zuni cafe’s roasted chicken + bread salad

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http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/12/zuni-cafe-roast-chicken-bread-salad/

Such a brilliantly simple recipe. I love crispy chicken skins.

One interesting fact that I should do more diligence on, but whatever: rubbing butter under the skins may make your chicken skin more soggy, because butter contains water. Duck fat, on the other hand, does not. Don’t bother rinsing your chicken; it just spreads bacteria around (and doesn’t wash it off), and adds the kind of gross step of drying the chicken before you roast.

Serves 2 to 4

One small chicken, 2 3/4 to 3 1/2-pounds
4 tender sprigs fresh thyme, marjoram, rosemary or sage, about 1/2 inch long
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
A little water

Season the chicken: [1 to 3 days before serving; give a 3 1/4 to 3 1/2-pound chicken at least 2 days]

Remove and discard the lump of fat inside the chicken. Rinse the chicken and pat very dry inside and out. Be thorough — a wet chicken will spend too much time steaming before it begins to turn golden brown.

Approaching from the edge of the cavity, slide a finger under the skin of each of the breasts, making 2 little pockets. Now use the tip of your finger to gently loosen a pocket of skin on the outside of the thickest section of each thigh. Using your finger, shove an herb sprig into each of the 4 pockets.

Season the chicken liberally all over with salt and pepper. Season the thick sections a little more heavily than the skinny ankles and wings. Sprinkle a little of the salt just inside the cavity, on the backbone, but don’t otherwise worry about seasoning the inside. Twist and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders. Cover loosely and refrigerate.

Prepare your oven and pan: [Day of, total time is 45 minutes to 1 hour]

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Choose a shallow flameproof roasting pan or dish barely larger than the chicken, or use a 10-inch skillet with an all-metal handle (we used a 12-inch cast iron frying pan for a 3 1/2 pound chicken). Preheat the pan over medium heat. Wipe the chicken dry and set it breast side up in the pan. It should sizzle.

Roast the chicken: Place the chicken in the pan in the center of the oven and listen and watch for it to start browning within 20 minutes. If it doesn’t, raise the temperature progressively until it does. The skin should blister, but if the chicken begins to char, or the fat is smoking, reduce temperature by 25 degrees. After about 30 minutes, turn the bird over — drying the bird and preheating the pan should keep the skin from sticking. Roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size, then flip back over to recrisp the breast skin, another 5 to 10 minutes.

Rest the chicken: Remove the chicken from the oven and turn off the heat. Lift the chicken from the roasting pan and set on a plate. Carefully pour the clear fat from the roasting pan, leaving the lean drippings behind. Add about a tablespoon of water to the hot pan and swirl it.

Slash the stretched skin between the thighs and breasts of the chicken, then tilt the bird and plate over the roasting pan to drain the juice into the drippings. You can let it rest while you finish your side dishes (or Bread Salad, below). The meat will become more tender and uniformly succulent as it cools.

Serve the chicken: Set a platter in the oven to warm for a minute or two.

Tilt the roasting pan and skim the last of the fat. Place over medium-low heat, add any juice that has collected under the chicken, and bring to a simmer. Stir and scrape to soften any hard golden drippings. Taste — the juices will be extremely flavorful.

Cut the chicken into pieces, spread on the warm platter (on top of the Bread Salad, if using).

Capitalize on leftovers: Strain and save the drippings you don’t use, they are delicious tossed with spätzle or egg noodles, or stirred into beans or risotto. You can also use them, plus leftover scraps of roast chicken, for a chicken salad.

Zuni Cafe Bread Salad
Adapted from the Zuni Cafe, San Francisco

I can’t describe it any better than they do: “Sort of a scrappy extramural stuffing, it is a warm mix of crispy, tender, and chewy chunks of bread, a little slivered garlic and scallion, a scatter of currants and pine nuts, and a handful of greens, all moistened with vinaigrette and chicken drippings.”

As I noted above, I’ve trimmed down the steps for this recipe significantly so it doesn’t resemble the original recipe a whole lot. But it remains equally delicious.

