Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sticky Lemon Chicken

By Paul Briand

I went trawling this week for some recipes on the BBC Good Food web site, where I’ve had some good luck in the past.

This time I netted this Sticky Lemon Chicken.

The flavor of this dish was disproportionate to the effort. In other words, you get a lot of flavor from this dish without a lot of ingredients and/or cooking time.

4 chicken breast fillets with skin, about 5 ounces each
1 large lemon
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or a generous sprinkling of dried
1½ tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven broiler to high and lightly oil a shallow heatproof dish;
2. Put the chicken in the dish, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 minutes. While the chicken is grilling, cut four thin slices from
the lemon;
3. Turn the chicken fillets over and put a slice of lemon on top of each one;
4. Sprinkle over the thyme and a little more seasoning, then drizzle with the honey;
5. Squeeze over the juice from the remaining lemon;
6. Return to the grill for 10 minutes more, until the chicken is golden and cooked all the way through.

You can serve the chicken and the sticky juices with rice or potatoes.

Click here for recipe card.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roasted Jalapenos and Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese

By Paul Briand

I rarely click on banner ads on web sites. But I clicked on one for a recipe from the folks at Cabot Cheese.

I couldn’t resist the combination of jalapenos and bacon with ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese.

Don’t be afraid of the jalapenos. The roasting and trimming process described in the recipe actually reduces the heat from the pepper.

(Full disclosure: I split the recipe in half so that half was made with the jalapenos and half made without for the sake of my wife Jane’s tender pallet.)

Since this is a Cabot Cheese recipe, its products are recommended, but feel free to substitute with your favorites as needed.

I found this recipe to be both time and pots and pans intensive, but well worth the effort.

2 fresh jalapeno peppers
4 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, diced
3/4 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Cabot Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups whole milk, heated to just below simmer
12 ounces Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Cabot 3 Year Cheddar, grated (about 3 cups)
Salt to taste
8 ounces dry garganelli or penne pasta

1. Roast jalapenos directly over stovetop gas burner or under preheated broiler, turning with tongs, until skins are blistered all over;
2. Transfer peppers to small plastic bag and let stand. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard stems, skin and seeds. Chop flesh into fine dice and set aside;
3. Cook bacon in skillet until lightly browned; after dicing, transfer with slotted spoon to small bowl. Add breadcrumbs, along with small amount of bacon fat to moisten, combining well;
4. In medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Let cook, stirring, for 2 minutes;
5. Gradually whisk in milk. Continue cooking, stirring often, until sauce is simmering and thickened. Let sauce bubble gently until quite thick, about 10 minutes longer, stirring often so it doesn't scorch on bottom;
6. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar; when cheese is melted, season sauce with salt as needed;
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain and return to pot. Add cheese sauce and reserved jalapenos and stir together;
8. Transfer pasta to 2-quart baking dish or six individual ramekins. Top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned on top and bubbling throughout.

Click here for recipe card.
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Green Tea Asian Chicken

My wife Jane didn’t like the sounds of this recipe: Green tea with chicken? She likes each separately well enough, but was wary of the combination.

But I made it anyway, and, like Mikey in the old Life cereal commercial, she likes it.

The recipe originates from Relish, the food magazine that’s inserted into some newspapers. The recipe online is here.

The green tea serves as the liquid base for a marinade. It’s the spices -- the coriander, ginger and garlic -- that give the dish its taste, in combination not too dissimilar from teriyaki, in fact.

I served it on a bed of cooked baby spinach with a side of brown rice.

2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup hot brewed green tea
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Fresh cilantro and mint, chopped (optional)
Arugula or spinach (optional)

1. Stir sugar into tea while hot and let cool;
2. Combine tea with coriander, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic and 2 tablespoons canola oil;
3. Place chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag and pour in half of marinade. Seal and let chill 1 to 6 hours;
4. Heat remaining marinade over medium high heat  about 4 minutes, or until reduced by one-third;
5. Remove thighs from marinade; discard marinade in bag. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet;
6. Add chicken to pan without crowding and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes on each side;
7. Serve with sauce and fresh herbs over greens.

Click here for recipe card.
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