Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Peep’s Not-So-Traditional Chicken & Dumplings

My grandma would probably lecture me for this recipe.  It’s not “traditional”, which I guess goes right along with the bulk of my personality!  Traditionally you’re supposed to boil the chicken in the pot.  I just have a thing against stewed or boiled chicken.  I have to admit, this is the first time I’ve made this dish myself and it originally wasn’t meant to be chicken and dumplings.  I was aiming for a pot pie, but didn’t want to mess with making a pie dough after Bikenut’s comment that he wasn’t thrilled with the pre-made crust the last time we used it.

Regardless of the original intent, the process was going to be the same, just with a little less thickening at the end.  So, I went off to Whole Foods and bought what I needed, came home and got started.  I think most people wouldn’t go through all the same trouble I did for this dish, and that’s fine.  Not everyone is insane like me, thankfully.  But I’m telling you, there’s a world of difference when you do it all yourself.  Sort of like that summer when I grew tomatoes in the backyard and thought they were the best tomatoes in the world, which is something coming from someone that still doesn’t like tomatoes to this day.

But I digress… where this recipe takes a turn from the traditional chicken & dumplings is right out of the gate.  Rather than boiling or stewing the chicken, I roasted it in the oven.  I like the flavor and juiciness of roasted chicken, so it seemed the natural way to go about starting things off.  It’s a little more work, but I really think it’s worth it for the flavor and texture.  Because I didn’t boil the chicken, I needed chicken broth.  I didn’t want to use store-bought broth and opted to roast the chicken bones after pulling the meat off, then boiling the bones with the same spices I used to season the chicken (along with a couple bay leaves and some parsley) in order to make a broth.  After that, we rejoin the chicken & dumplings highway that most people travel.

It is definitely an investment in terms of time, but I thought it turned out amazingly well and totally worth the time spent.   Sorry, Grandma!

(If you’re in a bit more of a rush, there’s a shortcut at the end of the recipe below.)

Peep’s Not-So-Traditional Chicken & Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick, skin on)
  • Spice mix #1: Garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried sage, sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 cups of water
  • Spice mix #2: Dried parsley, 2 bay leaves, plus Spice mix #1
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped (with leaves)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 2-3 Tbsp flour
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose baking mix (I used Trader Joe’s Pancake and All-Purpose Baking Mix)
  • 1/3 cup of half & half (or milk)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Season chicken legs with spice mix #1, roughly 1 teaspoon of each to cover all six legs.
  2. Roast legs in oven for about 1 hour, until juices run clear.  Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  3. Remove skin and discard (or enjoy a little treat.)  Remove meat from bones, cover with foil and set aside along with drippings.  Place bones in a large cast iron dutch oven and return to oven to roast at 350°F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Remove cast iron pot from oven and place directly on the stovetop over medium heat.  Add four cups of water, or enough to just cover the bones.  Add spice mix #2, roughly 1 teaspoon each of sage and thyme, 2 teaspoons each of remaining spices.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for at least 1 hour.  Taste for flavoring and adjust spices to taste.  Remove bones from pot and discard.
  5. Add chicken meat, drippings, carrots, celery, onion, and potato to the broth.  Simmer 15-20 minutes over medium/medium-low heat, or until vegetables are tender.
  6. In a small pot, melt butter.  Add flour and a dash each of spice mix #1.  Stir together and allow flour to cook, about 1-2 minutes.  Add to stew, stir,  cover and simmer over medium-low heat while preparing the dumpling batter.  (You could also use potato flakes to thicken instead, or in addition if you want to thicken it further.)
  7. For dumplings, combine baking mix, half & half, and parsley flakes in a small bowl.  When stew is simmering, add dumpling batter, one tablespoon at a time to the stew.  Once all dumplings (about 8 of them) have been dropped, cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Do not uncover for at least 10 minutes!
  8. Check doneness of dumplings by inserting a toothpick into the center.  Toothpick should come out clean.  (My dumplings were still really wet on top, so I ended up gently flipping them after 12 minutes and cooking for another 5 minutes or so.)
  9. Serve stew in a bowl with 2 dumplings per serving.

SHORTCUT:  If you’re looking for a quicker version for a weeknight, you could use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the market, or leftover cooked chicken, and store-bought chicken broth then skip ahead to Step 5 in the instructions above.

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Chicken & Corn Chowder

What do you do with leftover roasted chicken and corn on the cob?  Make chicken and corn chowder, of course!

