Chicken Dashi

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Meat dashi’s are pretty rare in Japanese Cuisine.  Here in the United States chef David Chang has made his bacon dashi infamous in culinary circles.

This Dashi can be made more luxurious by replacing the chicken bones with duck bones.

3 pounds 5 ounces chicken bones
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 scallions, white part only
3 1/2 ounces carrots
1 3/4 ounces of ginger
1 cup sake

14 3/4 cups cold water

Remove any bits of fat from the chicken bones. Rub the salt into the bones and set aside for 1 hour to allow salt to penetrate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the scallion stalks in half and carefully char them over a gas flame on the stove or under the broiler. Wash and roughly slice the unpeeled carrots and ginger.

Transfer the hot roasted bones to a large stockpot and add the rest of the ingredients. Quickly bring to a boil, then simmer until the stock is reduced by half, skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

Remove the bones from the pot, and pass the stock through a fine sieve.

The dashi will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Ukrainian Chicken & Dumplings Soup

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Stock
1 chicken, preferably a boiling chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2½ quarts cold water
1 bay leaf
1 onion, peeled but kept whole
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Dumplings
1 large egg
¼ cup cold water
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup flour
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

To serve
1 green onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
crusty sourdough bread

To make the stock, place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and cover with the water. Add the bay leaf, whole onion, and seasoning, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, skim off the scum, and leave to simmer until cooked through, 1 hour, or 1½ hours.

To make the dumpling mixture, beat the egg lightly in a bowl, then add the water and salt and gradually add flour. Work into a paste.

Add the carrot to the stock, then drop in separate teaspoonfuls of the dumpling paste and boil for 5 minutes.

Serve with the green onion, dill, and a big hunk of crusty sourdough bread for dipping.

 

Roman Beets & Chicken

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Marcus Terentius Varro (116 – 27 BC), a Roman scholar, recorded this recipe for Beets with Chicken. It tastes pretty good, but be prepared, as the chicken comes out beet colored:

10 small beets
1/4 cup mead or sweet white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb cooked chicken pieces

Wash and peel whole, small beets and put them into a saucepan. Add mead or sweet wine, olive oil, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, add chicken pieces, and cook until done.

 

Culinary Fun Fact: Stop! rinsing your chicken, poultry and meat

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Just stop rinsing raw meat and poultry.

Contrary to what some cookbooks or your mother or your grandmother say, rinsing is more likely to spread contaminants around the sink and perhaps onto nearby foods like lettuce sitting on the counter than to send them down the drain.

Additionally there is no flavor benefit to rinsing meat or poultry before cooking.

Schmaltz Mit Gribenes: Ashkenazic Rendered Chicken Fat with Cracklings

Schmaltz or schmalts in Yiddish (from the Middle High German smalz, “animal fat”) is the generic Yiddish term for animal fat, but more specifically and colloquially, it denotes melted and purified poultry fat. Schmaltz became to Ashkenazic cooking what olive oil was to Mediterranean food, indispensable for frying and cooking, and as a flavoring agent.”

~ Gil Marks, “The Encyclopedia Of Jewish Food

  • Skin and fat from 8 chicken thighs (or 2 cups reserved chicken skin and fat) *
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 onion, cut into medium dice

Chop chicken fat and skin and add to a small amount of water to begin the rendering at a gentle temperature.  Once the water and the moisture in the fat and skin have cooked off, the fat can rise above 212 degrees and the browning can begin.  When the skin is lightly browned and plenty of fat has been rendered, add the chopped onion.

Be careful not to overcook. It should remain clear and yellow, not brown with an overly roasted flavor.  The browned skin and onion, called gribenes are delicious.  Strain the fat and reserve the gribenes. The schmaltz is ready to use, to refrigerate for up to a week, or to freeze. The gribenes should also be refrigerated or frozen

* Where do I get the chicken fat?

Make roast chicken once a week. Before you roast it, pull off all the fat you see and trim all the skin you won’t need. Store the fat and skin in the freezer, until you have plenty to render for schmaltz

 

Chicken Marbella

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One of the recipes in The Silver Palate Cookbook published in 1981 was for Chicken Marbella, which was apparently the most popular dish at the Silver Palate. It ended up becoming a Shabbat dinner and Passover Seder staple throughout America.  While that may seem odd, it actually makes a good bit of sense. There’s a strong tradition of pairing fruit and meat in Jewish culinary history, and as a Jew Sheila Lukins was a part of this tradition.  Here is my riff on that recipe for a large group of people.

  • 4 chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), cut up
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup pitted Spanish olives
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup of good white wine

Marinate chicken with all but last three ingredients in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange in a single layer.  Sprinkle brown sugar, pour white wine around and bake for 50-60 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a platter.  Moisten with a few tablespoons of pan juices.  Sprinkle parsley over top.  Reduce pan juices and use as a gravy.

“Chowning’s Tavern” Inspired Brunswick Stew

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There is quite an argument still raging about the origin of this stew in the South, and it doesn’t appear to be resolved anytime soon.  Either way we know one thing, it’s delicious. Brunswick County, Virginia, and the city of Brunswick, Georgia, both claim to be the origin of the stew. A plaque on an old iron pot in Brunswick, Georgia, says the first Brunswick stew was made in it on July 2, 1898, on nearby St. Simons Island.

  • One stewing hen (6 pounds)
  • Two large onions, sliced
  • Two cups okra, cut
  • Four cups fresh tomatoes or two 16-ounce cans of tomatoeS.
  • Two cups lima beans
  • Three medium potatoes, diced
  • Four cups corn, cut from the cob
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Cut the chicken in pieces and simmer it in 3 quarts of water for a thin stew, or 2 quarts for a thick stew, until meat can easily be removed from the bones, about 2 1/4 hours.

Add the raw vegetables to the broth and simmer, uncovered, until the beans and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Add the chicken, boned and diced if desired, and the seasonings.

Note: Brunswick Stew is one of those things that benefit from long, slow cooking. It is a rule in some tidewater (Virginia) homes never to eat Brunswick Stew the same day it is made, because its flavor improves if it is left to stand overnight and is reheated the next day.