Category Archives: Poultry

Chicken Renee

Here’s a slick twist on chicken cutlets that a relative came up with. Instead of an egg batter and deep fry, these beauties are quickly dipped in good quality extra virgin olive oil and coated in a bread crumb mix infused with Pecorino Romano cheese, Panko crumbs, seasoned bread crumbs, and fresh parsley. The flavor is incredible and since they’re dipped in panko and grilled they have a nice crunchy crust. Clean the leaves off the outdoor grill and start ‘er up because spring is here and it’s time to grill my peoples.

Prep time: ~15mins
Cook time: ~15mins
Serves 4

Get yourself:

  • 8-10 Chicken cutlets
  • 1.5C Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1C Bread crumbs (I use Seasoned 4C Brand)
  • 1C Panko crumbs (Seasoned 4C Brand)
  • .5C Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2T Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2t Garlic powder
  • 1t Dry mustard
  • 1t Dry oregano
  • 1/2t Cayenne pepper powder (not flakes)
  • 1t Black pepper

Printable Recipe

Mix all of your dry ingredients together + fresh parsley in a shallow dish

Set aside

Pour the oil into a separate shallow dish

Set aside

Grab yo chicken and dry the hell out of it with paper towels so oil adheres

Here’s the deal…

Cutlet-Dip in oil-Dip in crumbs-Dip in oil-Dip in crumbs-Shake-Grill-Eat

Quick dip the cutlet and let excess oil drip off

Hit with some of that crumb mix

Quick dip in oil again

Hit with more crumbs

You can pack the crumb on with your hands and just hold up and gently shake…

…so excess falls off

There they is…breaded and ready for the heat…

Word to the wise…

Spray the $#%@ out of the grill with Pam

Preheat grill on high and before you drop chicken on…

reduce to medium-low

More words to the wise…

Watch the cutlets because a little oil might drip and cause flare ups

Grill for ~5 mins per side

Last set of words for the wise…

Be gentle with cutlets…I like to transfer the cutlet to a spatula and…

…gently push the cutlet onto the grill grates using tongs…

Don’t play shuffle board with the cutlets or breading will fall apart…

…nice ‘n easy…

Oh damn, look at those grill marks!

Ahhh….this crust is bangin’

Cheesy, crunchy, savory…

Fresh and fruitiness of the evoo…

Moist and tender chicken…

That’s what’s up!

Serve with a side of panko roasted asparagus…

This is going on your recipe rotation…

Enjoy!!

Mad Easy DIY Chicken Stock

I cut up some whole chickens and saved the backs and necks. I had about 2 lbs worth sitting in the freezer so I decided why not give this stock thing a shot. I checked out a few recipes around the web to get some ideas and then I delved into my stock adventure. I felt that making chicken stock should be uncomplicated and an easy way to reuse scrap parts. So, with that in mind, I set out to make my own…I grabbed my scraps, some veggies, fresh herbs, and spices and tossed everything in a pot with water and let it simmer for a long ass time. A couple of additional steps were needed to refine the stock, but nothing crazy…strain it, fridge it overnight, then bottle, bag, store, and freeze the next day. Dunzo.

Prep time: ~10mins
Cook time: ~8hrs + overnight chill in fridge

Get yourself:

  • ~2-3lb Chicken parts (backs, necks, leftover carcass, etc.)
  • ~1C White wine
  • ~6 Stalks celery
  • ~2C baby carrots or 4 whole carrots halved
  • ~6-8 Parsley bunches with stems attached
  • ~10 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Cloves fresh garlic smashed and skin removed
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Onion, top and bottom cut off and peeled
  • 1.5T Peppercorns
  • 1.5T Kosher salt
  • ~2Gallons water
  • Big sauce pot
  • Mason jar
  • Ziploc sandwich bags
  • Patience
  • A day when you can leave a pot on simmer for ~8hrs

Thawed chicken goes in pot

If you don’t have scrap chicken you can buy chicken backs at the supermarket…

…dirt cheap

Toss all of your veggies and herbs into the pot

Don’t kill yourself just rough chop, tear, throw in whole, who cares?

