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Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

A thai curry is a great way to make use of fresh vegetables and impress people with an exotic dish. Although curries may sound daunting, they are no more difficult than a standard stew. Coconut milk is a rich, dairy-free and forgiving backdrop to a spectrum of flavors. I cut its richness with lime juice, contrast the heat of the red curry paste with some light brown sugar and use turmeric and curry powder for a warm, yellow color. Since the vegetables are pre-steamed, you can spend more time eating than cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 handfuls of diced carrots
  • 3 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2-3 large rotisserie/leftover chicken breasts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15.5 oz. can of garbanzos/chickpeas, washed well
  • 2 13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk
  • 2 limes, rolled and halved
        Spices:
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thai seasoning mix (includes things like dried lemongrass, garlic, ginger and mint)
Directions:
1. Steam broccoli and carrots until tender, keeping in mind that they will cook longer in the sauce. Steam potatoes or poke them with a fork and microwave until tender. With leftover rotisserie chicken, take off the skin and bones and chop into cubes.
2. Over medium heat, drizzle olive oil in a pan and sauté onion and garlic with salt until translucent. Add chickpeas, steamed broccoli, carrots potatoes and chicken.
 ♦
3. Stir in red curry paste until dissolved and add yellow curry powder, ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, salt, light brown sugar and thai seasoning mix. Add the juice of two limes and the peas.
4. Simmer for a bit and turn the heat off. Allow to rest for about 1 hour in order to marry the flavors. Reheat and serve over your favorite rice.
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In Spanish cuisine, sofrito is used as a base for many dishes and is made of garlic, onion, and tomatoes. I used tomato paste to give my dish the complex flavors of something cooked for a long time. Just a bit of wine, herbs and spanish spices complete a sauce that is flavorful, yet very light and healthy. It is thickened in the Catalan style with toasted bread. Diverging from Spanish cuisine, I served it with butternut squash roasted with maple syrup and brown sugar and sprinkled with sage leaves. Some fresh rice is a must.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large Spanish onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 sweet banana peppers, minced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup of  white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/3 cup “less sodium” beef stock (or chicken)
  • 6 sprigs thyme, de-stemmed and chopped
  • Southern Spain Pinchito Spice to taste
  • About 2 lbs. thin chicken cutlets.

Directions:

1. On low heat, sauté onions in olive oil with salt until translucent. Add sugar, paprika and tomato paste—some nonstick spray on the spoon will help the paste to glide off.

 

2.  Add banana peppers and garlic and simmer for about 20 minutes. Build the sauce with the white wine and beef stock and add the thyme.

 

3. Season with a few pinches of cinnamon. I used a spice mix called Southern Spain Pinchito Spice. This includes salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, garlic, turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, anise, cayenne and saffron.

 

4. Toast some bread (I toasted a bagel and removed the insides) and grind finely in a food processor. Add a few tablespoons to the sauce and expand it by adding some water until the consistency is just right.

 

5. Coat chicken cutlets in olive oil and rub with a light coating of salt, pepper, paprika and pinchito. Grill or sauté until cooked through (about 2 minutes on each side) and warm together with the sauce.

 

Butternut Squash: In a 400° oven on a foiled sheet pan, roast 1 inch. cubes of butternut squash on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt and pepper  for 15 minutes. Flip, drizzle with maple syrup, sprinkle with brown sugar and top with dabs of butter. Finish roasting for another 15 to 20 minutes or until tender through.

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Ingredients:

  • chopped chicken breast
  • celery, peeled and diced
  • red onion, diced
  • mayonnaise
  • dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • turmeric
  • fresh black pepper
  • paprika
  • cilantro, chopped
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • poppyseed challah
1. Chop chicken breast and mixed with the celery and red onion. Make the dressing separately by mixing mayonnaise, a bit of dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic powder, turmeric,  fresh black pepper, and paprika. Mix in chopped cilantro.
2. Combine the dressing with the chicken and sandwich between challah with lettuce and tomato.

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For those of you who are new to quail, there’s nothing to be afraid of; quail tastes just like chicken. I made a cherry and wine reduction and blended it too create a sauce. The quail is grilled until crispy and charred and you can eat it with your hands. You can also try my cherry and wine sauce on chicken, duck, or pork chops.


Ingredients:

6 jumbo quail

1/2 white onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

fresh thyme

1 container of fresh cherries, de-pitted and chopped

1 teaspoon beef base

red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)

cherry juice

sugar

3 caps of apple cider vinegar

olive oil, salt, and pepper

Sauce:

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Coat the pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions with a bit of salt and when they have softened, add thyme leaves and garlic. In a minute, add the cherries.

I stirred in about a teaspoon of beef base, dissolved in some hot water. Along with this makeshift beef stock, add a good splash of wine, and cherry juice—you can find it at most grocery stores. Incorporate about three five-finger pinches of sugar and the apple cider vinegar. Reduce for a bit. I also added some store-bought ginger paste, but this is optional.

Blend in a blender or just grind in a food processor until the sauce is relatively smooth and homogenous. Adjust for consistency by reducing or by adding water and adjust the flavor by adding more wine, vinegar, or sugar. Also, salt to taste at this point. If you have the technology (a chinois or cheesecloth) strain the sauce for a luxuriously smooth texture and refined look.

