Poultry Archive

Thursday, January 27, 2011

roast chicken with dijon sauce

dijon roasted chicken

This is a story about closets, and how messy they can get when you spend a year caring for a baby and put things away so haphazardly that one day, they won’t close at all and you beg your in-laws to watch the baby for a few hours so you can go to a bar get some sleep clean out your closets. Yep, things can get that bad. But if I hadn’t cleaned out this closet, I wouldn’t have snuck off to the bedroom for a while with an old issue of Gourmet I discovered in a totebag, the French Bistro one, and found a chicken recipe I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made yet. That I had to make immediately.

prep work, there isn't much
splatter screen, i got one

So it’s not just a story about closets, phew. It’s also a story about butchering, and I do mean in the wow-you-really-butchered that sense, in that one of my goals in the kitchen has been to learn how to take apart a whole chicken. There are so many reasons I want to be able to do this: it saves money, it makes us more self-sufficient in the kitchen and it’s easier to buy clean and local chickens, which are mostly sold whole. And it’s efficient: my husband likes white meat, I like dark meat, the Muppet ain’t picky and we all agree that chicken stock made from the backs and etceteras of whole chickens (I keep them in the freezer until I’ve amassed enough for stock) is superior in every way. Look how far that little bird goes! So, with the guidance of another Gourmet production, this video from Ian Knauer (who brought us these, by the way), this was my first effort. Which explains why it looks so butchered. Hey, it only gets better from here, promise.

browned skins

Continued after the jump »

Monday, July 12, 2010

thai-style chicken legs

thai-style chicken legs

I didn’t mean to bury the lede on you all, but that mango slaw was a side dish. I know! What has the smitten kitchen come to? I made, like, a meal, with a side dish and a main course, all while someone yanked on my flip-flops. I barely know what came over me. I do know that my timing was terrible, because I made this last Tuesday. “Wow, Deb, that’s great! Fascinating. Really.” No, Tuesday. In New York City. It was 102 degrees, the hottest day since August 2001 and I decided, at once, that I had to make a very specific dinner that would require me to turn the oven up very high for a sizable amount of time. I think that sleep deprivation has scrambled what’s left of my brain because I’d like to think I wasn’t this dimwitted 10 months ago. (Don’t tell me otherwise.)

boxes and bottles and jars

And then I burned dinner. Like, it’s not bad enough that I turned on the oven, that I turned it up high and that I had it on for 30 minutes. I didn’t cover the dish and the sauce was charred black and what, you expect me to think of these things ahead of time? But despite all of this, this might be the best chicken I have ever made. Was I ever glad I’d let this recipe sneak up on me, take residence in my brain and nudge-nudge me to even get over my issues with fish sauce ["It's fishy!" "It's not fishy, Deb." "People who like fish always say that things are not fishy but they always are." --1 day later -- "Wow, this is not only not fishy, it might be the best tasting thing on earth. I will put it on everything, henceforth." Fin.] because this is perfection.

marinating the chicken

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

classic cobb salad

cobb crazy

When I am considering recipes I might share with you all, there are a lot of foods that I arbitrarily rule out. Sandwiches? Nope! With rare exception, who needs a recipe for slapping things between two pieces of bread? Fruit salad? Oof! No! Again, unless you’re doing something fancy-fancy to it, I’m pretty sure people can find their own path to chopped fruit in a bowl. So when I got to thinking about making an old-school Cobb salad a couple months ago, I quickly rejected it because given the Cobb salad’s ubiquity on lunch menus everywhere, who doesn’t know how to make it?

this salad needs bacon

As it turns out, someone does not. Last month, at a restaurant in New Jersey, both my mother and I ordered Cobb salads, my mother the “small” version, along with a cup of soup, and myself, the regular one, with no soup. When the waiter brought out a bowl that was a third the size of the table, I groaned and tried to shuffle objects around on a table to accommodate it. “What is up with these ridiculous portion sizes?” I complained, as usual. Oh, little did I know, people! Little did I know, because the waiter next brought out a bowl I can barely describe. Imagine the bowl you would take down to make a salad for 12 people, or a vessel large enough for this guy to take a nap in, or this bowl, with a diameter so staggering that it would only fit if partially hanging off the table. This was my entrée Cobb salad.

And within those acres of iceberg, not a speck of bacon was to be found.

i love iceberg lettuceromainecubed chicken breastavocado

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, October 29, 2009

baked chicken meatballs

baked chicken pancetta meatballs

As it turns out, I’m a sucker for a good meatball. It’s a funny thing because ground meat has rarely done it for me; I’m certain I’m the lone American who doesn’t get in a frenzy over hamburgers or meatloaf. But something happens when you mix otherwise dull ground meats up with softened bread, herbs, seasonings and bits of extra ingredients, oof — I will swat your fork away to get at them first.

onion, garlic, pancetta
meatballs, ready to mix

I’ve found some good ones over the years, such as the only ones you should ever serve with your spaghetti and these guys, which, if you have not already, you should not wait until next summer to try, not to mention the ones I sneak into sliders and soup. But as I hadn’t tried these before, my meatball recipe collection — and possibly even my life — was woefully deficient.

brushing with tomato paste

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, February 12, 2009

devil’s chicken thighs + braised leeks

devil's chicken thighs + braised leeks with dijon

This, my friends, is all the evidence you will ever need that you can never go wrong with a Suzanne Goin recipe (also: that ugly food is the tastiest). Because despite having a horrible cold (not just any cold, mind you, but a Man Cold) all week, zero appetite, even less inclination to stand (upright! like on my two feet! how exhausting!) in the kitchen and cook and actually briefly calculating the food costs in my head of chucking the dish (already marinating) and trying it again another week, with Alex’s help we trudged on through and had this for dinner last night and it was amazing. Curative, even. I feel 50 percent better today.

halved leeksmmm, shallotsbrowned leeksshallots

So what’s all this about? Well, you start by braising leeks, which if you’re me, already has you sold. Amusingly, I was halfway into the leek prep when I had a vague feeling of deja-vu and you know what? I told you about these last year, to the day! Memory, what memory? Anyway, they’re unbelievable and seriously, if you’d like, you can stop right here. Serve them with some proscuito, a poached or sliced hard-cooked egg, mustard vinaigrette, some thick bread and maybe a sharp little salad on the side and you’ll be happy as a clam. Swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock and you can even make them amenable to vegetarians.

braised leeks

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