Tag Archives: chicken

All Purpose BBQ Spice Rub

22 May

Well I worked on it, and worked, and worked, and then…Eureka! I finally came up with the proportions for my all-purpose BBQ spice rub. I have used it on ribs, turkey wings ( yes, people: a recipe will follow for this) and chicken breasts and thighs with a great deal of success. You can double or triple this recipe for large batches of ribs for a cookout or tailgating ( I wish someone would invite me to a tailgate party!).

You will need:

bowl for mixing spice

Ziploc bag, airtight container or shaker for storage

Ingredients

2 Tbl. brown sugar

1 Tbl. white sugar

1 Tbl. onion powder

1 Tbl. garlic powder

1 Tbl. smoked paprika

1 Tbl. seasoned salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. Jamaican allspice

Mix together and store in a dark place until ready to use.

Tandoori-style marinade

20 May

Okay hipsters; I’ve worked on a marinade that will give you great results on the  Foreman-style grill, outdoor grill or oven  . I got the idea from my boss who wanted a recipe for tandoori chicken. I reminded her that although I love all things east Indian; I had no clue about how to make the famed dish. What I did know was this: Tandoori marinade involved yogurt, ginger and garlic and some spices. So I did some R&D over the last two weeks and came up with a recipe that was flavorful and easy.  It is a hybrid of a traditional tandoori marinade in that I added some ingredients that weren’t in any of the recipes I saw.

So, what is tandoori you may ask? Tandoori, like chowder is synonymous with  the cooking implement that its cooked in. Chowders and tandoori are named for the vessel they were traditionally cooked in. Traditional tandoori is cooked in a clay oven, or tandoor. Over time, the cooking implement and the dish became one. This is great for chicken, lamb, pork and beef.

Enough for 2 lbs. of meat

6 ounces of plain yogurt (fat-free is okay)

1 ½ Tbl. chopped fresh garlic

2 Tbl. grated fresh ginger

1 Tbl. fresh lime juice

2 Tbl. chopped cilantro

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. coarse grind pepper

2 Tbl.  mild red curry paste

1 Tbl. tandoori seasoning ( see note)

1 Tbl. seeded and chopped jalapeno (optional)

2 drops red food coloring (optional)

Chop and measure all ingredients before assembling. In a glass or other non-reactive bowl, mix all ingredients together and refrigerate before use.

For chicken (legs) and turkey: Remove skin from chicken and cut slashes on both sides. Rub marinade into meat, making sure the marinade enters the slashes. Marinate for at least four hours, no more than 12 hours. 

For lamb. pork and beef: Trim off excess fat around meat, leaving  1/4 inch of fat on the meat. cut deep slashes into meat and rub marinade in. Marinate for at least six hours, no more than 12 hours.

For  skinless chicken breasts: Follow directions for chicken legs and marinate no more than 3 or 4 hours maximum.

If using a Foreman-style grill: Preheat grill and place meat on grill, making sure not to crowd grill and cook according to the recommendations for your grill make and model.

Outdoor grill (gas ): Prepare grill to cook over indirect heat. Spray grill grates not over heat with cooking spray. Preheat grill with top closed. Drizzle meat with a bit of olive oil and cook  meat over indirect heat, turning only once or twice  until you’ve achieved desired doneness.

Charcoal grill: Prepare grill for indirect cooking method. When coals ash over, place grill grate over coals, spray grate surface not over heat with cooking spray. Cover grill until hot, then place meat on sprayed grill surface. and grill, turning once or twice until you’ve achieved desired doneness.

Oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken on cookie sheet and drizzle  lightly with olive oil. Cook in oven for 30 minutes, then check for doneness. Cook longer if necessary.

Note: You can purchase Tandoori seasoning  in your grocer’s spice section or online.

Risotto 101

3 Feb

Hey Kids!

Ye olde Culinary Chick is having guests over this weekend, barring any shenanigans from the weather this weekend.

On the menu are braised lamb shanks with dried cherry and rosemary demi-glace,  saffron risotto and roasted broccoli.   One of my guests, a childhood friend, loves potatoes and I serve them every time she comes over. However, this time I wanted to make something a bit different and dust off some of the skills I acquired over the years. One of them was how to make risotto. And believe it or not, you can too. If you follow my directions, you will have a great side dish to dazzle your friends with.

Risotto is an Italian dish made with arborio rice, a short grain rice prized for its al dente  texture and creaminess when cooked.  The version we will cook is Risotto ala Milanese. C’mon, its easy!

