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Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

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Just look at that photo above- do I even need to say anything to encourage you to make this pot pie? Feel free to bake this in individual ramekins so you can serve them in their baking dishes. With this rustic dish, that would be a beautiful presentation. Interestingly enough, this dough is very similar to the dough I created to make those Chinese five spice pinwheels. If you find yourself with leftover dough, you can always bake up a few of these cookies while you wait for the chicken to cook through. Dinner and dessert in one recipe! What’s better than that? Enjoy : )

Chicken Pot Pie

Makes 3 Servings

2 1/2 cups chicken stock (broth is fine)

2 large chicken breasts

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

6 tbsp beurre manie (3 tbsp flour mixed with 3 tbsp oil or melted butter)

vegetable oil, as needed

1 egg, mixed with 1 tbsp water

salt and pepper, to season

1 sheet Frozen puff pastry or use the recipe below:

Easiest Pastry Recipe:

1. Mix 1 1/4 cups flour with 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 6 tbsp diced cold butter. Mix in 4 tbsp water until dough just comes together, wrap in plastic and set in fridge. Roll out to 10” circle when you’re ready to cover your pie.)

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uncooked pastry crust, with a decorative topping made from extra crust

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish that has a diameter of about 9” (I prefer a cast iron dish, but any baking dish will work). Bring chicken stock to a boil in a 4 qt pot, turn down heat, and keep hot over medium heat, covered.
2. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat with 1 tbsp oil in it, and add carrots, celery, onion and a pinch of salt.

3. Meanwhile, set up another pan (that has a fitting lid) with 2 inches of water and heat on high. Place chicken breasts in pan, cover, and once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and shallow poach the chicken breasts for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. When cooked, remove from water to a clean cutting board and let cool slightly. Once cool, shread or cut into large dice.

4. Add vegetables to chicken stock once golden brown and slightly soft. Add chicken also, then whip in beurre manie. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes, then pour into baking dish. (Note, you can stop here and refrigerate mixture, if you want to serve the dish tomorrow.)

5. Place round of pastry crust (or puff pastry) on top of baking dish, ensuring that the pastry overlaps the side of the dish slightly, so you can crimp the sides shut. Brush top of pastry crust with egg mixed with 1 tbsp water and bake in oven on a sheet tray (to catch drips) for 20 minutes, or until top is golden and cooked through. Serve in shallow bowls and enjoy!

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cooked pot pie, straight out of the oven

-M : )

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Ignore those button mushrooms next to the broccolini (or don’t)- I just sauteed them and put them on the plate to use up leftover mushrooms in the fridge. They married well with the other ingredients, though.

I’m cooling off from my sugar rush and getting back to my culinary school basics. While I cooked some great recipes in school, there’s one that stood out for its easy yet powerful flavor. Balsamic braised chicken is deceptively simple and sensible, and easily multiplied for extra guests. The rich brown sauce that drenches it isn’t ladden with butter, but instead, its full of rich, slow cooked chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, vegetables, tomato, and a touch of flour, to thicken it. No roux, no heavy cream, just a deep, dark, delicious sauce.

Now you may be wondering what in god’s name are those potatoes on the plate. Good question. In culinary school we were tortured by this exercise where we made “tourne” potatoes. (There should be that little accent over the “e” but alas, I’m new to this blogging thing, and don’t know how to add accents, so forgive me French cooking masters, as you roll in your graves.) Anyway, “tourne” means turned, and that’s what’s done to these potatoes. You peel and quarter your russet potato, then trim it, turning it dangerously in your hand as you point the tip of your knife towards your finger, to create a football shaped potato nugget. Yum. Now you could make any shape you want, but having a food blog makes you an anal cook, so I made pretty shapes with my potatoes. Also, football was on that evening. Get it? Yeah, dorky, I know. Parboil them in salted water for about 10 minutes (or until they barely resist being poked with a sharp knife tip), dry them with a clean towel, and saute them in olive oil, sprinkling with coarse salt as they come out of the pan. You’ll find they are a perfect pairing for your chicken (the main squeeze) and your broccolini (your obligatory veg). Double yum. Or is that triple?

The only trick to making this recipe excellent instead of just “good” is to taste your sauce and add more balsamic if the flavor isn’t coming through. It looks as dark in person as it does in the picture, so don’t be shy. Also, balsamic vinegars vary greatly in sweetness, viscosity, and acidity, and I won’t dare to tell you which you should buy, so feel free to add a touch of sugar or lemon juice, to balance the flavors of the sauce. Enjoy!

Balsamic Braised Chicken

Makes 3 Servings

6 chicken thighs, bone-in

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp flour

2 cups Chicken Stock

1 cup Balsamic Vinegar (the better the quality, the better the outcome, but don’t go crazy)

vegetable oil, as needed

salt and pepper, as needed

Sauteed broccolini and tourne potatoes, to serve (factor in 1 small bunch broccolini and 1 medium potato per person)

Method

1. Add 2 tbsp oil to a large, deep pan (one that has a lid that fits, ideally) and turn heat to medium-high.

2. Sear chicken thighs, meaty-side down, turning once, to color both sides a nice golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Add carrots, celery, onion, and a pinch of salt to the same pan (do not wash between steps!) and saute until golden brown and slightly softened, 5-7 minutes.

