Simon & Garfunkle Chicken

My cousins, Joe & Tammy, fed us this dinner about 20 years ago. It is great! We usually skip the sauce but sometimes serve regular gravy along with the chicken. Make sure you use a large enough baking dish to accommodate all the vegetables.

1 4 1/2 lb. chicken
salt
2 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
1 1/2 tsp. dried ground or rubbed sage
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
5 Tbsp. olive oil
4 small russet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
8 large shallots
4 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
minced parsley

Sauce:
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp. butter, cut into 6 tabs

Preheat oven to 425F

Combine rosemary, sage, thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Rub chicken with salt. Using half the herb mixture, rub some of the herb mixture inside the chicken and put 1 bay leaf in the cavity. Rub 2 tbsp. oil on chicken and rub on herb mixture. Place in large baking pan.

Surround chicken with potatoes, shallots and carrots. Toss with remaining oil and herb mixture. Add remaining bay leaf.

Bake chicken upside down for 45 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue cooking until done, approximately 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours total. Toss vegetables occasionally. Temperature in the joint where the leg attaches to the body should be 185F. Remove from oven, rest 15 minutes. Keep warm if preparing sauce.
Sprinkle vegetables with minced parsley if not preparing sauce.

Sauce:
Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup and degrease. Add enough stock to measure 2 cups.

Add vinegar to baking pan and bring to boil over medium heat; scraping up any browned bits. Boil until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add stock mixture and boil until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in parsley. Serve sauce over vegetables and chicken.

Honey Chicken

Both of my daughter’s love honey chicken, especially with boneless chicken.

The original recipe called for bone-in chicken, but I find it works just as well with boneless. Just be sure to bake the chicken accordingly.

Chicken pieces, skinless
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
salt & pepper

Crushed saltine crackers (about a sleeve for 1 chicken)

1/2 cup – 1 cup honey

Combine the olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow bow.

Place the crushed saltines in another shallow bowl. Just crush the crackers with your hands, the pieces do not need to be even.

Choose a baking pan large enough to accommodate your chicken without crowding. Line with parchment paper or foil and lightly grease. Lining the pan makes clean up easier but is not necessary.

Dip the chicken first in oil, then in crackers and place in pan or baking sheet. Bake.

15 minutes before the chicken is done, very generously pour honey on each piece. I never measure the honey, I just pour it on. Return to oven and finish baking.

For my Morgan who will have to learn to cook soon, here are some guidelines for baking times & temps.

Boneless breast – 425F, 20-30 minutes
Boneless thighs – 350F, 45 minutes
Bone-in dark meat – 350F, 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours

Check with a meat thermometer – breast meat should be 160F, Dark meat 185F.

Souvlakia

Adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Jeff Smith. New York: Ballantine Books, 1984.

In Jeff Smith’s cookbook he calls this Pork Souvlakia, but in his spirit I use chicken and even tofu as well. This isn’t exactly authentic but it is delicious. I have never made this with only tofu but a combination of tofu and chicken. Tonight, I am using bone-in chicken legs and will broil the meat instead of grilling it.

For the marinade combine:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Cut the following into cubes, about 1-inch:
1 pound boneless pork or chicken
1 yellow onion, peeled
1 green bell pepper

Marinate the meat and vegetables about 2 hours, refrigerated.

Skewer meat and vegetables, alternating. Grill or broil until done, about 15 minutes. This also works just fine in a grill basket.

Serve with Cucumber Tzatziki.

Turkey Pot Pie

Finally, we have internet access again. Hurricane Sandy reeked havoc on the cable line to our house.

And yes, we are still eating leftover turkey. Here is tonight’s recipe for pot pie, the vegetables always change. I like to top pot pie with a biscuit topping instead of pie crust, recipe follows.

1 tablespoon canola oil or butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 very large carrot or two regular carrots, sliced
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut into a large dice
1 potato, cut into small cubes
1 small sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup leftover turkey gravy, optional
1 cup coarsely chopped, cooked turkey (or more if you like more meat)
1 cup frozen peas
flour to thicken

Heat the oil over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots 4-5 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and zucchini and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add both potatoes, water and gravy. There should be enough liquid to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the turkey and peas. In a glass, add enough water to a couple tablespoons of flour to make a thick liquid. Stir some of the flour mix into the stew. Bring to a boil. If the stew is not thick enough, add more of the flour mix.

Remove from heat and pour into a 2-quart oven proof casserole dish.

