Peruvian-Style Roast Spatchcocked Chicken

I had never spatchcocked a chicken before, but simply saying the word had always amused me. But finding this recipe made me want to do so I found a Yutube video showing how to do it and IT WAS SO EASY!  I can’t believe I hadn’t tried it before!  Here’s the link to show you how- How to Spatchcock a Chicken

The recipe turned out wonderful, here’s the recipe;

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Roast the chicken:

Arrange rack in middle of oven; preheat to 400°F. Mix garlic, cumin, oil, paprika, pepper, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt, and finely grated zest from 1 lemon in a medium bowl. Quarter zested lemon; set aside 2 quarters. Squeeze juice from 1 whole lemon and remaining 2 quarters to yield 2 Tbsp. juice; stir into spice mixture.

Place chicken breast side down on work surface. Spatchcock chicken by cutting along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone; reserve for stock. Turn chicken breast side up and splay open. Press down on breastbone with palms until you hear it crack and chicken is as flat as possible. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub chicken all over with 2 reserved lemon quarters. Squeeze juice over bird, then rub skin all over with inside of rinds.

From both edges of cavity, loosen skin from breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear skin. Using your fingers, gently spread 2 heaping Tbsp. spice mixture under skin (reserve remaining spice mixture), then season chicken all over with remaining 1 tsp. salt. Transfer chicken, spread flat and skin side up, to a roasting pan or large skillet.

Roast chicken 20 minutes, then brush with spice mixture and pan juices. Continue roasting, basting with spice mixture and pan juices every 20 minutes, until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165ºF, 50-60 minutes total.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.


Here’s Why You Should Never Wash Chicken Before Cooking It

If you’ve always washed your chicken, it may be time to reconsider this potentially dangerous practice.

Female hands washing and cleaning chicken wings at the kitchen sink

MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN/Shutterstock

It’s the most polarizing problem in poultry—should you wash your chicken before cooking it? Food health and safety professionals are advising against this practice, as it can increase the spread of bacteria and the risk of cross-contamination. Don’t miss these other cooking mistakes that can make your food toxic.

Most people who clean their chickens think they’re washing germs or sliminess from the chicken. And while they’re correct in assuming that raw chicken is often teeming with bacteria, such as campylobacter or salmonella, washing it with water does nothing to combat this. In fact, washing your chicken actually worsens this problem, according to the UK National Health Service, because the running and splashing water can spread bacteria around sinks, countertops, and even your clothing. The USDA maintains that the only sure way to eliminate bacteria is to cook meat to the proper temperature, and these rules extend to other types of meat and fish as well. The minimum temperature of cooked chicken should be 165 degrees, and you can find the temperature for other types of meat in this table as well.

Even professional chefs have been divided on this issue. Julia Child was a staunch supporter of washing chicken, while Ina Garten more recently came out on her show to reinforce that there is no need to wash it or other meats. Garten’s side has the science to back it, and other than the potential hazards of washing chicken, there’s really no reason for it other than attachment to long-cultivated habits.

If you remain loyal to washing your chicken, however, as Drexel University food safety researcher Jennifer Quinlan told NPR, try not washing it at least once to see if you can really notice a difference. If sliminess is an issue, try patting the chicken down with a paper towel. Should you decide to continue your washing habit, you’ll need to take measures to properly disinfect any surfaces the liquid or splashing may have come into contact with, to prevent cross-contamination, and wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw meat or any food or tool that has come into contact with it. Check out these rules you should always follow to avoid food poisoning.


Salmon Pho

Salmon Bowl

Salmon Pho

Serving Size : 4

1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon star anise powder
1/3 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium Onion — diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon ginger — grated
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
3/4 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon honey

For the bowls:

1 pound wild salmon — divided into 1/2 pound pieces
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1/2 medium yellow onion — sliced paper-thin
1 pound baby spinach
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 1/2 scallions — green part only, cut into thin rings (3 to 4)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1) In a 3 quart iron Dutch oven, toast the spices on medium heat until aromatic, about 3 or 4 minutes.

