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Poached Chicken Breasts

 

Poached Chicken Breasts

Poaching, I feel, is a very under-rated way to cook chicken.  It is an easy, no fuss method, and it leaves you with a moist breast that is especially great in chicken salad.

Another bonus to poaching is that you are left with a nice flavored quick broth that can be used in place of store-bought chicken broth.

I will be using poached chicken for Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups later today, so thought it might be helpful to post a little “how to” method to start this process.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone in chicken breasts, completely thawed
  • 1/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 carrot, cut in half or 6 whole baby carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in half
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Equipment Needed:

  • Pot that will hold chicken and enough water to cover breasts by 1 inch
  • Tight fitting lid

Directions:

  1. Place thawed chicken breasts in bottom of pot.  Add enough water to cover chicken breasts by 1 inch.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring water to a heavy simmer over medium-high heat for 8 minutes.  During this time you can skim the broth if you plan to use it for something later.
  4. Turn off heat and cover with tight-fitting lid.  Let sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked to 165F using an instant-read thermometer.
 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2013 in How-to's, Uncategorized

 

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Red Curry Paste (Freezer-Friendly)

Red Curry Paste

I have yet to find a pre-made curry paste that I like as much as this recipe.   It makes a large batch and can be frozen, so putting in the 10 extra minutes to put this together is worth it in the end.  I use this in panang curry, spicy peanut noodles, Thai coconut curry soup, and basically anything that I want to have a kick of spice with a nice complexity of flavors.

Yield: 2 cups                                       Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 30 dried chiles
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup white onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (bottom 2 inches only)
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup peanut oil, divided
  • 2 bunches cilantro, stems only finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Toast dried chiles, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns for 2 minutes over medium heat until fragrant.  Grind in batches in a spice grinder to make a fine powder.  Stir in paprika.
  2. Place the ginger, garlic, onion, lemongrass, and 1/4 cup of peanut oil in food processor to make a paste.
  3. Add the spice powder, salt, fish sauce, and lemon juice and blend until combined.
  4. Stir in remaining peanut oil and cilantro stems.

To Freeze: Place tablespoon amounts on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and place in freezer until solid.  Transfer to a freezer bag.  Use as needed.  Paste can be frozen for 6 months.

 
 

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No-Waste Chicken Stock

DSCN2181

I love homemade stocks.  They add much more flavor than any store-bought stock could ever offer and although they are time-consuming to make, they are not hard.  I consider homemade stock to be my “secret ingredient” at holiday time.  It’s freezer-friendly and one batch of stock can last a long time.  If you are laying around on a Sunday, make some stock.  You won’t regret it.

One thing that’s always bothered me about making chicken stock is that after the chicken has been simmering for several hours it really can’t be used in anything as it is very rubbery.  But guess what?  Your cat or dog won’t care.  In fact, they will love you for it and you can save yourself about a week’s worth of pet food!

The last great thing about chicken stock is that you can use whatever chicken parts are on sale and it will still turn out great.  This week chicken drummies were on sale, but I could have easily substituted wings or legs.  You really need to use something that’s very bony as this is where most of the flavor of your stock will be derived.  So enjoy my recipe for liquid gold!


Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds chicken parts (wings, drummies, legs)
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black peppercorns, whole
  • 10 parsley stems
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions for stock:

  1. Roast chicken at 475F for 1 hour, turning once.
  2. Remove chicken from roasting pan and place in stockpot.
  3. Add onions, carrots, and celery to roasting pan and cook for ~30 minutes, turning once.
  4. Add vegetables to stockpot.  Deglaze pan with 2 cups water.  Add to stockpot with 8 more cups water.
  5. Add 1 tsp. salt, parsley stems, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  6. Simmer slowly for 3 hours.
  7. Remove from heat and strain.  Pour strained mixture into large shallow container and cool uncovered in refrigerator.  Skim fat before using.

Stock will freeze for 6 months.


Directions for pet food:

  1. Allow chicken and vegetables to cool before handling.
  2. Remove all chicken bones from mixture.
  3. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for a purr-fect treat!DSCN2184
 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2013 in How-to's, Made from Scratch, Uncategorized

 

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Poached Egg

Poached Egg

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Crack egg and place in 1/4 cup vinegar for 5 minutes to firm up the egg white.
  2. Bring pot of water to a rolling simmer.  Whisk water to form a vortex and pour egg into the middle of vortex.  Continue stirring around edges for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove egg gently with a slotted spoon and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller

 
 

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Honey Butter

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients
  2. Spray a piece of plastic wrap lightly with Pam.  Place butter on plastic wrap and roll into a log shape.
  3. Refrigerate until firm.  Cut into slices as needed.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2012 in How-to's, Made from Scratch, Uncategorized

 

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Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs

Tools:

  • Large pot with lid
  • Bowl filled with ice water

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in a single layer in pot.  Add enough water to cover above eggs at least an inch.  Bring to a boil quickly over high heat.
  2. Turn heat off, remove pan from burner, and cover for 15 minutes.
  3. Immediately transfer eggs to ice water bath and let stand for 15 minutes.

Tips:

– Eggs that are a week old are easier to peel than fresh eggs.
– A cold water bath prevents the green ring from forming between the yolk and white.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in How-to's

 

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Homemade Curry Powder

Homemade Curry Powder

Ingredients:

  • 2 dried chile d’arbol, stems removed*
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric

Directions:

  1. Toast chiles, coriander, fennel, and cumin over medium heat in dry heavy skillet until fragrant, ~2-3 minutes.
  2. Transfer to spice grinder with white pepper and turmeric.  Grind to a fine powder.

Store in airtight container.

Notes:

* Chile d’arbol can be found in the hispanic section of the supermarket.  If you can’t find them, any dried red chili will work.

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 16, 2012 in How-to's, Uncategorized

 

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