Tag Archives: chicken

Monday Night Dinner: Lucas

Apparently we have allowed Ina Garten to stick around as a houseguest to help ease our radiation fears*, although I think we are getting the raw end of the deal as our butter supply has been greatly depleted. Naturally she made us cook another of her meals last night, although when she wasn’t paying attention we cut the amount of butter in half and substituted the mini onions for our personal favorite ingredient; sweet potatoes.  The dish was Chicken stew with biscuits and it turned out to be excellent, below is Ina’s recipe with a few modifications.

The stew

roughly a pound of chicken breasts

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 cups chicken stock

2 chicken buillion cube

1 stick of butter

3 cups chopped onions

¾ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup heavy cream

2 cups carrots chopped

10 ounces frozen peas

I sweet potato diced

½ cup parsley

 

Preheat the oven to 375, F meanwhile rub the chicken breasts in olive oil and coat with salt and pepper. Bake until browned, roughly 35-40 minutes. Heat the chicken stock in a pan and dissolve the bouillon cubes, at the same time melt the butter and sauté the onions over medium low heat until translucent (10-15minutes). Next add the flour to the onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then pour in the hot stock, simmer for a few minutes allowing it to thicken. Add 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper as well as the heavy cream.  Having allowed the chicken to sit for a few minutes cut into small cubes and add into the stew along with the carrots, frozen peas, sweet potato and parsley. Place in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, prepare the biscuits. You will need:

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 stick butter  (cold and diced)

¾ cup half and half

½ cup chopped parsley

1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

 

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixer, add the butter and mix until it is the size of peas, add in the half and half combining at a low speed and finally mix in the parsley.  Dump out on a well floured board and roll dough out to 3/8 inch thick. Cut out 2 ½ inch round biscuits using the top of a cup. Brush with egg. After fifteen minutes in the oven, take out the stew and place the biscuits on tap and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbling.

*Did you Ina Garten was once a nuclear energy analyst for the Ford and Carter administrations?

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Wednesday Night Dinner

Ok, this meal does not necessarily look super delicious but, I swear, it was.  SO good. First, though, a little backstory: the hardest part about cooking dinner, I think, is often deciding what to make. Unless I have already had a brainstorm about something I really want to eat, it’s just so hard. My process goes something like this: First, I have high enthusiasm. I peruse what’s new on epicurious, check out the Food and Wine website, consider some food blogs. And, most often, I come up with NOTHING. For some reason, when it’s my turn to make dinner, nothing looks appetizing, or feasible to make. Then I call my mom and groan about how IT’S SO HARD and that there is absolutely nothing to make and I have resigned to making black bean soup again (see last week’s entry). She sighs, and suggests I check out our cookbooks. I feel that I have done this countless times in the past, and how could there possibly be something new in them. And now, with enthusiasm flailing and dejection setting in, I halfheartedly flip through the cookbooks. And, as always, either Ina Garten or Mark Bittman comes through for us. Phew. Lesson: part time employment allows for much agonizing about simple decisions.

This week, it was Ina Garten’s curried chicken salad that became the inspiration for our meal. I concurrently decided that I would like to make homemade hamburger buns again, and curried chicken salad seemed like an ideal filling.

First, the buns. The New York Times had an article about the “perfect” homemade hamburger and all its parts — including the ideal brioche bun. I had made these before, with great success. They are the kind of buns that will make you pledge to never eat a store bought hamburger bun again (which, of course, you will — but you’ll still pledge not to.) These guys worked a little better the first time I made them, because this time I forgot to mix the last egg with some water and so I accidentally kind of deflated them a little. But they were still superlatively good.

Ina Garten wanted me to roast a chicken, which sounded slightly time consuming and I couldn’t find the appropriate kinds of chicken so I poached chicken breasts instead. We threw in some white wine, chicken stock and onions for the poaching liquid, which were all good decisions. Here is what I used in the dressing:

3/4 c Greek yogurt

3/4 c mayonnaise

1/4 c chutney (I used more because chutney is delicious)

1/3 c dry white wine

3 tbl curry powder.