3. Add tomato paste, “pincage” until the tomato paste turns an even darker red and add the flour, mixing well. Cook 1 minute to get rid of the raw flour taste.

4. Add chicken stock and balsamic vinegar to the pan, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken thighs back in and reduce to a simmer. Cover immediately and let cook for 25-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. You may want to turn chicken over after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking, as the liquid will not cover the chicken entirely.

5. Remove chicken to serving plates, taste sauce for seasoning, and adjust as necessary with salt and pepper. If you desire, the sauce can be strained, but I prefer it unstrained. Thicken a little if necessary by cooking the sauce a little longer on the stovetop, without a lid, and pour sauce over the chicken. Add broccolini, potatoes, or whatever sides and vegetables you wish, to the plates and enjoy!

-M : )

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Ever find a special alcohol or ingredient that you just have to have in the store, buy it, drink it or cook with it once and then totally lose interest? Yeah, it happens to me, too. Normally I can resist these urges, but when I had a Pimm’s Cup at Bar Martignetti a couple weeks ago, I loved it so much I just had to buy some Pimm’s to recreate the drink at home and enjoy it for less than $11 a glass. So I bought the Pimm’s, a cucumber, a bottle of ginger ale, and some lemonade, and recreated the refreshing drink and enjoyed it. Once. Its not that I didn’t like my version, but I was satisfied after that one glass so much that I just didn’t crave another.

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Most drinks made with bitter alcohols like Pimm’s and the more familiar Campari are meant to be apertifs. That is to say, drunk before dinner (or any meal, really) to open the palate and get the stomach juices going so you can more easily digest your food. The thing is, the bitterness, even when balanced with something sweet like fruit juices or sodas, lingers in a way that makes you not want a refill. Its meant to be a small drink, rather than a cocktail you’ll want seconds (or any number of multiples…) of. So even though that Pimms Cup was delish and I was proud of myself for recreating something so tasty, I haven’t been craving one since I made the first about 2 weeks ago. Not that Pimm’s goes bad, but I hated seeing the full bottle staring back at me every time I opened my food cupboard. It nagged me to be drunk or used in some other creative fashion, and today I finally took up the challenge of the second option.

So what do I do with my Pimms? I made mini turkey meatballs. WHAT?? Yeah. You read what I said. I made mini turkey meatballs with Pimms. How were they? Well, duh, would I put the recipe up here if they weren’t delicious and I wanted to share my discovery? Of course not. They “rock” as my dad would say, and they’re healthy too. What more do you want? A sauce to go with it? Ok, you win. Heat some extra virgin olive oil with 1 clove smashed garlic and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic turns golden. Toss in some pasta (I like stringy pasta with meatballs, especially angel hair since it gives a nice light contrast to the dense meatballs, but use whatever you like) and your cooked meatballs, turn off the heat and sprinkle grated parmesan, chopped parsley, sea salt, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice over the top of the dish and serve immediately. You can also add some chopped tomatoes when you add your garlic if that interests you. It would certainly add some more color, which is always appreciated. In fact, why not add more Pimms with those tomatoes? The sweetness of the tomatoes would really balance out the Pimms’ bitterness.

And one more note about experimenting with this recipe- the point is not to go out and buy Pimms to make these meatballs, and then find yourself- as I did originally- with a bottle of liquor you don’t know what to do with (unless that is, you really want a bottle of Pimms in your liquor cabinet, and then by all means, go ahead and buy it). The point is to use Pimms or Campari if you’ve got it, and if you don’t, use another liquor. Play around- who knows, maybe cranberry juice tastes great in these. You can even mix in some dried cranberries. Food is fun, afterall! : )

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Pimms Polpette

1 lb ground turkey breast

1 shallot, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 tsp orange zest

1 slice bread, crusts removed, soaked in 1 cup Pimms

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil, for cooking

1. Mix together all ingredients except for the ground turkey until the mixture looks well combined.

2. Add ground turkey and mix it in very gently to avoid overworking the meat.

3. Form polpette from the mixture. You’re aiming for mini meatballs with 1” diameters.

4. Heat a large pan with enough olive oil to coat the bottom surface over medium high heat.

5. When the pan’s hot, add the meatballs and leave alone for 3 minutes to ensure nice browning. Flip the meatballs over and finish cooking and browning on the other side, about another minute. Transfer to a plate if you’re going to serve them immediately, or to a baking sheet if you’re going to keep them in a low oven (no higher than 150) while you finish the rest of your meal.

Note: Your pan probably won’t fit all the polpette in one go, so divide the uncooked meatballs in half and brown them in two batches to avoid overcrowding them. (If you overcrowd your pan, you won’t get nicely browned meatballs. The extra food in the pan will cause the heat to drop and your meatballs will steam in the juices they exude. Your meatballs will still be tasty, but they won’t have the depth of flavor that browning gives.)

Enjoy! : )

-M

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