2) Add broth and simmer about 15 minutes. Then strain liquid through cheesecloth into another pot or bowl. Wipe pan out.

3) Heat sesame oil until hot, add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until aromatic. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until done. Add the broth back to pot.

4) Heat the pho broth. Meanwhile bake salmon, at 295, for 9 minutes. Place in bowls you are going to serve the Pho in.

5) Add spinach to broth, let wilt, scoop out with slotted spoon and add beside salmon in bowl. Repeat with mung bean sprouts.

6) When ready to serve, pour hot broth over bowls, dividing the veggies evenly (onions, mushrooms). Top with cilantro and serve.


An Ode to Caramelizing Onions (and How To Do It Right)

Making caramelized onions is one of the simplest yet most striking acts of kitchen magic there is. Butter and salt are the only ingredients you need besides the onions themselves. The process isn’t complicated, though it does take time—which is the most important element of all. Properly caramelized onions require at least a full hour, if not more, but the investment is so worth it.

For some (like me), the time spent is even a pleasure. At least, it is when I’m in the mood for the task. Isn’t that ever the case?

I always love to eat, and often love to cook, but sometimes balk at the mere idea of the kitchen. Even a job as relatively simple as prepping a pound of Brussels sprouts to roast can make me gnash my teeth and turn to a can of tuna instead. On better days, I’ll chop a bunch of stuff and tend a mix of different pots and pans, but my diced tomatoes will never be uniformly sized, my garlic will nearly always be grated instead of minced with a knife, and I might not bother thawing shrimp before chucking them in boiling water, or even browning meat if it’s going into a sauce (I know). Call it laziness—it definitely is, in part—or more generously, just say I’m not necessarily a purist when it comes to  technique. Caramelized onions, however, are an absolute exception; I will not use shortcuts, and if I can’t commit to an hour by the stove, I’ll just eat something else. Browned onions can work if I simply want something to top a burger, but truly, madly, deeply caramelized onions cannot be rushed.

Well, actually, they can, or at least can be hurried along; I simply have a (probably illogical) bone-deep aversion to any fast-track tactics. If you’re not such a stickler, Alton Brown has a microwave method that seems vaguely alarming, even before you get to the commenters attesting that their onions caught fire when attempting this trick. Other sources suggest adding sugar or baking soda to a standard pan to speed up or enhance the caramelization. If you hew to classic low and slow, neither are necessary, but it’s understandable if you don’t always have the patience (or time). Unfortunately, they will almost always need some amount of babysitting, and here we reach the limitations of the Instant Pot; it makes a mushy mess out of them, and they’re only a wan shade of blonde to boot. Conversely, if time’s not an issue but you still need to be elsewhere, slow cooker caramelized onions look promising:

Allegedly, you can use plain old water to speed things up, but I never do. Part of it is just innate stubbornness, but mostly, I love the process of “properly” caramelizing onions—which means something different to everyone who has an opinion about it, of course. And any way you cook them, they’re said to freeze beautifully. We’ve never had any left, and I hadn’t thought about cooking them just to have on hand later, but that might need to change…

My own method (fine-tuned to my personal preferences, middling and finicky electric stove, and other idiosyncratic kitchen equipment) is as follows:

  1. Peel and slice way more yellow onions than it seems like I’ll need; I usually use at least five small to medium, and prefer to halve them down the meridian, then cut the eastern and western hemispheres into half moons.
  2. Get out a large, heavy bottomed pan—I own two cast iron skillets, but they’re both smaller than my sturdy off-brand stainless steel sauté pan, so I use that. The thinner aluminum pan in the drawer is inferior, but I’ll break it out as back-up if I need a ton of onions.
  3. Set the pan(s) over medium-high heat for about a minute, then add a big pat of butter, then a little more butter.
  4. Heat the fat until the butter melts and is just sizzling, swirl the pan to commingle it with the oil and coat the bottom, then slide in the onions—usually, I’m aghast at how many there are, and worry the pan is so crowded they’ll never cook down, but know from experience that they will, eventually. (If I started with a smaller amount, it probably wouldn’t take so long to caramelize them, but then I’d also have less end product, and I am, sadly, both gluttonous and resistant to change.)
  5. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over the onions and stir them over medium-high heat for several minutes, until they’re translucent and slick and starting to look like they’re on the long, slow road to total collapse. (I stir almost constantly so as not to let them brown at this point, but if a few spots have some color, I don’t sweat it—metaphorically, anyway.)
  6. Once the onions are all limp and see-through and have released some liquid, I turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook them, stirring fairly often, paying attention to sound and smell as well as slowly developing color, decreasing the heat again whenever it seems prudent. Eventually, it’s turned to the very lowest setting, and I just keep communing with the onions, stirring now and again, for a long, leisurely time. They always look fairly unpromising for quite a while, but gradually, they take on a pale straw color that in turn deepens to yellow and then to gold, and much, much later, become a fully burnished, dark brown mass of pure flavor that looks like it might just about fill up an 8 ounce measuring cup, despite the fact that I’d swear I started out with a quart of onions, at least.

It’s the ultimate in cozy domesticity, which sometimes appeals above all else. But if it sounds tedious, and even frustrating, I get that. (So do recipe writers, which is why they often lie about how long it takes.) That’s also why I don’t usually caramelize onions on work nights. And why I’ve sometimes cooked two pans’ worth at once, so I have a little more to show for my efforts once they’re over. But sometimes I want to just sink into and savor the process itself.

Maybe it’s another form of cooking as meditation (“carameli-zen“?), though I don’t quite think of it that way. It simply has such acute sensory appeal: the initial hard sizzle of the raw onions subsiding to a gentle murmur until you’re in an almost silent kitchen (ideally); the steadily intensifying perfume of the browning sugars (which will linger in the house and on your clothes for at least a full day afterward, but is nice at the time anyway); the easy slide of the worn-satiny wooden spoon (or silicone spoontula, in my case) through the slowly melting onions; the alchemy of watching crisp, firm, white vegetable flesh collapse into sticky, golden-brown shreds; and then of course, the ultimate reward is the deep, richly sweet taste. It’s all enchanting—and better yet, it gives me the opportunity to hunker down in the kitchen and read a back issue of a dearly departed magazine (RIP Gourmet and Lucky Peach), or a food-focused book (Nigel Slater’s Notes From the Larder is a current fave) in between casual but consistent bouts of stirring. Rather than a chore or any sort of drudgery, it’s heaven. To me, anyway. When I’m in the mood for it.

Barefoot Contessa

A little (or a lot) of caramelized onions add lavish, sweet savor to pretty much anything, from pizza and tacos to hamburgers and sandwiches in general, but I’ve probably cooked down fifty pounds of alliums over the past several years for the Barefoot Contessa’s pan-fried onion dip alone. I made it once for Christmas Eve and that was it; it became my signature dish, whether I wanted it to or not, and I’m not allowed to go too long without making it for a party, probably for the rest of my life. Luckily, I’m okay with that (and it is delicious). In fact, I settle in and cook the onions even longer than Ina’s recipe calls for (and cook more of them too). Sometimes, say 10 minutes before I want to take them off the heat, I stir in a dash of balsamic vinegar and a squirt of grainy mustard to give the onions even more oomph before cooling them and folding them into the dairy medley, but it’s the extra-long time luxuriating in a pan that really makes them—and the dip itself, and anything else they touch—so special.

I just ensure I have the afternoon free and something good to read, maybe crack a beer and drag a dining chair up to the stove for good measure, and in the end, it feels like a couple hours very well spent.