Toss in your peppercorns, salt, and bay leaves

Add in your wine and water

Water amount will vary depending on the size of your pot…

Don’t sweat it, just make sure it’s enough to cover all of the ingredients by at least 2″

Simmer for ~8hrs

Don’t boil (something about fat emulsification and cloudy stock)

When it’s finally done, strain all of it through a sieve

You can save the chicken and carrots, let cool, remove bones, and feed to dogs

My little guys loved it…

…nothing goes to waste!

(optional) Line sieve with mad layers of cheese cloth and strain again

Depends how fanatical you are…

Throw the stock pot in the fridge to cool overnight

Fat will harden on the top

Using a big spoon, skim all the fat off the top and trash it

You can strain again to get all the little fat pieces that get away from you…

…kinda like the last cheerio in the milk that you swear is intentionally swimming away from your spoon

Big bowl of stock

Time to store it…

Ahhhh…ladle some of that liquid gold into a glass jar

Freeze the rest

Here’s how…

Stuff a Ziploc sandwich bag into a 16oz cup and drape over

Grab your ladle

Fill with ~2 ladle’s worth of stock

Seal and set aside

Do this until all stock is used up

Store the Ziploc bags in a big Ziploc freezer bag

When you’re ready to use just take out to defrost

I ended up getting ~10 sandwich bags of stock…

Come on, how freakin’ easy is that?!

Stop wasting money on that garbage loaded with MSG and make your own!

…you’re welcome…

🙂

Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken scar-par-ri-ello…bet you never heard of this one before. Think sausage and peppers marries chicken cacciatore and they have a menage a trois with hot peppers. This dish is jam-packed with flavor from the get-go, but truth-be-told it tastes even better the next day.

Serves: 6
Prep time: ~10mins
Cook time: ~40mins

Printable Recipe

Get yourself:

  • .25C Extra virgin olive oil
  • .5C Vegetable oil
  • 6 Italian sausage (mixed hot and sweet), keep in casing and cut each link into quarters
  • 4lbs Mixed chicken pieces (I used a fryer pack with legs, thighs, and wings)
  • .5 12oz Jar sliced sweet peppers (reserve juice)
  • 1 12oz Jar sliced hot cherry peppers
  • 1.5lbs Baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked and sliced
  • 3 Bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 Medium sweet onions, cut in half through root end and sliced into strips
  • 2 Cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1C Chicken broth
  • 1/2C Dry sherry or white wine
  • 1/2C vinegar from jar of sweet peppers
  • 1T Dried oregano leaves
  • 1t Garlic powder
  • S&Cracked pepper to taste

Heat up the oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet

Grab your sausages

When the oil in the skillet is nice and hot…

Saute the sausage until browned on both sides, ~5-7mins

When done, remove with tongs to a plate lined with paper towels

In the same skillet, add the chicken and brown on both sides

When chicken is done remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate, set aside

While the chicken browns start on the veggies

Slice up the bells into strips, about 1/4″ thick

Slice onions in half through the root end and cut each half into strips

Cook and slice up your potatoes

Check this out to see how to make potatoes real quick in the mic:

Quick Cook Potatoes

Cook peppers, onions, and garlic over medium-high until soft and beginning to brown

Once peppers and onions are done you can add in the sausage and chicken…

and…

The sweet peppers, hot peppers, potatoes, oregano, chicken stock, wine, garlic powder, reserved vinegar, and s&p

Stir it all up

Bring to a boil for ~5mins

Reduce heat to simmer and cook ~25 minutes

Taste and adjust for seasoning

Serve as is with some crusty artisan bread, over rice, or throw into some Italian bread for a  badass sandwich

Don’t get me wrong it’s good, but just wait until the next day and you’ll see what I’m talking about

Roasted Chicken with Veggies

Spring is right around the corner so I decided to make  a last-ditch effort to create a winter-ish dish. Not like anyone wants to be reminded of winter, but I figured it was the least I could to politely say bon voyage. So, as usual, I hit up the cookbooks and flipped through some of Ina Garten’s recipes (she rocks FYI), then I hit up the google to find some recipes and came across the Amateur Gourmet’s rendition of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc @ home roasted chicken. This looked really good and I was sold. Time to roast me a chicken and root vegetables…

“Hey, I’m looking for a rutabaga”

“Sure, over there in the barrel”

“The thing that says turnips?!”

