After I few days, I shredded some of the meat and ate it with brown rice, black beans, and sautéed peppers and onions. A nice way to repurpose the leftovers.

I see a lot more spatchcocking in my future…!

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Spatchcocked Flat Roasted Chicken

recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

One chicken, about 3 pounds

salt and pepper

Two handfuls of tiny yellow potatoes, washed and sliced in half

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil, for the potatoes

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone of the chicken and discard it (or freeze and save it for making stock). Season the cavity generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan (I used my cast-iron skillet), and gently pat the breast skin dry with a paper towel. Generously season the top of the bird with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Nestle the potatoes and garlic cloves around and under the chicken, and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 30-45 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees. Toss the potatoes after about 20 minutes, so that they cook evenly. When the chicken has finished cooking, let it sit for about 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter. Remove the legs, thighs, wings, and breasts from the spatchcocked chicken, and arrange them with the potatoes. Enjoy with another vegetable side dish for a balanced meal.

Update 9/25/14: new photo of the spatchcocked chicken baked in a pyrex. Delish!

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