Peruvian Chicken

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I love California, as a matter of fact I’d be hard pressed to name a state within this union that I’d consider leaving California for.  One of the many great things about living here, besides the diversity here, is the weather.  On a great day, the temperature ranges between 78F and 82F.  Since we live by the beach, there is seldom a day without a cool ocean breeze.  Lately however, the temperatures have been 10-20F degrees above normal, and for the last two weeks temps have settled in around 89-98F—HOT!!!!!!  So hot that the last thing I want to do is to turn on the stove.  So we’ve adapted, I’ve been marinating meat in the morning for my husband to grill in the evening when things start to cool down a bit.  This marinade is super simple, and if you’ve ever had grilled Peruvian chicken you know how yummy and it can be.  The vinegar in this really gives this chicken a yummy tang and kick.  I’ve tried this with Rice vinegar and white wine, both are yummy, but plain white distilled vinegar is just as yummy.

 

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Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

1 lb of boneless skinless organic chicken thighs

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon of smoked paprika

3 cloves of garlic grated

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar–can sub with white vinegar or rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil–can sub with oil of your choice

sea salt to taste

Directions: Generously season the chicken with sea salt and set aside.  Add the cumin powder, paprika, garlic, oil, and vinegar to a pan or a bowl big enough to marinate you chicken in.

Mix well,

Then add chicken,

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Toss to coat the chicken in the marinade.

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Cover with foil, refrigerate until you’re ready to grill.  Cook chicken on a hot grill for 15-20 minutes, or in an oven set on 425F  15-20 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!  I served this with a delicious Avocado and cilantro crema,  I’ll post the recipe for that soon–sooo yummy!  This chicken also makes for great chicken taco’s!

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Korean Barbecue Chicken

Korean Barbecue Chicken

Korean Barbecue Chicken

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I love Korean barbecue, what’s not to love?  Grilled meat, pickled and fermented veggies…mmmh it’s a veritable umami bomb on a plate.  The fermented veggies alone are enough to get me into the door of a Korean restaurant.  I love banchan, savory sprouts, kimchi, cucumber kimchi, and daikon radish make the heaviness of the barbecued meats lighter.  I remember my first experience eating Korean food.  The week of my wedding my best friend suggested that we go to a Korean bath spa together.  She said it would be a great mini break for me to table the stress of planning a wedding, and at the same time get my skin nice and polished for the wedding.  I happily agreed, we had gone to many a spa together throughout our friendship, so why not make another happy memory with my best friend before I sailed off into wedded bliss, I thought.  The day before our appointments my best friend called to say that something came up at work and she could not join me, but she insisted that I go alone because I needed to destress, so I did.  The spa was unlike any other spa I had ever been to. After checking in, I was led on a guided tour of the steam rooms, jade rooms, and showers.  Everyone within the walls, except for the technicians, was completely naked and Asian.  I stuck out like a sore thumb.   First of all, I wasn’t at all prepared to be completely naked in front of anyone other than a technician. At all the spa’s  that I had ever been to everyone wore something, be it a robe, or bathing suit, but not this spa.  I also was not prepared to leave without having had my body polish.  I had read the Yelp reviews and this place was the best!  I wanted to sparkle and shine at my wedding and the only thing standing in the way of that happening was me getting naked, so I did.  I was sitting in the sauna with three women, and they could sense my unease.  They were so kind, they chatted me up, and when I felt comfortable one of them asked me how I found out about the spa.  I told them and they laughed.  I’m guessing that the spa didn’t get very many non-Asian patrons, which is too bad, nakedness aside, it was a great spa. The spa lacked the more polished elegance of a Burke Williams, but what it lacked in elegance, it made up for it other areas, namely the food area.  After getting my scrub, and detoxing in the sauna, I walked over to the jade rooms, and just beyond that was a bar and the scent coming from the bar was intoxicating.  The bar/restaurant had a full menu of soups with fermented and pickled veggies, JACKPOT! I grabbed a folded robe from a pedestal near the entrance into the bar–you didn’t think they would make us eat naked did you?–and sat down to a deliciously healthy meal.  If only all spa’s included this kind of service.  That was my first experience eating Korean food, and since then I’ve fallen in love with it.  This recipe is my take on chicken Korean barbecue.  I have to say that this chicken is delicious!  Better than the chicken that I’ve had at most restaurants that I’ve been to.  This recipe requires Gochujang–a spicy fermented chili paste. You may need to venture into an Asian market for the Gochujang.  I purchased a jar at my local Whole Foods, they had several varieties of it, I chose a garlic Gochujang.

