A throw-together chicken salad

Faced with hunger, laziness at the end of a long workday, and the start of warm-weather don’t want anything heavy to eat feeling, I was foraging in the refrigerator. I discovered that I had just enough of the dark chicken meat that I had cooked in the Instant Pot to make something like chicken salad, but a bit different.

Add to the shredded dark meat a drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil , a drizzle of  baklouti green chili fused oil, just a few drops of honey-ginger white balsamic vinegar, and some cilantro. Add some diced radishes for crunch. Toss and eat.

(I will admit to cheating on the cilantro: I used Dorot frozen cilantro instead of fresh since I didn’t go to the store to get fresh. It’s not a good looking as fresh, but the flavor is good. (Cilantro and celery are major frustrations for me in cooking for one; I always end up composting a bunch of it.)

…and no, I don’t have any affiliation with Dorot Gardens except that I like the quality and the convenience of having the herbs in the freezer.

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Just wing it!

20190105_165634I was planning to have roast turkey thigh, but once the package was opened I discovered it was wings instead!  I had never cooked or eaten turkey wings before, but I love chicken wings rather than white meat.  This turned out to be a happy accident–leaving me wondering why I’d never tried turkey wings before.

Turkey wings look a lot like chicken wings–just much bigger.  “An Anatomical Guide to Chicken Wings” from Kitchn will give you a good start on understanding wing anatomy and how to describe the parts.

My turkey wings were just the “flat” and the tip–no “drumettes” in this package which was fine with me since my favorite part of the chicken wing is the “flat”.

I did a little skulking about on the internet to see what times and temperatures were recommended for roasting or baking turkey wings.  I discovered a wide range of temperature recommendations–from 275°F to 425°F, and quite a range of times–from 30 minutes to three hours.  (Just like with chicken wings if you look.)  After perusing a few recipes I decided that one using “crispy” in the title fit my appetite for this particular meal.

I seasoned the turkey wings (leaving tip and flat together–pure unadulterated laziness as well as the pressure of a looming deadline) with kosher salt and let them sit for about 45 minutes.   Then I patted them dry, rubbed them with olive oil, and put them on a rack on a foil-lined (more laziness) rimmed baking sheet, and gave them a final sprinkle of salt and black pepper.  After baking for 1 hour and 20 minutes I had some seriously crispy wings.  The only detraction was that the meat wasn’t as tender as I might have wished.  But definitely edible!

For my next attempt at turkey wings (yes, there will be another) I’ll try splitting the cooking time starting with just a little water in the baking sheet covered with foil, followed by some open cooking time for the crisp skin.

If you’re one of those people who think there is never enough crispy skin on the Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll love these.  Even the tips can provide some good nibbling if you are one of us.

The bones and the roasted tips from these wings went into the  Instant Pot for a quick little batch of brown turkey stock.  These wings will provide one more meal with turkey soup.

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A son gôut!

 

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Best roasted chicken thighs

brown crispy skin on chicken thighs

From Bon Appetite–mine looked just as lovely.

It’s a grey, chilly, snowy day here.  That makes it a perfect day to have the aroma of chicken roasting wafting through the house.  Since I’m cooking for one and don’t particularly care for white meat (though chicken breast if better than turkey), I usually choose to cook thighs, drumsticks, or whole leg quarters.

While it’s not something that really takes a recipe, the “Perfect Cast Iron Skillet Chicken” from Bon Appetit seems to be about as foolproof (or idiot-proof) as you can get: it’s quick, easily adjusted to suit one person, requires no brining or other preparation, and it gets you one of the best parts of roasted chicken.  The skin comes out really crispy. (Even if you doing LCHF or even ketogenic diet it’s suitable.   Yes,  I do eat the skin; I’m not worried about the fat–besides most of it’s rendered out.)

Since we’re between T-day and Christmas, and I should be able to find turkey thighs in the grocery store, I think I might try this method on one of those since that is the part of the turkey that I like best; well, I do like the even-darker drumstick, but I can’t see those browning as nicely as the thigh.

Just the thing for a day when you need something warm, cosy, and homemade for supper.  It smells good enough to get the cat to pay attention!

A son gôut!

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Rotisserie chicken

Yes, I do mean exactly what you think I mean: one that I tote home from my local Harris Teeter supermarket, not one that I’ve cooked at home.  On Sundays, the rotisserie chickens are on special–$4.99. I can’t buy a whole chicken for that price so I’ve learned the times when the freshly roasted ones come out, and I go pick up one that hasn’t been sitting on the heated carousel for hours. That’s one thing to check before you buy. I like to lurk while they are actually being put out.

