chicken

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Yes 40 cloves!  This beautiful French dish was one of my favorites as a kid – partly because of the novelty of how much garlic is in it and partly because its 100% delicious.  This is a great spring dish because its hearty but not heavy so no matter what the temps are outside its appropriate.  Please don’t be scared off by the garlic – this could even be a date night dish!  Once you have cooked the garlic it becomes totally sweet and not stinky at all.  Make sure to pick up some crusty bread to serve alongside so you can spread the melting garlic cloves on the bread and sop up all the sauce.  There are a lot of different versions out there so once again I went through and tried all of the recipes I could find and then combines the best of all of them to achieve this recipe.

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Peeling the garlic can be a pain but I sort of find it therapeutic.  If you want to do it in advance and store in the fridge for a couple of days you can do that.  I use the palm of my hand to push down on the clove ever so slightly so that the skin separates from the garlic but not so much that it crushes the clove (also I won’t tell anyone if you buy already peeled garlic, just make sure its whole cloves not chopped).  I would say it takes about 7 minutes to peel so factor that into your cooking time.  This is such great comfort food – serve it with mashed potatoes or polenta (and don’t forget that bread!) along with a nice clean green salad.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  garlic galore
Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 bone in skin on chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 40 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 3 teaspoons chopped tarragon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Salt and pepper the chicken pieces then cook in batches just so the chicken is nicely browned, about 5 minutes per batch.

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When the chicken is browned reserve it on a plate.  Turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic.  Sauté the garlic for 5 minutes, turning down the heat if you need to so it doesn’t burn.  Add the white wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan getting up all the good brown bits.

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Return the chicken to the pot, skin side up, and add the chicken stock.  Cover and place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken and garlic to your serving platter and cover with foil.  Put the dutch oven back on the stovetop and cook down the juices over medium high for about 5 minutes until reduced a bit.  Stir in the cream and tarragon, taste for salt and pepper, then pour over the chicken and garlic.

 

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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 bone in skin on chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 40 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 3 teaspoons chopped tarragon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Salt and pepper the chicken pieces then cook in batches just so the chicken is nicely browned, about 5 minutes per batch.  When the chicken is browned reserve it on a plate.  Turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic.  Sauté the garlic for 5 minutes, turning down the heat if you need to so it doesn’t burn.  Add the white wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan getting up all the good brown bits.

Return the chicken to the pot, skin side up, and add the chicken stock.  Cover and place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken and garlic to your serving platter and cover with foil.  Put the dutch oven back on the stovetop and cook down the juices over medium high for about 5 minutes until reduced a bit.  Stir in the cream and tarragon, taste for salt and pepper, then pour over the chicken and garlic.

Chicken Salad Canapes

I often have a hard timing figuring out what sort of canapés I can serve at parties that are filling.  Most meat based appetizers require them to be warm or are really expensive (think lamb lollipops) but if you are going to be drinking all night I want my guests to have more in them than just cheese!  Here little mini phyllo cups really come into handy.  You buy them in the frozen section of your grocery store and they are already cooked so all you have to do is fill them.  I decided for a recent party to go with chicken salad, most specifically chicken salad veronique, which is a French version with grapes.  It is really delicious as a regular chicken salad served alone or in a sandwich but for this application I cut the chicken and the grapes really small so they would fit neatly in the cups and be easy to eat.  These things went like hot cakes and I am sure your friends will appreciate the “heavy ap” at your next party.

Chicken Salad Canapes (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  phyllo cups
Special Equipment: none

  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts (or roast your own)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 20 green grapes, quartered
  • 60 phyllo cups – I used the Athens brand

Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces and place in a large bowl.

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In a medium bowl wish together the mayo, sour cream, white wine, tarragon and salt and pepper.

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Add 3/4 of the mixture to the chicken along with the grapes.  Stir to combine and then add as much of the remaining dressing as necessary.  The salad can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge.  When you are ready to serve, use a teaspoon to fill the cups with the salad.