The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, but I decided to use half Greek yogurt and half mayonnaise, which was most successful. I also included the following ingredients in the salad.

1/4 c chopped scallions

A couple handfuls of halved grapes (I love grapes in curried chicken salad, no matter what the traditionalists might say)

Some chopped red pepper

2 chopped celeries

I do believe that is all. It was a most appetizing salad. Oh! AND. I started a fire. Drama. My rolls were rising on a tray, under a dishtowel, which I placed on the burners, not realizing the tea kettle was boiling on a different burner and so the towel promptly caught fire. Fortunately, I noticed fairly quickly and, even more importantly, my rolls were not compromised. Although, perhaps the trauma contributed to their slight deflation. You never know.

Tuesday Night Dinner

This is the first entry of a meal by Alison, which is somewhat misleading — we don’t know why we didn’t get around to writing anything about her food before because 1. she still cooks the most in the family and 2. everything she cooks is delicious. So, sorry Mom, and here you go! (Maybe we’ll blame her delay in meeting the chief blogger’s suggested draft deadline, although that might not even be true. Hard to say.)

Recipe: Turkish-Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Pomegranate Relish and Tahini Yogurt

Source: Bon Appetit, January 2011 (You can find the full recipe here.)
Spices: Great combination of spices (mint, oregano, cinnamom, coriander, cumin, nutmeg) combined together to make Baharat seasoning, which is used to marinate the chicken and then as an ingredient in the Tahini Yogurt Sauce.
Surprise ingredients: pistachios, pomegranate seeds
Sad fact: Pomegranates are no longer in season. While I’m pleased that no one has found a way to cover them in wax/chemicals to make them last year round I was dissapointed that they weren’t available. It seems like we saw them just last week. Dried cranberries were my substitue becuase I wanted to have a bit of red on the plate. (In Bon Appetit’s defense, They would have been in season when the recipe was originally published.)
Verdict: delicious and easy.
If anyone is wondering, pistachios grow on trees.

 

Monday Night Waffles

Tonight’s meal was inspired by a staple from the restaurant Sneakers’ (Winooski, Vermont) menu. The dish is sweet potato waffles and chicken and has been a source of inspiration on many cold college Sundays. The enthralling part of this meal is the unreal flavor that is imparted from the juxtaposition of culinary elements that don’t typically frequent the same social circles.  As the sweet potato waffles soften beneath the chicken gravy you begin to realize how brilliant this meal really is, but enough praise for Sneakers, below I will describe how I attempted this dish.

After some searching on the web of internets I came across a few suitable recipes and by borrowing the best points from each I attempted to turn mediocre into masterpiece.  The waffles required the following ingredients.

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

½  tsp salt

4 tspbaking powder

1 tsp spoon sage

3 eggs separated

½ cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

pinch of cream of tarter

2 medium sweet potatoes (chopped up, boiled until soft, mashed)

Combine the dry ingredients excluding the cream of tarter in a large bowl with a whisk. In a separate boil beat together the milk, oil, egg yolks and sweet potatoes. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry without over mixing. Finally, beat the egg whites with the cream of tarter until frothy and fold into the dough.

Follow directions on your typical waffle maker and cook waffles until browned on the outside.

The gravy I choose relies on the flavor of caramelized onions, make this ahead of time by cooking one large onion thinly sliced into rounds with olive oil over medium heat for roughly 40 minutes, if is taking too long or you want a sweeter flavor sprinkle some brown sugar on the onions to expedite the process.  For the gravy you will also need the following;

2 tbs butter

2 tbs flour

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

 

Melt the butter and slowly whisk in the flour to create a roux. Then slowly add small amounts of liquid starting with the milk and alternating between each. Allow for the gravy to thicken and then add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and finally the caramelized onions.

While stirring the sauce you should be simultaneously cooking the chicken. While this meal would traditionally be served with fried chicken I simply cooked it in olive oil in a skillet. You should dredge roughly a pound of chicken tenders in flour with paprika to taste and once the skilled is hot cook until tender and brown on the outsides.

Now all that remains is putting the pieces together which entails placing two tenders on each waffle and topping with sauce, I also served peas alongside which complemented the dish excellently.