You will need the following equipment:

heavy-bottomed pan ( cast iron or aluminum [plain or anodized])

a wooden spoon

a ladle

1 – 2 qt. saucepan

Risotto Milanese (serves one as a main dish or two as a side dish)

2 tbl.  olive oil

1/2 c. arborio rice

1/3 c. diced onions

2 c. chicken stock or broth

pinch of saffron*

2 tb. parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1-2 tbl. butter

1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley

In a 1 – 2 quart saucepan, bring chicken stock and saffron to a simmer. Keep warm.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in heavy-bottomed pan and add onions and saute until clear and soft ( do not brown)

Add rice and saute, making sure all rice grains are coated and center of rice is visible.

Add one ladle of  hot stock to the pan with the rice and onions and stir with wooden spoon until all of the liquid is absorbed.

After all of the liquid is absorbed from the first ladle of stock, add another ladle of stock and stir again with the wooden spoon until absorbed. Repeat these steps until you have used all of the stock and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

By this time your rice will have doubled in size and you should see a  small amount of thickened stock in bottom of pan.

Add butter and stir until incorporated. Add parmesan cheese and pepper. If needed add a scant amount of salt ( taste first).

Add parsley and serve with a side salad as a main dish or as a side dish with seafood or meat.

A note: Saffron can be found in specialty stores and can be pricey. If you do not have saffron, you can still enjoy this dish without it. The addition of some fresh chopped herbs  or seasonings that will compliment your main dish will suffice such as  lemon zest, chopped chives, tarragon or roasted garlic puree  as an example will add flavor and color to your risotto. And, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can make this using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock and omitting the butter and cheese.

Yum.

Restaurant Week tips

21 Jan

Baltimore is currently celebrating its version of Restaurant Week from January 22, 2010 to February 7, 2010. Many restaurants are offering specials on menu items or prix-fixe offerings at reduced prices. If you have the time and money, this is the perfect time to try a new place out. Here are a few tips to remember when going out.

1). Make a reservation and arrive early– Most of these places are busy and making a reservation and arriving at least 15 minutes prior will ensure a pleasant dining experience.

2). Try something new– Now is not the time to order chicken. If scallops are available and you’ve never had them, try them. Don’t forget that glass of wine; ask the server for suggestions and he may find you a gem.

3). Try lunch as an alternative to dinner-Lunch is a great time to try something new. Portions are usually smaller and are great for the health conscious.

4). Be kind to your server– These people work hard, often with no benefits or other compensation. Tip them accordingly ( 15% good service, 18% great service, 20% for exceptional service). Remember that the discounted meal you enjoy during Restaurant Week would normally cost at least twice that amount other times.

5). If you like a place, go back– Restaurants are a business, and use this time to promote their businesses. If you enjoy a place, show them by giving them your return business.  Your dollars pay the salaries of cooks, dishwasher, porters and many vendors who supply everything from forks to the olives in your martini. This helps our economy and save jobs.

6). Say Thank You– You have no idea what this  simple gesture does for your server, especially if they are busy.

Many participating restaurants are offering a three-course lunch from $20.10 and three-course dinners from $35.10 ( excluding tax and gratuity).

Mangia Mangia!!

Chicken Enchiladas: It’s what for dinner!

7 Jan
Chicken Enchiladas

Mmmm! Ole`

Recently I lamented about  my lack of finding something good to eat. I just wasn’t feeling it, guys.  Usually when I feel this way, I sit in front of my pantry and work through my block. I had an idea, but I needed to do a bit of research, so I asked a few friends and read a bunch of recipes. This is what I came up with based on what I had available to me, and a taste for something spicy, cheesy and warm on a frigid night.

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 to 8 people
( 1 – 2 enchiladas per person)

3 cups cooked chicken, Or
3  boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 cup water
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas ( warmed)
1 cup refried beans, optional
¼ cup taco sauce
1 cup pasta sauce
½ cup diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup Goya Sofrito*
¼ cup banana peppers, diced**
½ cup banana pepper juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2  tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Garnishes: Thinly-sliced red onion, green onions, chopped green or black olives, sour cream, additional shredded cheese.

If using cooked chicken, clean chicken from all bones and skin. Measure 3 cups and skip to preparing sauce.

Prepare chicken: Heat oven to 325
In an oven-proof pan ( glass, metal, iron) , place chicken breasts and the cup of water; covered,  in an oven and cook breasts until done, about 3-40 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on plate to cool and discard liquid, or freeze for sauces later. When chicken is cold, shred breasts, by either pulling apart into tiny bite-size pieces, or pull apart using the tines of two forks.

While chicken is cooling, Prepare Sauce: Combine taco sauce, sofrito, pasta sauce, banana peppers and the juice. Whisk until combined and add ½ tablespoon of the cilantro to the sauce. Set aside.