Bikenut and I had a friend over for dinner the other night.  Actually, we had a friend over so Bikenut could work his bike magic on said friend’s bicycle, and thought it would be rude if we didn’t offer for him to stay for dinner.  So, the menu went from a panzanella and soup to oven-barbecued chicken, corn bread, corn on the cob, and baked beans.  The baked beans were what Bikenut was craving, and the rest of the menu fell in around that.

Since I was going to have the oven going, I bought enough extra chicken and corn on the cob to cook up at the same time as the dinner for that evening.  Technically, that doesn’t make it “leftovers” but this recipe would definitely work well for them if you have them!  Or, you know, you could make it with non-leftover chicken and corn, too.

It turned out that I didn’t have enough room in the oven for EVERYTHING (a pan of barbecued chicken, a smaller pan for the plain roasted chicken, a muffin tin for the corn bread, and two ears of corn took up most all of my oven space!) so I ended up boiling the corn in the pot of broth this morning.  End result:  This isn’t a Chicken & ROASTED Corn Chowder recipe.  Hmph.

This recipe is so simple, and really tasty!  It turned to be a rich, velvety chowder base (but bright thanks to the lemon!) with nice bits of tender chicken and crisp, sweet corn.  Mmmm.  Give it a try!

Chicken & Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of chicken (I used one breast and one whole leg, bone-in, skin removed after cooking)
  • 4 ears of corn (shucked and rinsed)
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup of cream (or milk)
  • Pinch of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
  • Potato flakes (or leftover mashed potatoes, or other agent you prefer) for thickening
  • Juice of one lemon

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add broth, chicken (raw, or cold leftovers) and corn.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high, cover, and allow to boil for 12-15 minutes.  If adding raw chicken, make sure to boil until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and remove chicken and corn from broth to cool.
  3. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with a fork and return meat to the pot.  Cut the kernels of corn from the cob with a sharp knife, and return the kernels to the pot.  (For extra corn goodness, scrape the cut cobs with the edge of your knife to get the remaining corn bits and add this to the pot as well.)
  4. Add cream or milk and the spices and bring to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer.  Add potato flakes and stir until desired consistency is achieved.  (Some like it thinner, some like it thicker.  I’m of the latter group, and I like added potato flavor!)
  5. Add chives and lemon juice.  Stir.  (TIP: Use kitchen shears to “chop” chives directly into the pot.)
  6. Serve hot, topped with:
  • a crack of fresh black pepper, a slice of lemon, and a sprinkle of chives
  • avocado slices sprinkled with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • chopped, roasted red pepper or fresh diced jalapeno pepper
  • a dollop of your favorite salsa
  • cornbread crumbles

LOST – OMGWTFBBQ Recipes

While I don’t have any pictures for the blog, I do have recipes!  I was really WAY too busy with the food prep to be able to spend the extra time to get the photos, but the results were delicious!  Ask anyone that actually showed up and ate!

I was going for LOST themed food stuffs, and I think it all turned out well — if not thematically, at least in being a successful dish over all.  The BBQ was a semi-potluck, where Bikenut and I would provide the meat of the meal (literally) and the guests were asked to bring an appetizer or side dish.  The contributions from our guests included a yummy mango salsa and tortilla chips, and a big pot of homemade spanish rice — both scrumptious!

For my part, I offered up Luau Ribs, fried chicken (in honor of Mr. Cluck’s!) and grilled shrimp.  I really didn’t work from any set recipes on any of these, I just sort of winged it.   As best as I can recall, here are the recipes if you want to try and recreate them for yourselves. 🙂

Peep’s Luau Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 2 slabs of extra meaty baby back pork ribs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups pineapple, orange and banana blend juice (or straight pineapple juice)
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 green onions, sliced (both white and green parts)
  • 1/2 bottle of Lagunitas IPA (or similar beer)

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all spices, sesame seeds, soy sauce, juice, garlic and green onions then whisk to combine.
  2. Place ribs, meat side down, in a large enough oven-proof dish to hold the ribs and the marinade mixture.  Pour marinade over the ribs.  (I used a large foil roasting pan.)
  3. Cover dish with foil and marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.  (Mine marinated for 17 hours total.)
  4. Thirty minutes prior to cooking, remove ribs from the fridge and flip them over in the marinade.  Let them sit on the counter to warm up to about room temperature before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 250°F.   Place the foil-covered dish in the oven (ribs, marinade and all) and bake for 1 hour, then baste the ribs with the marinade and replace the foil.  Increase temperature to 275°F and bake for another 60 to 90 minutes, or until tender.
  6. When ribs are just cooked through and tender, remove from the oven.  Reserve the pan juices in a small saucepan.  Simmer pan juices over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, to reduce into a glaze.
  7. Finish the ribs by glazing with the reduced sauce and grilling them over hot coals/flame (or under the broiler), basting with beer after each turn, until nicely carmelized.  Remove to a serving platter.
  8. Slice the ribs into individual portions and serve with the remaining glaze.

