This is a good recipe for a one pot meal, and for all my gluten-free friends out there, it’s a gluten free recipe. Check it out!
Monthly Archives: March 2012
Hectic schedules, homework, late work days, you name it and it has a way of interfering with life in general, including cooking dinner. We ended up having leftovers the last 2 nights because of crazy schedules, doctor’s appointments and everyday life, but today I am going to get back in the kitchen and I am going to make some fried chicken.
I don’t make fried chicken too often, and when I do I usually oven fry it to cut down on the mess and all the oil needed, but tonight I think I am going to really fry it. I could use the deep fryer, but I am going to do it on the stove this time, and I am going to try a different recipe tonight, one I got from America’s Test Kitchen.
1 quart buttermilk
3 tablespoons salt
4 pounds bone in chicken pieces (halved split breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks)
5 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 to 6 cups vegetable oil
Whisk 3 1/4 cups of the buttermilk and the salt together in a large bowl until the salt dissolves. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (Don’t let the chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty).
Whisk the flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak and then coat thoroughly with the flour mixture and lay it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour 1 inch of the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add half of the chicken, skin-side down. Cover and cook until deep golden brown on the first side, about 10 minutes (After the first 4 minutes, re-arrange the pieces if some are browning faster than others).
Turn the chicken pieces over. Continue to fry, uncovered and maintaining an oil temperature of 315 degrees, until the chicken pieces are a deep golden on the second side, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain for 5 minutes, then lay on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Add additional oil to the pot as needed to maintain a depth of 1 inch and return it to 375 degrees before frying the remaining chicken.
With the fried chicken, I am going to serve mashed potatoes and gravy. I have made mashed potatoes many times in the meal plan, and if you would like to see the method I use for the potatoes, you can check an earlier blog posting here. You definitely need to have some gravy with this one as well. I have posted a quick chicken gravy recipe before, but since I don’t have any pan drippings to use, I am going to use the all purpose gravy recipe that I have used in the past.
All Purpose Gravy
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
1 onion, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
5 whole black peppercorns
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until softened and well browned, about 9 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broths and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20-25 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.
Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer (or gravy separator) into a clean saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
I’ll be serving all this with some simple steamed green beans. It’s just a pound of green beans (stem ends trimmed) in a steaming rack in a large pot of boiling water just touching the rack. I cover and steam the green beans for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the beans are crisp-tender.
If there are any leftovers, there’s nothing like some cold fried chicken with some potato salad for a nice lunch or dinner the next day. Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ll be having fish. I picked up some tilapia this morning so we’ll be having a nice simple baked tilapia with some brown rice and asparagus tomorrow. Check out the blog tomorrow so you can see how it goes. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!
It’s been a typical Monday, so I am glad I was cooking with the slow cooker today. Today I am using a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for Chicken and Dumplings. I’ve made this before on the stove top, but I decided to use the slow cooker method today.
Chicken and Dumplings
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, minced
2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus extra if needed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
For the Dumplings:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
Dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the chicken lightly on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon more of the oil and the remaining chicken; transfer to a bowl.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, garlic, tomato paste and thyme, and cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in 1 cup of broth, smoothing out any lumps; transfer to the slow cooker.
Stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth, carrots and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Nestle browned chicken with any accumulated juices into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low setting.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then shred into bite size pieces. Let the stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from the surface using a large spoon. Discard the bay leaves. Stir the shredded chicken, peas and parsley into the stew, and season with salt and pepper to taste (Adjust the stew consistency with additional broth if necessary). Cover and cook on high until simmering, or transfer to a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
For the dumplings, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Microwave the milk and butter together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt the butter. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just incorporated and smooth. Drop golf ball size dumplings on top of the simmering stew, leaving about 1/4 inch between each dumpling (you should have about 18 dumplings). Cover and cook until the dumplings double in size, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve.
It’s a delicious meal. The dumplings come out just right and the chicken just falls apart and tastes wonderful. Here’s a picture of how it looks when it’s done:
Tomorrow night’s meal will be the Spaghetti and Meatballs that I never got to last week. Work schedules and homework just got in the way last week, but this week we shouldn’t have any problems (fingers crossed). I have made spaghetti and meatballs before, and if you want to see the previous recipe, you can check it out here. I think I am going to try to vary it a little bit this time. Check back tomorrow and see how it looks. Until then, enjoy the last day of winter (it was 74 here in New York today) and enjoy your meal!
This is a great lunch option posted on rantingchef.com, another great cooking blog that I follow. He always has some great ideas and I really liked this lunch choice. Check it out!
Cooking is always interesting when you have friends or relatives staying at your house. Some people are minimalist (“let’s just order pizza”) and some go all out. I think I fall in between. For dinner, and even breakfast, I want to do something that is a just a bit impressive. I like to cook and this gives me an opportunity to provide hospitality to my guest in other ways I cannot. Diablo shrimp, roasted vegetables and mushroom risotto? Not a problem. Made to order omelets with a cheesy hash brown bake? Coming right up. Lunch? Um….who wants a hot dog?
Have I mentioned how my lunch menu options are not nearly as vast as my dinner ones? Adding a filter of low carb removes some of my favorite lunch standbys (chicken quesadilla, english muffin pizzas, meatball subs). So when I can find any variation on a common lunch item, I am happy…
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For the last meal of the week, we turn to our seafood meal. I decided to try something a little different this week; it’s always risky to be different with a seafood meal when cooking for a pre-teen, but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. Sean likes shrimp, but he’s never had artichokes and is not a big fan of olives, so we’ll have to see how this one goes. Tonight I am making Artichokes with Potatoes, Garlic, Olives and Shrimp. It’s a hearty, one pot meal, something we have made a lot of lately, but it struck me as something that looked good to try. If you can’t find fresh artichokes, you can use artichokes hearts instead.
Artichokes with Potatoes, Garlic, Olives and Shrimp
1 to 1/2 pounds fresh artichokes
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut, if necessary, into 1-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine, stock, or water
1 cup small black olives, pitted
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Prepare the artichokes by trimming the stem, cutting off the pointed tips, removing the tough leaves and cutting in half; remove the choke if necessary. As each is finished, drop it into a bowl of cold water with about 10 percent vinegar or lemon juice.
Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet, along with the potatoes. Cook until they’re glossy and beginning to soften; do not brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the thyme and the liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and adjust the heat so the mixture just simmers. Cook just until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes, then uncover and raise the heat again. Stir in the remaining olive oil, olives, shrimp and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish with the parsley and serve hot or warm.
If you have never prepared whole artichokes before, it can be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy. It’s really just a matter of getting rid any spiky tips and outer leaves and removing the furry, needlelike choke. You can steam the artichokes whole and eat the leaves one by one, scraping off the meat of each leaf using your front teeth. The closer you get to the center, the more tender the leaves, and the soft, inner leaves can be eaten whole. Just make sure to spoon out the choke before you eat the heart. Fresh tastes a lot better than canned or jarred, in my opinion, but if you are using the artichokes in a recipe, you can get away with using canned or jarred artichoke hearts.
Tomorrow is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day, and I have a great feast scheduled to cook. I’ll be posting my recipes for Corned Beef and Cabbage (I’ll be cooking it two ways),Boiled Potatoes, Colcannon, Grasshopper Pie, and of course, some Irish Coffee and Black and Tans. Check in tomorrow to check out the feast. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!