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Smoky Mustard-y Barbecue Chicken

20160607-062818.jpg As stated before, Mister Sive is the griller in the family and I am the lucky eater of all that grilled goodness. He made a crazy good chicken the other day that I really wanted him to share with all of you, so today’s post is brought to you by him.

Like a lot of guys, grilling brings out the chemist/mad scientist in me. Something about fire and experimenting with combinations: exciting!

This goal with the following idea was to get a deep smoky and intense flavor to the chicken. TKW says it worked, so this is my post for him today.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/3 cup mustard

These proportions are merely a starter; focus on spice, tang, sweetness or acidity to your liking. Mix all ingredients lightly with a whisk until blended.

Take a good sized whole chicken and place in a large ziploc bag. Pour the marinade in and mush until spread over the whole chicken. Partially close the bag, release the excess air, and complete the ziploc. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for 4 or so hours, flipping the bag in the bowl every hour. Take out an hour before grilling.

Prepare your grill for indirect heating (coals to the sides) and just before placing the chicken on the grill, add some water soaked smoky wood chips. (I did this twice.) Grill on medium to hot (400ish degrees) for about an hour, until internal temp is 165. After flipping a few times after a few minutes on each side (to get a good seat on the skin) I then started this bird breast side down, to capture juices and fat in the meat. For the last 30 minutes or so I cooked breast up.

Served with grilled potatoes, grilled Napa cabbage and grilled corn on the cob, it’s an ode to charcoal and Summer.

Happy grilling!



Smoked Oaxacan Mole Sauce

20150908-073519.jpg I have been meaning to write about this mole sauce for quite some time, but each time I use it in a dish, we are so hungry that I forget to snap a photo. Last eve, I promised myself when I started cooking that I would take a photo of the finished product. Alas, this incredibly good mole sauce is the post today. We have carried this for quite some time at Watson Kennedy, as I think this jar makes a cool little gift, as well as having a jar of it stashed away in your larder for a rainy/easy cooking day. Made by lovely folks in Portland, Oregon, this stuff is magic in a jar. Just spoon over a few chicken breast and roast in the oven. Add more in the last few minutes of the cooking process. Add a bit more once the meat has rested and spoon over the cut up pieces of chicken so the sauce really gets all over the meat. The deep, smoky flavor turning ordinary chicken into extraordinary chicken. Last night I served it with roasted Yukon gold potatoes, black beans, salsa and a sprinkling of feta over the whole thing. Fun to have a few jars of things around to add to something simple like chicken to bump up the flavor quotient and make it extra special.



Chicken with Meyer Lemons, Olives & Rosemary

20150312-050821.jpg I am finding bags of Meyer lemons to be plentiful this time of year. The sweet thin skinned lemons the perfect addition to chicken. This easy Provençal inspired dish feels a bit like Summer, even when it is not.

Oven to 400. Of course. Salt, pepper and olive oil skinless boneless chicken thighs that you have put in a baking dish. I prefer skinless for this as it produces way less fat, and the sauce at the end becomes part of the dish. I prefer thighs to white meat for this, as they stay moist. If you are not a dark meat fan, then for sure try with breast meat, just watch super carefully to not over cook the meat.

Then add a few sprigs of rosemary and a handful of olives. Cut up Meyer lemons, some halved and some quartered, tucking them here and there among the chicken. Lastly, pour over a bit of good white wine to moisten the entire mixture. Bake/roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on a thermometer. Several times during the cooking process, move things around a bit in the dish. Start spooning over the juice that is being created over the meat. Add more white wine if you think more liquid is needed.

End result, you will get super moist chicken along with an amazing sauce that the lemons, olives, rosemary, olive oil and the chicken drippings have produced. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice or egg noodles, being sure to ladle over that precious sauce. The Meyer lemons are edible, skin and all, so give those a try too. This is easy enough for a week night meal but also has an earthly quality that makes for a stellar meal to serve to guests.



Plums Roasted with Chicken & Green Olives

20140913-074510.jpg A super easy meal to make as the plums are so plentiful right now. Halve plums and take out pit. Add to chicken filled baking dish alongside green olives, minced garlic, S&P, extra virgin olive oil, and a splash of white wine. Cook at 400 degrees until chicken is done. Serve over egg noodles or rice. Many of the plums breakdown and create a glorious sauce and others remain intact and look great nestled up next to the chicken. Apologies, we were so hungry after this came out of the oven that I forgot to click a photo of it plated up. Perfect for a week night meal but also lovely to serve to guests.