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Chicken Salad Canapés

  • Servings: 60
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Print

Special Equipment: none

  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts (or roast your own)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 20 green grapes, quartered
  • 60 phyllo cups – I used the Athens brand

Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces and place in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl wish together the mayo, sour cream, white wine, tarragon and salt and pepper.  Add 3/4 of the mixture to the chicken along with the grapes.  Stir to combine and then add as much of the remaining dressing as necessary.  The salad can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge.  When you are ready to serve, use a teaspoon to fill the cups with the salad.

Stuffed Shells with Chicken and Spinach

Continuing with the make ahead theme these cheesy rich shells are just what Santa ordered for Christmas Eve dinner.  Make them several days ahead and then just pop them in the oven when people get hungry.  This dish also makes a great gift for a neighbor or friend that has extra family in town and no time to cook!  I give you several sizes that work for this recipe – you can chose to make one mega dish or several smaller ones to share or make throughout the week.  The shells are pretty rich with the bechamel sauce and all the cheese to I would only estimate 3 or 4 shells per person with a nice Caesar salad on the side.  There are a bunch of steps to this (might be the longest directions I have ever written) but since you can do it in advance no one needs to see you sweat.  Also sometimes its nice to bury yourself in the kitchen for a little alone time!

Stuffed Shells with Chicken and Spinach (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  feed a crowd
Special Equipment:  a large baking dish or several smaller baking dishes

  • 12 ounces jumbo shell pasta
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces of diced pancetta
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Follow the directions on the pasta box and cook the pasta slightly al dente (the Barilla brand actually tells you how long to cook it for a baked pasta versus just serving them as pasta – if yours doesn’t just cook it a couple minutes shy of done).  Drain and spread the shells out on a baking sheet to cool.

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Once cool, toss any broken pieces.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and pancetta to the pan and saute for 5 minutes or until the shallots are softened and the pancetta has cooked.  Start adding the spinach in large handfuls to the pan.

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From this…

As you add the spinach use tongs or a spoon to fold the spinach into the shallot mixture.  The spinach will start to wilt and you can continue to add until it all fits in the pan.  This should take about 3-4 minutes to get it all wilted down.  Once it is wilted, crank up the heat to medium high and cook off the liquid the spinach has released for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Take off the heat and reserve.

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..to this!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, if planning on cooking the shells right away.  In a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, lemon zest, half the mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and the spinach mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.  Now that your pasta shells have cooled they are ready to be filled.  I use my hands but use a teaspoon if that helps.  To make sure I have enough to fill all the shells I divide the filling mixture in 4 and then fill a quarter of the shells and then continue until they are all filled.

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In a saucepan heat the butter over medium heat.  When it is melted add the flour and stir with a whisk until combined and the flour has cooked, for about a minute.

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Slowly pour in the milk while whisking so there are no lumps.  Increase the heat to medium high, just until the milk starts to bubble.  Then lower the heat to medium low and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and 1/3 of the grated Parmesan cheese.

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This recipe makes one very large tray of shells in a 9 x 13 pan, a medium sized 9 x 13 and a 7 x 5 pan, or two 9 x 9 pans.  It all depends on how tightly you pack in the shells and how many people you want to serve at once (for these pictures I have a 9 x 13 pan and a 7 x 5 pan which served a family of 4 and a family of 2 respectfully – with leftovers).  Once you have selected your pans spread a thin later of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Then fill the entire pan(s) with the shells, open side up.  Top with the rest of the sauce and then sprinkle on the other half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

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Cover the pans with tin foil.  If you are making the shells later, let the shells cool completely and store in the fridge for several days before baking.  If you are baking them right away bake the shells covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then take off the tin foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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Stuffed Shells with Chicken and Spinach

