She says: A while back, I posted a recipe for Chicken Adobo. We’re going to use a similar technique here.
Simply brown the chicken, skin side down, rendering as much of the fat as possible. Add some aromatics. Braise it all in a liquid (water or chicken broth — your choice). Then, finish the sauce. If you can make Chicken Adobo, you can make this — and vice versa!
For this recipe, I have a problem with the sauce breaking. To keep things together and help the sauce to cling to the chicken, I use a tiny amount of xanthan gum. I prefer xanthan in this particular recipe because it adds no taste, can be used at any temperature, and doesn’t dull the flavors or cloud the sauce. It acts as a binding agent and emulsifier. A little goes a long way. 1/4 teaspoon is all you need — any more than that and the dish will start to take on a weird mouthfeel. If you can’t find xanthan or don’t want to use it, that’s fine too! A quick cornstarch slurry should do the trick.
He says: Hung[a]ry? Rock the Paprikash-bah!
Nothing says that you HAVE to serve this entrée on an ornate platter emblazoned with arcane medieval Eastern European runes etched to ward off evil bland-food spirits (as pictured here)*, but on the other hand, do you really want to risk NOT serving it that way?
* OK, I’ve been informed by Ms. Legume that this platter has no actual magical powers, but is instead a popular Wendell August pattern. I countered that Wendell August might actually be a benevolent centuries-old wizard like Gandalf, but I was further informed by Ms. Legume that I should dial back the crazy talk before she’s forced to throw the net over me again.
- 8 Bone-in chicken thighs, about 3 pounds
- 2 large onions, sliced into half-moons (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup Hungarian paprika
- 1 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch or 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- chopped parsley, for garnish
- Place chicken skin side down into a 12-inch non-stick skillet. Cook over medium low heat until skin is golden brown and fat has rendered, about 15 minutes.
- Move chicken to plate. Drain off all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of fat.
- Increase the heat to medium. Toss the onions into the skillet and cook until they begin to soften and brown on the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Add paprika to the onions and cook just until it starts to become fragrant.
- Stir in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Nestle the chicken pieces into the skillet, skin side up. Tuck in the bay leaves. Cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Move chicken to serving platter, leaving onions and liquid in the skillet. Cover the chicken with foil to keep warm.
- If you're using cornstarch, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Mix well, then add to the sauce remaining in the skillet, stir until thickened. If you're using xanthan gum instead of cornstarch, simply sprinkle it lightly over top of the sauce, stir until thickened.
- Take the skillet off the heat. Whisk in sour cream until combined.
- Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle some parsley over top, and serve.
Feel free to use water instead of chicken broth in this recipe. We're using bone-in chicken, so it makes a sort of chicken stock as it's braising.
Quick fix: If you have leftover chicken sitting around in the fridge, chop it into chunks -- or even shred it. Instead of chicken fat (unless you have some in the freezer, too!), use butter or cooking oil to cook the onions and simply follow the rest of the recipe as-is. Serve over noodles!
If you’ve had traditional barbacoa, this is not that. Traditional barbacoa is cooked in leaf-covered pits. I have neither a cooking pit (yet) nor access to leaves from [somewhat] far away lands. The truth is, I’ve never even eaten traditional barbacoa. All the same, here’s my version for those of us who remain pit-less. We use a pressure cooker here. However, it can also be braised on the stovetop in a Dutch oven. A slow cooker may also be used.
While the recipe calls for a chuck roast, I’ve also used cuts such sirloin tip — or even bottom round if it’s on sale. Or… how ’bout some venison barbacoa? Whoa.
This can be served various ways: Inside a burrito or taco. On top of a warmed corn tortilla, tostada, or fresh tortilla chips (my preferred delivery system). On a salad. On its own with a side of beans and rice. Or mixed in with rice as a sort of quick, Latin biryani. Gasp!!
- 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 pounds beef chuck roast
- 1 recipe Red Chile-Chipotle-Sauce (makes about 5 cups)
- 1 bay leaf
- Sour Cream
- Lime wedges
- Corn Tortillas
- Heat oil in 12" skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat.
- Add roast and brown on all sides.
- If using a Dutch oven: Add 3 cups of Red Chile-Chipotle Sauce and bay leaf to beef to Dutch oven. Cover and simmer about 4 hours, until tender.
- If using a pressure cooker: Place beef in pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of Red Chile-Chipotle Sauce and bay leaf. Set to high pressure cook for 90 minutes, using a quick release.
- When the beef is finished cooking, transfer to a large bowl and shred using two forks. Mix in remaining Red Chile-Chipotle Sauce, to taste.
- Serve with sour cream, guacamole, lime, and warmed corn tortillas.
Some folks wonder how we get so much chicken stock. The quick answer: I make it. It’s cheaper and better than anything you can find in a can or box. While homemade chicken stock is great for recipes, it also makes for a terrific hot beverage. I’ve even taken a thermos of it to work on occasion.
The longer answer is that it all starts with Sunday dinner, which is often roasted chicken. I roast two. We eat one for dinner. The other is used in other recipes and even lunches for the week. Stock is made from the remaining bones, scraps, drippings, and any leftover veggie scraps (typically carrot, celery, and onion ends along with any parsley that no longer looks pretty and fresh). The following recipe outlines quantities for fresh vegetables, but I usually have enough scraps accumulated in the freezer to be used in stocks.