Tropical Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers

Marinade;

1 cup pineapple, cubed

4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon chili sauce

¾ cup water

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar

½ tablespoon salt

¼ cup coconut cream

1 lime, juiced

2 limes, zested and divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch)

SKEWERS

1 pineapple, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

PREPARATION

1. Place wooden skewers in a bowl of water to soak for at least 10 minutes.

2. Puree the pineapple, garlic, chili sauce, and water in a food processor.

3. Heat a pan over medium heat, and add the pureed sauce mixture.

4. Add vinegar, salt, coconut cream, lime juice, zest of one lime, and salt, and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer.

5. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to create the slurry, then add the mixture into the sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens, about a minute.

6. Skewer the pineapple and shrimp, then brush sauce on both sides.

7. Grill skewers over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.

8. Sprinkle finished skewers with lime zest and serve with remaining sauce.

9. Enjoy!


Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde

Half Roasted Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde

Just made this for the Meal Delivery Service and it’s awesome!!!

Serves 4 to 6

For the salad:

  • 1   quart sweet cherry tomatoes, preferably a mixture of colors and shapes
  • 3   garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • Olive oil, for roasting
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling, plus more to taste
  • 2    tablespoons drained capers
  • 1    large or 2 medium/small ripe beefsteak tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 1    handful thinly sliced red onions (half-moon shape), soaked in ice water for 10 minutes, drained, and dried (optional step that will remove the bite from the onion)
  • 1    handful fresh basil leaves, or fewer depending on your preferences
  • 1    splash red wine vinegar, optional

For the salsa verde:

  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 1/4cup coarsely chopped basil
  • 1cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1small garlic clove
  • 1anchovy
  • 1tablespoon drained capers
  • 1pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2lemon, for juicing
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Pour the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure everything fits in a single layer. Pour a generous layer of olive oil over the tomatoes so that it forms a shallow pools in the base of the baking sheet—you’ll be repurposing this oil later. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are blistered and deflated and have released their juices.

Toss the capers with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and pour them onto a separate baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they’re fragrant and crispy.

When the tomatoes are out of the oven, you can start on the salsa verde: Pour all of the extra juices and oil from the cherry tomato baking sheet into a liquid measuring cup. Pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil so that you have 3/4 cup total.

Add the oregano, basil, and parsley to a food processor and process until the herbs are all finely shredded and paste-like. Pour in a small amount of the oil (a couple of tablespoons) and process.

Add the garlic, anchovy, capers, and red pepper flakes and process to combine. With the motor running, stream in the rest of the olive oil and process until you have a uniform sauce. Taste it, then add a squeeze of lemon and freshly ground pepper, as desired. Don’t add salt until after you’ve tasted the sauce—the anchovies and capers might be plenty salty on their own!

In a large salad bowl, dump the blistered cherry tomatoes, roasted capers, raw tomato chunks, red onion, and a handful of basil leaves. (You can also reserve the capers for later and add them to the top of the salad at the very end—this will help them to retain their crispiness.) Add a spoonful of salsa verde and mix. You can add the salsa verde until it coats all the vegetables and pools at the bottom of the bowl or you can stop earlier. Taste for acid and add red wine vinegar as you see fit; add salt and pepper to taste.

 


    Carrot Dogs with Grilled Onions

    Remember that fried foods eaten occasionally are fine as far as health goes, as long as you use traditional fats, NOT vegetable oils!     I use duck or beef fat.

    carrot-dogs-4

    10     carrots, ends trimmed to make hot dog-size shape

    1       cup soy sauce   –  since soy is so toxic I use Coconut Aminos or you can use Braggs Liquid Aminos

    2      cups white wine

    2      Tablespoons dill

    minced fresh ginger root

    2      cloves garlic, minced

       ground pepper to taste

    2 large yellow onions, sliced, grilled or sautéed in heavy iron pan on medium high heat.

     

    1)   Steam carrots until about half way cooked, should still be hard in the very middle.

    2)    Place carrots in marinade for two hours or overnight if you have the time.

    3)    In heavy iron skillet, with butter hot, brown on all sides.

    4)    Serve with onions and condiments of your choice.

    5)  My family uses toasted Ezekiel bread as buns but there are gluten free buns available.