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Print

Special Equipment:  a large baking dish or several smaller baking dishes

  • 12 ounces jumbo shell pasta
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces of diced pancetta
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Follow the directions on the pasta box and cook the pasta slightly al dente (the Barilla brand actually tells you how long to cook it for a baked pasta versus just serving them as pasta – if yours doesn’t just cook it a couple minutes shy of done).  Drain and spread the shells out on a baking sheet to cool.  Once cool, toss any broken pieces.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and pancetta to the pan and saute for 5 minutes or until the shallots are softened and the pancetta has cooked.  Start adding the spinach in large handfuls to the pan.  As you add the spinach use tongs or a spoon to fold the spinach into the shallot mixture.  The spinach will start to wilt and you can continue to add until it all fits in the pan.  This should take about 3-4 minutes to get it all wilted down.  Once it is wilted, crank up the heat to medium high and cook off the liquid the spinach has released for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Take off the heat and reserve.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, if planning on cooking the shells right away.  In a large bowl combine the ricotta, egg, lemon zest, half the mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and the spinach mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.  Now that your pasta shells have cooled they are ready to be filled.  I use my hands but use a teaspoon if that helps.  To make sure I have enough to fill all the shells I divide the filling mixture in 4 and then fill a quarter of the shells and then continue until they are all filled.

In a saucepan heat the butter over medium heat.  When it is melted add the flour and stir with a whisk until combined and the flour has cooked, for about a minute.  Slowly pour in the milk while whisking so there are no lumps.  Increase the heat to medium high, just until the milk starts to bubble.  Then lower the heat to medium low and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and can coat the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper and 1/3 of the grated Parmesan cheese.  This recipe makes one very large tray of shells in a 9 x 13 pan, a medium sized 9 x 13 and a 7 x 5 pan, or two 9 x 9 pans.  It all depends on how tightly you pack in the shells and how many people you want to serve at once (for these pictures I have a 9 x 13 pan and a 7 x 5 pan which served a family of 4 and a family of 2 respectfully – with leftovers).

Once you have selected your pans spread a thin later of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Then fill the entire pan(s) with the shells, open side up.  Top with the rest of the sauce and then sprinkle on the other half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Cover the pans with tin foil.  If you are making the shells later, let the shells cool completely and store in the fridge for several days before baking.  If you are baking them right away bake the shells covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then take off the tin foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Fried Chicken Perfected

Fried chicken is my mom’s desert island meal.  And it’s mine.  And I am guessing most of yours.  However, good fried chicken can be really hard to find, and bad fried chicken is just sad.  When I was a little kid we would make a once a year pilgrimage to this place called chicken.gifFontaine’s.  It was a depressing sort of place with zero natural light, right off of a highway but they served hands down the best fried chicken I have ever tasted.  All the meals came with old school sides like mashed potatoes with a giant dent in the middle flowing with butter.  Best of all they used to serve hamburger buns, slathered with butter, cooked on the griddle, as their “bread service.”  Writing this out now it sounds sort of gross, but I am telling you it was amazing.  Fontaine’s had been serving fried chicken (not something that is particularly easy to find in Boston) since 1952 so generations of families, including mine, got very attached.  Fontaine’s sadly closed about 10 years ago taking with it their incredible neon sign and life altering fried chicken.

Once I moved to DC I figured finding good fried chicken would be easy but alas the best fried chicken is usually made by people’s grandmothers and not in restaurants.  I do love the version at Central but it’s distinctly high end, not exactly Fontaine’s.  Levi’s Port Cafe (RIP) in SE used to crank out great fried chicken but it is no longer.  So I realized that meant I was just going to have to satisfy my cravings myself.  Years (seriously) of trying different methods and recipes have finally culminated in Fried Chicken Perfected.  I almost cried it was so great (and I am pretty sure Patrick and our friend Jon did too).  My research paid off as I combined many different tips from famous chefs (Thomas Keller) to my friend Kevin’s mom’s Oklahoma Ladies Club Cookbook.  First you brine – this ensures juicy chicken and is key for those who are afraid of overcooked chicken.  Even if you leave the meat in for longer than you need to it won’t dry out.  Second you give them chickies a buttermilk bath – the buttermilk helps the coating stick to the chicken but also imparts a tangy flavor and further tenderizes the meat.  Finally you keep it simple – the coating is flour and flavor and that’s it.  Here I used Old Bay Hot because it includes garlic, onion and paprika flavor with heat and well because I went to school in Maryland where Old Bay is required eating.