Continue reading Chicken Stock
I love these more than can be described in words. Everything about them is magic: the intoxicating scents of smoked tea and star anise that meander through the entire house, the beautiful marbling, even the shells are gorgeous. And this is all before they’re ready to eat. It is an almost torturous wait…
This recipe uses Lapsang Souchong tea which is smoked. It is phenomenal. I refer to it as the single malt scotch of teas. If you don’t have it on hand or can’t find it, use any black tea. The eggs will still be delicious. Even tea bags will work — use 4.
Chinese Tea Eggs (Cha Ye Dan)
- 12 large eggs
- 4 1/2 cups of water -- enough to cover eggs
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Lapsang Souchong tea leaves (8 grams)
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken roughly into pieces
- 3 star anise
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Using a medium saucepan, add eggs and water -- just enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes.Remove from heat.
- Remove eggs from water, leaving the cooking water in the saucepan.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the water that remains in the saucepan.
- Crack eggs gently with the back of a spoon or dull edge of a knife. Don't crack them so much that the shell falls off, but crack them enough to allow the liquid to seep through. It takes a little practice. If the shell does fall off in places, the marbling might be disrupted but they will still taste amazing!
- Place the eggs back into the pot with the now-seasoned water. Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour.
- Remove from heat and allow eggs to steep overnight.
- After their overnight soak, remove the eggs from liquid.
- Serve with additional soy sauce, if desired.
Near my husband’s workplace is a little place called Pita Land. It’s located in Brookline and is my primary source for beans and lentils (among other things) when making recipes such as ful medames and this lentil soup.
It’s simple, nutritious, and packed with flavor. Make a batch for weekday lunches. Or, serve for dinner as a comforting end to a hectic day.
Continue reading Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
I almost never buy prepared dressings and marinades. Good Seasons dressing mix, however, is one of my compromises. It’s basically spices and other dried bits — and a small amount of “natural” maltodextrin and Xanthan both of which confuse me in this context. They are unnecessary thickeners/emulsifiers. A better solution would be to alter the vinegar:oil ratio. But we all need a bit of convenience from time to time. And, this bit of convenience tastes good and does a good job of marinating chicken — a trick I learned from my dad decades ago.
The marinade is fairly acidic, which will toughen meat if left to marinate for extended (overnight) periods. So, a quick 30-60 minute soak is all that’s needed.
Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken and Vegetables
This is so easy, it's more of an idea than actual recipe. Grill a double batch and use the leftovers for lunch and to top salads. I often use this when making Cobb Salad.
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds
- 1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing
- 1/4 cup vinegar, for dressing
- 1/2 cup oil, for dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 8 oz baby portobello mushrooms
- salt, to taste
- Pierce chicken breasts with a fork and pound to even thickness.
- Prepare one package of Good Seasons dressing according to directions on box.
- Coat chicken pieces in dressing. Allow to marinade 30 minutes or up to an hour.
- Toss the tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil and salt.
- Grill chicken along with cherry tomatoes and baby portobellos.
My son recently spent a few weeks in San Marcos visiting family. During his time there, he was led to Churchill’s Pub and Grille where he ordered tikka masala. A few days after returning home, he was feeling a bit of fernweh. So, I decided to make a batch of tikka masala for him. Continue reading Tikka Masala
You probably can’t live in Southwestern Pennsylvania without having a recipe for cabbage rolls. I’m not entirely certain, but it might be a requirement for citizenship.
This is my mom’s recipe for cabbage rolls. It makes enough to feed a small army – which happens to be the quantity in which she’d frequently cook. So, these would fit in well at a family reunion, graduation party, or other large gathering. If you don’t happen to have a large group to feed, the leftovers freeze very well. Just thaw and heat through in a 350 degree oven. Bam. Homemade cabbage rolls – [almost] whenever you want.
- 3 pounds lean ground beef
- 3 pounds ground pork
- 3 cups white (or brown) rice, cooked
- 1/2 cup onion, grated (using large holes on a box grater)
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large head of cabbage
- 2 29-ounce cans whole tomatoes (in juice)
- 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 pound sauerkraut
- Discard the outermost leaves of the cabbage. Remove the core. Place the cabbage in a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Turn the cabbage every couple minutes. Remove any leaves that are separating away from the head of cabbage and place them into a colander to drain and cool. Continue the process until all the leaves are cooked and pliable, about 10-15 minutes.
- Combine the beef, pork, rice, onion, allspice, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
- Trim the thick center rib from the bottom of each cabbage leaf. Place meat mixture in the bottom of each leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf in and over the meat, then roll from bottom to top.
- Place rolls in a large baking tray. You can use a 20" x 12" full-size steam table tray, large roasting pan, or a couple 13" x 9" baking dishes.
- When the leaves get too small to stuff, simply chop them and toss them over top of the cabbage rolls. If there is any leftover meat mixture, make little oval-shaped meatballs to bake along with the cabbage rolls.
- Rough-chop the whole tomatoes and pour them (and the juice) into a mixing bowl along with the tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls.
- Scatter sauerkraut (and juice) over top of the sauce-covered cabbage rolls.
- Cover loosely with foil.
- Bake for 2 hours. Carefully, remove foil. Bake for another 30-60 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the cabbage is tender.
- Serve with mashed potatoes topped with the tomato sauce and sauerkraut remnants from the baked cabbage rolls. Yum!