Ted’s Tip No. 10

20140908-052843.jpg Fresh herbs make the perfect base when you are baking/roasting a piece of fish or chicken. Simply lay either on top of fresh herbs that you put on the bottom of a baking dish. Add a little white wine or olive oil or both and get set for a seriously infused herbaceous treat when all is said and done.



Balsamic Glazed Chicken

20140624-065412.jpg I find it so interesting why we grab for the same things over and over again when we are cooking. I guess it becomes comfort in familiarity. The other day I grabbed for something I have never used when it comes to cooking chicken, balsamic vinegar. Balsamic is something we like and cook with quite a bit, but I had never used it on chicken. Saturday morning was my initiation. We take the ferry over to Vashon in the evening, so we always have dinner in the car. Often times it means picking something up in the Market that day, or stopping and picking up quick take-out on the way to the ferry. But the thing we most like is when it is a home cooked meal. This is where the balsamic glazed chicken comes in.

We had boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the fridge so that is what I used but I think this would work really on any cut of chicken. Turn oven to 400 while you get the chicken ready. This really is so darn easy so don’t blink or you might miss it. Put chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pour extra virgin olive oil over the chicken to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle all with salt & pepper. Next liberally dose the whole lot with balsamic vinegar. Put in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then take out of the oven and turn the chicken pieces over, spooning the liquid in the dish over the chicken and return to the oven. Bake another 15 minutes and then check the internal temp of the meat until it reads 160. Times vary depending on the meat thickness. Cook until it gets to that temperature. Once there, take out of oven and cover dish with aluminum foil for 5 minutes. Done. Really could not be easier. Truly. The chicken gets this amazing caramelization on it and becomes so tasty. I sliced it and we had it over a big kale salad which had cherries and corn in it. A one bowl car meal enjoyed as the ferry took us to the island.



Roasted Romanesco & Rosemary Chicken Tossed with Pappardelle in Brown Butter

20140401-093330.jpg I made this at WestWard the week-end before last and I had wanted to write about it earlier, but today is the day. The Romanesco is nearing its finish of season and was still looking great at Frank’s so that is what got the whole ball rolling. A big white onion was added too plus a lemon.

20140401-093609.jpg Walking around the Market getting inspired about making a meal is one of my very favorite things. One thing leads to another. 2 big skinless boneless chicken breasts from Don & Joe’s that were just looking plump & luscious. Next. DeLaurentis was were I went to look for butter noodles but then the box of pappardelle looked great. Picked up a big piece of Parm there. The meal was shaping up. It would be a one plate Sunday supper. My favorite. Here is how it rolled.

20140401-093815.jpg Turn on oven to 400 and let it get hot while you start to work. This is when I pour myself a glass of wine. I find cooking immensely relaxing. The wine helps set that mood. We had these big pots of rosemary on the steps down to the beach that did amazingly well over the Winter. I clipped a few big sprigs. Lay the whole rosemary stems on the bottom of a baking dish. Lay chicken breasts on top of those. Salt & pepper liberally. Cut up your lemon in small pieces and scatter around the chicken. Liberally dose the whole lot with extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil, lemon juices and rosemary are going to flavor the heck out of the chicken and also create a bit of a sauce you are going to add to the pasta once all is done for extra flavor. Put the chicken in the oven and bake away until the internal temp of the chicken is 160 to 165. Around 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. I could not live without a stick-in thermometer. I find it impossible to eyeball the doneness of meat. The thermometer takes all the guessing out of it. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and cover the entire dish with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.

While the chicken was in the oven, I did more than just drink wine. Insert smiling face. Cut up the Romanesco into bite sized pieces as well as the onion. Scatter both on a baking sheet and sprinkle with EVOO and S&P. This pan can go into the same oven while the chicken is cooking. Check often, moving things around while you check to insure even cooking and browning. Most likely done in 30 minutes, so it will be finished before the chicken. Which is fine. Take out and set on the counter. These don’t have to be hot when you serve the pasta.