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If you are afraid of deep frying you are not alone – I actually sort of dread it – but this chicken makes it worth it.  It takes a lot of oil that ends up getting thrown away and can be mightily intimidating.  That’s why I am giving you a full proof recipe to totally make it worth it.  Also make a whole bunch once you are taking the time.  The leftovers are delicious cold and or reheated in the oven (you lose some crispness but it’s still delicious).  So if you know a fried chicken fan show them some love and make this.  It’s so good alongside my classic cole slaw, the over the top mashed potatoes or as I served it last with my smoked gouda mac and cheese.  Damn, now I want fried chicken…

Fried Chicken Perfected (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  Fontaine’s
Special Equipment:  a large deep pan, large stock pot, candy thermometer and meat thermometer, cookie sheet and cooling rack, skimmer (optional)

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 ounces of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • several pounds of bone in skin on chicken parts – I used 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 4 breasts cut in half, but there is enough brine and coating to do at least 4 more pieces
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 5 tablespoons Old Bay Hot (or regular Old Bay, or dash of cayenne and garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 quarts vegetable oil
  • sea salt for sprinkling

In a large stock pot combine the water, lemon, bay leaves, parsley, garlic, salt, peppercorns and sugar.  Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

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Allow to fully cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour until cold before adding the chicken (the brine can be made a day in advance).  Once the brine is cold, add the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate overnight.  About 30 minutes before you are ready to start frying take the chicken pieces out of the brine and rinse them off (this is to get rid of any peppercorns stuck to the pieces and ensure it’s not too salty).  Put the buttermilk, along with some salt and pepper, into a large bowl and submerge the chicken pieces.  Let them hang out in the buttermilk bath for at least a half hour while you heat the oil.

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In a large deep pot (I use my large Calphalon dutch oven) carefully pour in the oil.  I like to buy my oil from Costco since this uses so much.  If you want to use less oil, then fry in a stock pot that isn’t as wide – only downside there is that you can only fry one or two pieces at a time.  Clip your candy thermometer to the side, turn the heat to medium high and wait until you reach 375 degrees before cooking.  While the oil heats and the chicken soaks in the buttermilk, you need to prepare the coating.  In another large bowl mix the flour with the Old Bay Hot.  Since there is a lot of salt and pepper in that seasoning there is no need to add more, if you are skipping the Old Bay (don’t!) add lots of salt and pepper.  Also set out a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack (if you have one, paper towels if you don’t) to have a place for the chicken to land when it’s done frying.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Once the oil has reached 375 degrees it is time to start frying.  Make sure to wear an apron and be careful because once the chicken is in the pan, the oil can start spitting.  Using tongs take the chicken out of the buttermilk, let it drip off, and then put it in the flour.  Make sure each piece is totally coated in the flour and that you have shaken off all the excess (a process called dredging).  Don’t dredge your chicken early or else it will get gummy, just do it a piece at a time and once the piece is ready add it to the oil carefully.  You only want to add a couple pieces at a time, in my pan I could fit about 4, so that they have room to fry and that you don’t bring down the temperature.  Once you have the right amount in the pan, monitor the temperature, you can turn up the heat if needed.  Larger pieces can take up to about 20 minutes, smaller more like 15.  Since you have brined the chicken it,s ok to leave all of the pieces in for the longer time frame.  Using a skimmer or tongs flip the pieces in the oil occasionally to make sure they are browning on all sides.  Do not walk away from this project!  Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp if you would like – once the pieces are done remove them to the cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.

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I then put the pieces into the preheated oven to keep them warm while cooking the rest.  Depending on the size of your pan and the amount of chicken you are frying it should take about 2 to 3 batches.  Serve the chicken hot and get ready for praise and adoration.

P.S. About that oil…I cover the pan and let it cool on the stove-top overnight.  I then just CAREFULLY pour the cooled oil back into the bottle, cap it and throw it away.