Generous 8 ounces slightly stale open-crumbed, chewy, peasant-style bread (not sourdough)
6 to 8 tablespoons mild-tasting olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried currants plumped in 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon warm water for ten minutes or so
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 to 3 garlic cloves, slivered
1/4 cup slivered scallions (about 4 scallions), including a little of the green part
2 tablespoons lightly salted chicken stock or lightly salted water
A few handfuls of arugula, frisée, or red mustard greens, carefully washed and dried

Preheat the broiler. Carve off all of the bottom and most of the top and side crusts from your bread (you can reserve these to use as croutons for soup or another salad). Tear bread into irregular 2- to 3-inch chunks, wads, bite-sized bits and fat crumbs. You should get about 4 cups.

Toss them with just a tablespoon or two of olive oil, lightly coating them, and broil them very briefly, just to lightly color the edges. If you’d like to toast the pine nuts (recommended) you can put them on your broiler tray as well, but watch them very carefully — they cook quickly!

Combine about 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the Champagne or white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss about 1/4 cup of this tart vinaigrette with the torn bread in a wide salad bowl; the bread will be unevenly dressed. Taste one of the more saturated pieces. If it is bland, add a little salt and pepper and toss again.

Heat a spoonful of the olive oil in a small skillet, add the garlic and scallions, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until softened. Don’t let them color. Scrape into the bread and fold to combine. Drain the plumped currants and fold them in, along with the pine nuts, if they were not already mixed with the bread scraps from the broiling step. Dribble the chicken stock or lightly salted water over the salad and fold again.

Taste a few pieces of bread — a fairly saturated one and a dryish one. If it is bland, add salt, pepper, and/or a few drops of vinegar, then toss well.

If you’re going to serve the salad under the roast chicken (recipe above), you can pile the bread salad on the serving dish you want to use and tent it with foil. If you want to serve it separately, do the same, but in a 1-quart shallow baking dish. Hang onto the bowl you mixed it in — you’ll use it again.

Place the salad in the oven after you flip the chicken the final time, for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Tip the bread salad back into the salad bowl. It will be steamy-hot, a mixture of soft, moist wads, crispy-on-the-outside-but-moist-in-the-middle-wads, and a few downright crispy ones. Drizzle and toss with a spoonful of the pan juices. Add the greens, a drizzle of vinaigrette, and fold well. Taste again.

Khao Soi (Thai Chicken Curry Soup)

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http://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/khao-soi-recipe-thai-curry-chicken-soup-rice-noodle-recipe-chiang-mai-nyc

Khao soi is a spicy Burmese-influenced noodle soup widely eaten in Northern Thailand. It’s spiked with a curry paste made of shallots, garlic turmeric, spices and herbs, giving the famous dish its signature flavor. Brooklyn-based chef Kanlaya Supachana cooks the curry paste in the soup’s coconut milk, giving her version a luxurious texture.

When preparing, rinse the noodles in cold water to stop them from overcooking.

Khao Soi
Recipe adapted from Kanlaya Supachana, Chiang Mai Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 20 minutes soaking time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes, plus 20 minutes soaking time

INGREDIENTS

For the Curry Paste:

8 to 10 dried Thai chile peppers

10 garlic cloves

5 kaffir lime leaves

4 medium shallots, halved

One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (⅓ cup sliced ginger)

One 2-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped coriander root or 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems

2 tablespoons sliced lemongrass (½ lemongrass stalk)

1 tablespoon shrimp paste

1 tablespoon curry powder

1½ teaspoons toasted coriander seeds, ground

1½ teaspoons toasted cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground

½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, ground

For the Khao Soi:

3 cups coconut milk, divided

Curry paste

2 cups water

1½ pounds chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated (4 legs)

1½ cups canola oil

4 ounces thin egg noodles

12 ounces thick egg noodles

2 tablespoons palm sugar

Kosher salt, to taste

Cilantro sprigs, pickled mustard greens, shallots, chile oil and lime wedges, for serving
DIRECTIONS

1. Make the curry paste: Place the dried chiles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let soak until softened, 20 minutes. Drain the chiles, reserving the soaking liquid.

2. In a food processor, pulse the chiles, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, ginger, turmeric, coriander root (or cilantro stems), lemongrass, shrimp paste, curry powder, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds and 2 to 4 tablespoons of the chile soaking liquid (as needed) to make a paste. Makes about 1¼ cups.

3. Make the soup: In a large heavy pot, heat 1 cup of the coconut milk over medium-high heat. When the coconut milk begins to simmer, add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has thickened and reduced, 5 minutes. Add the water and remaining 2 cups of coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, fry the thin noodles until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

5. Cook the thick egg noodles, according to the package directions, until al dente. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

6. Stir the palm sugar into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Divide the soup and noodles among 4 bowls and serve with cilantro, pickled mustard greens, shallots, chile oil and lime wedges.