 

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients:

1lb of boneless skinless organic chicken thighs, cut each thigh into 3 or 4 pieces

1.5 tablespoons of Gochujang

2 teaspoons of sugar–can sub with maple sugar or syrup

1 teaspoon of garlic grated

3 green onions chopped finely both whites and green parts

1 teaspoon of grated ginger

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of olive or grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

sea salt to taste

Directions: Season the chicken with sea salt and set aside.

To a large mixing bowl or medium size bake pan add the remaining ingredients,

combine and mix well,

then toss in the chicken, tossing to coat the chicken completely in the marinade.

Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Grill the chicken on a hot grill, 5-7 minutes on each side, serve and enjoy!

 

 

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing--DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing–DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

My latest obsession is salad.  Crispy and crunchy vegetables with a drizzle of oil, and a splash of citrus or vinegar–what’s not to love?  Salads are a great way to get in a few servings of fresh vegetables in their raw state.  As much as I love salads, they can become a bit boring if you don’t mix things up a bit.  The easiest way to do that is to switch out the vegetables and the dressing.  I often make caesar salads with romaine lettuce, but sometimes I switch out the romaine and replace it with baby kale, or lacinto kale.  It makes for a hearty salad and an especially delicious twist to the standard caesar  salad, we are all used to.  I’ll post the recipe I use for the kale caesar another day, but today, I’m sharing my recipe for my favorite creamy caesar salad dressing.  It’s my go to dressing, when I crave a creamy salad dressing.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic pasted

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of anchovy paste

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup grape seed oil

5 teaspoons of olive oil

3/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

black pepper to taste

Directions:  To a small bowl add the grated garlic and lemon juice, allow to sit for 10 minutes.  If you have a hand mixer like I do, add the lemon garlic mixture, (after it sits for 10 minutes), and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until the mixture thickens–about 1-2 minutes.

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Transfer to an air tight container and chill until ready to use.

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If you don’t have a hand mixer,  whisk worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and egg yolks into garlic/lemon juice mixture.



While whisking, drizzle grape seed oil and extra virgin olive oil into bowl in slow, steady stream until fully emulsified.


 Add 3/4 cup Parmesan and pepper to taste; whisk until incorporated:

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DIY BBQ Rub–Lazy Girl All Purpose Barbecue Seasoning

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

By now you know that I love to make my own dry rubs and seasonings. I am a particular fan of the Trader Joe’s brand BBQ rub, but it’s not organic, and it contains sugar.  So of course I had to make my own version–without the sugar. I find that most things that call for sugar, either need less than the recipe calls for, or  don’t need it at all.  If you want to add sugar to this, then by all means add it, 1 teaspoon of maple sugar won’t kill you, but it really isn’t necessary for this recipe, this seasoning is fantastic all own its own. Also a bit of spice is nice in the recipe but I have made it optional.  My daughter isn’t a fan of spicy foods, so I often leave the spice as a later addition for the grown ups.  This truly is an all purpose seasoning, it taste great on chicken, pork, tofu, or steak.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of onion flakes (can sub onion powder)

1 teaspoon of satsuma powder (can sub 2 teaspoons of orange zest)

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coffee

1 teaspoon of himilayan sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Directions: Add all ingredients to a small bowl,

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Mix well:

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This is such a great seasoning, and it’s not just something to use on grilled meats.  I used it to make oven roasted barbecue chicken the other night, and it was a huge hit!

