Livin' the kosher dream
Category Archives: Chicken
March 3, 2014Posted by on
So apparently there are some people who mistakenly think that white meat is better than dark meat. Craziness right? Now don’t get me wrong, white meat that’s properly cooked, and fresh is awesome, and bad chicken is bad chicken no matter what color…however that being said, all things being equal, dark meat is way better. Now there are some that claim dark meat is annoying because it comes with bones, and these people, being the lazy people they are, don’t want to have to go through the trials and tribulations of having to work when they eat, so to these weird people, any sort of impediment in their course to stuffing said food down their gullets in one fluid motion is considered bad, so ergo, bone-in chicken is bad. I know what you’re thinking, who is crazy enough to think this, right?? Well I’m not going to name names (ahem – Dr Shmalexman) but suffice it to say, people like this do exist. Where am I going with this diatribe? Well what if we could take dark meat and remove the bone so even those lazy people out there can enjoy good chicken. I know what you’re thinking, why not just buy boneless dark meat, right? Well the only answer I have is, have you seen how much more they charge you for removing the bone? Just do it yourself, and it’s really not that hard. Onward!
So butchery is a great way to take out some aggression, and I highly recommend cutting down a whole chicken at least once, just to get a feel for it (plus, the chicken always comes out neater, and another benefit is you can make chicken galantine, which you should definitely do), anyway, if you decide not to butcher a whole chicken, go grab some chicken legs, and lets start cutting. First you’re going to want to cut the drumstick from the thigh, and the easiest way to do that is to take the bottom, and squeeze the leg and thigh together and start cutting down, and you should be able to wriggle your knife in between the two pieces, and cut right through.
Once you have the leg, you can slice down directly over the bone to open it up, and then slide your knife under the bone but on top of the meat, to completely separate the meat from the bone. Then kind of do the same thing with the thigh, but I’m sorry, because I don’t have any good pictures, but basically cut along the bone, and then slide the knife underneath to cut meat away, and where the two bones meet you’ll need to cut away, whatever,you’ll figure it out, right? Gravy sauce.
Allright, so now that you have your cut up chicken bottoms (or bought deboned thighs, because I know you guys, and I know that you’re thinking, hey why go through all this work, when I can just buy it…well you’re what’s wrong with our society!)…ok sorry for that.. moving right along…so I took the chicken, and rolled it up so it would be thicker, and more uniform, and decided you know what would be a great application for these pieces of chicken? Braising.
Braising is, in my opinion, a very underutilized technique. The idea behind it is like this – the gentlest and easiest way to cook something is by using water as a heat transfer medium (ie – it’s more predictable to cook something in water, than in air [the oven] because of how well water can transfer heat), but there’s one caveat, high heat develops flavor. So braising combines the best of both worlds, you get high heat cooking, and liquid cooking. The way it works is thusly – first you brown whatever protein you’re cooking, remove the meat, and add whatever veggies. Then you add enough liquid so that it will end up submerging half of the meat, cover the whole thing with a tight fitting lid, and continue cooking.
For our application, I rolled up the boneless chicken, and tied it with some twine. Set up a dutch oven over high heat, and browned the chicken on all sides.
While that was cooking, I mixed some honey, dijon mustard, hot sauce, and porter beer. I removed the chicken, added the liquid to the pot, and scraped the bottom while it was cooking (as the chicken browns, it develops what’s called fond on the bottom of the pan, which is a big source of flavor, so scraping it off the bottom helps). I added the chicken back, covered the pot, and placed in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes…I think.
When it was all done, the porter had reduced by a lot, and made an excellent thick sauce, and the chicken was actually pretty awesome, and I think you should definitely give this a try.
So yeah, that’s all for now, if you have any questions, let’s talk.
I’m not going to lie, I miss you random people I mostly don’t know, so I’m going to leave you with an empty promise that I’m going to try and post more often. I really want to but you know, life and all that gets in the way, so yeah, first world problems…whatever…enjoy the snow.
July 5, 2013Posted by on
I’ve been looking for a good recipe to make and write about to get back into the whole blogging thing…It’s been rough, but I think I found it. Basically, chicken galantine is essentially keeping a chicken whole, while removing all of the bones, then stuffing it, wrapping it all up, and cooking the sucker.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…chickens have bones?? The long answer is – yes.
