Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Four-Ways (Part 2)

I hope everyone had a good Labour Day weekend, and that you are settling into September.  I had what will likely be my last first day of school. Toronto had our first chillier day yesterday, so I know fall is in the air.

This is a continuation of my earlier cooking chicken adventures post. My kitchen bucket list had roasting a whole chicken for a very long time. I’m proud to say I can cross that off. Fryer chicken was on sale at the grocery store one week so I picked it up and set out to roast a chicken. Over the past couple years, I’ve read that it is actually not that difficult to roast a chicken, but it was still somewhat intimidating working with, well, an entire animal. Now I’m confident I know the anatomy of a chicken!

So what roast chicken recipe did I end up using? It’s called “Engagement Chicken”. The back story is  that several women served their boyfriends this chicken and later, the boyfriend asked the girlfriend to marry him. No, there is nobody I want to be engaged to right now. I borrowed 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know from the library (I won’t go into the arguably sexist title here, but it is a surprisingly good recipe book), which contained the above recipe for roast chicken. It had an interesting story and seemed approachable, which was a plus.

The chicken turned out moist and flavourful from the lemon. I do need to keep working on that crispy browned skin. I also need to learn how to carve a chicken. Fortunately since I’m cooking for one, it really doesn’t matter how the chicken ends up looking on the plate.

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I was so pleased with cooking a whole chicken that I decided to buy another chicken while it was still on sale. This time I spatchcocked it by cutting out the back bone with a pair of kitchen shears. Totally not hard at all with scissors. Heehee, I love the word “spatchcock”.

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I followed the recipe for huli huli chicken in Aida Mollencamp’s Keys to the Kitchen. Huli huli is a Hawaiian sauce. I marinated the chicken in pineapple juice, ginger, garlic and soya sauce before roasting it the oven.

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This is another good recipe to have on hand. You can’t go wrong with garlic. The sauce itself is dark so the chicken is not actually burnt. Although the recipe called to grill the chicken, since I don’t have a grill, I followed the instructions to roast it. This way I could also keep all the marinade in the roasting pan while in the oven.

I  saved the backbone for chicken stock — another food to-do list item, for sure! My other chicken to-do is to butcher a whole chicken into eight to ten parts (breast, thigh, drum, wing), and also learn how to butcher a chicken Chinese-style, which tends to serve cooked chicken cut up including the bones (e.g, the breast bone is part of the smaller breast pieces). I love learning new techniques in the kitchen.

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Chicken Four Ways (Part 1)

One of the great things about summer as a student is having the time to experiment with new recipes. I am not a self-professed meat lover, and let’s face it, cooking grains or legumes is so much less pressure. That said I am happy to add these simple chicken recipes to my repertoire.

First I started with drumsticks. I made Shutterbean’s Honey Lime Drumsticks.  I marinated the chicken in a honey, lime and minced garlic for a couple hours. Next time I will marinate it for longer, at least overnight. I didn’t have a grill, so I roasted these in the oven at 400 F for about 45 minutes, until the chicken reached an internal temperature of 165F. Then I broiled them for a few minutes to get a grilled-look. These were quite tasty and the marinade was so easy to mix together. My goal for next summer is to learn how to grill (and become a grill master!).

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A couple weeks later, I made these chili chicken thighs with creamy cilantro sauce. This was also an easy marinade of honey, chili powder, amber beer, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. I was so excited that I already had all the ingredients. Instead of the called for sour cream in the cilantro sauce, I used Greek yogurt. I used cilantro from my sister’s herb garden on the balcony, which I have been watering all summer. So refreshing. This recipe is a keeper, though I will also try to marinate the chicken for longer if possible.

chicken-005Featured: a healthy bunch of lettuce leaves also from our balcony garden.

While I’ve made drumsticks and thighs before, I’ve never marinated meat and I can see its appeal because you can infuse great flavours. Also, I cleaned up before I actually set out to cook later on, and the actual cooking was a breeze. After these successful chicken adventures, I later set out to tackle two kitchen bucket list items: roasting a chicken and spatchcocking a chicken. To be continued…

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chicken of the sea

On one of my busy days I got some sushi from a nearby surprisingly good take-out sushi place. This was a brown rice avocado and salmon roll. It was so delicious and they were really generous with the fish.

Feb8

But luckily, I finally had the chance to make something in the kitchen again.