Quail:

Butterfly the quail by cutting along the breast bone. Rub both sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper and get the grill nice and hot. Quail needs to be cooked quickly or it will dry out. Grill for about 6-7 minutes on both sides (with the grill closed), starting skin-side down. Make your desired grill marks and just cut into it, taking it off the grill when just cooked through.

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There are many ways to make roasted chicken and, because of its simplicity, it makes a difference which one you choose. My roasted chicken has a skin that cracks under your teeth and a juicy interior swells with herby flavors, yet still tastes like unadulterated chicken. I’m noshing on it right out of the fridge. This recipe also features Jordan’s Million Dollar Potato Dollars, the name of which, grossly discounts them.

Ingredients:

  • Whole chicken
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Losher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • Sage
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Garlic cloves
  • Black pepper
  • Red Potatoes (you can also use yukon gold)
  • Thermometer, tin foil, non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pull the giblets out of the chicken and pat the whole thing dry with paper towels. With half the thyme sprigs, pull the leaves off the stem and roughly chop. Do the same with half the rosemary sprigs.

1. Sprinkle kosher salt inside the chicken’s cavity. Stuff in half a lemon and a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Put most of the sage in whole. With Butcher’s twine, wrap the legs so that the bones are touching. Cross around the back  and tie the wings in nice and tight. There is no set formula like origami.
2. Take room-temperature butter and warm it in a pan while mixing in the chopped herbs, a few cloves of minced garlic, and the rest of the lemon juice. Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on the entire bird—don’t miss any nook or cranny. Drizzle half the herb butter on the bird and rub it in gently.
3. Thinly slice the potatoes (about 1/8 in.). Chop the extra sage and add it to the remaining butter and coat the potatoes in a mixing bowl with salt and pepper. We put some lemon zest in too. Might as well.
4. In a large pyrex casserole, roast the bird for about one hour and 10 minutes, until the internal temperature in the center of the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees (while you are checking temperatures periodically, use a spoon to baste the chicken with its own juices). I also put chopped carrots in as well. Your thermometer should not read a lower number on any part of the chicken.
5. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cook the potatoes for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
6. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest so the juices redistribute. The internal temperature will rise to 165 degrees. If your chicken is the desired brown color before it’s done and you have time, turn down the temperature and allow it to cook low and slow on 350 degrees.

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Will make four people very content

Ingredients:

  • two cornish hens
  • 1 lemon
  • parsley
  • dill
  • garlic
  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • chicken stock
  • white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • butter/non-dairy butter
  • cream/non-dairy cream
  • flour

Preheat the oven to 400º. Remove the giblets and dry the hens with a paper towel. In a baking dish, add roughly chopped celery, onions, carrots, and garlic. Quarter the lemon and place one quarter in the cavity of both hens. Also stuff them with parsley, dill, and a clove or two of garlic.

Slip and wiggle your finger under the skin to separate it from the meat. Disperse small pieces of butter inside the pockets. Drizzle olive oil over everything and rub the hens. Heavily sprinkle the birds and the vegetables with salt and some black pepper. Pour some chicken stock around the birds and white wine as well.

After thirty minutes, turn down the temperature to 350°. Cook for about an hour; use a thermometer to determine when it is done. It should read 165º in the thickest part of the breasts and about 180º in the small thighs. Allow to rest for ten minutes and work on the gravy.

Remove the vegetables and serve with the hens. In a sauce pot, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter with a large pinch of flour and stir until a thin paste is made. Pour in the drippings and bring to a boil with a splash (2-3 tablespoons) of cream. Whisk well and simmer.

Find the backbones of the bird on the top. Place your blade parallel to it and cut all the way through to split the bird. I served the hens with roasted sweet potatoes—split in half with olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 40-50 minutes—and sautéed spinach with garlic.

Guy would call it a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

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Looks pretty good right? It was…until you started eating the duck. I did everything right: seared the well-seasoned whole duck in a pan with cross-hatches and everything to render the fat. I cooked it in the oven until the flesh was crispy-crackly and then I basted it in its own juices. I glazed it with a sweet fig and red onion compote with ginger and lemon zest. The sauce was fantastic, but the duck was so disappointing. It wasn’t fun ripping through stubborn fat as it clung with vigor to burly meat. The worst part is that I think I cooked it perfectly—to a faint pink.

Was this just an overly balky and hot-headed bird? Maybe, I was supposed to hang it upside-down like in the chinese restaurants. That might make the bird less head-strong. It just goes to show you that everybody has kitchen mishaps.  I’m not going to give a recipe for a bad duck, but the sauce was beyond tasty. I ate it with bread and scraped it off the unappreciative fowl.

Ingredients:

  • figs (I used Turkish)
  • red onion/shallots
  • Merlot (1/2 bottle)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of sugar
  • honey
  • ginger slices
  • lemon
  • balsamic vinegar

Chop 1/2 a red onion—or a few shallots—and sauté in olive oil  with 15 quartered dried figs. When the onions are translucent, add 1 1/2 cups of Merlot or another red wine. Add the honey, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until it becomes a thick sauce.

Please try this compote.  It would work with chicken and, probably, pork. As for duck, I don’t think it’s going to become the new chicken any time soon.

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