Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

4th of July Special: Red, White & Blueberry Grilled Chicken!

These colors don’t run, but they do stain, so I recommend eating this delicious, red, white and blueberry chicken outdoors, preferably at some type of 4th of July barbecue. While the Independence Day wordplay was very much intentional, this grilled chicken is no gimmick.

Smoky, spicy meats have been paired with sweet-and-sour, fruit-based sauces since we’ve had cooks, so that this combo works beautifully is no big surprise. And yes, other juicy fruit like peaches, or other berries will work nicely.

Like I said in the video, I made my spice rub extra hot, so I could really take advantage of the cooling effects of the sweetness in the sauce. Sweet cancels out heat on your palette, so you can kind of push things a bit if you want. The measurements below are what I used, but you should, and must adjust. 

As far as chicken doneness goes, I recommend checking with a thermometer. If you cook a lot of chicken, it’s fairly easy to tell by feel, but why take a chance? I usually go to 150 F, which left to rest for a minute, should be safe, and very juicy. So, if you’re looking for a very tasty, slightly unusual, appropriately named chicken recipe, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground dry chipotle
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 cloves minced garlic

For the blueberry gastrique:
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
*splash of water as needed to adjust thickness (after the blueberries start cooking)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*If you make the sauce ahead, your sauce will thicken, and you will probably need to thin it out with some water. When tasting for seasoning, remember this is going to go on highly seasoned meat.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Turkish Chicken Kebabs – Expect More

I’d like to think that all the chicken coming off American grills this summer will be as tasty, juicy, and tender, as these Turkish chicken kebabs, but I know better. This has nothing to do with cooking skills, or quality of grills, but rather the unremarkable residue of low expectations.

People simply don’t expect much from their grilled chicken, and that’s exactly what they get. They use too little seasoning, and way too much time on the grill, followed by the inevitable barbecue sauce cover-up. Sure, the chicken was dry, but at least we couldn’t taste it.

It doesn’t have to be this way. By using a flavorful, yogurt-based marinade, like the one seen herein, even inexperienced grillers can produce impressive results. The acid and calcium in the yogurt tenderizes the meat, and unless it’s horribly over-cooked, you’ll be enjoying the kind of succulent chicken you didn’t even realize was possible.

Like I mentioned in the video, I’m not sure how "Turkish" this is. It’s loosely based on a lamb marinade I’ve used for a long time, but it really worked beautifully on these thighs. I really hope you give this easy, and very adaptable recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large portions:
1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 or 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp ketchup
6 finely minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Aleppo red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 long metal skewers
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Spicy Caramel Chicken and a History Lesson

I’ve wanted to film an updated version of this caramel chicken for many years. It was one of the first videos I ever posted, and its unexpected popularity made me realize that there were actually people (non-relatives) watching these videos.

The original vision for Food Wishes was an online cooking school, where I’d charge tuition for a series of courses that would mimic the culinary school I’d just left. I started filming a few recipes each week, knowing full well that only a handful of people would see them, but I had to learn my new craft.

Caramel Chicken, Circa 2007
As the library grew, so did the audience, and I realized that instead of charging for the content, I could give it away for free, and maybe survive on the ad revenue that YouTube was just starting to offer. Above and beyond that, I was getting emails and comments, telling me that what I was doing was making them happy.

This wasn’t something I’d anticipated, and while at the time I would have preferred money, it was great to hear, and inspired me to push on. The rest, as they say, is history, and every time I got an email asking for an updated version of this recipe, I would fondly remember how all this came to be.

So, whether you were here from the very beginning, or you’re brand new, and will be trying caramel chicken for the very first time, I really hope you give this fast, easy, delicious, and historically significant recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 4 large portions:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in about 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup sliced, seeded jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup sliced, seeded mild red chilies, or bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 cups cooked white rice

For the sauce mixture:
2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
4 cloves finely minced garlic
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Peanut Curry Chicken – Check Please!

There’s a show called “Check, Please! Bay Area,” which features three locals who try each other’s favorite restaurants, and then compare notes with host, Leslie Sbrocco. We get lots of great ideas for places to try, and every once in a while I hear about a dish that I really want to make, and this peanut curry chicken is the latest example. The restaurant was called Old Skool Café, and the dish was “Abu’s West African Peanut Butter Stew.” 

I was working while it was on, and not paying full attention, but I remember thinking that it sounded like something I’d like to try soon. That was a year ago. 