Fried Chicken Perfected

Special Equipment:  a large deep pan, large stock pot, candy thermometer and meat thermometer, cookie sheet and cooling rack, skimmer (optional)

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 ounces of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • several pounds of bone in skin on chicken parts – I used 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 4 breasts cut in half but there is enough brine and coating to do at least 4 more pieces
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 5 tablespoons Old Bay Hot (or regular Old Bay, or dash of cayenne and garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 quarts vegetable oil
  • sea salt for sprinkling

In a large stock pot combine the water, lemon, bay leaves, parsley, garlic, salt, peppercorns and sugar.  Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Allow to fully cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour until cold before adding the chicken (the brine can be made a day in advance).  Once the brine is cold, add the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate overnight.  About 30 minutes before you are ready to start frying take the chicken pieces out of the brine and rinse them off (this is to get rid of any peppercorns stuck to the pieces and ensure it’s not too salty).  Put the buttermilk, along with some salt and pepper, into a large bowl and submerge the chicken pieces.  Let them hang out in the buttermilk bath for at least a half hour while you heat the oil.

In a large deep pot (I use my large Calphalon dutch oven) carefully pour in the oil.  I like to buy my oil from Costco since this uses so much.  If you want to use less oil, then fry in a stock pot that isn’t as wide – only downside there is that you can only fry one or two pieces at a time.  Clip your candy thermometer to the side, turn the heat to medium high and wait until you reach 375 degrees before cooking.  While the oil heats and the chicken soaks in the buttermilk, you need to prepare the coating.  In another large bowl mix the flour with the Old Bay Hot.  Since there is a lot of salt and pepper in that seasoning there is no need to add more, if you are skipping the Old Bay (don’t!) add lots of salt and pepper.  Also set out a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack (if you have one, paper towels if you don’t) to have a place for the chicken to land when it’s done frying.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Once the oil has reached 375 degrees it is time to start frying.  Make sure to wear an apron and be careful because once the chicken is in the pan, the oil can start spitting.  Using tongs take the chicken out of the buttermilk, let it drip off, and then put it in the flour.  Make sure each piece is totally coated in the flour and that you have shaken off all the excess (a process called dredging).  Don’t dredge your chicken early or else it will get gummy, just do it a piece at a time and once the piece is ready add it to the oil carefully.  You only want to add a couple pieces at a time, in my pan I could fit about 4, so that they have room to fry and that you don’t bring down the temperature.  Once you have the right amount in the pan, monitor the temperature, you can turn up the heat if needed.  Larger pieces can take up to about 20 minutes, smaller more like 15.  Since you have brined the chicken it,s ok to leave all of the pieces in for the longer time frame.  Using a skimmer or tongs flip the pieces in the oil occasionally to make sure they are browning on all sides.  Do not walk away from this project!  Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp if you would like – once the pieces are done remove them to the cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.

I then put the pieces into the preheated oven to keep them warm while cooking the rest.  Depending on the size of your pan and the amount of chicken you are frying it should take about 2 to 3 batches.  Serve the chicken hot and get ready for praise and adoration.

P.S. About that oil…I cover the pan and let it cool on the stove-top overnight.  I then just CAREFULLY pour the cooled oil back into the bottle, cap it and throw it away.

 

 

Chicken Burgers with Roasted Garlic Mayo

My herb garden is still going strong but as the weather gets cooler, basil starts to drop off my favorites list and I want more hearty, warming herbs like sage and rosemary.  For a quick weeknight dinner I thought a sage flavored chicken burger would be perfect, especially paired with some nice nutty roasted garlic mayo.

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As you learned in this post you can roast a ton of garlic and then freeze it for using later.  The burgers themselves are pretty flavorful with the addition of mustard and sage but the garlic mayo takes them to another level.  I like to do chicken burgers in a skillet as opposed to the grill because the meat is a lot more delicate and can fall apart on the grill.  If it’s still warm enough out and you want to save calories go ahead and grill these.  Potato salad or a grain salad would be great alongside these burgers for a healthy and simple meal.

