Tag Archives: Chicken

recipe goodness :: some like it HOT pollo alla diavola

Chilling Out in the Garlic-Pepper Marinade

It’s HOT HOT HOT out!  And while some may like to hunker down in their A/C-chilled apartments or seek refuge in the comfort of a restaurant where someone else slaves over a hot stove, I like to turn up the heat by firing up the grill and making one of the best pollo alla diavola recipes I have ever had. It takes a little time and effort {which can all be done comfortably while your window unit pumps out cold air} — but by putting in the time and TLC to brine and marinate, you will get the most juicy, flavor-packed chicken you can ask for. So stock your fridge with a few cold ones, and get to work!

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Pollo Alla Diavola

Recipe Courtesy of ASacasa
Serves: 2 hungry lads or 4 peckish birds

Pollo alla diavola is traditionally grilled over wood embers, but the chicken may also be grilled over a charcoal or gas fire, or broiled in an oven.

Herb Vinegar Marinade

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (add later)

Chicken and Brine

  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 3 to 3 ½-pound chicken
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 quarts cold water (16 cups)

Garlic-Pepper Oil

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 teaspoons piment d’ Espelette or Aleppo pepper, or 4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
Directions:
  1. In a small jar, combine the white wine vinegar with the dried oregano, sage and rosemary. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 days {Standing optional, but can be made ahead and chilled for 2 weeks.}
  2. Using kitchen shears, remove the wing tips and the backbones from the chickens. Set the chickens on a large rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and press down firmly on the breastbones to flatten them so that the legs face the breasts. Score each breast, drumstick, thigh and wing halfway to the bone in two places per part.
  3. Combine garlic heads, bay leaves, and salt in quart-size zipper-lock bag; press out air and seal bag. Using rubber mallet or meat pounder, pound mixture until garlic cloves are crushed; transfer mixture to large container or stockpot and stir in 4 quarts cold water until salt is dissolved. Immerse chicken in brine for about 2 hours.
  4. Take out the chickens and allow to dry. Strain the herb-infused vinegar into a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Drizzle all but 2 tablespoons of the vinegar-oil mixture over both sides of the chickens and rub the mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Heat garlic, black pepper, pepper flakes, and oil in small saucepan over medium heat until garlic is fragrant and sizzling and mixture registers about 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer. Rub the seasoning all over the chickens. Let the seasoned chickens stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Oven Option: Preheat the oven to 425°.: Roast the chickens in the upper third of the oven, skin side up, basting both chickens with the remaining vinegar-oil mixture half way through, until the chicken is just cooked, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, about 45 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan. Broil the chickens about 4 inches from the heat, rotating the pan, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Carve the chickens. Reheat the pan juices and serve with the chicken.
  7. Grill Option: Cook skin side up, basting and flipping half-way through, but be careful not to catch the grill on fire with the oils, which could overcook the outside of the chicken before the inside is done. Cook approximately 20 minutes on the BBQ or until internal temp is 165°.
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Hot & Kickin’ Chicken McSpicy. Are You Lovin’ It?

Chicken McSpicy

Chicken McSpicy

A friend of mine is traveling throughout India, and although the Taj Mahal is on the agenda, the more interesting updates have come from his food excursions involving 15 cent street food, exotic fruit carts and my favorite, a stop at McDonalds. Below is a guest contribution pointing out some of the finer points of the multinational take on an American favorite.

Dear Chicken McSpicy,

You are tasty, but not as good as your Indian cousin, Paneer McSpicy. The chicken part of you is indeed apppropriately spicy and delicious, however your ‘cooling creamy sauce’ (per your packaging) is a bit of a letdown. I was expecting a raita-like substance, while you gave me mayo. I can get that on 42nd, between 7th and 8th.

Also on your packaging, what does “Love whole chicken thigh” mean? It could be read in numerous ways: 1) You love presenting a whole chicken thigh to me. 2) You would love to be able to present a whole chicken thigh to me but can’t, since you only cost $1.25. 3) The words ‘is a’ are missing and it should read “Love is a whole chicken thigh”, which still makes no sense.

Sincerely,
PbR

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Barcelona Digested: Mercat de La Boqueria

Mercat de La Boqueria

There is so much to write about the Barcelona food scene — it is arguably one of the top eating destinations in Europe with a mouth-watering balance of traditional and cutting edge restaurants, cafes and shops to eat your way through. In an effort to fully digest my week in Barcelona, I set out to categorize the best dining experiences and quickly noticed Mercat de La Boqueria was on all of my lists. It is a not only a place to find beautifully vibrant produce, locally sourced butcher stands and mounds of fresh-off-the-boat seafood, but it’s a specialty foodies dream, where one can seek out Iberico cured ham, artisanal chocolates, regional olive oils and spices. La Boqueria even houses a few legendary tapas bars that come highly recommended and are visited by locals. It is a place to eat what you see, buy gifts that will be reminiscent of Barcelona and explore the heart of Catalonian cuisine the way Catalonians do. Deservedly, Mercat de La Boqueria gets its own post.