I personally love the art and technique of butchering. I’ve always been intrigued by it, because it is an art and it’s pretty much not appreciated. Lately whenever I can, I like to buy whole chickens, and chop it up into it’s different parts, and I don’t know why, but there’s this more accomplished feeling, when you realize that one whole chicken, can produce so many components to the meal. Like in our dish for example – I used the remaining carcass to make a stock, and the scrap chicken to make the filling. Then I used the stock to make the gravy that went with the dish. It’s kinda like the circle of life, man…it’s super deep.
Whatever, philosophy class aside, I’m not gonna say this is an easy technique to do, but trust me when I say, that if I can do it, so can you. It does help to have a little bit of knowledge of what parts are what though. So without further ado…chicken galantine.
Ok, this recipe comes from the great Jacques Pepin, and he has a great Youtube video, which I recommend watching if you’re gonna venture into this. You’ll also have to excuse me for not having great step by step pictures.
One thing to know before going into this, is you know how chickens have “white and dark” meat? Well, in general, whenever an animal uses a particular muscle for longer periods of time, as opposed to quick bursts, the muscle will be darker. So for example – a chicken pretty much uses the muscles of its legs all day, when it sits, stands, walks, etc..so it needs those muscles constantly. However, a chicken doesn’t really use its wings all too often. Every once in a while, it will use them for a moment. The machinery needed to run these muscles are different, and that’s why they taste different.
(Quick science detour – You can skip this part if you want [but the rest you can’t!] – Basically, the muscles that are used for longer periods of time, need fat and oxygen in order to work, which it gets from the bloodstream in the form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin then gives the oxygen to myoglobin, which stores it until the cytochromes are ready to oxidize it. The myoglobin is what gives these muscle fibers its dark red color [what’s interesting is, there are different configurations to myoglobin and depending on that configuration is what color the meat will be…ranging from purple, to red, and brown…but I digress]…anyway, with white meat, since the body needs the energy pronto, it doesn’t rely on the blood stream to deliver its nutrients, rather, the muscle has energy stored within it, in the form of glycogen, and converts that into energy without having to wait for blood to bring stuff. And while we’re on the topic, if you thought about it, you would understand why a duck is different than a chicken…it actually uses it’s breast muscle for long periods of time, and that’s why there’s no white meat on a duck, and why it’s freaking delicious…this is also why a tuna, and to a lesser extent salmon is different than bass or flounder…see where I’m going with this?)
Ok back to our chicken, one of the challenges in cooking this (or chicken in general for that matter) is cooking the white and dark meat to the right point, and since they both are done at different temperatures (white meat – needs to be cooked no higher than 140, and dark meat has to exceed 155ish in order for it to be melt in your mouth [that has to do with the connective tissue breaking down into collagen…more on that another time]), so we’re going to have to keep that in mind once we’re done with the whole carcass breakdown thingy…wait…it’s been like 6 paragraphs, and we haven’t even started cutting the bird??? Yeesh, this is gonna be a long post…I know, but it’s been a while…I have a lot to say.
Ok, Ok…let’s get cutting. First thing to do is remove the wish bone by making slits along the backside, and digging your fingers in, and pulling it out.
Then, lay the bird on the side, and cut through the skin along the spine. Then we’re going to separate the tips and the flat off of the wings to leave just the mini drum stick. (I know this is hard to describe without good pictures, but it was hard to take pics, so just do yourself a favor and watch the video)
All right, now the next part happens pretty fast, but the idea is this – All we’re going to be cutting from here on in is the knee and shoulder joints…the rest will be separated just by pulling everything apart (again, watch the video). Once you have both shoulder joints separated, you can basically pull the whole carcass down, and then you’ll be at the knee joint and will need to cut that also.
Once that’s done, this is what you’ll have -
The only bones left are two in each leg, and one in each shoulder.
To remove the leg bones, take the back of your knife, and gently scrape away at any meat clinging to the bone, and when you reach the actual joint, you’ll have to cut in order to separate (need I say watch the video again?)
Then to remove the bone, I pretty much whacked the ankle, to break the bone, and removed the bone through the thigh. For the bone in the shoulder, you can actually just push it out.
Ok, so now we’re ready to fill the pollo. I kinda went on a riff on our chicken crepes (which I’m sure still is emblazoned in your memory because it was so awesome), which is a big hit in this family.
I sauteed onions and mushrooms, and after they were good and soft, I added some flour, and stirred to combine. Then I added some of the stock and let that come to a simmer, and then added our reserved chopped up chicken.
Transfer to chicken, and fill the bird, making sure to stuff the filling into the legs and shoulders.
Then, roll it all up
and tie it like a large roast.