Chicken Burgers with Roasted Garlic Mayo (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  bushels of sage
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like the Light Duke’s version)
  • 4 cloves of roasted garlic (learn how in this post)
  • 4 hamburger buns (I like brioche ones)
  • a handful of arugula

In a bowl combine the ground chicken, sage, mustard and salt and pepper.  Make sure all the ingredients are incorporated then use your hands to score the meat into 4 equal portions.

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Form patties and place on a plate or cookie sheet.  At least point you can put them into the fridge for 24 hours or cook the burgers right away.

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In a large skillet heat a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the patties (use a skillet large enough to accommodate all of them or do in batches).  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side until completely cooked through.

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While the burgers cook combine the mayo, roasted garlic and some salt and pepper.

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Once the burgers are cooked, let rest under some foil for 5 minutes.  Then put together your burger using the garlic mayo, brioche bun and arugula.

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Chicken Burgers with Roasted Garlic Mayo

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like the Light Duke’s version)
  • 4 cloves of roasted garlic (learn how in this post)
  • 4 hamburger buns (I like brioche ones)
  • a handful of arugula

In a bowl combine the ground chicken, sage, mustard and salt and pepper.  Make sure all the ingredients are incorporated then use your hands to score the meat into 4 equal portions.  Form patties and place on a plate or cookie sheet.  At least point you can put them into the fridge for 24 hours or cook the burgers right away.  In a large skillet heat a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the patties (use a skillet large enough to accommodate all of them or do in batches).  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side until completely cooked through.  While the burgers cook combine the mayo, roasted garlic and some salt and pepper.  Once the burgers are cooked, let rest under some foil for 5 minutes.  Then put together your burger using the garlic mayo, brioche bun and arugula.

 

Roast Chicken with Truffle Polenta and Endive Salad

If you read my post from Tuesday on The Red Hen, a delicious Italian place in DC, you know that on our visit there Patrick and I were caught in the happy conundrum of wanting to order everything but really needing to just pick one entree. Roasted Half Chicken with Black Truffle Polenta, Smoky Bacon, Scallions & Warm Frisee Salad had to be sacrificed in order to get the short ribs but I promised Patrick I would try my hand at it the next night.  This is one of my all time favorite things about going to restaurants – being inspired by a menu or decor and then taking it home to put my own twist on it.  This trial run was a winner and will definitely be added to our rotation.  Two things to note – first, I actually had truffle polenta on hand from our trip to Italy but you could easily make regular polenta and flavor it with truffle oil or butter.

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Sure you could just have non truffle polenta but where is the fun in that?  That woodsy, luxe flavor really compliments the chicken so try and find some truffle to jam in there.  Secondly, I could not find frisee so had to go with the curly version of endive (I hear a sigh of relief from my Aunt Carol who is a frisee HATER!).

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I think the endive was a little bitter for this and frisee would have been better but it’s sort of hard to find so I would use any hearty green you can get your hands on.  The bacon and scallions need something that can stand up to them.  This is a whole meal in one so all I added was a nice bottle of Virginia wine from our favorite, Greenhill Winery and Vineyards.  Now just I need to get back to The Red Hen to try the original!

Roast Chicken with Truffle Polenta and Endive Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  The Red Hen
Special Equipment:  kitchen twine

  • 5 pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • a couple of sprigs of herbs (I used sage and thyme)
  • 1 head of garlic, halved lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large scallion or 2 small ones
  • 1 head curly endive or frisee
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup truffle polenta (or regular polenta)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or truffle butter or oil if you used regular polenta)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken cavity, then stuff the chicken with the herbs and garlic head.  Tie the legs together with kitchen twine then rub the outside of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Salt and pepper the chicken and place in a roasting dish or on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 1 1/2 hours – you know the chicken is done when you pierce the skin by the leg and the juices are clear.  Let the chicken rest under tin foil for 10 minutes before slicing.

 

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While the chicken roasts cook the bacon for 5 minutes over medium high heat in a skillet until browned and crispy.  Let drain on paper towels and then crumble the bacon.  Cut off the dark green parts of the scallion and toss.  Cut the light green and white parts into 1 inch lengths, then into thin ribbons lengthwise.