“Yea”

“But I’m looking for a rutabaga…”

“Yea, same thing”

“Uh, OK, thanks…”

Good thing for produce guy and his thorough explanation right?! I mean, I would never know the difference if it weren’t for his extensive produce knowledge. Thanks vague produce man, thanks.

Anyway, who cares about turnips and rutabagas, let’s the roast the damn things and eat ’em. According to the Amateur Gourmet guy it’s worth it…

Serves: ~4
Prep time: ~25mins
Cook time: ~2hrs
Total time: Freakin’ long but worth it

Get yourself:

  • 1 4-4.5lb Chicken
  • 2 Rutabagas
  • 2 Turnips
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 8-10 Small red potatoes
  • 8 Long carrots
  • 1 Small head of garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • 4T Butter
  • 1t Rendered duck fat (optional)
  • .5C Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • Butchers twine or something to truss the chicken
  • Big ass roasting pan or cast iron skillet
  • Digital thermo because when the temp hits 160F that chicken is done!

First things first, if you want crispy skin then you should let your chicken air dry on the counter for 2 hours before cooking. Then you should take some paper towels and dab the skin to absorb any residual moisture.

Dry skin = Crispy skin

Now we can move on…

Preheat oven to 425

Prep your veggies

I know it looks like a daunting mountain of veggies to peel

Put some music on and get to preppin’

Let’s start with the leeks

Cut the dark green off

I feel like I’m wasting money when I buy these I mean you end up cutting and tossing half of it away

Now, stand it up and slice almost in half

Turn, slice almost in half again

Got it?!

The veg, the myth, the legend…the rutabaga

It’s waxed

Peel off the outer skin and then cut into wedges

Rutabaga, done

Turnip time

Same thing

Peel and then wedges

For the onion just cut the tip off lay flat

Then cut through the root end into quarters

Pull three cloves of garlic off the head, peel and smash with knife

Quarter your carrots

Gather 4 stalks of thyme

Rinse potatoes, but leave whole and unpeeled

Add all of these plus the veggies from above into a big bowl

Toss in the olive oil and 1tsp each of salt and pepper

Mix it all up real good and throw ’em into whatever your baking them in

I used a nice big cast iron pan

Veggie’s, done

Chicken time…

Separate the skin from the flesh with your fingers

Inconspicuously slip 4T of butter under the skin

I rubbed duck fat all over the skin, but you can use butter or a light oil like canola

Sprinkle 1tsp salt and cracked black pepper over the chicken skin

oh yea, don’t forget to remove the giblets from the cavity

Add 1 tsp of salt and pepper to cavity

Quarter your lemon and stuff it in

Stick the remainder of the thyme stalks in

Get the remaining head of garlic and slice the top off, stuff it in there

Truss the chicken legs and tuck the wing tips under the body

Push the veggies to the side and nestle the chicken right in the middle of the whole thing

Put in the 425F oven feet first

Roast for 25mins

Drop oven temp to 400F

Rotate so the feet are facing you

Roast for 45mins or until a meat thermo reads 160F

In due time, a gorgeous, fragrant, crispy chicken will grace you with its presence

Put the chicken aside and let rest so the juices can redistribute

You can throw a foil tent over it

I like my roasted veggies really caramelized so at this point I threw ’em back in for another 25mins

That’s all folks…

A classic roast chicken

If you’re into roast chicken and veggies then this is right up your alley

The chicken was SO juicy and had great flavor

Skin was crispy and buttery

The veggies were packed with flavor

Definitely a go-to comfort dish

Enjoy!!

Spanish Rice and Chicken

The most Spanish part of this meal is the fact that the rice is Goya. Already seasoned and ready to cook. Sorry, but sometimes hunger takes precedent and you just don’t have the time. Since my knowledge of Spanish food is limited to Paella and Spanish pimento olives I decided to take a shot at arroz con pollo, otherwise known as Spanish Chicken and Rice. The end result was delicious and a pleasant surprise. After I made it I decided to Google “arroz con pollo recipes” and it turns out my version is a far cry from the traditional version. In fact, it’s more like a poor man’s paella…a really poor man’s paella. Although nothing close to authentic, it was enough to satiate our desire for something “Spanish” and it met all our criteria for a weeknight meal: quick to make, tasty, satisfying, quick to clean up, and easily repeatable. Another good thing about this dish is that it lends itself to a boat load of variations…

