Tag Archives: chicken

11.18 – Hong Kong

After a quick trip to Hong Kong over Halloween, mom requested that I attempt to stage a “China Night” when I visit Rochester over Thanksgiving.

This is a tall order considering I have never cooked Chinese food before, nor taken any classes, but everything came out surprisingly well and authentic.  Especially the brisket noodle soup!

Pork Dumplings (Dim Sum)
Brisket Noodle Soup (Cantonese)
African Chicken (Macanese)
Fruit Plate for dessert, courtesy of Mr. Will

Pork Dumplings
1 package of fresh wonton wrappers from the grocery store
1 cup napa cabbage, finely shredded
1/4lb ground pork (not lean)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 & 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 egg
1 cup chicken stock

Mix all ingredients, except for wrappers and chicken stock in a large bowl.

To make dumplings, place a small amount of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper.  Dab a little water around the edges of the wrapper and seal .

Once all filling is gone (should make about 20 dumplings) heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet with a lid.  Gently place all dumplings in the hot pan and let brown for a minute or two.  Add chicken stock and cover with lid for 5 minutes to steam.  Remove lid and let dumplings cook until almost all stock has boiled away.  Serve warm with dipping sauce of 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part rice vinegar.

Brisket Noodle Soup

– For Stock:
2 lbs beef short ribs (on bone)
1 -2 lbs beef marrow bones
4 quarts water
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly diced
4 cloves
10 pepper corns
1 handful parsley
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 star anise

– For soup
1 lb brisket, with as much fat left in tack as possible
Fresh vermicelli noodles
A little salt and pepper to taste

– For table
Soy Sauce
Rice Wine Vinegar

In a large stock pot place bones, ribs and water. Bring to a boil for 30 minutes. Skim foam off top of stock and lower heat to a slow simmer. Add veggies and spices and simmer for at least 4 hours. (We went closer to 8 hours.) Strain stock when ready to make soup. Discard veggies, bones and spices. Pull off any rib meat and add back to the stock.

To make soup, slice brisket into bit-sized pieces and simmer 30 minutes until cooked. At the same time bring 2 quarts water to boil in a separate pot and cook noodles as directed (probably about 2 minutes).

To serve, place pasta in bottom of a soup bowl. Cover with stock, some meat from stock pot, and a little salt and pepper (remember you have not salted the stock, so it will need some).

At the table add a little soy sauce, vinegar, and srirach to taste.

African Chicken
This is a traditional restaurant-created dish from Macau.

1 whole chicken (5-7 lbs)

– Marinade
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
2 fresh Serrano chilies, stems removed
2 tbsp olive oil

-For Basting
4 cloves garlic, peels and minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can Coconut Milk

-To accompany
2 russet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil

24 hours in advance. Cut chicken’s back bone to flatten the bird into one flat piece connected by the breast bone. Food process all marinade ingredients into a fine paste and cover the chicken carcass. Cover with plastic wrap in a casserole dish and let marinade over night, up to 24 hours, refrigerated.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.

To cook, remove chicken from fridge and let it come up to room temperature while you mix up the basting sauce and chop the un-peeled russet potatoes into french fry-sized slices. Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt on a cookie sheet.

Bake the chicken at 400 degrees for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with 1/3rd of the basting sauce. At the end all sauce should make it over chicken and into casserole dish to serve along side it.

At the 40 minute mark, add cookie sheet of french fries into the oven as well, they should be done at the same time as the chicken (they need about 20 minutes at 400).

To serve place chicken on a platter over the fries and coat liberally with sauce.


Will ate an impressive amount of food, but especially made room for a second full bowl of noodle soup. I did as well, so good!!!



1.29 – The heart of Peru

Last weekend I impulse-bought a beautiful pig’s heart from Heritage Meat, and immediately thought of my past trip to Peru. I’ve made anticuchos a few times with stew beef before, but am psyched to actually have a heart to work with for a change.

I also have some beautiful curtains my mom made for the new place, and apparently no ability to use a drill – so by way of a bribe, I decided to throw a small dinner party/curtain-hanging this sunday. Dinner for drapes…

Olives, sun-dried tomatoes, gouda cheese = curtain-hanging energy
Chicken Soup (because we had soup with every meal in Peru – they love it?)
“Cuy-ish” Chicken with Salsa Creole
Baby kale salad with feta (this is not Peruvian…)

*Important Note:
My Peruvian cookbook, bought in Lima, is the world’s worst translation of traditional recipes with little to no detail. This is my guess based on the ingredients I could understand.

1 pig or beef heart (maybe buy two pig hearts, I wish I had more)
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp red pepper flakes (or minced fresh hot pepper of your choice)
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste

First clean the heart. I did this by rinsing it, cutting it open vertically, and trimming off any silver-skin and/or sinew I saw.  I left the outside fat in tact. The heart came out very tender, so this seemed to do the trick.

