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.

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.

Sweet and Sour Pan-Fried Sea Bass

Total Time: 25 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

¼ cup Sherry vinegar

Four 5-ounce sea bass fillets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup olive oil

½ cup thinly sliced shallots

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Good pinch red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

What to Do

1. Place cranberries and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once vinegar comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.

2. Pat fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge fillets through flour and shake off excess. Heat ½ cup oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, fry fillets until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and fry reverse side until golden, about 3 minutes more. Transfer fish to a plate and discard frying oil.

3. Wipe frying pan and set over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Once hot, add shallots and sauté until translucent but not browned, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in pepper flakes, cranberry mixture, pine nuts and orange juice, and cook until reduced by a third, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and whisk in remaining oil and parsley. To serve, spoon sauce over fish.

Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl

miso sweet potato + broccoli bowl

Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl
Inspired by the version in Goop; dressing from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

There’s of course no reason to only use these vegetables, or to not swap in others, if you desire. I’d estimate about 1/4 cup dried rice or grains per person; most triple in volume once cooked. I forgot to buy ginger before making the dressing this time and was shocked that we didn’t notice it missing this time, so don’t panic if you’re short an ingredient or two.

Serves 4

For the bowl
1 cup dried rice or another cooking grain of your choice
1 to 2 sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds)
1 large bundle broccoli (about 1 pound)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

For the miso-sesame dressing
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white miso (the mildest kind)
2 tablespoons tahini (other nut butters can work in a pinch)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place rice or grain and cooking liquid in a rice cooker or on the stove. Cook according to package directions.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cut tops off broccoli and separate into bite-sized florets. If your broccoli stems feel especially woody, I like to peel them (with the same vegetable peeler), then cut them into 1/2- to 1-inch segments.

Coat one large or two smaller trays with a thin slick of olive oil. Layer sweet potatoes on tray(s) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until browning underneath. Flip and toss chunks around, then add broccoli to the tray(s), season again with salt and pepper, and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, until broccoli is lightly charred at edges and sweet potato is fully bronzed and tender. Toss chunks around one more time if it looks like they’re cooking unevenly.

In a small skillet, toast black and white sesame seeds until fragrant. (You can do this in the oven if using an oven-proof skillet.) Let cool.

While vegetables roast, prepare sesame-miso dressing: Combine everything in a blender and run until smooth, scraping down sides once. Taste and adjust ingredients if needed, but try to resist adding more honey if it tastes salty, as that extra pop of saltiness is exactly what I think sweet potato needs.

Assemble bowls: Scoop some rice/grains into each, then pile on the roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli. Coat lightly with sesame-miso dressing and finish with toasted sesame seed duo. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Ramen Crust Pizza

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/09/ramen-crust-pizza-recipe.html?ref=box_quick

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the authorJ. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

YIELD: Serves 3 to 4
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 10-inch cast skillet
THIS RECIPE APPEARS IN: Pizza Lab: How to Make Ramen Crust Pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 packages instant ramen noodles, noodles only
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces grated mozzarella or Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup homemade or store-bought pizza sauce
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Toppings, as desired

Procedures

  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook, breaking them apart with tongs, until flexible but not completely softened, about 2 minutes. Drain carefully.2

  2. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add noodles and press with the bottom of a spatula into an even later that completely covers the bottom of the skillet. Reduce heat to low.

  3. Spread half of mozzarella or Jack cheese evenly over noodles, then spread sauce, going all the way to the edge of the pan. Spread remaining mozzarella or jack on top along with half of parmesan. Top pizza as desired, then place in oven. Bake until top is browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Allow to cool slightly, then use a thin metal spatula to loosen edges from skillet. Carefully slide pizza out onto cutting board. Slice, and serve immediately.