I had some ground chicken hanging around my freezer for way too long–I just had no idea what to do with it. I read about meatloaf muffins which used ground beef in my now go-to recipe book, Fast Flavours, and I decided to use my ground chicken instead. After browsing some other “chicken meatloaf muffin” recipes online, I chose the ingredients I liked in the different recipes and then really tried cooking “without a recipe” and without (too much) measuring. What an interesting change!

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These chicken meatloaf muffins ended up including oats, one egg, two finely diced celery stocks, half a shredded carrot, a little Sriracha, a good tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. I baked them for about half an hour. They tasted pretty good and I was quite happy with myself.

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I also finally opened the immersion blender I got for Christmas. I made my first smoothie out of frozen blueberries, yogurt, oats and half a banana. Yum!

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This weekend is Chinese New Year, so I’m back home. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year’s Eve, and my immediate family and I will have our “reunion” dinner. On Chinese New Year’s Day (Sunday), I have a fam jam with my extended family. It’s always a good time and I can’t wait.

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New Year Soy Sauce Chicken

Happy new year! Oh dear, I am entering the “weird zone” of when it’s OK to wish someone a happy new year, whoops. I had a lovely new year’s eve with a good friend, friends of friends, as well my brother and sister — I think this the first time the three of us have been “out on the town”. We saw Sheezer, an all-lady Weezer cover band, as well as a bunch of other bands and musicians. It was a good night, indeed.

This week my mom taught me how to make Chinese soy sauce chicken, which has been a family recipe for three to four generations. It turns out it is really easy to make. Now I hope to share it with you too!

Soy Sauce Chicken

Ingredients

1 whole chicken

Marinade

1 tbsp cooking wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

Sauce/Braising Liquid

2 tbsp medium soy sauce

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

60 g of brown sugar (~ 1/3 cup, packed)

3 spring onions, chopped into thirds

3 slices of ginger (~ 15 g)

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My mom and I actually used Chinese “layered sugar” which is essentially a pressed slab of brown sugar; regular brown sugar will be fine.

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Instructions

Butterfly the chicken by cutting out the back rib.

Marinate the chicken in the wine and soy sauce for about half an hour. The idea is just to get some colour on it.

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In a large non-stick sauce pan, add the soy sauce, sugar, spring onions, ginger, and the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered.

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After about ten minutes, flip the chicken over and cover again. Spoon sauce over chicken occasionally.

After about another ten minutes, turn the chicken over again, and cook for about ten more minutes until the chicken is done (total cooking time is approximately 30 minutes). You can test whether the chicken is cooked by cutting where the thigh meets the body and seeing if the juices run clear.

Serve the chicken with all the sauce on a large plate.

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Makes delicious, moist, sweet and savoury chicken.

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kitchen frenzy

I’ve spent the last few days making up for chores my sister was kind enough to let me slack off on during exams. I’ve also been walking tons, because I didn’t get a metropass this month. Lastly, I baked and cooked!

First, here’s a quick breakfast I put together after a Jillian Michael’s workout vid, Extreme Buns and Thighs, ha ha. It was my first time doing this one, and she was cracking so many jokes I was laughing and sweating. Anyway, my refreshing breakfast mix: cottage cheese, grapes, last bits of granola and a little piece of cake!

And here is the whole cake: honey whole wheat loaf from Joy the Baker’s cookbook

I also made oatmeal walnut sandwich cookies with a peanut butter filling, another Joy the Baker recipe. This is actually the first time I’ve made sandwich cookies. It’s not that it’s particularly hard to spread filling between two cookies, but I just never bother. These looked so good that I had to make them. For some reason they did not spread out as much, but they are just as delicious. Just kinda funny lookin’ 🙂

And because one cannot survive on baked goods alone, I defrosted some chicken breast I bought a while back and made chicken and a red wine sauce with tomato, mushroom, onion plus Worcestershire sauce, mustard, thyme and chili powder. The red wine was, umm, old (I won’t say how old right now), but my sister told me to use it up. For next time, I’ll use less chili powder than the recipe called for because it is quite spicy. Maybe tasting the sauce before I spice is good 😉

Plated with kale and brown rice

One thing I want to learn is to stop cooking from a recipe, as Michael Smith says. Maybe that’s why I like baking, because you are supposed to follow the recipe. Hope I can find my cooking intuition during the summer and obtain a pantry like Michael Smith.

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