Peep’s Fried Chicken (How blasphemous!)

Ingredients:

  • 12-15 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • Spices, quantity to taste:
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Paprika
    • Cayenne pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Season drumsticks with spices.  Place in a container and cover with buttermilk.  Marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.
  2. Add enough oil to a large skillet (I used a deep 12″ pan) so that the oil comes about 1/8″ up the side of the pan.  Heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Drain buttermilk from the chicken.  Re-season drumsticks with spices, then dredge in flour.
  4. Making sure the oil is hot, cook chicken in batches of 4-5 pieces for about 10-12 minutes on each side, or longer for meatier pieces.   (To check oil temperature, dip the end of a drumstick into the oil.  If it doesn’t lightly sizzle, increase heat before adding chicken or your chicken will be oil-soaked and the batter won’t stick to the chicken.  If it sizzles violently, turn the heat down before adding the chicken, or you’ll end up burning your chicken before it’s cooked through. )
  5. Once chicken is cooked through and browned, remove from oil and place on a cooling rack over paper towels.  (Do not place chicken directly on paper towels.)
  6. Serve hot or cold.

Grilled Drunken Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds of jumbo raw shrimp (preferably cleaned and deveined, it’s not nice work to do yourself.)
  • 1 bottle of Lagunitas IPA (or your favorite beer)
  • 1 ton of garlic (or more realistically, 12 large cloves or more)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 2 lemons
  • Bamboo skewers

Directions:

  1. Place 4-5 shrimp on each skewer (I use two skewers, to keep the shrimp from flipping around on the stick while I’m trying to flip them on the grill) and place in a rectangular baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle garlic and onion powders over shrimp skewers.
  3. Crack whole garlic cloves using the side of a large knife blade (or smash them with whatever is handy) and toss garlic over the seasoned shrimp skewers.
  4. Pour beer over skewers, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill.
  5. Over hot coals, grill shrimp, basting with beer, until opaque.
  6. Remove from grill, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the shrimp and serve with additional lemon wedges.

Peep’s Asian Chicken

I had a craving for teriyaki chicken and rice.   So, I went to the store and bought some chicken thighs and a bottle of ginger-teriyaki sauce and figured I would just broil the chicken and baste it with the bottled sauce.  Upon returning home, I thought it would be a good idea to marinate the chicken first but, after spending $5 on a relatively small bottle of teriyaki sauce, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of dumping it into a bowl only to throw it out in an hour.  It wouldn’t have been enough to marinate the chicken in anyway!

Instead, I opted to make my own marinade.  I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t thought of it earlier so that I could have bought some fresh ingredients to include in the marinade (like green onions, fresh ginger and garlic), but after all was said and done, I think I’m glad to have a recipe that I can just open the cupboard and whip up.   It turned out so good that I didn’t even bother to open that bottle of teriyaki I bought! 🙂  Again, I didn’t think to take any pictures until it was all over and done with, but there’s not a lot to photograph when it’s just a bowl full of liquid and powder and chicken parts.  You’re probably better off this way.

I’m sure this would be equally good for thin strips of beef or short ribs, and would be really good for pork if you add a little pineapple juice to it.  I actually didn’t measure out my spices, but I think it was roughly about two teaspoons each, give or take.  I know I spilled a whole heap more five spice in the bowl, and tried to take most of the spillage out, but it was definitely the prominent flavor in the end.

If you’d like, after the chicken goes into the broiler, you could pour the marinade into a saucepan and bring it to a boil, then simmer it to reduce while the chicken cooks for a nice dipping sauce.

Peep’s Asian Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in
  • 2 cups of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each:
    • Sesame seed
    • Ground ginger powder
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Chinese five spice powder

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.  Whisk together until brown sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in remaining spices.
  2. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat.  Refrigerate chicken in marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove bowl from refrigerator and turn the chicken.  Marinate on the counter for another 30 minutes.
  4. Place oven rack about 10″ from broiler and preheat broiler (low).
  5. Place chicken pieces skin-side down on a cold broiler pan and broil for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn chicken pieces over and broil for another 10-15 minutes or until juices run clear and the internal temperature has reached 170F.
  7. Serve with steamed rice, broccoli crowns and julienned carrots.