 

West African Peanut Stew

West African Peanut Soup

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or red chard), ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • ¾ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • Hot sauce, like sriracha, to taste
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
  1. In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot. Sautee onion for 10 minutes until transluscent.
  2. Add ginger, garlic and salt; continue to sautee for 1 minute.
  3. Add chopped sweet potato and sautee for 1 minute.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, tomato paste. Whisk together the spices in a separate bowl, then stir into the mixture. Scrape up all the crunchy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Uncover the soup and add peanut butter; whisk until smooth. Stir in the collard greens and season the soup with hot sauce to taste. Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Serve over cooked brown rice if you’d like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.

Mexican Beer Braised Chicken Chilaquiles

Oh my god, this is the best thing I’ve ever made.

Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos RecipeSlow Cooker Braised Chicken Tacos

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boned, skinned chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup Mexican beer (I use Negra Modelo)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 chipotle chile
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise

1. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Add to Dutch oven and cook until chicken is lightly golden but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside.

2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cumin, chile powder and garlic, and let cook another 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken broth to the skillet, scraping the browned onion off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and pour mixture into slow cooker. Add the chicken, beer, tomato paste, chipotle chile, cinnamon stick and star anise.

4. Cook on high for 3 hours. Uncover, break chicken apart with a fork, then cover and cook 1 hour more.

5. Put the dutch oven to simmer on the stove until liquid has been reduced to taste. When ready to serve, scramble eggs with a handful of broken tortilla chips. Spoon the chicken on top of scrambled eggs. Serve with side of avocado and cotija cheese.

Kimchi Meatloaf

kimchi meatloaf melt

5.0 from 3 reviews
Kimchi meatloaf
Serves: about 6
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs. ground meat (I use a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1 cup finely chopped kimchi
  • 6 Tbs. milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. grated ginger
  • ½ of a yellow onion, grated on a box grater
  • 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs (gf breadcrumbs work well, if you’re gf)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbs. corn or tapioca starch (this is additional binder, but it might work without it, I haven’t tried yet)
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 Tbs. gochujang or sriracha or another Asian chili paste
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbs. mustard
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat your oven to 450F. In a large mixing bowl, add the ground meat, kimchi, milk, garlic, ginger, grated onion, bread crumbs, egg, corn starch, soy sauce, salt, 2 tsp. sesame oil, and black pepper.
  2. Mix everything together really well – I recommend using your hands because you really can’t get it all adequately combined otherwise.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet or pan with parchment paper. Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape and place it on the pan. Mix all the glaze ingredients together and brush half of the glaze all over the meatloaf.
  4. Put the meatloaf in the oven and cook it at 450F for 10-15 minutes, to start giving it a crust. Then, turn the heat down to 400F and bake for about another 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, take the meatloaf out and brush the remaining glaze over it. Return it to the oven and bake another 10-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160F. Take it out of the oven and let it rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  6. I served our meatloaf with a sort of cabbage and mango slaw with rice vinegar dressing. I bet it would be good be sauteed bok choy and rice or even mashed potatoes as well. And, of course, it makes awesome sandwiches.

Mustard-Maple Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds and Candied Pepitas

Ingredients:

Pepitas
1/2 cup shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup maple syrup
generous sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 

Dressing
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Remaining Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs trimmed brussels sprouts (trim the bases and peel away the outer, darkest leaves)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

Place a piece of parchment paper on a plate. Place the pepitas and maple syrup in a nonstick skillet and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat and cook for 6-7 minutes. Spoon the pepitas onto the parchment in a single layer and allow to cool. When cool and crisp, break into small pieces.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Using the slicing attachment on a food processor, slice the brussels sprouts (or, thinly slice by hand.)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the brussels sprouts, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until browned in spots. Add dressing and toss to coat. Toss in candied pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Adjust seasonings to taste, and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Mushroom Stuffing

  • 6 cups cubed pumpkin bread
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped red onion
  • 3 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet, and let dry overnight. Alternatively, heat in a 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) oven until dry, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart baking dish.
Put oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute celery and onions for about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, and continue cooking for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Season with rosemary, tarragon, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Fold in bread cubes (walnuts and cranberries if desired), and add enough broth to moisten. Transfer to prepared dish, and cover with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove cover, and bake for 10 minutes, or until top is crisp.