Archive: Chicken/Poultry

Weekend Project: Chicken Barbecue in a Loaf Pan

I know what you’re thinking, cooking a chicken in a loaf pan sounds like a half-baked idea, particularly on the grill. How is the bird going to cook thoroughly while scrunched in a pan intended for bread, after all? It may seem counter intuitive, but the walls of the pan actually work as a protective cushion, a moist oasis (think clay pot) that keeps the bird from drying out. (Kim O'Donnel) Crazy? Maybe. But this method, courtesy of Alabama barbecue master Chris Lilly, works like a champ. If you know anything about barbecue, you know there’s usually a wet “mop” and a dry rub of seasonings applied to your intended protein. In this case, the “mop” comes first, a sweet-tangy mix of applesauce and Worcestershire sauce, which is lathered all over the bird, inside and out. Then comes a savory melange of spices that permeates the meat during its low,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 30, 2009; 07:15 AM ET | Comments (8)

Getting Grounded With Chicken & Dumplings

The planet Mercury is in retrograde for most of this month, and as my astrologer friend Stephanie tells me, the notorious planetary configuration isn’t just about misfires on the communication highway or misunderstandings with your nearest and dearest; it’s also a great time for “reflection and heightened inner awareness.” (Kim O'Donnel) Whether or not you groove to the tune of astrology, you’ve probably experienced bouts of extreme unsettledness that feel like an eight-lane traffic jam in your head and your heart, a time when you don’t know if you’re coming or going, and all you can see is the dust flying around your head. It’s been so chaotic here at the Casa I can hardly remember my name. Sylvia, right? When I set out last week to recreate New Orleans chef Donald Link’s recipe for chicken and dumplings, my objective was pragmatic: To check for recipe accuracy and quality. A...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 19, 2009; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (12)

Chicken Soup With Rice Flashback

Does anyone remember this cartoon special, "Really Rosie," from the 1970s? A production of children's lit master Maurice Sendak, "Really Rosie" (with vocals by Carole King) is based on Sendak's endearing collection of poems, “Chicken Soup With Rice.” Here’s the entry for March from the book: In March the wind Blows down my door And spills my soup Upon the floor. It laps it up And roars for more Blowing once Blowing twice Blowing chicken soup with rice. That’s what came to mind when I made this cozy, chicken-and-rice combo from Janie Hibler’s “Dungeness Crabs and Blackberry Cobblers” (recipe details below) a few weeks ago. In her tribute to the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, Hibler includes several Vietnamese recipes to represent the influx (and the cuisine) of Asian immigrants to the region in the early 1990s. Although not quite soup of the Sendak variety, Kimmai’s Vietnamese Ginger Chicken...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 19, 2009; 07:50 AM ET | Comments (17)

Curling Up With Chicken and Rice

Mother Nature has been less than kind to many parts of the country this winter, which is officially less than a month old. Some folks might say this bad mood of hers has gone too far. Here in Washington state, Spokane has been walloped with record snowfall -- more than six feet of snow since mid-December -- and then the rain came, causing evacuation-strength flooding in large swaths south and west of Seattle. Avalanches, mudslides, the whole nine. Good times. Chicken and rice makes everything nice. (Kim O'Donnel) While perusing Facebook, I learn that AMA reader Sara G. is battling “50 mph winds and horizontal snow” in Lincoln, Neb. And over the weekend, I get an e-mail from my gal pal (and college roommate) Susan, who reports from Holden, Mass., where a huge ice storm in late December effectively blacked out the entire town. For a week. Here in Seattle,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 13, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Roast Chicken: What’s Your Secret?

Omnivores, tell me something: What is it about Sunday and roast chicken? Why do they go together like peanut butter and jelly? And why does the world always seem a little safer when there’s a bird in the oven? (AP Photo/Larry Crowe). A thick cloud cover and an autumn chill in the air were all the reasons I needed to make it roast chicken night at Casa Appetite this past Sunday. Anybody who eats roast chicken knows that the perfume of crackling skin, as seductive and mouth watering though it may be, does not guarantee a superlative taste sensation. In fact, we’ve all had our fair share of mediocre, underseasoned roast chicken that, based on smell alone, should have been dynamite. Most veteran cooks will tell you it’s easier to screw up a roast chicken than to do it culinary justice. And maybe the easier-said-than-done enigma about the roast chicken...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 8, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (25)

