Tandoori-Style Chicken for a Picnic

June 21st, 2016

Tandoori-Style Chicken 1 better

If you are looking for a flavorful picnic chicken, this is the one for you.  Because of the long marination in spices, garlic and ginger, it is delicious even at room temperature. I would happily put this chicken in a container and carry it to a picnic spot overlooking a mountain view or a babbling stream.  In my perfect picnic spot I would serve it with the following.

Couscous-with-arugla-2

Israeli Couscous and Arugula Salad.  It is bright.  It is piquant and it is light.  You can find the recipe here.

Zoodle Mixed Salad 1

One of my new favorite salads is this Zoodle vegie salad.  It is perfect for a picnic.   Here is the recipe.

Savory-Cheese-and-Chive-Bread-3V

All picnics require bread.  This wonderful cheese and chive bread from Dorie Greenspan is perfect.  It is one of my favorites.

Chocolate-Shortbread-Bars-2-V

 

My Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Bars are fast and easy.  You can make them even better with good quality chocolate.  I even make and freeze these to have on hand for impromptu get togethers.  Recipe here.

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Add some fruit, cheese and wine for a perfect picnic.

Tandoori-Style Chicken close

The fiery jalapeno and ginger spiked marinade assures that this chicken will have lots of flavor when it is served cold or at room temperature.  Although the recipe calls for roasting in the oven, it would also be great on the grill.  Try it for your next picnic or cookout.

TANDOORI-STYLE CHICKEN

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, and seeded if desired
  • 1 inch-long piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 pounds skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  1. For marinade, combine all ingredients except for chicken, oil and lime wedges in a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. With a sharp knife, make several incisions on each chicken piece to help marinade penetrate meat. Transfer chicken to a large glass or ceramic baking dish and pour in marinade, turning chicken pieces to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken pieces from marinade. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and drizzle with vegetable oil. Roast, basting occasionally, until juices run clear and meat is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with lime wedges.

Printable Recipe

Spiedies from Binghamton New York

May 3rd, 2016

Spiedies 1

At a recent get together with the Anderson family (The funeral of General Earl E. Anderson), extended family members from Binghamton, New York brought one of their local specialties; Spiedies. My first understanding was “Speedies”.  What?  Fast chicken and pork?  But I quickly got into the program.  I remembered that the Italian word for skewered meat was spiedini.  How this specialty of Italy made its way to Binghamton is still a mystery to me. I did find out that every August Binghamton holds a Spiedie Rally and Balloon Fest.  There are cooking contests held to see who can make the best spiedie sandwich.  Spiedies are actually skewered marinated meat (beef, chicken, lamb or pork), grilled and served with soft Italian bread which is used to pull the meat off of the skewer.  So forgive the above picture with grilled bread.  To make it authentic that bread should be soft and strong enough to pull the meat off of the skewers.  Add hot sauce or the cooked marinade to make it complete.  Everyone in Binghamton understands the concept.

Spiedies 2V

The recipe I used came from The New York Times.  You can find it here.  With grilling season upon us, you will be happy to have such a flavorful meat entree.  I used pork and chicken.  Do not marinate the chicken for more than 12 hours as it breaks down after that time.  The pork can be marinated for up to 36 hours.

Barb's Kitchen 2

Last week I visited an old friend from college.  She has just built the most charming house on several acres near Black Mountain, just a stones’s throw away from Lake Lure.  I feel so fortunate to have her close by.  We were both newly married attending the University of Florida when we met.  We had an instant rapport.  I am happy to say that Barb and I still have that special connection.  We have been having fun together shopping, lunching and laughing.  I love what she has accomplished with this house.  The farm sink, the color of the cabinets, the sliding barn door and the antique elements all combine to make such a welcoming space.

Barb's Kitchen 1

I could be very happy cooking in this kitchen.

Lilac Bush

Happy May Day a few days late.  My lilac bush in front of the guest cottage has bloomed on schedule.  Growing up in Michigan it was a tradition to make paper May baskets, fill them with lilacs and deliver them to friends and neighbors on May 1st.  The smell of lilacs brings back all of those memories.