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Fresh Seafood

Perfect Produce

Piles of Fruita

Sweet Mandarin Oranges

Artisanal Chocolates

The Land of Fruits and Nuts

Once Happy Chickens

My New Goat Friend

Where to Eat @La Boqueria:

If you’re interested in grabbing a bite of prepared food, I highly recommend paying an early morning breakfast visit {9am} to Pinotxo or El Quim de la Boqueria., two petite walk-up establishments that have no more than 10 bar stools at the bar. Showing up before the masses only adds to the experience, as you can have a quiet one-on-one chat with the owners and taste some of the most unique creations that aren’t always available when the market is abuzz with visitors. You’ll understand how special this early morning hour is when you visit the market midday and struggle to not bump elbows.

My Other New Friend and Infamous Owner of Pinotxo

The Next Pinotxo Generation Serving Up Egg Tortilla

Amazing Chick Pea Breakfast

Mercat de La Boqueria Must-Do Tips:

 

  • Go early (9am) to watch all the purveyors set up each nut, chocolate and fig, to perfectly present their bounty. The quiet of the early morning hour is spectacular in contrast to the midday buzz — the best way to take it all in.
  • Breakfast or Lunch at Pinotxo — A tiny tiny family run bar, but the owner is one of the most well known in Barcelona. Good things come in small packages. Go early (9am-ish) and ask for the specials to avoid the rush.
  • Breakfast or Lunch at El Quim de la Boqueria – Quim has been at the helm of this kiosk bar for the last 20+ years. It’s a place for fresh seafood and high-end tapas.
  • Buy some goods and make yourself a picnic to take to Park Guell for an outdoor lunch overlooking the Barcelona sprawl.
  • Things to try: exotic fruit, bite-sized chocolates, horchata, anything your heart desires!

More Pictures to Devour:

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And More Barcelona to Digest:
recipe goodness :: barcelona favorite recreated | balsamic chick pea salad

Barcelona Digested: Chocolate Central
Barcelona Digested: Hang with the Locals – Cava and Cafe Catalonian Style

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recipe goodness :: grandma’s italian wedding chicken soup

Italian Wedding Soup

My grandmother used to make this soup every New Year’s day. After what seemed like weeks of eating – from Thanksgiving to holiday parties, Christmas Eve and our big Italian Christmas feast, it was nice to come together for one more meal that was both simple and light, but still delicious {as Grandma’s cooking always was}. If you’re looking for something to lighten the load after all the Thanksgiving grub, this is the recipe for you!

This soup can be made any time of the year and makes enough that you can even freeze some to easily pull out a great mid-week meal. I would even suggest replacing the chicken with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving if you’re looking for something to do with your remaining bird this week. It’s not only a great cold day dish for us adults, but kids love the tiny meatballs and mini pasta. So spend a few minutes chopping and throwing all the goods in a pot — the fresh veggies and rich flavors from the meatballs and chicken will really put any canned soup to shame!

 

Grandma’s Italian Wedding Soup
Serves 8-10 | Cook Time: ~1 hour

Soup:
4 cans {14oz ea} chicken broth
1 cup of boiling water w/ 2 tsp dissolved chicken flavored concentrate
3-4 carrots diced
3-4 celery stalks diced
1 onion diced
2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
1-1¼ cups pasta of choice {mini pasta is best!}
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or romano cheese
Spinach, kale or chopped parsley {optional}

Meatballs:
½ lb ground beef
¼ cup of bread crumbs
1 egg
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Poach the chicken: Place chicken in a pan covered with water & bring to a boil over med. high heat, uncovered. Immediately remove from burner, cover, and let completely cool. Turn oven to 350 deg.

Prepare the meatballs: Combine all ingredients and thoroughly mix. Take a bite size sample and cook to test for taste. Adjust seasonings as desired. Form tiny marble sized meatballs. Place on cookie sheet and brown in oven ~5-10 mins. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.

Soup Broth: Meanwhile, in a large stock pot combine the chicken broth and the cup of chicken concentrate, cover and bring to a boil. Taste, add salt and pepper if required. If broth does not have a rich chicken flavor to your liking, add 1 tsp at a time of the chicken concentrate to reach the desired taste.

