All posts filed under: Poultry

Wine Country Chicken

With Memorial Weekend fully upon us. it’s time to pull off that expensive grill cover, check your fire supplies, and give it a good ol’ cleaning… because you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time out there flipping burgers, rolling dogs, and gettin’ experimental. To be perfectly honest – I’ve never cooked “Beer Can Chicken“. Shoving a shiny can of Pabst up the southern-most end of a bird and grilling the bejeezus out of it, just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m dubious that it adds any real moisture, and even more doubtful that an unadulterated warm beer enema is suitable flavoring for…well, anything.   That being said… I watch a lot of PBS cooking shows. You always learn something new and you don’t have to contend with a lot of flappy patter from personalities trying to be …well, charming…. they just cook. I catch episodes of Steven Raichlen’s Primal Grill periodically. I find it to be one of the best grill-specific instructionals out there. I say instructional, because he is kinda hard to listen to. Stilted, monotone …

Dumplings with Jane

Clara, my great grandmother, always kept chickens.  And while the majority of the time chickens were for eggs, old layers, non-layers and overly mean roosters made their way into the stewing pot for one of Clara’s specialties – Chicken & Dumplings. Now, a lot of people make dumplings a lot of different ways; there are those thick, dense almost noodle -like dumplings; there are the globs of biscuit dough plopped on top of the broth; then there is Clara’s way – soft, tender, pillow-y dumplings, barely holding together amongst the rich broth and bits of dark meat. Jane tells a story of a time just after she married my dad. She had been on the Square in Marietta, doing some bit of shopping, and stopped in at Clara’s just about lunch time. Clara had just made a big pot of dumplings and served her up a bowl. Those same soft dumplings, that rich, flavorful broth – Jane kept commenting on how good those dumplings were.. “The best Chicken and Dumplings I’ve ever had”, she told her. My …

The Sandwich Diaries – The Chicken Fillet Sammich

  Ever since they showed up in the malls in the late 70’s, that chicken sandwich has become just about my favorite option for fast food. That slightly sweet coating, that perfect blend of seasoning, that steamy – steamy bun after it stews in those foil pouches… just perfection in a chicky sammich. But whatever they were – these days they’re just an E Ticket to crazytown for us. The chain uses peanut oil which makes them a serious no-no as far as our current allergen list  goes… and then there’s the whole MSG thing. But, I figured there has to be a work-around… and you know – there is! Chik-Fil-A makes no bones about a secret recipe for their coating. They even tell you what’s in it on their site. But, as I have found through scores of trashed copy-cat recipes, it rarely comes out exactly like the restaurant’s version. And to be absolutely fair… unless you are using a pressure fryer, it still wont taste exactly like theirs… but it comes damn close. …

All Stuck Up – Chicken Paella, on a Stick

I know at times, it seems that I’m all in for making simple food look impossibly difficult – 76.4% of my recipes should attest to that. But, let’s clear the air here. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not that I want to frighten the bejeezus out of you so you’ll Never want to try them. It’s that:  * I believe in being thorough. There’s nothing… Nothing.. I hate more than a recipe that leaves things off the list… it really cranks my rice krispies. * I believe you should have everything you could possibly need spelled out. Because, let’s face it. Left to your own devices, some of you wont read the entire recipe, or will make  * your own substitutions, or just get the general gist of the instructions and “Damn the torpedoes – Full speed ahead!” – – -and then complain because it didn’t turn out right. * I believe, that given exhaustive instructions, anyone can cook what I give you. And really, that’s the beginning of trying anything new. Read …

Chicken Little ~ or, Cornish Game Hens

    Every once in a while little chickens made an appearance at the dinner table. We (the kids) felt fancy – primarily because we were eating chicken with a long, complicated name… and we got a whole bird… and we could pretend we were giants… That is, until dad saw us playing with our food and would pinch the bejeezus out of our sides… and make us eat our dinner sitting on the toilet…. good times… But when you get right down to it – there really isn’t anything fancy about a Rock Cornish Game Hen; the name is somewhat  of a misnomer. It’s just a tiny one pound hen. Grown in about 20 to 25 days, the “game hen” is a hybrid mix of a Cornish Game (just a name of a chicken) and a White Rock Chicken – both smaller chicken breeds. They’re bred for larger breasts and a better fat-to-meat ratio, giving you that full blown roasted hen feel, in a single serving package. I used to buy them a lot, …

