Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category


Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It’s a white people word that means almost anything.

But it’s really awkward when you don’t have cable, and the final episode of this season’s Food Network Star airs, but isn’t posted on hulu until Thursday.  Did Justin win?!  I have to know.  Spoiler alert: yes.  yes, he did.  Woot Justin!!!

But what did you do with your Sunday night?  I sat in my living room and prepared for a workshop I’m leading this week.  Oh yea!  I also chowed down on this with one of my best friends:

crispy fried chicken plus biscuits

crispy fried chicken plus biscuits

I got to hear all about her recent love interest.  Sometimes, you just need to eat fried chicken and talk about girly things.  Sometimes.  Maybe a lot of times.

Aside from the fact that there was frying involved, this was some pretty easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy fried chicken.  I did a lot of reading about fried chicken, and the ideal starting temperature for the oil is somewhere around 375.  When you put the chicken in the oil, the temperature is going to drop.  You have to watch out for this.

All of that said, I kind of maybe don’t have a frying thermometer.  Whoops.  But that’s ok.  It just means you have to take it slow and pay attention.  I started by heating the oil on medium, then dropping in a small piece of chicken.  When the chicken was cooked, the breading was too light.  And then I overcompensated for that, so the next piece of chicken was undercooked when the breading was golden brown.  The third piece of chicken was… what can I say… just right.

a well balanced meal, for sure

a well balanced meal, for sure

So here’s how it goes…

Fried Chicken:

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the eggs and the milk together.  Season the chicken thoroughly.  Coat the chicken in the flour.  Then dip in the egg/milk mixture.  Dip in the flour again.  Then fry that bad boy up.

Basic but Brand New

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Hey, it’s Valerie again after a long absence.  Jenny, I hope you don’t mind this surprise post.

I wasn’t in the mood tonight for any of my tried-and-true recipes.  But I also wasn’t in the mood to buy expensive ingredients or make anything too involved.  Which means it was the perfect time to look through my 1970′s Betty Crocker cookbook.  I found a recipe called “Tomato-Pepper Chicken” which was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to make.

Chicken ready to simmer in tomato sauce

Chicken ready to simmer in tomato sauce

Basically, you bread the chicken, brown it in shortening (so 70′s!),  cook up the peppers and onions, add tomatoes, mushrooms, and tomato sauce, then simmer the chicken until it’s cooked.  It turned out great, but here are some changes I’ll make next time.  1) Use less shortening. Maybe even replace it with olive oil. 2) Use chicken thigh fillets instead of leg pieces to cut down on the fat from the skin, and to make it easier to eat.

Dinner is served! Mixed greens and fresh mozzarella on the side.

Dinner is served! Mixed greens and fresh mozzarella on the side.

While I was making this and while I ate it, I listened to Ella Fitzgerald on Spotify.  It was a pretty perfect night!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Remember that time I made taquitos?  Oh, well I did.

Taquitos and other stuff

Taquitos and other stuff

I made them for new years.  It was pretty awesome.  But… I changed them up a bit, I did.  I took the ideas behind some of my other recipes, and made them ten times more awesome.  I made them more like that pasta I made once.

Sneaky Vegetables Pasta

Sneaky Vegetables Pasta

And a little more like that soup I made on Halloween.

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

And even more like those empanadas.  Remember the empanadas?  Mm… empanadas.



So how’d I do it?

I took the zucchini, shredded in my Lola, and dumped it in with the chicken.  It went something like this:

  • 1 cup chicken, shredded
  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 small can enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups cheese
  • ~25 corn tortillas

Cook the zucchini and onion in a bit of olive oil until onion is translucent.  Mix with chicken, enchilada sauce, and cheese.  Set aside.

Fry corn tortillas briefly on each side.  Just enough to make tender.  Place on paper towel lined plate to cool enough to work with.  As tortillas cool, place a smidgen of the filling in them.  Roll those babies up.  Then place in a greased baking dish.  When you’re finished rolling, bake the taquitos at 350 until crispy and golden brown.