Last week, Michele and I ended up going there, and I finally had my chance to order the stew, and reverse engineer the recipe for a video. Except, I didn’t order it. I have this mental defect where have to I order fried chicken every time it’s on a menu. Michele was no help, since she has the same affliction with shrimp and grits. 

Anyway, someone ordered it at the table next to us, and I overheard them discussing it, which provided plenty of inspiration for this version. I decided to not follow any specific recipe, but instead do a simple composite of every peanut curry I’ve ever come across. 

Unlike Abu’s stew, and many others, I didn’t use coconut milk, as I feel that’s a little too sweet and rich for the peanut butter. I loved how this came out, and I can’t imagine it being any richer. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large portions:

For the spice blend:
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
                                                                                  
2 1/2 pounds chicken boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ketchup 
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I recommend using an all-natural style that doesn’t contain sugar. If you use the regular stuff, you won’t need the brown sugar called for below). 
1 packed tablespoon brown sugar 
about 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, depending on desired thickness 
1 pound zucchini, cut into chunks 
1 red bell pepper, cubed 
1 green poblano pepper, diced 
1/2 cup roasted peanuts 
chopped cilantro and fresh lime to garnish 
serve on rice
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts – Less Time, More Skin = Better Breasts

Cooking up a few chicken breasts should be a fast, easy, and delicious experience, but for many people it’s actually a slow, hard, and disappointing one. There are several reasons for this, and hopefully this demo for how to pan-roast chicken will eliminate them.

The most important factor is doneness. By “pan-roasting,” you can easily monitor the internal temp, and as I recommend in the video, start the pan sauce when the meat reaches about 150 F. By the time your sauce is done, and the chicken is covered in its hot, buttery goodness, it should have reached 155-160 F., which is what I shoot for.

At this temp, the chicken will be perfectly safe, while remaining moist and tender. I know many recipes, and reference sites, call for longer cooking times, and internal temps of 165-175 F., but that’s just crazy. Unless, you want tough, dry meat; in which case, that works wonderfully.

Also, I think it’s very important we leave the skin on. Not only does this add a lot of flavor, but also much-needed moisture. Even if you’ve been brain-washed into thinking the skin is “bad” for you, which it isn’t, you can peel it off before you eat it, but I recommend leaving it on during the cooking process.

And yes, we’d be getting even more flavor and moisture if we just left the breasts on the bone, but the whole point is for this to be fast to make, and effortless to eat. Otherwise, we might as well roast a whole chicken.

If you’re not into creating your own boneless, skin-on breasts, like we did in the video, you can have the butcher at the market do this for you. You’ll have to go to a larger store where they cut up their own chicken parts, and tell them exactly what you want, but they’ll hook you up at no extra charge. I really hope you give this easy, and very effective technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 boneless, but skin-on chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup *vinegar
4 tbsp cold butter, cut in smaller pieces
a splash of chicken broth or water, if needed to thin sauce

*I used apple cider here, but literally any vinegar will work. Some of my favorites are sherry, balsamic, rice, and champagne vinegar.
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Friday, September 9, 2016

New & Improved Chicken Parmesan – This is No April Fools Joke!

On those rare occasions I find myself dining in one of America’s casual restaurant chains, chicken parm is one of my go-to meals. I love chicken parm, especially when it’s made with fresh mozzarella, which it almost never is. 

It usually features the same bland, rubbery stuff you find on cheap pizza, and even though I know this going in, I’ll order it anyway.That’s how much I love chicken parm. Of course, at home we can use the real stuff, which is much more flavorful, and significantly less rubbery, but it can be pricey, and not everyone has access, so I decided to try something new. Instead of mozzarella, I made a cheese spread using ricotta, fortified with sharp cheddar.

The creamy ricotta made a great base into which you could add any melting cheese. I really enjoyed the cheddar, but I’d like to try this with other options, such as provolone, fontina, or even gruyere. And of course, if you prefer the tender meat of baby cows, this technique will work just the same with veal.

So, if you love chicken parm as much as I do, but aren’t crazy about the typical bland-but-bouncy mozzeralla topping, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Also, this is my last video, as I’m retiring at the end of the day. Thanks for everything, and as always, enjoy!


For 2 portions New & Improved Chicken Parmesan:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
olive oil for frying

For the cheese spread:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano for the top

- Serve with hot marinara sauce, and chopped Italian parsley.
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