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In a small bowl combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar and the mustards with a whisk.  Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.  When the chicken is almost done bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then slowly whisk in the polenta.  Turn the heat down to low and stir often.  After about 15 minutes the polenta should have taken on most of the water and no longer have a grainy texture.  Season with salt and serve with a pat of butter.

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Toss the endive with the dressing, bacon and scallions and serve along the polenta and chicken.

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Roast Chicken with Truffle Polenta and Endive Salad

Special Equipment:  kitchen twine

  • 5 pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • a couple of sprigs of herbs (I used sage and thyme)
  • 1 head of garlic, halved lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large scallion, cut in one inch lengths then cut into thin ribbons lengthwise
  • 1 head curly endive or frisee
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup truffle polenta (or regular polenta)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or truffle butter or oil if you used regular polenta)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken cavity, then stuff the chicken with the herbs and garlic head.  Tie the legs together with kitchen twine then rub the outside of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Salt and pepper the chicken and place in a roasting dish or on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 1 1/2 hours – you know the chicken is done when you pierce the skin by the leg and the juices are clear. Let the chicken rest under tin foil for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the chicken roasts cook the bacon for 5 minutes over medium high heat in a skillet until browned and crispy.  Let drain on paper towels and then crumble the bacon. Cut off the dark green parts of the scallion and toss.  Cut the light green and white parts into 1 inch lengths, then into thin ribbons lengthwise.  In a small bowl combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar and the mustards with a whisk.  Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

When the chicken is almost done bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then slowly whisk in the polenta.  Turn the heat down to low and stir often.  After about 15 minutes the polenta should have taken on most of the water and no longer have a grainy texture.  Season with salt and serve with a pat of butter.  Toss the endive with the dressing, bacon and scallions and serve along the polenta and chicken.

 

About that leftover chicken…

Everyone has done it – grilled too many chicken breasts, bought a rotisserie chicken with no use in mind, ordered a whole roast chicken at a restaurant and had to resort to a doggie bag. Often the already cooked chickens at the grocery store are actually cheaper than buying a raw one so I get one thinking it was a deal but it’s not if you end up throwing good food away.  No more!  One of my 2016 resolutions was to waste less food and I realized the leftover chicken theory meant all this perfectly good food was going into the trash.

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what do I do with you little chicky??

Total mistake – having leftover chicken means you are about 3/4 of the way to dinner.  I started going through my recipes and realized I already had a great collection of ways to use up chicken.  If the recipe calls for roasted breasts and all you have are grilled cutlets or leftover thighs, don’t worry – every dish listed here would be great with whatever chicken you have on hand to fold in.  These dishes are perfect for crazy weeknights when you don’t have a ton of time but really want to make something delicious and filling.  So next time you are at the store grab one of those chickens with no fear of running out of things to do with it.

Swiss Chard Pasta

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This is one of my biggest go to meals since it has veggies, carbs and protein all in one.  Just the other day I realized I not only had leftover chicken but also some swiss chard meant to go into a soup that never got used and was starting to go limp in the fridge.  I whipped this dish up, poured myself a glass of wine and had dinner on the patio (pictured above).  Totally elegant and no one would ever think it was leftovers.

Chicken Enchiladas

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This dish goes next level on using up leftovers because it freezes so well.  Often I have leftovers and then have plans the next several nights.  Make these enchiladas, throw them in the freezer and you have a full meal just sitting and waiting for you.

Classic Chicken Salad

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Probably the most obvious ways to use leftover chicken but I had include it because this version of chicken salad is so good.  Pair it with some chips and maybe a green salad and you can totally call it dinner.

Tortilla Soup

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What to do with an over ripe avocado and leftover chicken?  THIS.  So delicious and a great use up meal after taco night.  The chips, avocado, cheese, chicken – they all get used.

Chicken and Rice Summer Salad

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Make a big batch for dinner and then you can stretch that chicken even further by bringing in the rest for lunch the next day – it’s delicious cold or room temp.

And remember, whenever you are done with that chicken, if it’s on the bone, you make sure to save those in the freezer for the next time you want to make homemade chicken stock.  Waste not want not!

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