Chicken Simply Roasted in a Skillet

March 5th, 2016

Simply Roasted Chicken 1

There are many reasons to love the cookbook Heritage by Sean Brock.  But one of the best reasons is this version of roast chicken.  I have roasted many chickens in my lifetime, but this is arguably the one I love the most.  It cooks very quickly.  It is broken down into 2 halves with the back bone removed, seared over high heat then finished in a hot oven.  The pan sauce with garlic and lemon that goes with it just gilds the lily.

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The house smelled of garlic, lemon and crisping chicken skin.  Although there were lots of splatters and heavy pots to contend with, it was well worth the mess.  I have learned over the years that the more you mess up your stove and work space, the better the results on the table.  It might be easier to open cans of already prepared sauces or broths, but the effort to make a dish from scratch is the way we were meant to eat.

Spring Blooms

The flowers of Spring are also reminders of the way things are supposed to be.  Renewal through Spring buds.  We are looking forward to returning to the season in the mountains of North Carolina.  We have a few more weeks in Florida; friends will be visiting next week and then we have to get the house ready for showings.  We are hoping that it will sell this Spring.

Simply Roasted Chicken 2

We really enjoyed this chicken.  Hope that you will give it a try.  Spring is in the air and we are thankful for the change in season.

 

CHICKEN SIMPLY ROASTED IN A SKILLET (Heritage by Sean Brock)

Garlic Confit:
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Chicken:
1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil (or 1/4 cup if you brown the chicken in one pan)

Pan Sauce:
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves cut into very thin strips
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

For the Garlic Confit:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut two 12-inch squares of aluminum foil and lay one pice on top of the other.  Place the garlic cloves on the foil.  Sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and pepper.  Pour the olive oil over the garlic cloves.  Shape the foil into a pouch by bringing the edges of the foil together over the garlic and sealing them.  Flatten the bottom of the pouch so it will stay upright in the oven and place it on a baking sheet.  Roast the garlic for about 30 minutes, until the cloves are very soft but not falling apart.  Set the garlic aside in the pouch.  Leave the oven on.

For the Chicken:  Using kitchen shears, cut down along both sides of the backbone, then clip it out.  Cut the wings off at the first joint.  Split the chicken in half.  Use paper towels to dry the skin.  Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken in a baking dish and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Place two 12-inch cast-iron skillets over high heat.  When the skillets smoke, add 1/4 up of the canola oil to each.  (I fit the chicken into 1 skillet with 1/4 cup oil.)  As soon as the oil smokes, carefully add a half chicken to each skillet, skin side down.  (Or add to one skillet if they both fit).  Weight the chicken halves with another heavy skillet or pan so it stays flat and browns evenly.  Cook the chicken, with the weights on it, until the skin is crispy and evenly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove the weights.

Flip the chicken over, and place the skillet or skillets into the oven.  Roast the chicken for about 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155 degrees F.  Place the chicken on plates to rest while you make the sauce.

For the Pan Sauce:  Combine the roasting juices and fats from both skillets into one;  set aside.  Place the other skillet or a saucepan if you used just one skillet on the stove over medium heat.  Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock into the skillet or saucepan and stir.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook to reduce by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining cup of stock and set aside.

Place the skillet with the roasting juices over medium heat.  Sprinkle the flour evenly over the juices and gently whisk it in until there are no lumps.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with the whisk; do not let the roux get too dark around the edge.  Whisk in the the chicken stock, making sure to fully emulsify it.  Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsley, lemon zest and juice, and 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil from the pouch of garlic and whisk to combine.

To Complete;  Place the garlic and pan sauce over the chicken and enjoy.

Printable Recipe

Double Mustard/Cream Chicken Breasts

January 13th, 2016

Mustard Chicken 2

When something light but still decadent is desired, you can’t do better than a boneless chicken breast smothered with a double mustard cream sauce over baby arugula.  You might call this a juxtaposition of good and bad.  The goodness of lean chicken and vitamin packed baby arugula with the richness of alcohol spiked cream and mustard.

Mustard Chicken 1V

 

While visiting the family over the holidays, my DIL Kristen made a similar dish, sans the alcohol, for dinner one night.  It was amazing watching the children digging into the chicken.  The arugula was also slathered with the sauce and they ate every bit of it.  It is a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables.  We loved it too, so I did a Google search for something similar.  The Pioneer Woman came to the rescue.  Granted her version had a whole cup of brandy in it, as opposed to what Kristen made, but it was really, really good.  I ended up having to substitute Madeira and white wine instead of the brandy.  Inexplicably, the liqueur cabinet here in Florida held no brandy.