Serve: 4-6

Time: ~35mins

Get yourself:

1 Fryer chicken cut into parts (See how to cut up a whole chicken here: http://bit.ly/aBoiPt)

1 Bell pepper

1 Vidalia onion

1C Spanish pimento olives chopped

3T chopped fresh parsley

6 Cloves roasted garlic or 3 cloves chopped fresh

1 Package Goya Spanish rice

1T Season All

1T Garlic powder

1T Dried Oregano

2t Smoked paprika

2t Cayenne pepper powder

1t Cumin

2T olive oil

s&cracked pep

A stove to oven frying pan

2QT Microwave safe bowl with cover

Rinse chicken and pat dry, you won’t get a good sear if skin is wet

In a bowl combine all of your dry ingredients

Smoosh the dry rub into the chicken skin real good

Set chicken aside and prep your rice

Oh, and preheat your oven to 400F…

as well as your frying pan with the oil

When the pan is nice and hot…Sear the chicken…

Just kidding

That’s what happens when you add rendered duck fat to a super hot pan

Time for a do-over

Sear the chicken in a cast iron skillet for a real good sear

Mmmmmmm, crispy seasoned chicken skin…

Sear all the pieces of chicken

Pop chicken in oven for:

Wings will cook in ~8-10mins

Legs and thighs will cook in ~12-15mins

Breasts will cook in ~25mins

Of course cooking time will vary so use your best chicken judgment

While the chicken cooks…

GO, GO, GOYA

I cooked mine in the microwave

It’s so freakin’ easy I won’t ever cook it on the stove again

Recipe calls for butter, oil, or margarine…

of course I went with butter…

Who’s counting calories?!

Set it and forget it

While the rice cooks…

Prep your trio

Don’t forget the garlic and olives

Check on the chicken to see if it’s done…

“Hey babe, can you come check to see if this chicken is cooked.”

“Is it white?”

“I dunno, kinda”

“Lemme take a look”

“Hmmm…looks a little pink”

“Seriously, it’s been cooking for like 20 minutes”

“I dunno what to tell you, cook it longer I guess”

“Grrrrr…I hate cooking chicken, I can never tell when it’s done!”

So, after you decide the chicken is cooked saute your garlic in some oil

Set chicken aside to cool

Once garlic is browned…

Saute your peppers, onions, and olives until soft

Sprinkle in some salt&cracked pep

Add in the yellow rice and mix it up

Keep it warm over low heat

Once chicken has cooled enough to handle you should debone

Give it a rough chop and sprinkle with some fresh parsley

Mix it all up…

Taste and adjust for seasoning

There you have it…

An Italian kids version of Spanish Rice and Chicken

Not too shabby, if I may say so myself…

GO, GO, GOYA!!

Variations:

Add shrimp

Add peas

Use Sazon seasoning instead of my mix of dry ingredients

Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a boring healthier version

Throw a whole chile pepper in with the peppers and onions for some zing

Use some Adobo on the chicken

Throw in a can of drained and chopped plum tomatoes

How about a can of drained black beans?

Chicken Rollatini

Into my mind comes chicken rollatini and that idea bounces around and builds like a snowball until I end up with…

Chicken rollatini stuffed with pureed artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes layered with fresh mozzarella cheese and finished in a coating of seasoned panko breadcrumbs then lightly pan-fried to a crisp and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

I know, you’re probably thinking, “What’s this guys problem? One day he’s making a quick pasta dish and the next he’s butterflying chicken breasts ?! Who the heck even has artichoke hearts in their pantry let alone sun-dried tomatoes?! What the heck are Panko anyway?!”

No worries my people…no worries. This dish is actually really easy and fairly quick to whip up depending on your kitchen skills. If you have the ingredients on hand it makes for a great main course. IMHO, you don’t even have to follow this one verbatim…I used fresh mozz, but I bet Swiss or Gruyère would be 100x better. Get creative.

