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For random improvised pizza, a little bit of flour, water, and a “grain of salt” mentality go a long way. Trust me, I’m not downplaying this meal: it was great, all things considered.
I’m sure Patsy Grimaldi and Jim Lehey would laugh at my pie if seeing the ingredients on paper. But fellas, let’s give this post a chance, and maybe I can win you over.
OK, the headline for this post is a bit of a stretch. Am I a multi-michelin star winning chef? No. Am I British? Well, if we don’t count my unhealthy love for Chelsea Football Club and Guy Ritchie films, I’m going to have to give a big thumbs down on that. One thing I am: impressionable. I came across this recipe after stumbling upon Gordon Ramsay cooking up sticky lemon chicken on YouTube. Going solely off memory and the ingredients list, this is what I came up with.
One thing that really amazed me is Ramsay’s suggestion to lop off the bottom end of the drumstick. According to him, it cooks quicker, and looks much more presentable. I’m not sure about cooking time, but simply cutting of the bottoms give the drums a much meatier, larger look to them. In a big pan, brown on both sides, then sprinkle thyme and garlic over top. With all the delicious chicken bits stuck to the pan, I used some apple cider vinegar to deglaze (the recipe called for sherry vinegar, which I didn’t have .. this might have been my undoing). I added some soy sauce and honey, and let the liquids bubble up nicely before adding some hot water. Afterwards, adding a few slices of lemon over top, and letting the mixture reduce down, it was supposed to become syrupy: it did not. I removed the chicken, and added a small bit of corn starch and water to thicken. Yes, Gordon, I cheated.
One mistake I think I made was using too many slices of lemon. When cooking, the peels added a slight bitterness to the overall dish. Adding honey and some more water helps, but once the damage had been done, it was a challenge to bring it back. Under prepared, I served the chicken over a ziti. This dish definitely called for rice to sop up the sauce better. Not exactaly Ramsay styled, but a good first try nonetheless.
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From the kitchen that brought you such hits as salt and pepper pork comes a tale of leaner poultry proportions: salt and pepper chicken! Thin cuts of chicken, dry dredged in a tangy dusting, and double fried. For those who don’t dig on swine, this may be the answer for you.
Of the many foodies I love to read and watch on a daily basis, Chef John of Food Wishes are posts that I am a particular fan of. With an abundant schedule of sports parties around the corner, he bestowed on his viewers a meticulously detailed video on the craft and art of chicken fingers. His trick, besides an overly blatant ad spot for the Nexus One, is an ingredient that has appeared in many of my own dishes on this blog: panko bread crumbs. I don’t know if you noticed, but I like panko.
So what else does an eager monkey-see-monkey-do’r do? The answer is inside…
One thing to note: these fingers were HUGE. The panko adds more body than regular bread crumbs, and a noticeably deeper crunch and flavor. Cutting the chicken breast long-ways also gives you a something more substantial to hold, dip, and devour. A dry, wet, dry batter of flour, eggs, and panko is all you need. I did add some white pepper for some added heat, but feel free to leave out. Now, when breading, pour out an eye-ball measurement of panko into a bowl, and then pour more. I found that even when I thought there was enough, there wasn’t. You’ll thank yourself latter when your teeth sink into a crispy chicken finger, ringing out a resounding crunch. Deep fry in canola oil for 7 minutes, checking for that golden brown, and flip. Set aside on a paper towel to drain off that excess oil.
With our kitchen being a tad smaller than we’d like, I don’t have room for fancy gadgets like a mandolin, which would have been great for my oven roasted potato chip idea. Instead, like the Macgyver I think I am, I tried slicing paper thin pieces with staggered success. In any case, they were thin enough to absorb a good amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper that fried up nicely in the oven. A subtle crisp, with a smooth finish.
And don’t let people tell you green bean casserole is only for Thanksgiving. They’re perfectly fine for any occasion. Regular and french cut beans, mixed with cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions go into a casserole dish, and into the oven. Be sure to top with more onions for that trademark crispy top.
I didn’t follow Chef John’s honey mustard recipe. Instead, a few equal globs of honey, and (gasp) spicy brown mustard, and a dash of hot sauce will do the trick. The fingers were delicious. Incredibly juicy insides, and a great crust. Thanks Chef John!
After making way too much noodles for a cheese lasagna I made days ago, I decided to put it to good use with the remainder of leftover breaded chicken I had. This incarnation (which will be revisited for a future italian/japanese hybrid in the upcoming days) will be dubbed chicken lasagna roll up. No, it’s not manicotti. Manicotti tubes are too small, and would pale in comparison to this generously stuffed chicken, mozzarella cheese, and homemade tomato sauce dish.
OK - slight own horn tooting above, but it still was really good.
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Let’s start you off with a little riddle: you are placed in the middle between two tables. On your left, a succulent chicken leg, perfectly fried crispy skin, juicy thigh and drum dark meat. On your right, a tender pork chop, thick, chewy, just the right amount of salt that gets your mouth gushing. The question .. which way do you go?
The correct answer: the NYC Craving’s truck is, which brings the chicken and pork as duo to street eaters in the glorious $7 steal: PORKEN!
I put a good amount of the new organize dry spices and herbs I recently purchased to good use for this classic and easy meal. I cut along the bone on the thighs so the chicken would cook quicker. Seasoned with thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. I gave them a quick hit in a non-stick pan, a few minutes on each side, which crisped up the skin, then oven baked. Sure, it’s the fattiest part, but also the tastiest. When I start popping pork rinds like candy, I’ll hear you out.
I cut the potatoes in small, similar sized bits, and seasoned with salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme. Tossing them into the same tray the chicken went into, they cooked quickly with a firm outer shell, and smooth inside. In the fridge, I had some leftover side veggies from a previous dinner out. Portobello mushrooms, carrots, and string beans with a light butter sauce.
Thighs and other dark meat chicken will normally come out juicy, but wh not give you a closer look.
Sunday night dinner with the lady at Houlihan’s, feeding her undying craving for spinach pizzette: crispy, thin flat bread covered in cheese, peppers, and tomatoes, with a hot creamy spinach artichoke dip. She’s been talking about getting this for awhile, and Sam couldn’t have been happier.
As a fan of hearty soup, I started with a bowl of the corn chowder special. Each spoonful had heaps of corn spilling over the sides. My main course was the seasonal special chicken pesto penne. Big chunks of juicy chicken, and smooth basil pesto sauce with a solid garlic flavor.
Chicken and string beans, a staple/regular on my limited menu. Cubed and strips of chicken breast, pan fried with chopped garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, and a tiny splash of sesame oil, served on brown rice. After the picture was taken, a healthy dollop of sriracha, of course.
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On most nights, Pete and I will walk home together after work from the PATH to our apartments in Southwest Hoboken. On one chilly evening, we caught a glimpse of an orange truck driving towards the riverfront, with “Tacos Straight From the Truck” written in bright white lettering on the side. Sadly, it drove so fast that I wasn’t able a chance to catch the name. My Sherlock-esque detective skills kicked into gear. 1) the vehicle appeared to be large, almost truck-like; 2) according to their marquee, they specialized in the Mexican dish known as tacos. After several nights of grueling deductions (and a minor hint from a Twitter-friend), the identity of the mystery mobile eatery was clear: The Taco Truck. And believe you me: all the sleuthing paid off in delicious taco-y goodness.
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