Finger-Licking-Good Chicken Tikka

While preparing to move to Seattle this summer, I shared a list of things and places in D.C. that I knew I’d miss, and already I’ve got a hankering for one of the mentioned -- the divine Indian morsels at Rasika in Penn Quarter. Chicken tikka, close up. (Kim O'Donnel) A stroke of luck -- or maybe just some excellent timing -- came my way over the weekend, when I picked up the latest issue of Food & Wine, which features seven recipes by none other than Rasika chef Vikram Sunderam. Score! Eventually, I plan to test and savor every one of Sunderam’s F&W recipes, but chicken tikka is one that hooked me straight away. For some, chicken tikka -- boneless bits marinated in yogurt and spices and baked in a blistering hot clay tandoor oven, is considered unadventurous fare compared to the countless options under the Indian cuisine umbrella,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | September 8, 2008; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (6)

The Whole Enchilada

Maybe you're looking for a last-minute Cinco de Mayo supper idea, or maybe, like me, you've always been curious about making your own enchiladas but were afraid to ask. I had longed steered clear of the enchilada (the past participle of the Spanish word enchilar, which means to season with chiles) because I had it in my head they'd be cumbersome to prepare and disappointing compared to anything I'd encounter in a Mexican restaurant. It was a mental block that I hoped one day would melt away. And then one day last spring, I met Chico, a Atzec fire-eating friend of a friend who was visiting from San Francisco, and lo and behold, he was fixing chicken enchiladas for supper. Would I care to join him -- and perhaps give him a hand? I thought I had died and gone to kitchen heaven. Life is all about timing, and within...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 5, 2008; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (10)

Curry Come Quickly

This week's sudden downward shift in temperature had much of the country (including Key West where my brother reports the coldest Jan. 3 in the island's history) running for flannel cover. Until last weekend, winter had been fairly kind to the Washington area; in fact, Mister MA and I broke out the grill on Christmas Day. Lemongrass curry: Just what the meteorologist ordered. (Kim O'Donnel) And then, just like a bad dream, those winds come and blow right through my new parka and chill every bone into paralysis. I know I must sound like a big cry baby to all you folks in perma-frosted points such as Iowa and Chicago (hi Nan), but my globally-warmed body is in thermal shock and I just can't get thaw! All week long, I've been wearing a hat indoors and the idea of venturing out into the world makes want to burrow deeper under...

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 4, 2008; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

How Do You Do Your Turkey?

Type the words "Thanksgiving turkey recipes" into a Google search box and you'll get a return of 1.7 million possibilities. (Actually it's 1.73 million, my mistake.) The thought of wading through even a sliver of this recipe mountain is giving me a headache. Over the years, I've tried various methods and flavoring techniques to make that turkey crackle with zing at the table. I've poked 40 cloves under the skin and flambéed the roasted bird with cognac (fun and theatric but a bit dangerous if you've been drinking wine all afternoon); I've made compound butters with shallots and herbs, tucked under the skin and basted with its buttery juices (safe, traditional) and one year I think I even flipped the bird and roasted it breast-side down (not worth the trouble). Turkey, center stage. (PRNewsFoto) But six years ago, when I finally got hip to brining the bird, I stopped shopping...

 

By Kim ODonnel | November 15, 2007; 08:38 AM ET | Comments (20)

Weeknight Indian Hot Pot

The recent chill in the air has me hankering for a hot meal. A steaming pot of something - soup, stew, curry - it doesn't matter as long I can tuck into a bowl and eat with a spoon. Although I've got a nice reliable stable of hot pot recipes for this time of year, I'm always looking for more ways to fire up the belly. The challenge for many cooks, including myself, is hot-potting during the week; if the dish takes longer than an hour, start to finish, it probably will have to wait until the weekend when there's more time to play at the stove. Indian hot pot in less than an hour. (Kim O'Donnel) As the sun did its last dance yesterday around five, I began leafing through the pages of "Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking," an oldie but goodie (it has just been reprinted...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 30, 2007; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

Sublime Viet-Grilled Chicken

Saturday night, I'm on the phone with my kid brother and he's at a loss on how to marinate a bunch of chicken thighs for a party of three that evening. His go-to combos have lost their luster and he's counting on big sis to pull him through. I give him some ideas, but in the course of doing so, I'm thinking: Maybe I need to overhaul my marinade repertoire as well. One can never have enough marinade tricks up the sleeve. A few blinks of the eye later, and it's Sunday afternoon, supper time time already within reach. The idea is to highlight much of the seasonal produce in the fridge, with grilled chicken as supporting cast. Grilled chicken finally gets its due with a simple Vietnamese marinade. (Kim O'Donnel) For a marinade, I want something simple, using relatively few pantry basics with enough kapow to justify a short...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 16, 2007; 08:18 AM ET | Comments (16)

