Foodie-isms

Today, I am guest posting on a fabulous website called Foodie-isms.  Run by my friend Stephanie Holguin, the website covers all things culinary and believe me, when I tell you that she truly has her finger on the pulse of fun finds before they hit mainstream media.  She has a way of finding the latest and greatest, not only here in Washington, DC, but worldwide.

Stephanie truly has a passion for discovering great food, which has fueled her wanderlust for traveling the world. From formal cooking classes in France to a day in Busara’s kitchen and herb garden in Thailand, Stephanie has learned from the locals while eating her way through forty-two countries.

Check out her website (and my guest post).  You can follow her on twitter @foodieisms for your daily dose for fabulous finds and all things culinary.

 

Crispy Garlic Chicken

Fast. Easy. Delicious. And a healthy alternative to fried chicken. Doug was preparing for a client meeting and was planning to leave in about an hour.  I walked into the kitchen to find him digging through the cabinets and rummaging through the fridge for something to eat.  He mentioned that he was hungry and probably wouldn't have time to eat until later that night, and was on the hunt for something substancial. I had some chicken thawing in the fridge, and pulled together this quick, easy, and delicious chicken recipe, in less than one hour!

Ingredients: 

  1. A package of thawed chicken breasts
  2. Smart Balance (or other margarine, Earth Balance is another good one)
  3. Tabasco or another favorite hot sauce
  4. 1 cup of bread crumbs
  5. 3 cloves of garlic

In a cereal sized bowl combine: 

  • 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • A few dashes of Tabasco to your taste
Cover a salad-sized plate with the bread crumbs and place it next to the cereal bowl with the 3 ingredients listed above.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Dredge the chicken in the liquid
  3. Coat the chicken through the bread crumbs
  4. Place chicken in a baking dish
  5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes
And you have this...

Doug did say that the chicken was best hot and fresh from the oven, but it didn't stop him from enjoying the remaining chicken, post-meeting, late last night!

A great recipe for the whole family, as you can control the amount of hot sauce.  The outside is crispy and the inside was juicy. A win, win!

The Vegetarian and the Roasted Chicken

For dinner last night, I decided to make a roast chicken. Doug had been working long hours this week, and I thought that it would be special for us to have a nice dinner at home. Since I started re-introducing meat to my diet (I was a vegetarian for 5 years), I've been trying new recipes and experimenting with different meats. It has opened up my eyes to so many new menu options!

I brought the 4 pound chicken home and cleaned it, taking out the insides, rinsed it with water and patted it dry. I dry it, as to not create any steam which would allow for more dry heat to cook the chicken. When cooking with dry heat, you want to cook at high temperatures for a shorter period of time. I sprinkled the cavity with sea salt and fresh black pepper, and did the same on the outside. I didn't have any kitchen twine, so the chicken went "un-tressed", but I did cover the drumstick bones with foil so they wouldn't burn. (Mental note to pick up some kitchen twine!)
I preheated the oven to 450 (see note above on dry heat) and put the bird in a shallow medal pan. I'm still in the process of building my kitchen, so I don't have a roasting pan and I thought the substitute would work fine. Now, chefs and cooks tell you never to leave anything in the oven unattended, however, I had to leave for 5 minutes and I figured the bird would be just fine, as it would be roasting for 90 minutes, so what was a measly 5 minutes left alone? I mean, really, what is the worst that could happen?
Well, I was welcomed back by the beeping of the fire alarm. And while it could always be worse, the house was filled with smoke and the loud, irritating alarm was going off and we could hear it from down the hall. Long story short, I had to trouble shoot by transferring the chicken into a deeper, glass cooking dish, covering it with foil and turning the temperature down to 400 degrees. The juices from the chicken were splattering all over the bottom of the stove and creating smoke. When I removed the chicken from the oven, I sprinkled it with a few pinches of dried thyme and let the bird sit for 10 minutes while I made a salad.
Other than the fire alarm mishap, the chicken was perfect. Roasting a chicken seemed intimidating, but it was simple, relatively hands-off and delicious. You get more meat for your money, can use any leftover meat to make chicken salad and use the carcass to make chicken stock. What's not to like?
Some recipes call for butter or require you to baste the chicken while it's in the oven, but I left my bird alone and let it do it's own thing. Whichever you decide to follow, give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
Happy cooking!