I then salted it, and placed it in the fridge over night. Leaving it in the fridge over night helps for two reasons. One I was able to go to sleep, because I was super tired. But mainly, it dries out the skin, which helps to brown the chicken better.
When you’re ready to cook, since we’re going to be roasting the chicken (ie – high heat, and uncovered), considering what we discussed earlier, we needed a way to figure out how not to overcook the wihte meat, while the dark meat continues to cook. One method I’ve used before is to pplace aluminum foil over the white meat for the first portion of cooking.
Now since there’s only so much more I can discuss, essentially there are three ways to transmit heat/energy and cook something, conduction, convection, and radiation. Without getting too much into it, placing aluminum foil on the chicken prevents radiation from transmitting energy, and thus eliminates part of what will cook the meat. Confusing? Great!
So I put the bird in at 400 for about 45-50 minutes, covering the white meat with aluminum for about 20 minutes of that.
And that’s it. Now you just have to cut it up.
I served it with a mushroom sauce (gravy made with the stock, along with sauteed mushrooms recipe here)
Well, I know the 9 days are coming, and my timing might not be the best, but you know what? I don’t care! Plus, as I’m sure you saw in the title, it’s my 3rd anniversary for this here li’l website. So go me…I’m not exactly sure what the accomplishment is, but hey, lets just celebrate.
I also hope to be able to blog more now that I’m officially unemployed (ie I finally am done with my residency, and I’m looking for a job), so here’s another empty promise that I write some more…but you know I’ll probably disappoint.
Watch Video here
Based on this recipe
- 1 whole chicken, deboned, but left whole
- salt and pepper
- 1 Small case of Mushrooms, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- leftover chicken from the last time you made stock
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 batch of mushroom sauce
- Debone chicken, watch Chef Pepin do it in video above
- Salt and pepper the insides of the chicken
- Sautee mushroom and onion, until soft, about 5-7 minutes
- Add flour and cook while stirring for another 2-3 minutes, until toasty
- Add garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds
- Add broth, and bring to a boil, and cook for another 7 minutes or so, until thickened.
- Add reserved chicken scraps, and stir to combine
- Take mushroom chicken mixture, and stuff chicken, ensuring to placed stuffing into legs and shoulders.
- Roll up chicken, and tie into a roast.
- Set chicken on a rack, salt and pepper the bird, and place in fridge over night (optional)
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400
- Place piece of aluminum foil over white meat, and cook chicken for 15-20 minutes, remove foil, up the heat to 450, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until ready (135 for white meat if using thermometer)
- Allow meat to rest before carving at least 30 minutes.
- Slice and serve with mushroom sauce
February 13, 2012Posted by on
Howdy! Yowzers it’s been a while. Well I’m not gonna lie here, a lot has been going on here at The Kosher Gastronome HQ, where to start.
Well first of all – my wife and I were blessed with our own li’l bundle of poop!
Her name is Daniella Noa Fogel, and isn’t she amazing? How are you going to say no to such a rhetorical question like that??
So needless to say, we’ve been pretty busy; it’s not easy training a 2 week old to cook, but she’s getting the hang of it.
Also – I found out that I got into the Maryland residency for next year (the AEGD in the University of MD), which is where I was hoping to get into, so lots of good news all around, praise the lawd!!
All right, let’s get down to business. The last we left off, we were discussing chicken stock, and I had mentioned that if you use pieces of chicken to make stock (in addition to the bones) that you can make chicken crepes with the meat scraps…well guess what? This here post is about that! I know, how fortuitous right?
So these chicken crepes are on my top 10 list of favorite foods. Not even a question. Bold statement right there, but it’s true. I don’t even know if this is a widely acceptable form of crepe filler, but chicken crepes have been a Yom Tov staple in the Fogel household for as long as I can remember, and there has yet to be a Yom Tov that I didn’t go back into the kitchen, when no one was looking, and sneak a third (this was already after I had eaten seconds).
This is usually where I would describe how they taste and what their texture is like right? Well no! I won’t, because I don’t even want you to live vicariously through me, you are just going to have to make these for yourself, and find out just how amazing they really are.
The chicken filling part is really simple. Shred the flesh off of the chicken, and chop it up semi chunky.
Set that aside, and sautee onions, celery, carrots (“Mishpachat Mirepoix”) and some garlic, until softened, and then add in some chicken stock, the chopped chicken, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a few minutes.
And that’s it for the filling.
Now onto the crepe part.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been quoting Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio a lot lately, and this is no different. I got the crepe “recipe” from his book. His ratio is 1 part egg, 1 part liquid (could be any liquid, but I used stock), 1/2 part flour, and some salt. All of these are by weight by the way.