Mix the biscuit dough and press out into the shape of your casserole. If you are using a wide dish you may need double the biscuit recipe.

Biscuit Topping
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons four
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening. Mix in buttermilk. Press out on floured board to size of baking dish.

Bake at 425F for 20 minutes until lightly browned. This is likely to boil over, so you might want to place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Country Captain / East India Chicken Curry

This recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking.

Chicken, a fryer cut into pieces, boneless, skinless thighs also work very well

Dredge the chicken in flour seasoned with salt & pepper.

In an ovenproof skillet or dutch oven, brown the chicken in 1/4 cup of butter or oil, set aside.

Saute in the pan drippings until golden:
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Add:
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup canned diced or stewed tomatoes and liquid

Simmer to deglaze the pan.

Add 1 diced apple, unpeeled is fine
Add the chicken. Bake at 350F uncovered about 40 minutes until the chicken is tender.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking add 1/4 cup raisins.
Garnish with sliced almonds and serve with boiled rice.

I have long wanted to turn this into a vegetarian recipe but nothing can quite replace the overall flavor of the chicken. However, the last time I made a pot of chicken soup I had a cup of leftover meat. So I used that, half a head of cauliflower and a diced potato in this recipe. It worked very well. Not exactly vegetarian but it made the most of a little bit of meat.

Cantonese Chicken and Vegetables

Adapted from Chinese Cookery by Rose Cheng & Michele Morris. Los Angeles, CA: Price Stern Sloan, Inc., 1981.

Chicken and Vegetables

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken

Marinade:
1 tablespoon soy saucy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 egg white

Seasoning Sauce:
1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin works fine)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Vegetables:
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup diced cooked carrots
1/3 cup mushrooms, diced
1/3 cup water chestnuts, diced
1/2 cup diced green/red pepper (about 1 small)
1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths (or any other vegetable diced)
1/2 onion, diced (optional)

Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Dice the chicken and add to the marinade. Let stand 30 minutes.

Combine the ingredients for the seasoning sauce and set aside.

Dice all the vegetables.

In a large wok, heat 3-5 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until lightly browned and cooked. Remove from wok with a slotted spoon, set aside.

Add garlic and ginger to wok and stir-fry 1 minute.
Add mushrooms, pepper, onion and asparagus to wok and stir-fry 2 minutes until crisp-tender.
Add carrots and water chestnuts, continue to stir-fry another 2 minutes.
Stir seasoning sauce to dissolve cornstarch. Add chicken and seasoning sauce to wok and cook until warmed through and sauce thickens.

Tennis Chicken

So named because the first time I made it I packed it up and brought it to tennis lessons. My husband met us at the courts and we ate dinner in the break between the youngest and oldest daughter’s lessons. It was a huge hit.

While the rub seems strong it isn’t hot. I have served it to a large number of people over the years and it has always met with approval.

The spice rub and general grilling directions are adapted from The Best Recipe Grilling & Barbecue. Brookline, MA: Boston Common Press, 2001.

1 whole roasting chicken, brined

spice rub
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Any leftover rub can be stored in an airtight container.

To brine the chicken dissolve 1/2 cup kosher salt in 2 quarts of water. Add chicken and refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain and pat dry.

Rub the spice rub all over the chicken, inside and out, and under the skin.

We use a gas grill but the concept is the same for charcoal, cook the chicken on cool part of the grill.

Heat the grill. Turn off all but one burner. Put the chicken, breast side down on the unlit/cool part of the grill. Cover and roast for 35 minutes. Turn the chicken over and put the side that was facing away from the heat towards the heat. Cover and roast until done, about 35-45 minutes longer. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer – the thickest part of the thigh should read 170˚ to 175˚F.

Allow to rest about 15 minutes before carving.

Turkey Burgers

This recipe is adapted from Eating Well.

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. couscous cooked in 1/2 cup boiling water.

Saute in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until softened:
1 small onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced

Add to frying pan:
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
Heat until fragrant. Cool.

Combine:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
the cooked couscous and onion mixture

Form into patties, makes about 6 very large burgers.
Grill or fry.

Taco Spice Mix

This mix is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.  I use this basic mix for beef, turkey and vegetable tacos.

1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne
salt & pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 tspn brown sugar
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Saute the onion, garlic & meat or vegies/beans. Add the spices and cook until they darken, about a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, broth, brown sugar & vinegar. Simmer until desired thickness.