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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

Dijon Chicken

After reading some of my recent recipes searching for typos, I realized I have a lot of dessert recipes on here. Four of my past five recipes are desserts. And four out of five dentists would probably tell me that is no good. So chicken today!

I love mustard, which is good because this is a very mustard recipe! I added a tablespoon or two of whole grain mustard to this because I had the end of a jar in the fridge and as Ina Garten says, whole grain mustard just seems more mustard-y. I think chicken thighs are just perfect for this recipe – the original calls for legs, which just seems all wrong. A longer cooking time with simmering in liquid is built for thighs. Also chicken thighs are seriously cheap.

I know it seems very un-summer to bring back the dutch oven, but the chicken doesn’t cook that long and it is way better than turning on the oven. Also the result is so delicious that you will be totally sold, I promise!

P.S. Sorry about the lack of photos! Raw chicken is not particularly photogenic.

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Chicken Caesar Salad

Finally a use for the salad tongs I bought the Resident Frenchman ages ago. They are clearly too big for our bowl, anyone want to donate a large wooden salad bowl to us?

When I saw this recipe in Fine Cooking this month, I thought it would be perfect for this weather – much lighter than the dense food we’ve been eating all winter. Plus it looked super good. But, this recipe wasn’t just good, it was amazing. It was difficult not to eat all the croutons before they made it into the salad and lick the dressing bowl clean (okay, maybe I did do that). Seriously, I know this recipe looks a little involved, but it is surprisingly simple and the results are delicious. I’ve never made my own croutons before and it was well worth it, they tasted fresh and perfectly crunchy. And the dressing…well, I want to marry this dressing. Mmm…thick, flavorful, perfect.

To speed up the cooking of the chicken in the salad, I pounded the chicken into paillards. Paillards literally means flattened meat in French. They are what you would use in chicken piccata. Paillards are a great – they cook up extremely quickly, which is nice when you are short on time. You can buy them at the grocery store, but they are extremely easy to do on your own, especially when you have a meat mallet and some frustrations to work out. In case my directions and photos are not enlightening, Martha, of course, has a slide show on how to make them. Oh Martha, I love you even though you might run me over if I was in your way.

Pre pounded Post pounded

A few notes: Fine Cooking recommends grating your own cheese. I’m sure that is amazing, but store bought grated is just fine, as long as it is decent quality (i.e. not Kraft). Try to find more coarsely grated cheese to add texture to the salad and dressing. If you do grate your own cheese, use the food processor. Don’t skip the anchovies. They may look gross, but they give the dressing the classic Caesar flavor and don’t add fishiness. Finally, the dressing has a raw egg yolk in it. I buy organic, cage free eggs and we go through them regularly. The Salmonella rate for eggs is extremely small (0.005% to be exact). If you buy quality fresh eggs, a raw yolk will mostly likely not make you ill. If you disagree, then coddle the egg by placing a room temperature egg in its shell in boiling water for 45 seconds to slightly cook it.

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This is the dish that made me fall in love with my food processor. My food processor, incidentally, is a genuine antique. It is a Cuisinart, but it is so old, it doesn’t have any buttons or switches. You have to line up all the contact points to get it to process. I think its from about 1980. (The Resident Frenchman has the mid 80s button version). My mom lugged all 30 pounds of it (the thing is seriously heavy) down to New Orleans for me in her carry on luggage after buying it in a church sale for a dollar. It is a powerful food processor and is far superior to what is available these days. Moral of the story here, unless you are willing to drop a ton of money on a high end food processor, buy a vintage if you can find one. And then make this dish. It is a a great perfect processor dish. Just throw everything in, pulse to combine and that’s it!

The first time I made this, I was really doubtful that it would be good. Frankly, this isn’t the best looking dish out there. Everything combines into a, well, paste? It is sort of like a bizarro pesto. It looks really strange looking. But not everything is going to look Martha Stewart perfect. At least, that is what I keep telling myself.

A final note about the peppers. I used dried Mexican chilies because I usually cannot find jalapenos. I am not a peppers person at all, so I have little knowledge here. Use what spicy chilies you like, as long as you are aware of how spicy they are. This is a dish with a kick, but the peppers shouldn’t be the overwhelming flavor. I recommend removing the seeds if you are unsure of the strength of the peppers. And if things are too spicy, toss in some more cilantro and cashews to balance things out.

P.S. If you are one of those weird people who don’t like the taste of cilantro, I think parsley would work well here.

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Moroccan Chicken Pie

I hate chicken pot pie. I think it usually tastes mushy and, well, really just gross. So when I spotted this recipe, I was initially suspicious. It seemed a little too close to chicken pot pie. But if this is chicken pot pie, then sign me up! I loved it! The spice mix is amazing, the chicken was tender and the phyllo, well, I won’t lie. The phyllo is a pain to work with. So fragile! So flaky! So messy! But in the end, so delicious.

So, I apologize chicken pot pie. Dressed up, you can be quite tasty.

A small warning: I wasn’t kidding about the phyllo. This is a time consuming dish to make and totally should be made on Sunday afternoon when you have some extra time. Cutting, buttering and layering the phyllo is an exercise in patience, especially when you are hungry.

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This is easily the best roasted chicken recipe ever. Ever. Normally, I find roasted chicken to be seriously dry and boring. I’ve tried everything to get a good roast chicken, combining every recipe into a ridiculous amalgam. Once I used rosemary, thyme, white wine, lemons, chicken broth, lemon pepper and it was STILL dry and tasteless. Very disappointing.

But then, I found this recipe in an Epicurious Passover recipe special. Eureka! This is so-not-boring-roasted-chicken and it totally livened up a sad bread-less Passover meal. Like most Epicurious recipes, it seems a bit fussy – anything with saffron seems fussy to me – but since this is a roasted chicken, it is really quite simple.

As an aside, don’t be alarmed the next day if the sauce looks a little neon yellow/green, I think its the tumeric.

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