Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deep Fried Turkey Parts

Well, after extensive research, I've concluded that it's not worth doing. If you like deep frying a whole turkey, well yeah, do the parts separately in the same drum or other conveyance you do the whole bird in — preferably outdoors.

But doing parts in oil on the stove? Nah.

I tried it and though the turkey was edible and actually pretty good, it's more trouble than it's worth in terms of mess and fumes and such.

Besides, braising a turkey is even better. Roasting is fine, too. You can even make osso buco out of the drumsticks. I'll have to post the full recipe soon. (And maybe I will.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hainanese Chicken With Rice

Saw this recipe in the New York Times along with a blog post and video from Mark Bittman.

Had actually made something similar a few years back, as well as a variation with pork.
But I really liked the simplicity of this dish, which I modified slightly then left a comment about it on the Times website.

If you prefer dark meat, as I do, just use legs or thighs or leg quarters. Take the skin off to reduce the fat, or leave a little on for flavor; most chickens have plenty of fat anyway.

If you have leftovers, make fried rice with the extra and either add some chopped-up chicken when done or heat the leftovers and serve alongside.

This dish is a favorite comfort food in many Asian counties so feel free to poke around a bit and look for the "best" version, which varies per local pride.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Friggin' Chicken Friccasee

I really like braised chicken (which is what this is) and the tiny meatballs add a little je ne sais quoi (which is French for "WTF?").

This is very freely adapted from The New York Times Jewish Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton.

First the meatballs: I've tried using ground chicken and it was fine but very lean ground beef or veal is far better. All you need is a pound but it must be very lean; at least ground round; sirloin is better. Grind it yourself if you like. Mix in an egg and a half tsp. each of onion powder and garlic powder or double each if you prefer fresh onion and garlic. Stir in a half-teaspoon of salt, a half tsp. black pepper and a half-cup of bread crumbs, fresh if possible. Matzo meal or cracker meal can be substituted. Make little meatballs (approx. 1 inch in diameter). Set aside.

Get a chicken: A 3-4 lb. fryer or equal weight in legs, thighs, breasts — whatever you like (my family prefers dark meat, so drumsticks and thighs, or just thighs). If using a whole chicken, cut into eight or ten pieces (split the breasts if they're large). Rinse the chicken pieces thoroughly, dry with a paper towel, then trim loose-hanging skin and pull off pieces of fat.

Render the fat: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven. Cut up the discarded skin and chicken fat, and add to the pot. Don't let it burn or smoke. After about ten minutes (give or take), the fat and skin will be crisp and the renderings will be will be golden.
Pour off the majority of the rendered fat and leave just enough to coat the bottom of the pot. Remove the crisp bits and discard (or salt and eat).

Brown the meatballs: Add them gently to the hot pot and brown until they lose their rawness (about five minutes). Remove from pot and set aside. Wipe the bottom of the pot with a heavy paper towel, scrape any burnt bits with a spatula, then reheat.

Fry an onion or two: Pour a little bit of the rendered chicken fat into the pot (enough to cover the bottom). Slice (or chop) two medium onions, then drop into the heated pot and gently cook. Remove from pot when golden (but not brown) and set aside.

Brown the chicken pieces: You won't need to add any fat; the skin should release sufficient oil, but if you like, add a bit of the rendered fat to the bottom of the pot first. Brown the chicken in batches evenly (don't crowd the pan) and don't allow it to blacken or burn. When the chicken skin is golden and visible meat is no longer pink, remove from pot, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and hold. Pour off any remaining fat and return the pot to the stove to reheat.

Return the fried onions to the pan, add 2 chopped or thinly-sliced garlic cloves, stir for a minute then add 2 tbs. paprika (sweet,
not hot or smoked). Stir and cook for a half-minute.

Add a cup of water and a small can of tomato juice. Or substitute tomato sauce or a quarter cup of ketchup. Add the chicken pieces to the pan then the meatballs on top of them. The liquid should cover the chicken at least halfway (but not completely.) Add more water if necessary. Cover the pot loosely and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with noodles, boiled or mashed potatoes, rice, barley or quinoa. Or French bread, pita etc.