Once clean, slice heart into bite-sized chunks (like stew beef, which apparently is the Quechua translation of “Anticuchos” anyhow).

Make marinade by combining all other ingredients in a large bowl or zip-loc bag. Place heart chunks in marinade and refrigerate for 12 hours (I went 24…it was fine).

To cook, place marinated heart on skewers and grill over high heat for about a minute on each side. These should be served rare-medium rare to stay tender (plus the heart is already chemically cooked by the vinegar anyhow.) Because I am still getting use to the new kitchen’s ventilation issues, I decided to brown and finish in the oven. Not as good as a barbecue, but pretty tasty anyhow.

Cuy-ish Chicken
Cuy is a traditional and everyday dish of grilled or fried Guinea pig. Apologies to anyone who has had Guinea pigs as pets, but they really are quiet tasty. That said, I don’t have the heart, or the equipment to buy and prepare live ones here in NYC…so I decided to make something a little more accessible.

My hope was to use quail, or small Cornish game hens, as they would look like small vermin, but sadly the only option left on a Sunday afternoon was whole chickens…so I cut one up into to Cuy-sized chunks and followed the Cuy recipe as printed.

Small Animals of your choosing
Garlic, Salt & Pepper to taste
3 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp hot paprika

In a large bowl make a brine of salt, sugar, paprika and about 2 cups warm tap water. Stir till dissolved, and add a few ice cubes to bring the temperature down. Butcher your chicken into large pieces, or skin your Cuy. Place meat in brine and leave in fridge for a few hour.

When ready to cook, remove meat from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Heat a 1/4 inch of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and fry meat until brown. If you’re using Cuy, fry it through…chicken you can finish in the oven (about 15-20 minutes on 350) if you are afraid of your ventilation like me.

Serve warm with Salsa Creole

Salsa Creole
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 hot peppers (Serrano or jalapeno)
1/4 cup cilantro (I used parsley this time)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients and let marinate at least 45 minutes before serving.

I had three heart skewers left-over last night. I put two in a box over the remaining kale salad and went to bed dreaming of the delicious lunch I would have today…someone seems to have stolen my lunch for herself this morning.
I consider this a huge success!


7.20 Worlds Largest Chicken Pot Pie

Danielle has been begging me for one last chicken pot pie before the summer kicks into full force. Tonight we expect a full house of guests, and I know my usual pie plate will not be large enough to feed everyone. Rather than invest in a full service of individual baking dishes (the obvious solution) I have decided to attempt a full casserole-sized pie.

Sadly JL and the golf team have been out of town this weekend and our guest chef, Brad, will not be home in time to wow us with a dish. He has promised to finally attempt a country terrine for the next gathering – stay tuned for this…

(World’s Largest) Chicken Pot Pie
Note: this is the recipe for one standard pie (9″ deep dish). If attempting the casserole please double everything.

1 store-bought pie crust (I cheat in this one instance, I’m sorry)
3 skinless chicken leg-thigh pieces
1 small Spanish onion
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
6 large carrots
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
handful fresh parsley
4 tbsp flour
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small Yukon gold potato, diced
2 large parsnips, peeled and diced
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 large portabello mushroom, coarsely chopped
1/2 box of frozen peas
1 tsp fresh thyme

Combine chicken, small onion (peeled and quartered), 2 carrots (coarsly chopped), celery, parsley, 1 tsp salt, 3 whole pepper corns, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes in a large stock pot. Cover with water and boil 30 minutes to make stock.

In a dutch over, saute large onion (chopped) in 1/2 tsp olive oil until translucent. Add potato, sweet potato, parsnips, remaining carrots, turnip and two ladle-fulls of stock, and cook 20 minutes until slightly caramelized

Add mushroom, peas and thyme and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a medium sauce pan heat 3 cups stock. Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a shaker jar with milk and wine and shake to combine. Whisk milk mixture into stock and continue whisking on medium heat until thickened into gravy. Add more flour or milk as necessary to improve consistency.

Remove chicken from stock and shred with fork. Stir into cooled vegetables.

Place 1 pie crust in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate. Using a slotting spoon, fill pie with vegetables and chicken as high as it will allow. Pour in gravy until it almost reaches the top of the pie plate lip. Place second crust on top of pie and crimp to close. Cut two or three vents in top crust and bake 30-45 at 350 until crust is golden.

Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


Danielle made her famous margarita pie for desert as a light and refreshing finish to our substantial pot pie. We were also treated to a surprise beer tasting, imported by the golf team from their weekend out of town.

Beers from Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, New York.

Beer 1: Ommegang Witte Draft
Described as a summer beer, citrus-y, good for paring with BBQ

Beer 2: Ommegeddon
Described as a belgian-style ale, light and also with notes of citrus.