Gobble ’til you wobble

Friday, November 26th, 2010

You know I did.  There are going to be a lot of posts about individual dishes that happened this year.  All in all, the meal was a success.  But let’s start with the turkey.

This baby was 12.7 lbs. of tasty goodness.  I’ve heard a lot about how to cook it, some advice more helpful than others.  The most interesting was about how you can flip the bird upside down so that the juices drip down into the “pretty breast skin”.  That phrase was literally used.  In my office.  By a man.  I felt so uncomfortable.

Upside down is the way to go!

Upside down is the way to go!

I mentioned this to my mother.  Leaving out the word “pretty”, to be sure.  And I might have just called it “white meat” instead of using words that typically make boys in grade school giggle uncontrollably.  My mom had heard something similar, but what she had read suggested that you flip it right side up for the last hour so that it still looks nice in the end.  We did this with amazing success.

Look at my beautiful turkey!

Look at my beautiful turkey!

Cooked for 5ish hours at 300 in a convection oven.  Stuffed with my cornbread stuffing.  Topped with gravy.  So let’s talk about these two.

The stuffing went like this:

  • 1 recipe of cornbread (12 corn muffins), recipe to follow
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 lb. sage sausage
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Saute the veggies with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from pan and transfer to large bowl (really large, trust me).  Now use the same pan to cook the sausage.  Brown that beautiful sausage.  Meanwhile, crumble the cornbread into the veggies.  Add the sausage to the cornbread/veg mixture.  Add eggs and chicken broth.  Don’t be a wimp.  Mix with your hands.  Then stuff it into that beautiful bird you’ve got waiting for you.

Now for the gravy:

  • 2 Tablespoons of the turkey drippings
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, mix the drippings and the flour until smooth.  Whisk in the broth.  Add the seasoning.  Stir carefully until the gravy thickens.

So what about that cornbread?

I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from her grandmother.  I cannot claim it, nor can I tell you its original source.

  • 1 cup flour (if you wanted to go gluten free or just a heartier cornbread, you can replace this with cornmeal)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (we like sweet cornbread, but feel free to skimp, if you’d rather)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk

Mix the dry with the wet, then pour into a greased baking dish (or muffin tins).  Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

So let’s talk about stuffing vs. dressing.  Dressing being the stuff that doesn’t get stuffed, while stuffing is, by very definition, stuffed in something.  So this is my first year with real, actual stuffing.  It’s no joke.  Stuff that bird.  There’s no reason not to.  And every reason to.  The stuffing gets all that yummy bird fat flavor throughout.  I had no idea what I was missing.

Bringin Home the Bacon

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Let’s face it, when you’re bringin’ home the bacon, weeknight cooking isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  I can hear stay at home moms everywhere saying that it’s not easy regardless, but I’m not them, so I can’t say for sure.  But for me… an 8 hour day wears me out.  I don’t have the time or energy to put into making a real meal on a weeknight.  … but when you think about food as much as I do, good meals can’t always wait for the weekend.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s dreaming up grilled chicken with mango salsa?  Two things.  1) Talk your roommate into grilling the chicken.  Working inside and outside all at once is just not worth it.  Get some help!  2) Also, buy the mango canned.

The first is pretty self-explanatory.  If you don’t get it, I’m not explaining.

The second is a really important lesson.  Canned mango makes mango a feasible option for weeknights as it cuts out all the nasty pealing and pitting you have to do with fresh mango.  No, it does not taste as good.  How could it?  But it tastes delicious.  Trust me.

I like to put it on quesadillas, in salsas, etc.  See?

Photo by Nathan Clendenin

Photo by Nathan Clendenin

I promise you.  This meal couldn’t be easier.  Or more impressive if you were, say, trying to impress a boy you had over for dinner.  Hypothetically speaking.

The chicken was thrown into some store-bought marinade.  Then grilled half an hour later by the same Nathan Clendenin.  The beans?  Opened can, dumped in bowl, microwaved until warm.  The guacamole and mango salsa were essentially the same with a different base.  Avocados + red onion + jalepeno + cilantro + lime.  Mango + red onion + jalepeno + cilantro + lime.  Rice… dumped in rice cooker with chicken broth.  Delicious!