Make filling: Mix cumin, chili powder, ¼ cup of sauce, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses and toss with the cooled, shredded chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking pan with cooking spray, and place ¼ cup of the prepared sauce in bottom of pan and coat.

Assemble enchiladas: Spoon 1 tablespoon refried beans on the warmed tortilla. Place a bit of the chicken filling in the tortilla and roll. Place filled tortilla seam side down in baking dish. Repeat and place filled tortilla next to one another. Take remaining sauce and pour evenly over the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese and cilantro. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Top with garnishes of your choice and serve one with a side salad as a light lunch, or two for a filling and hearty meal.

*Goya Sofrito is a sauce base containing tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions and spices. It is available in most markets in the international isle.

** I had sliced banana peppers in the jar, so I used that. If you want to use fresh peppers, do so and add the juice of a  fresh lime.

There are various ways to warm the tortillas. You can either saute them in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes on each side until pliable. Drain on paper towels.

(2) You can wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

(3) You can turn the gas burner on you stove and place the tortilla, one at a time on the burner and turn over the open flame 2 seconds on each side until soft.

You must warm the tortillas. There is no way around it. But don’t be a lazy ass and throw them in the microwave! It will make the tortillas tough.

Culinary Chick

I’m sooo down for the Double-Down!!!

5 Sep
Oh, Sweet Jesus!!

Oh, Sweet Jesus!!

I’m so down for the Double Down!

This is a travesty I tell you; a TRAVESTY!

Providence and Omaha are the only places where this sandwich is being tested, and quite frankly I’m a bit pissed off about it.

Why CC; are you miffed, you may ask?

I’m perturbed because I don’t get to taste it.  You know you want to taste it too.

Please save the faux indignation and disgust for someone who gives a care, ‘cause I ain’t trying to hear it.  This is by far a stroke of culinary genius, and you may end up having one by the time you eat this.  Using meat as bread??? Yes!!! And deep-fried meat at that? Oh Sweet Jesus. I’ve died and gone to heaven!

You all know I have a giddy fascination for all foods that are so obviously bad for you that eating it may cause an extreme reaction to anyone with health issues.  But what I like about this sandwich is that it is what it is, and there is no pretense about it.  Imagine yourself as that Twilight chick Bella; you know that Edward is a vampire, and he’s gonna bite you at some point. And, you ain’t scared.

Well, neither am I. That’s what statins are for. They are the proverbial holy water to the fat in that sandwich. You know what you are in for the moment you order this sandwich.  A day’s worth of calories and about three day’s worth of fat. I would have to go into training in order to eat this sandwich.

Let’s see: Eating salad with vegetables and no dressing for three days before and only drinking water. My consumption on the day of the suicide meal would consist of only water and a dose of Lipitor, then the sandwich and another dose of Lipitor after eating the sandwich. I would eat only salad for three days afterwards to counterbalance the negative effects.  Only then would my curiosity would be sated. I just hope that the anticipation is worth the risk.

Yes, I’m sure it will be.

** A note to all of you heath freaks out there. Don’t even bother to chastise me for eating and promoting the eating of this sandwich. Clean up your kitchen before you comment on mine.

Irish Whiskey Brown Sauce

11 Mar

I want you guys to try something different for St. Patrick’s Day.  Instead of eating the usual New England Boiled Dinner  (that’s Corned Beef and Cabbage in layman’s terms, and I will promise a anecdote about this later), try grilling lamb chops or braised lamb shanks with this deep-brown savory sauce.  No need to go all out and use Jameson’s or Bushmills; John Powers will do just fine. The bonus is that this is good with chicken as well as beef.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced onions

1/4 cup diced celery

4 Tbl. butter

4 Tbl. flour

1 bay leaf

1 Tbl. tomato paste

2 cups beef broth ( or stock), hot

1/2 cup John Powers Irish Whiskey

salt and black pepper to taste

1 Tbl. unsalted butter, chilled (optional)

In a heavy bottomed 3-4 quart saucepan, melt the four tablespoons of flour over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and celery and saute for about six or seven minutes, stirring constantly until vegetables are caramelized.  Add the four tablespoons  of  flour and cook for four minutes stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan to release some of the bits on the bottom. Be careful not to burn the pan at this stage.

Mix 1 cup of  hot stock with the whiskey in a separate container, then add to the pot of vegetables and flour.  With a wire whisk, whisk the sauce together until smooth, then add the remaining stock, tomato paste, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Turn the heat down to simmer, then allow sauce to cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper as desired, and remove from heat. Strain off sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Press vegetables gently to release any juices and discard. Vigorously whisk in optional tablespoon of butter until melted and serve with gusto.