Mustard Chicken 3

Be sure to visit Ree’s site for a complete pictorial on how to make this great dish.  It couldn’t be easier.  On its own, this would make a great luncheon dish or a light supper.  Add sides for a more complete dinner.  Hope you give it a try.

The Four Seasons of Pasta

October 7th, 2015

 

Tuscany Countryside

 

Before we left for Italy I was sent an advance proof from the publisher of a new cookbook called The Four Seasons of Pasta by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins.  It was released this week.  Acclaimed food writer Nancy Jenkins (The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook ) teams up with her Master Chef daughter Sara, owner of two NY City restaurants (Porsena and Porchetta), to publish this unique book on pasta.  It focuses on fresh ingredients from the four seasons.  Dressing pasta with fresh ingredients results in dishes that celebrate this humble and readily available product.

Four Seasons of Pasta

When Nancy Jenkins first moved to Tuscany in the early 1970’s, she quickly embraced pasta.  Over the years, she and her daughter, while cooking in their Tuscan farmhouse, have been inspired by this “queen of the table” as described by true Italians.  Because it is Autumn, I decided to concentrate on that section of the cookbook.  It includes combinations like Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seed Maccheroncini, Pasta with Crumbled Sausage, Sage, and Winter Squash and Chestnut Ravioli with Brown Butter, Sage, and Fennel.  I chose to make their Zuppa di Pasta e Ceci (Rich Chicken Soup with Pasta and Chickpeas).  It also includes Tuscan kale, which is a great Fall green.

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For this Autumn recipe, it would be wise to make a rich, flavorful chicken stock.  But if you are short on time, a boxed chicken stock will also work.  The authors recommend dried chickpeas, but frankly, I used a can of chickpeas because time is limited right now.  And I am still suffering from jet lag. They also recommend adding diced chicken to the soup.  I roasted a chicken when we returned home yesterday because I was anxious to be cooking in my own kitchen again.  So the rest of that chicken went into the soup.

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We will be enjoying this soup tonight.  The weather has cooled.  We are glad to be home.  But Italy is an amazing country with inspiring cuisine.  There will be more posts about Italy soon.  I highly recommend this well researched cookbook from two  Italian authorities on all that Italy has to offer.  It was a treat to come home and make this easy authentic dish.

ZUPPA DI PASTA E CECI

6 cups Rich Chicken Stock
1 to 2 bunches fresh greens (I used kale)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon finely diced pancetta or thick, country-style bacon
1 garlic clove, lightly smashed with the flat blade of a knife
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked chickpeas, well drained (I used one can of chickpeas, drained)
1 cup pasta (small shapes are best, I used mini wheels)
1 dried red chili pepper, if desired
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino sardo, or other firm cheese

Bring the chicken stock slowly to a simmer over medium-low heat.

While the stock is heating, prepare the greens, stripping away the tough center stalks where necessary and slivering the leaves.  You will have 7 to 8 cups trimmed and slivered greens.

Combine the oil and pancetta in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat.  Cook until the pancetta fat starts to run and the the little cubes begin to brown and  crisp.  Add the garlic and continue cooking, raising the heat slightly, until the garlic has browned on all sides.  Remove the garlic and set aside.  Add the greens to the pan with the water clinging to their leaves. (You may not be able to get all the greens in at once; let the early ones cook down a bit, then add another handful, and keep doing that until all the greens are in the pan.)  You may wish to add about 1/2 inch of boiling water to the pan to keep the greens from scorching.  Cook the greens until they are thoroughly limp, adding salt and pepper to taste.

By now the stock should be simmering.  Add the greens and pancetta to the stock.  You may add a tablespoon or so of liquid left in the bottom of the greens pan, but don’t add a lot more because it may darken the clear, rich color of the stock.  If your wish, chop the reserved garlic  clove and add it to the stock.  Stir in the chickpeas and pasta, along with as much or as little or the dried red chili as you wish. (Add the diced cooked chicken, if available, at this point.)  Let simmer until the pasta is done, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve immediately, while the soup is hot.  Pass the grated parmigiano at the table.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, 2015.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.