I can’t remember what the exact measurements were, but I started with 2 eggs, and figured it out from there. So if lets say 1 egg weighs 2 ounces, then you’d use 2 ounces liquid, and 1 ounce flour. Simple enough, right?
A lot of people are afraid of making crepes. It’s one of those things, that just take practice.
To make a good crepe, you want a good pan, that holds it’s heat very well, and doesn’t have high sides which will make it hard to flip the crepe. You also want to use a non-stick pan, and apply the smallest amount of oil you can imagine. What I do is turn the oil bottle upside down with a paper towel on top (like you would with a bottle of rubbing alcohol), and use that oil to wipe a tiny layer on the pan.
The next thing is you want the pan hot, but not too hot, somewhere in the medium range, and you want to pour only enough batter that it just coats the bottom, and that’s it. Also as the batter is coating the bottom, you’re going to want to rotate the pan so the batter fills the areas without batter. This would be a lot easier to explain if you just came by and I showed you. I’m telling you, it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it.
To flip, I usually use my hands. Just slide the crepe to the edge of the pan, and pick it up, and flip it. It really shouldn’t be that hot.
I would take a video of myself doing this, but I have no idea how to edit videos, so I dunno about that.
Ok that was confusing, but the hard part is over.
Now just plop some of that chicken mixture on the crepe, and roll it up like you’re swaddling it (ie like a burrito), and set aside.
When you’re ready, put some oil in a pan, and pan fry the crepes on both sides to crisp it up a little; about 3-4 minutes ish per side over medium heat.
Traditionally in our household, these were always served with mushroom sauce. The way I made the sauce was I made a roux by melting 3 tablespoons margarine, and adding 3 tablespoons flour, and cooking the flour until it smelled nutty, and then added about 3 cups of stock stock, along with whatever seasoning you want (ie like salt, pepper, garlic, or whatever you think), to make a gravy.
While that was thickening up, I sauteed mushrooms, and then added the gravy to the mushrooms and let it cook together.
You don’t want it too thick, it should pour be the consistency of gravy, and then serve crepes with mushroom sauce over top of it.
Just make it, I promise you will not regret it.
Since Pesach is coming (Quick, wanna hear a joke? Why is it called Pesach?? Because you “Pay a sach”!! Get it?…I know Batsheva’s laughing, and that’s all that matters)..so since Pesach is coming, obviously you can, and should, and will make this amazing delicacy, but there’s more to this little crepe story. If you stay tuned, I hope to have time to post on a little something we call “Polochintah” (wow, I totally butchered that one), or “bletlach”…either way, for those that don’t eat “gibrokts” you’ll know what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, well you’re just going to have to wait and find out.
Until then, I’m going to teach Daniella how to make crepes.
- Shredded chicken from stock
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Reserved chicken stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Crepes:
- 1 part eggs
- 1 part liquid – ie stock
- 1/2 part flour
- Pinch of salt
(sorry I just don’t know the exact amounts, but get yourself a scale…you can’t expect me to do all of the work!)
For the mushroom sauce:
- 1 package of mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons margarine, or any oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the chicken filling: Sautee onion, carrot, celery, and garlic over medium heat, until soft; about 7 minutes. Add about 1/4 – 1/3 cup stock and the shredded chicken, and season with salt and pepper. You really don’t want it soupy at all.
- To make the crepes: combine eggs, stock, flour, and salt.
- Heat a crepe pan over medium-low heat, and brush a tiny amount of oil on the pan.
- Take the pan off the fire, and with the other hand, ladle just enough batter onto the pan to just coat the bottom, twirling the pan to ensure it coats it evenly.
- Let the crepe cook on one side without moving it, for 2-3 minutes, and then flip. I find the easiest way to flip is with my fingers, but you might need to tuck a spatula under the crepe to be able to gain leverage.
- To cook the mushroom sauce: Make a roux, by melting the margarine, and then cooking the flour in it, until the flour starts to smell nutty.
- Add the stock all at once, and stir vigorously, and allow it to thicken up. Season as needed.
- Sautee the mushrooms until softened
- Combine gravy and mushrooms and cook until it is the right consistency of gravy.
- To assemble: Put about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture into the center of the crepe, and fold up like a burrito.
- To finish off crepe: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet, and cook each side of the crepe for about 3-4 minutes per side, being careful not to burn it.
- To serve, top crepes with mushroom sauce, and serve warm