If making ahead of time, remove chicken and meatballs, cool liquid and remove surface fat before reheating with
the chicken and meatballs.

Call or e-mail me if you make it then set a plate.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cooking with Warren Ellis

Writer Warren Ellis (above left, with the late Rory Root) is the default Lord of the Internets.

Or something to that effect. He's projected a rather interesting personality through the Web but he's mostly a writer; comics, games; animation; a novel; and loads of commentary. Never met him, though we've exchanged e-mail a couple of times.

In the paperback edition of his novel, "Crooked Little Vein," there are some recipes, and he recently posted more, so allow me to share.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Slow Roasted Chinese Pork

Get a 5-6 lb Boston pork butt. Brine it overnight in enough water to cover and 2 tbs. (each) sugar and coarse (kosher or sea) salt.

Rinse the pork and dry it with paper towels. Let it air-dry for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 250º F.

Prepare a rub with 1 tbs. Chinese five spice powder, 2 cloves finely minced garlic, 1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger, a dash each of salt and pepper, 1 tsp. sesame oil and 1 tbs. vegetable oil. Combine ingredients and rub thoroughly into the pork, especially in the nooks and crannies.

If there's a layer of fat on one side, score it with a couple of diagonal cuts, without cutting into the meat below the fat.

Put a few drops of sesame oil on the bottom of a metal pan and rub it in. Place the pork, fat side up, in the pan.

Roast for 5 hours. Turn the oven up to 450º for the last 20-30 minutes to crisp the fat. You may have to drain the liquid at the bottom of the pan so it doesn't smoke too much.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes, then slice. Serve with
hoisin sauce for dipping. Accompany with fried rice and stir-fried vegetables.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Deep-Fried Turkey Parts?

In the kitchen? On the stove?

Yes, but...

(Coming soon! I swear!!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eggplant Parm

May I share this fabulous recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana?
Eggplant Parmigiana (from Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen)
Use kosher salt when salting the eggplant. The coarse grains don't dissolve as readily as the fine grains of regular table salt, so any excess can be easily wiped away. To be time-efficient, use the 30 to 45 minutes during which the salted eggplant sits to prepare the breading, cheeses, and sauce. Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds globe eggplant (2 medium eggplants), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 slices high-quality white bread (about 8 ounces), torn into quarters
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Tomato Sauce
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 generous tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
Table salt and ground black pepper

8 ounces whole milk mozzarella or part-skim mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
10 fresh basil leaves torn, for garnish

FOR THE EGGPLANT: Toss half of eggplant slices and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and kosher salt, placing second batch in colander on top of first. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.

While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor to fine, even crumbs, about fifteen 1-second pulses (you should have about 4 cups). Transfer crumbs to pie plate and stir in 1 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. Wipe out bowl (do not wash) and set aside.

Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour; seal bag and shake to coat eggplant. Remove eggplant slices, shaking off excess flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set breaded slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.

Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.

FOR THE SAUCE: While eggplant bakes, process 2 cans diced tomatoes in food processor until almost smooth, about 5 seconds. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in processed and remaining can of diced tomatoes. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes (you should have about 4 cups). Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer in half of eggplant slices, overlapping slices to fit; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Layer in remaining eggplant and dot with 1 cup sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top, and serve, passing remaining tomato sauce separately.

Just allow yourself enough time. Even though it's pretty easy, it always seems to take a little longer than expected. I made it last night, btw, in a convection oven and it worked out just fine. Had to do some of the early steps in batches, but no biggie.

I didn't make my own sauce, but used a jar of Barilla tomato and basil and it was lovely.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chuck U

I swear there's a chuck steak that you can grill or even fry, isn't tough and tastes great. It's about half the price of a Delmonico or rib eye, too, and you can get it at the supermarket right now.

Interested? Details soon. (And what the heck is this?)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What this is

Recipes, shopping, how to make things, do things and like that. But without going nuts or working too hard. Most of the time, anyway.

We'll see.

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