In those 10 minutes the chicken is resting cook the pasta. Check package instructions. Save a bit of the pasta water. Drain pasta. While that was cooking away, add half a stick of butter (this serves 4) to a really large handled pot on the stovetop. You want the butter to cook down and brown. Stay with this. It can go South quite quickly. Once the butter has developed a nice golden brown, turn off the heat and take off that burner. Almost there.

20140401-094437.jpg Take chicken breasts and slice. Set aside. To the big pan with brown butter add the pasta, a bit of the juices from the chicken pan, and a really big handful of freshly grated Parmesan. Toss all together. If you want it saucier, add a bit of the pasta water so it is to your liking. Then add the Romanesco and onions along with the chicken and toss again. Plate all. Put another bit of Parm on top. Done. It was a bit of work, but it is really good and so worth it. Enjoy. Enjoy.




Marmalade & Cognac Glazed Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

20140107-064843.jpg This is a recipe that could not be easier, working great for dinner for 2 or a large crowd. Have the butcher cut up whole chickens for you, if you are not feeling adventurous.

Oven preheating to 400 degrees while you assemble all. Pat dry your chicken pieces. Put on a baking sheet or in a baking pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Cut up several lemons in quarters and juice over the chicken pieces, being careful to not get in the seeds. I juice it over a small strainer that catches the seeds. Then tuck in the lemons amongst the chicken pieces. Also tuck in full sprigs of rosemary. You will be amazed at how good your house smells once this gets cooking. Now, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the whole lot. Let sit. In a small bowl put in a generous portion of a marmalade or jam of your liking–think peach, orange, plum, nectarine. Peach is generally my choice. Add to that several good splashes of Cognac to thin it all out. If you don’t generally have a bottle of Cognac sitting around, pick one up next time you are shopping. It lasts forever and is so great in so many recipes and desserts. Our bottle has been in the cupboard for ages. With a brush or small spoon put the mixture over all of the chicken pieces. This stuff is magic. Put all in the oven and bake/roast for 40 minutes or until the temp of the chicken is 160. The juices should run clear when you prick a piece with a knife. I am a huge fan of the instant read thermometer, as I just feel most comfortable knowing exactly the temp.

Once done, take out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil. The chicken will continue to cook a tad while resting. The chicken juices will marry with the lemon juice, the olive oil, the rosemary oils and the marmalade that has dripped off the chicken making one amazing sauce to spoon over the chicken once you are ready to serve. Is divine with rice or mashed potatoes, as the sauce becomes kind of a piquant gravy of sorts too.




The Easiest Chicken Dish

20131001-070154.jpg Often times the simplest of things, using the very best of ingredients, can be the tastiest. Such is the case with this chicken dish. I have seen a few different variations on cooking shows, and I have taken bits and pieces of it to make this as easy as possible to make when you come home after a busy day. Turn oven to 400 the minute you walk in the door and start to prep things.

20131001-070641.jpg For this, I was just cooking 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast. You will want a clove of garlic and a lemon for each breast you are making. This is tasty enough to make and serve at a dinner with guests too. In a baking dish sprinkle in a bit of the best extra virgin olive oil you own. To that juice the lemons. Add pinches of salt and pepper. Minch 2 garlic cloves and add that to the mixture as well. Add a bit of white wine. If you have a bottle open in the fridge, great. Or use some from the bottle you will serve with the meal. A Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay are my usual go-to cooking choices. This is all going to cook down and reduce and become the sauce. Place chicken breasts on top of this mixture. Then add more olive oil to the tops of the chicken as well as liberal amounts of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add some or all of the spent lemons you juiced earlier to the dish. The oils from the skin will cook into the sauce. Done. Cook in your oven that is now nice and hot for 40 minutes or so. The internal temp of the breasts should read 160 degrees when done. A meat thermometer is a must in every well-stocked kitchen. They are easy to find, with even many grocery stores stocking them. It will become your new best friend in the kitchen, as it is utterly helpful when cooking any type of meat. Cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. Chicken can be so easy to under or over cook, so checking the internal temp along the way is helpful.

20131001-071614.jpg All the lemon juice, olive oil, white wine, garlic and chicken juices will have cooked down to create a lovely sauce. Spoon that over the chicken and your rice of choice. Serve with whatever veg you like. Simple, easy and oh so delicious.

A happy start of October everyone.
From Seattle, Ted