 

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Sous Vide Chicken Thighs with Thyme and Garlic

Sous Vide Chicken Thighs With Thyme and Garlic

Sous Vide Chicken Thighs With Thyme and Garlic

OMG! When I tell you, that this preparation of chicken is the best that I’ve eaten in years, believe me! My husband ordered me the new Anova immersion circulator through a Kickstarter campaign back in May. I waited patiently, and it arrived last week. My first thought when it finally arrived was to make these chicken thighs. I had watched this you-tube video , (there are 3 parts watch them all part2, part 3), of Michael Voltaggio making these chicken thighs sometime ago.  I was just in the early stages of learning about sous vide cooking, which means under vacuum cooking.  All of the things that I had read about sous vide had seemed so complex–holding temperatures, the right temperatures for different meats, cooking times–but Michael made it seem so simple, and it was! Sous vide cooking is the ultimate in lazy girl cooking.  It involves less effort than most slow cooker recipes, and the results are amazing!  This particular recipe literally involved 8 minutes of active cooking time.  If you add in the 5 minutes it took for me to salt, and bag the chicken for cooking, then it’s 13 whole minutes of your time.  So super easy! Sous vide cooking is the future of  the slow cooking movement.  After using my immersion circulator, it’s not hard for me to see why.  Unlike in conventional stove top and slow cooker cooking, in which flavor and nutrients cook out into the air, with sous vide cooking all of the flavor and nutrients stay in the food.  Every single bite that I took of this chicken was infused with the flavor of thyme, the nuttiness of the butter and garlic, and the umami flavor of the truffle salt that I used.  It was like eating  the juiciest and most flavorful  piece of fried chicken that I’ve ever eaten, only this chicken wasn’t fried. It was cooked slowly in a water bath at a low temperature.  The best thing about immersion circulators is that they can free you from weekday cooking.  You can cook these on Sunday with your immersion circulator, put them in an ice bath, and then refrigerate and “cook” or crisp the skin  3 or 4 days later.  As a side note, if you’re wary about cooking foods in plastic, like I was, there are plenty of safe BPA and Phathalate free options for out there to assist you.  Most food grade vacuum bags are both BPA and Phathalate free.  Foodsaver is one brand, even ziplock bags are-yes you can even sous vide in a Ziploc , see how here–but it has to be Ziploc not an off brand.  I use Vacmaster. Here is an article all about plastics and sous vide cooking.  If you are still wary, here is a silicone option, or you can use mason jars to sous vide in–just note that cooking in a mason jar will require additional cook time.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

3 chicken thighs skin on

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 teaspoon of grassfed butter cut 3 ways

sea salt to taste — I used a truffle salt

3 cloves of garlic smashed

3- tablespoons of a high heat oil

Directions:  Season the chicken with sea salt

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Place chicken- flat- into a food saver type bag–must be food grade-and hopefully bpa free–Food Savers are.  Top each piece of chicken with one clove of garlic, and a tab of butter. Lastly add the thyme, then vacuum and seal, using a edge sealer like a food saver, or if you have a vacuum chamber sealer as I do, vacuum it for 25-30 seconds with a 1.6 second seal.

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To a stock pot add enough water to fill half of your pot, or above the minimum water level of your immersion circulator.  Turn on the circulator, and adjust the temperature to 149F.

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Once your circulator has reached temperature, add the sealed bag and cook for 1.5 hours.

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Make sure that your chicken is fully immersed.image

At the 1 hr and 20 minute mark, prepare an ice bath DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP, it’s a matter of food safety when cooking foods at low temps in an air free environment!–fill a bowl with ice and a little bit of water about 4 cups of ice to 1 cup of water–I added some frozen lime cubes as a weight. When the chicken has cooked for 1.5 hours turn off your circulator, and remove the bagged chicken from the water–be careful the water is hot–immediately immerse the bagged chicken into the ice bath and let sit for 1 hour undisturbed.  After the 1 hour ice bath, place it in the refrigerator, until you’re ready to cook..

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Once you’re ready to brown the skin, cut open the bag, and remove the chicken. It won’t look like it has been cooked, but it is fully cooked at this point–except for the skin.  Discard the garlic and thyme.