Serves 3-4

Prep time: 20mins

Cook time: 10mins

Get yourself:

6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (chilled)

2C Marinated artichoke hearts

1C Marinated sun-dried tomatoes

1lb Swiss, Gruyère, or even Madrigal (I used fresh mozz, but I think a Swiss would be MUCH better)

4 Cloves roasted garlic or 2 cloves fresh garlic

3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1T Butter

2C Panko breadcrumbs

1T Parsley

1C Grated Pecorino Romano

1t Garlic powder

Salt&Cracked

A good fillet knife

Food processor

Toothpicks

If the chicken is semi-thawed it’s easier to butterfly

Place one hand firmly on top of chicken and swipe knife towards you being careful not to split the chicken in half

Chicken should open up like a book

If the breasts you’re using are thick then lay some Saran wrap on top and pound to 1/4″

Use a heavy object like an empty wine bottle if you don’t have a meat mallet

Time to prep the filling…

In a food processor fitted with steel blade combine artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, s&cracked

DO NOT turn processor on. Instead you’re going to pulse to create a chunky filling

Taste filling and adjust for s&cracked

I’m warning you this filling is really good. You may be tempted to spread on crackers

Come to think of it…

This would taste really good as an app served on crackers with goat cheese!!

Jenius

Ok, so once the filling satisfies your buds move on to the stuffing

Place a thin layer of filling on the butterflied breast

Next up grab some slices of cheese

I hope you listened to me and went with Swiss

I’m just saying

Sprinkle some much-loved grated Pecorino Romano on top

Now for the fun part…

Making the rollatini…

Roll up the chicken like a jelly roll being careful not to lose any filling

Push fallout from the sides back in

Stab with a bunch of toothpicks to hold together

Outside of the chicken should be wet and oily, this is perfect for adhering panko

At this point heat your oil and butter over medium flame in a heavy bottomed skillet

While that heats mix up the crumbs

No pics of breading; lo siento

In a shallow dish combine panko, Pecorino, Parsley, garlic powder, and s&p

Roll chicken around in panko mix

Add to pan and fry ~5-7mins per side

(See my variation suggestions for other cooking methods)

Pick the runt of the rollatini’s and sacrifice to check for doneness

Plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction

To make reduction add 1C good quality balsamic to a small pot over medium flame and reduce until thick, stir

OR

Buy it

When you cut this bad boy open cheese is going to ooze out…

…Damn it’s good!

P.s. Here’s the problem with taking pics for the blog when you’re starving…you rush to get the food on the table and forget to take money shots! I would’ve got a nice pic of the cheese oozing out or something…my bad!

Variations:

Try grilling them over a medium-high flame for 5-7 mins on each side

Bake @ 350F for about 20mins. Turn over after 10mins

Experiment with different cheeses; maybe a sharp cheddar or goat cheese

Try using kalamata olives in place of sun-dried tomatoes

Throw a thin slice of ham or prosciutto (reduce added salt if you do this)

Dip in flour, then egg, then panko

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken

Whole chickens are cheap…so why not learn how to cut one up instead of having to buy the pre-cut and pre-packaged stuff that’s more expensive per pound?

Here’s a quick pictorial to get you going…

Get yourself:

1 Small Whole Chicken (3-6lbs)

A good chefs knife

A good pair of kitchen shears

Ziploc labeled “Chicken Parts for Stock”

Extra Ziploc freezer bags for storage

After you get past the fact that you’re about to carve up a whole chicken…

Wash your hands and rinse chicken under cool running water then pat dry

Do a little dance with the chicken

Lay chicken breast side up

Pull the goodies out of the cavity and save the neck for stock

Ready for your first cut?!

Grab a hold of the wing and let the chicken hang to loosen the joint

Carefully slice the skin around the joint

Place chicken down and pull wing back to expose joint

Cut through the joint to separate

Same thing on other side

Firmly hold the chicken by its leg and let the body weight of the chicken loosen joint

Cut around skin and place chicken on board

With a firm grip, crack the thigh joint and cut through to separate

If you like, separate the thigh from the leg

Same thing on other side

Now you’re left with the main cavity

Place chicken breast side down…

Detach the back  with kitchen shears and throw in stock bag

Now you’re left with the breasts still intact

Flip breasts right side up and firmly press down on chicken with both hands to crack breast-plate

Flip over to expose inner cavity and with the butt of your chefs knife cut through to separate

That was easy

Use right away in your favorite chicken dish or just freeze.

And don’t forget about the chicken parts…make homemade chicken stock on a lazy Sunday!