Dice the carrots, celery, onion and chicken into bite size pieces. When chicken broth reaches the taste desired, add vegetables, chicken, and meatballs; bring to a boil then lower to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables reach the tenderness of your liking {I prefer al dente as the vegetables will soften as they continue to absorb the broth}. Optional, when the soup is almost done add torn spinach kale or chopped parsley just for color.

While the vegetables are cooking, in a separate pot prepare the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the box.

To serve: place desired amount of pasta in soup bowl add chicken soup, and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Tip from Grandma: Keep the pasta in a separate container when you store leftovers so they don’t soak up the broth and get too soggy. Add them to the bowl and pour of hot soup when ready to serve.

More from Grandma’s Kitchen:
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries

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SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie

RoliRoti Sets Up

At first RoliRoti may sound like the name of an Indian restaurant, but in fact it’s a food truck rolling out gourmet rotisserie recipes originating from the Swiss Alps and taking the Bay Area by storm. Rotisseur Thomas Odermatt, the son of a Swiss “Metzgermeister,” or Master Butcher, grew up in the family’s Swiss butcher shop before moving to Berkley to pursue an education in organic farming. Serving only sustainably-farmed meats and organic produce, Thomas learned the importance of premium cuts from his father and perfect preparation with a secret spice rub from his mother, bringing a crowd-pleasing culinary combination to the local San Francisco market.

…and to my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Normally to get a bite of RoliRoti you would have to queue up in a long line of hungry Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market foodies on Saturday morning, but after standing in many long lines themselves, my brother and his wife decided to hire RoliRoti to cater the Friday night rehearsal dinner. Lucky us.

So what kind of goodness did this infamous truck roll up with? It’s all about the rotisserie chicken and porchetta slow roasting over a bed of potatoes — yes, vegetarians will have to pass on these spuds. RoliRoti’s prized crispy rotisserie chicken is served with a generous portion of rosemary sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime for a burst of zesty flavor. The porchetta consists of Heritage’s free range pork loin rolled into the belly with RoliRoti’s original herb mix and lemon zest, grilled on the rotisserie for four hours until crispy brown on the outside, resulting in one succulent hunk of pig!

Dinner's Done!

Rosemary Sea Salt

RoliRoti's Famous Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

The rotisserie may be the main attraction, but the steakhouse salad with sweet early girl tomatoes, red onion and roquefort cheese is a perfect pairing. Or try the charred corn summer salad with fresh avocadoes tossed in punchy lime-jalapeño vinaigrette, garnished with halved cherry tomatoes, bell pepper chunks, and cilantro. Both provide a light and refreshing plate partnership to your carvings.

Early Girl Tomatoes

RoliRoti Summer Salads

The Skim: Whether you’re looking for some finger lickin’ chicken at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market or a really kick-ass party pleaser, roll over to the RoliRoti truck and you will be begging for seconds. Case in point, after a lot of excited and hungry guests, RoliRoti packed it up early after running out of food — only the second time that had ever happened!

Map: San Francisco Ferry Plaza
Phone: 510.780.0300

More on the Left Coast Cuisine:
Bistro Don Giovanni: Napa-Sourced & Italian-Inspired
Do This!: Le Grand Fooding 2010 New York vs San Francisco

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recipe goodness: roasted chicken salad w/ dried cranberries & sunflower seeds

Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds

What came first, the Chicken or the Egg?

Well in the case of my blog, the egg salad recipe, but I actually created the chicken salad first. This is another great alternative to a boring sammie and I actually recommend you eat it sans bread only because there are so many good flavors you should enjoy!

Roasted Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds

3 Chicken Breasts
Dijon Mustard
Sprinkle of Dill
Crank of Black Pepper
1 Stalk Celery
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 TBS Sunflower Seeds (no shell)
1 TBS Mayo
1 TBS Dijon

Tip: Making with 3-4 chicken breasts will give you enough for 3-5 servings depending on how hungry you are — easy lunch for a few days that week or lunching with the ladies.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay the 3 chicken breasts on a cookie sheet with sides.  Spread a thin layer of dijon on both sides of each chicken breast, then sprinkle with dill and crank a little whole black pepper on both sides. Put the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes flip each chicken breast and return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, dice celery stalk. When chicken is cool, roughly chop into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl with celery. Add dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, a dollop of mayo and dijon and another crank or two of black pepper. Toss to mix ingredients thoroughly and enjoy. This is another great salad to sprinkle a few radish sprouts on top for an surprising fresh, peppery flavor.

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