Old Buttermilk Sky

Buttermilk Skies – In my mind’s eye, I can see my Dad looking up at those clabbered clouds. And, in that weird lilting falsetto singing voice he reserved for commercial jingles and pre-1960’s radio songs, belting out the first line of that old Hoagy Carmicheal classic. Never any more than that… just the first line. It’s kind of like the way he’d sing the old, old OLD jingle for Lay’s Potato Chips… “I crackle ’cause I’m crisp. I taste better because I’m fresh. I’m a treat. I’m full of zip – I’m a Lay’s Potato Chip” … every single time a fresh bag of chips got opened up for lunch. Or – his retelling of “The night Before Christmas” where he never got more than the  very beginning  out before Jane went into panic mode. “T’was the night before Christmas…” “Charles!“ “… and all through the…” “CHARLES!  I mean it!“ Apparently… Dad’s version was terribly vulgar. I’ll never know, I never heard it. * * * … but I can’t look up at the skies …

Blind Adoration

There are a couple of television celebrity cooks … chefs… people out there that I simply adore. We share the same mindset in cooking, and I find that refreshing in what’s becoming an overcrowded attack on the senses. I think  Laura Caulder  is sublime – I love her simple, carefree attitude with cooking and her unfettered  approach to French food. Nigella Lawson.. is a goddess. She cooks what she wants, eats what she wants, and damn the naysayers. I’d pull up a chair to her table any day. naysayers… It’s funny… I post my personal recipes across several different platforms on the web, professional and not – so professional. Some I lay claim to.. If I’m pushed for a deadline and I throw something together… you probably wont see my name on it. But when I do,  often times people will write, tell me they tried a recipe, and either say how well they liked it (occasionally) or that they didn’t care for it so much (more often than you would like to think). But then there was …

Perfecting the Perfect – Chicken Vesuvio

I can’t always tell you how I get to the initial inspiration (as it were) for a recipe – it’s either something I read; something I remembered from my childhood; a bit of oral history from my family; a dish some guy was cooking in a movie – that part doesn’t really matter. I keep a list of  things I want to amp up and muddle through them when the mood strikes. I usually spend a lot of time in research reworking a recipe before it makes it way here. I’ll hit the cookbook graveyard and find every possible variation I make a lot of notes I do a couple of dry runs When it came to Chicken Vesuvio it appears it’s pretty much the same as meatloaf – everyone has their own recipe. From whole chickens to exclusively legs, emptying the pantry of every imaginable dried bean and pea to a complete lack of any legume, citrus / no citrus / heavy salt / uber spice / painfully bland… The only thing any of them truly have in common …

Chicken & Waffle Redux

This is my Third Round Entry for the Marx Foods Ridiculously Delicious Challenge. The rules for round 3 are as follows: “For Stage 3 the 15 top vote-getters will “make over” the recipe of their choice from any of the other 15 top vote-getters, except their own. In their post, they must also specify which recipe would have been their second choice for a makeover.The contestants whose recipes are the 8 most made over will advance to the next round. (to be clear, by making over someone’s dish, you are voting for them to advance to the next round).  Also, two of the contestants who did the best job making over their chosen recipe will also advance to the next round (as judged by Marx Foods). If there is a tie in the number of times a recipe is made over, or if fewer than 8 recipes are chosen to be made over, the tally of “second choice” comments will be used to determine additional contestants. If there are still fewer than 8, Marx Foods …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Chicken & Dumplings

Oh, I know… It’s Super Bowl Sunday. I suppose I should have been a good food guy spending the week assembling piles of game day noshes and snack foods, lining up the craft beers, loading the coolers, getting the large flat screen out of storage and relishing in the general excitement and glory of the biggest American Sports extravaganza…. eh…    I’m not that kind of guy. I hate football. I was raised believing that organized sports (baseball, basketball and yes… football) belonged in the same category as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They simply didn’t exist. I never really got into the sports fan mindset. Oh, I was in the marching band, and I attended every football game while I was in high school, but that was only because it was the only place where you could wear funny outfits, play music and make a spectacle of yourself and not be tarred and feathered for oddness. I’ll be spending the day doing a little landscaping, scouting out a couple of fishing spots for …