Beer 3: Cave-aged Three Philosophers
Described as: Stored 156 feet below the ground in Howe Caverns; a desert beer with high alcohol content.

I enjoyed the Ommegeddon most of all, maybe it’s just the cool bottle. I didn’t think the cave-aging of the Three Philosophers did much to effect the flavor of the beer, but fun to try just the same.


JL was not able to repeat his initial victory of 6 servings between naps this evening. He claims his weekend out of town stunted his performance.

jl votes jl votes

Even more concerning, Mike was unable to wear his elastic pants as a result of the golf team’s weekend out of town…

My opinion…

The sheer size of the pot pie had an adverse effect the thickness of gravy. It wasn’t bad to eat, but I like that the smaller pie maintains its shape while being served. The larger casserole was just too large and the increased ration of filling to crust didn’t hold up like a small pie can. I strongly recommend taking the independent-pie route when recreating this meal for large crowds.

That said, I am not deterred and will continue to attempt giant pies as opportunities arise.

5.18 Sunday Gravy

I grew up watching cooking shows with my dad on Sunday mornings over coffee. Dad was primarily interested in the technique and chemical properties of cooking, while I just liked the break from political-news related programming.

We began with PBS, and then became early adopters of the food network. One Saturday morning we watched Mario Batali (pre-celebrity) make this crazy smörgåsbord of a meal called “Sunday Gravy.” It involved slow-cooking every meat left over from a weeks worth of Italian dinners in tomato sauce, and resulted in a huge platter of meat.

This weekend I had two guests in town, giving me extra mouths to feed on Sunday night, and the timing seemed right to get in one last heavy meal before summer begins.

Sunday Gravy
Tomato Sauce
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups sliced shiitaki, oyster and cremini mushrooms
1 4 oz can tomato paste
2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
1/2 bottle of full-bodied red wine
1 10 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 10 oz can tomato puree
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 fresh bay leaves
tsp fresh oregano
tsp fresh thyme leaves
Fresh basil, chiffonade
1 spring fresh rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

Meat Balls
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp finely diced Spanish onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp grill seasoning
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Stuffed Chicken
3 thin cut chicken breast pieces, pounded flat
1 red pepper, seeded, roasted and peeled, sliced into small vertical strips
6 basil leaves
3 tbsp soften goat cheese
tooth picks

Other Meats
1 lb pork loin, studded with fresh garlic cloves
4 Italian sausage
Beef short ribs with bone (English cut)
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled

Fresh lasagna sheets, rolled and sliced into parpadelle
Shredded Parmesan cheese to taste

Make sauce
In a large stock pot, saute onion with a little olive oil 5 minutes until it becomes translucent and begins to caramelize.
Add mushrooms and red pepper flakes and continue to saute another 3 minutes
Add garlic and tomato paste and cook another 3 minutes, stirring
Add half bottle of wine and stir to combine.
Leave on medium heat 5 minutes until wine has reduced 1/3.

Place short ribs in sauce and bring to simmer

With a paring knife, make small incisions across the port tenderloin and stuff with cloves of garlic. Place pork in sauce.

Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Form 1.5″ balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake meatballs 20 minutes at 350. After baking is complete, add meatballs to sauce.

Slice sausage in thirds and place in sauce.

Stir sauce every so often throughout the afternoon to prevent burning the bottom. No less than 3 hours and up to 5 or 6.

About 1 hour before serving. Hard boil 6 eggs in water with 1 tbsp white vinegar and let cool.

Place bell pepper under the broiler for 5 minutes until skin blackens. Please in a plastic bag and let cool. Peel and slice into thin strips.

Place thin cut chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound to 1/3.” Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Spread a tsp of softened goat cheese on top of each breast. Top with roasted pepper and fresh basil (whole leaf). Roll up chicken jelly-roll style and secure with toothpicks. Place in sauce.

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a large pasta pot. Roll up lasagna noodles and slice into wide strips. Cook 3 minutes in boiling salted water and drain. Toss with some sauce from the Sunday Gravy.

Peel hard boiled egg and place in sauce for 10 minutes.

To serve, place all meats on a platter, sliced into bite-sized pieces, serve sauce over fresh pasta with Parmesan cheese. Be sure to remove toothpicks from chicken before serving.


JL disappointingly had a late lunch and only managed a spare, however, I was later told by a friend that he described this as his favorite meal so far…

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Guest Judges:

Our two house guest both managed an impressive showing.
Notable comment: “this is the best meal I’ve had in years.”

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Roommate gets in on the action:

Danielle usually eat small lady-like portions, so I generally do not report on her. I am making an exception tonight based on the fact that she managed to out eat her boyfriend.

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