Pot Pie: It Takes Two

The severely cold weather has given me a one-track mind -- getting warm. I pull out all my stops -- the thick woolen socks, an extra scarf, a hot breakfast and pot pie. A slice of pot-pie heaven. (Kim O'Donnel) In fact, pot pie was all I could think about while in savasana (final relaxation pose) in yoga class last night. I was doing a mental check list, scanning the contents of the crisper drawer in the fridge and by the time I walked back into the cold, I determined there enough in-house provisions to make an ad hoc pot pie. Visions of a hot savory pie bubbling through its crust were indeed swirling in my head as I boarded the Metro across the river into Arlington. By the time I got home, it was already 7:30, a tad late for a supper project this ambitious, I confess. By myself,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | February 6, 2007; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (10)

Cafreal for a Cold

Over the weekend, my body felt a bit achy and I sensed the familiar signs of an impending cold. I resisted with an "Oh no, you don't," and made a beeline for the kitchen. I didn't crave soup as much as I did the healing powers of garlic, ginger and spices. I leafed through a copy of "One Spice, Two Spice," a newly released title for inspiration. The new book, penned by India-born chef Floyd Cardoz (of Tabla in New York) and Gourmet magazine's Jane Daniels Lear, is an effort to deconstruct Indian flavors for the American home cook. I bookmarked the page for "Chicken Cafreal," a traditional dish from Goa, the Portuguese-influenced coastal town in the southwestern part of the country. What drew me in was the spice paste -- garlic, ginger, chile, cumin, cinnamon, cloves -- pureed with a mountain of cilantro, known for its purported antibacterial qualities....

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 11, 2006; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (1)

Rain-Go-Away Curry

Early morning here in Washington, and the word of the day may have to be "galoshes." Rain has been falling for nearly 12 hours, and conditions are soggier than an Oreo cookie marinating in a glass of milk. The idea of staying under the covers, hunkered down until the weather passes, sounds positively idyllic, but who am I kidding on a busy work day? I don't think a pot of tea will do the trick, either. Gloomy conditions call for stronger measures: After a day of dodging puddles, a steaming pot of chicken curry may be the answer. Although I can't take credit for the recipe -- it comes from Indian culinary diva Madhur Jaffrey -- I feel like it's mine, as it's become one of my good-ole-reliables, dishes that I prepare over and again and which never fail me. I practically know the recipe by heart. Unlike many curries...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 6, 2006; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (18)

Wok-Fried Chicken

With my new wok properly seasoned, I needed an inaugural dish, something to continue the newly christened wok on its patina-ed journey to non-stick bliss. Fried chicken in the wok. (Kim O'Donnel) For ideas and some preliminary wok dos and don'ts, I called my friend and wok guru Grace Young, whose "The Breath of a Wok" is a must-have for anyone considering a wok. DON'T "make a dish with sweet and sour sauce. The acid is going to strip the seasoning off the wok, and that's exactly what you don't want to do." That means no tomatoes, vinegar, wine, citrus of any kind - anything acidic. Young further explains that "a new pan is dying to drink oil. Deep fry something or cook bacon." Hmm...I had never thought about using a wok as a deep-fryer, but the idea makes sense. A wok gets really hot very quickly, and that's exactly...

 

By Kim ODonnel | September 11, 2006; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dinner Tonight: Lemon Grass

I had a case of the sludgies yesterday. The humidity hung over me like a scratchy woolen blanket - big, bulky and smothering. The energy level was drooping by the minute, and I couldn't snap out of it. Come on, rain, I shouted to the overcast skies, give us earthlings a little relief. Lemon grass: the amazing cooler off-er. (Kim O'Donnel) I felt like joining the neighborhood cat, Shakespeare (he had just invited himself indoors, as he's wont to do), who stretched out onto the cool wood that is my living room floor. Yeah, I know what you mean, pal. It's brutal out there. It was even difficult to think, yet I knew I had to come up with something for dinner to help wash away the cotton brain. What first came to mind was the lemon, yet I wasn't in the mood for an intense acidic flavor. But lemon...

 

By Kim ODonnel | August 8, 2006; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (3)

Naked Chicken and Other Rub-Downs

My mother (bless her heart) loves overcooked chicken - and believes everyone else does, too. I remember her valiant attempts at grilling chicken during the first few summers after my father's death in 1982. As always, she was stalwart, determined to be strong in her new role as single parent. Unfortunately, in her efforts to continue some of my father's culinary traditions, she failed miserably as grill mistress. For starters, she would use only breasts. Any veteran chicken griller will tell you that of all chicken parts, the breast is the leanest and one of the easiest to turn into unrecognizable fossils (if there is such a thing). Of course, grilled boneless breasts are a low-carb counters dream, but that's if you know what you're doing. Lean meat needs little time on the grill, a concept that was (and still is) foreign to my Mom. She'd plop big bone-in breasts...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 14, 2006; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (12)

 

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