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Add the oil to a skillet/frying pan, and bring to temperature.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down, lower the heat to medium, and cook until skin is nice and crispy–about 6 minutes, flip the chicken over and cook on the other side for 1- 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and enjoy!!!!! This looks as amazing as it tastes!

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D.I.Y. Poultry Seasoning

 

Poultry Seasoning--D.I.Y. Poultry Seasoning

Poultry Seasoning–D.I.Y. Poultry Seasoning

So we are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving.  I don’t know about you, but I have been thinking about and planning what I am going to make since September.  We are visiting family out of town, so I doubt that I’ll blog anything once we leave.  I always try, but the kitchen gets pretty busy as we cook our Thanksgiving meal, and since this is the one time a year that we see my husbands family, I prefer to be focused on them.  My daughter’s birthday is also on Thanksgiving so, we try to make it a special day for her.  Poultry seasoning is one of those things that most people pull out just once or twice a year to season their turkey and stuffing/dressing.  I used it a few weeks ago for Chicken in Milk Most people buy it only once a year for just that purpose.  My mom is one of those people.  I remember shopping for Thanksgiving dinner with her when I was little, she always made her way down the dry seasoning aisle to pick up poultry seasoning.  If by some chance we got home and she had  she forgotten it, she would stop what she was doing in the kitchen, and drive to the store to get it.  Besides sage–which I’m blogging about tomorrow–it’s one of the must have’s for most thanksgiving meals.  I LOVE making my own dry seasonings so of course I had to give this a try.  I must say that this poultry seasoning is spot on to the one my mom loves to use.  If you find yourself in a bind on Thanksgiving and desperately need poultry seasoning,  pull out these spices and make your own poultry seasoning. If you have these spices but they’re fresh, even better, just chop them up and give your turkey a good rub down with them and some butter.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of ground sage

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon of dried rosemary

1 teaspoon of dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:  Place all of the spices into a spice grinder and grind into a powder.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

 

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When do you start planning your Thanksgiving meal?  Do you make the same thing every year?

Chicken in Milk

Chicken in milk

Chicken in milk

 

A few weeks a go I came across a recipe for Chicken and Milk by Jaime Oliver.  The recipe used one of my favorite ingredients–a whole chicken.  It seemed simple (code:Lazy) enough for me to try.   It didn’t require much more than adding the ingredients to a pot and letting it braise for an hour or so.  It also featured another one of my favorite ingredients-lemon with the addition of the milk– my taste buds were anticipating  chicken stewed in a creamy lemon sauce. The sauce was not as creamy as I had anticipated and hoped for, but it was still a great sauce none the less.  While Jaime Oliver’s recipe looked amazing, I did add a few of my own touches to the recipe.  I have been reading about the use of lemon leaves, (from a lemon tree), in cooking.  The leaves are usually used in the same way that bay leaves are used. You use them to impart flavor, but you never eat them.  If you have a lemon tree, pick two of the most beautiful leaves that you can find, wash them, and add them to this dish.  Also be grateful that the next time you trim your lemon tree, you will have an alternative way to use the leaves–you can dry them just like bay leaves! If you don’t have a lemon tree call a friend or neighbor who does and ask for a few! Just make sure to ask if they use any pesticides on their tree.   If that attempt fails, just cook this without the lemon leaves. I also added poultry seasoning, I didn’t have any fresh sage, which Jaimie’s recipe calls for.  The poultry seasoning has sage, so I used it.

 

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1.5 hours mostly non active

 

Ingredients:

5 pound Whole Organic Chicken

10 cloves of garlic (whole no need to remove the skin)

Zest of two lemons (1 Tablespoon of lemon zest)

2 Leaves from a Lemon Tree

3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning

1/2 stick of cinnamon

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

 

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 375F  Rub the chicken generously with the olive oil, and season with a good amount of sea salt and black pepper.

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Then Brown both sides of the chicken over medium high heat. Once brown add in the Lemon zest, garlic, poultry seasoning, cinnamon, and milk.  image

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Cover the pot with a secure lid, then transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 1.5 hours   Remove from oven. serve and enjoy!