Even getting one that is freshly packed still has its problems–chickens have both dark and white meat. Unfortunately, the two don’t cook the same, but they are both on the same bird. The first serving of breast meat off that bird is okay–not really my favorite. The second is not so okay if you don’t particularly like white meat. But such a bargain!

I usually don’t buy whole chickens. I buy leg quarters. Occasionally when I’m really busy and don’t want to cook I succumb to the lure of the whole rotisserie chicken. My quandary is always how to make use of the second serving of white meat. Reheated it’s dry and tastes reheated. Made into soup, it is still dry and even less flavorful that it was on the fresh bird.

Inspiration struck the other evening when I was making mujadara in the Instant Pot. When I pulled the bowl out it was steaming hot. I was planning it as a side to the chicken. Instead, I sliced the breast into bite-size pieces and stirred it into the mujadara. That was enough to warm the chicken but not enough heat to overcook it. That turned out to be the best second serving of white meat that I’ve had in a long time.

I’m sure I can do that same thing with other dishes–or with soup–just add right before eating instead of cooking it more.

 

Game birds

The post Fowl Language: All About Game Birds from D’Artagnan is a good one to read if you want to learn more about them. They are not as hard to find as you might think, and this is a reliable source too. Especially around holidays, you may find them in your supermarket–and on sale afterward.

They are not as hard to find as you might think, and this is a reliable source too. Especially around holidays, you may find them in your supermarket–and on sale afterward. It’s a great time to try them if you have not done so before now.

I look forward to finding goose on sale after Christmas. It not for single-serving cooking, but a great occasion to have friends over for a meal.

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A one-dish oven meal

It’s time to do the weekly (at least I try to make it weekly) troll through the fridge to see what is left from last week, to use for the first two or so meals this week. There’s some kohlrabi, radichio, fresee, lettucepart of a rutabaga, a head of radicchio, and there’s part of a bag of frozen butternut squash in the freezer that should be used as well since it’s already open. There are also two boneless, skinless chicken thighs and two black pepper and onion sausages.

The chilly, drippy, damp and grey weather calls for something warm and colorful. This weather has left me feeling like I really want quality time with the cat and a good book, so I’m thinking oven type meal. It can’t be a stew–already did that quite recently. So a roasted supper seems like a good idea–and something with lots of flavor!

I’ve been wanting to try roasted radicchio, butternut squash is good roasted too–and that certainly would be cheerful and colorful. Although I usually use bone-in chicken thighs for roasting, a little perusing of recipes from The Kitchn I found a suggestion for roasting the boneless, skinless ones as well.

  • A little further browsing suggested 425ºF.for about 20 minutes for the thighs.
  •  From Bon Appetit for roasted radicchio suggested 450ºF for 12 minutes for a head cut into six wedges–I think I’ll cut mine a little thicker
  • For the butternut squash, a recipe from Food & Wine suggested 425ºF for about 40 minutes for 1-inch dice of raw squash. The frozen squash is par-cooked, so I think the 20 minutes should work for that. Since this is frozen, I’m not expecting it to brown in the oven–it will be too wet, but better than dealing with way too much squash. It should still taste good.

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It was a pretty good result for a trial run with just whatever was in the fridge, and went into the oven all in one baking dish.  It’s a combination that will likely even happen as a planned meal in the future.

The chicken thighs didn’t brown much but were tasty; however, I definitely my chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on–especially if you salt and air dry the skin so that it gets crispy and brown. I may have to give bone-in a bit of a head start on cooking, then add the other stuff.

The butternut squash did as expected–cooked fine but didn’t brown. Again, still tasted good and it was great with the radicchio.

I didn’t get part of the core with the radicchio, so my wedge fell apart–oh well, a learning experience. But roasted radicchio is now right up there with grilled or roasted cabbage. The edges a little brown and almost charred, but tender (though still some texture. The bitterness of this against the sweetness of the squash was great. That’s a combination I’ll come back to again.

It wasn’t particularly photogenic since the radicchio fell apart as I removed it from the baking dish to my plate and the chicken wasn’t browned, but it was a very tasty meal with some good taste contrasts.

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 A son gôut!

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Just have to share this duck recipe!

I love duck breasts–it’s a great way to have duck when you are trying to do single-serving cooking since the breasts are readily available frozen from the supermarket. There are some in my freezer now, and one of my favorite citrus fruits is a lovely blood orange.

I was just perusing the WordPress and my FaceBook updates and saw this recipe for “Duck and Orange Salad with Duck Crackling”  from Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.  The pictures came very close to having me drooling all over by keyboard–such perfectly cooked duck and that jewel-like blood orange gel!

I’ve never tried cooking duck breasts without the skin–but that would make it much simpler than searing them with the skin on but this looks like it would be well worth every bit of effort. And the crackling–yum!

I think I saw blood oranges at The Fresh Market last time I was there!