In line with the recommendations to cook it on the grill, I love it best when roasted at high heat with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Caramelized salty goodness.
It's also great as a substitute for mashed potatoes (steam until soft then mash with butter and seasonings of your choice, I personally like curry powder and a touch of tumeric).
Alternatively, Jacques pepin has a cool method for doing a spatchcocked chicken in the oven pressed between two skillets or a skillet and some bricks or something like that. I bet that would work here. You should be able to find it on google.
To replicate a grilled lemon in the oven, you can probably just split a lemon in half, give it a light rob with oil and roast in the oven with the chicken for the last 15-20 minutes or so.
Great flavor but I can't get the hang of grilling a supermarket sized chicken whole. I'll definitely make this again but I'll butcher the chicken first If I can't get a small 3 pounder or just roast in the oven. It should work out pretty much the same.
If roasting, I'd butterfly the chicken and throw it in a hot oven (400f-425f) until the breast measures 155 or so and the thigh measures about 165. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes and then carve. The flavor will be the same though the skin might not be quite as crispy as you'd get on the grill. It'll still be awesome.
@kvthames - the potatoes need a bit of time to set up, dry out, and cool after par boiling. The longer the better. If you try to grill/roast while they're still hot they won't form a crispy crust and will likely fall apart. If they do hold together they'll just turn out gummy/chewy.
I'm guessing it has something scientific to do with starch. Or possibly magic potato elves.
Really nice recipe. I followed the recipe as written but roasted the potatoes instead of grilling after par cooking (I used the method for ultra crispy potatoes from this site after tossing with the oil, oregano, garlic, and parsley).
Flavor is great and the contrast between acidic dressing and crispy creamy potatoes is awesome. The contrast is why it's good to serve immediately after dressing. You'll lose it a bit once the potatoes soak for a while. Still really good but not quite the same.
NJ native here and I love these things though I will admit to asking for the cole slaw on the side so I can put it on each bite with a fork. Removes much of the sloppiness and makes sure that each bite has an appropriate amount of cole slaw.
As someone who has harbored thoughts of opening a small restaurant (or at least providing the funding and grunt work to run one), I can safely say that this series has absolutely changed my mind. I mean that in the best way possible.
Thank you for a very honest portrayal of what the experience is/was like. Reading this series has really made me understand how deep your passion has to run in order to make it worthwhile.
@badseed1980 - you nailed it, though I will admit to swilling down my fair share of plonk because it was there and I didn't need it for cooking anymore.
The eternal 5 year old in me can't help but love sweet and moist corn bread. I call it cornbread but it's really more of a cake.
Beautiful lead picture but ugh. I always cringe when I see spilled honey. I pity whoever had to clean that up.
I've longed to try authentic hot chicken but since I have no way to get some, I've resigned myself to trying to make a batch homemade. Problem is, I have zero point of comparison for what good should taste like.
Sounds like the spice is more of a straight cayenne with a little bit of sweet than it is a Szechuan type salty/numbing burn?
Can anybody point me towards a recipe that would give me a reasonable approximation of the real deal?
No raisins? No pine nuts? That's ludicrous!
As someone who considered getting into the business before realizing that 1.) my lack of talent and 2.) my tolerance to have to support my family on a shoestring wouldn't allow it, I applaud your sentiments. It's a great point about the lack of separation between your 'work' and your 'real life' - well said and definitely not something that us non-entrepreneur types have an easy time grasping (I'm certainly one who appreciates being able to 'turn off' from my work for a while to recharge).
I've always appreciated the fact that most established chefs and owners are very blunt and realistic with their advice. They'll tell you that their experiences are ones they wouldn't wish on their worst enemies and yet they'll also tell you that they wouldn't have it any other way. The common refrain is that you know if you really have the passion and if you can't imagine sacrificing everything to fulfill it, then keep well away.
I'd love to see this series continue if for nothing else than to watch how your attitudes and mindset evolves with experience. It's really really cool.
Macarons not waffling shouldn't surprise anyone. Anything French will naturally find a way to thwart innovation in the kitchen. Thank you, I'll be here all ze week...
Serious question. Has anybody tried waffling macaroons? I bet that those would be awesome but you'd probably run into the same belgian vs. traditional waffle issue.
I'm native to the northeast and am a tried and true cheesesteak fanatic. That said, even I will admit that the meat is usually less than stellar and mostly anonymous. It's really just a neutral binder to hold everything else together.
For me, there's just something about the wonderfully warm, soft, and greasy (in a good way) combination of meat, cheese, and fried onions bound together in a roll that's the perfect combination of chewy, crusty, and soft.
I'm happy to see that provolone is the fan favorite as I've always found cheez whiz to be too salty and not quite sharp enough to get the job done. If you're going the processed cheese route, it's better to go with american or munchee cheese. They're rich enough to satisfy without being overwhelming or cloying and both integrate well with the other flavors.
Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking for extra fried onions and/or layering on some hot peppers to provide a little cut to the richness. Forgive my trashiness but ketchup is also a must.
Banana pudding is delicious and if more people knew what it was, they would buy it.
@fwilger - since you're pre-slicing, there's no reason you need to cook or keep the birds whole. You can separate the turkey into legs/thighs and breast before cooking and separate the skin from the meat (at least from the breast meat).
I'd most likely sous vide the breast meat and roast the legs/thighs but you could also roast the breast meat if it's easier (maybe just layer some bacon over it to keep in some moisture). After cooking the meat, let it rest and cool a bit, then carve as normal, put into a bag, and hold in a water bath. If you cook the breast meat sous vide, then just keep in the water bath until you need it.
Cook the skin by itself (a la the sous vide turkey recipe) and hold in a warming oven until you're ready to serve.
To serve, place the carved meat onto a warm platter straight out of the bag, chop the skin into small pieces and scatter over the meat (or just pile it up and let people take what they want).
Does this article factor in that the cook (me) tends to get drunker the closer we get to dinner? That always seems to be the issue for me.
@fwilger - do you hold the turkey for a couple of hours because you have other things to finish right before service or because you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen once your guests arrive?
If the former, the battle isn't how to hold the turkey, the battle is how you can rearrange your cooking schedule so the turkey is the last thing done. Casseroles, gravy, etc. all do great in a warming oven. Meat is one of the few things that won't and even a short amount of time at 175 will kill it, regardless of what happens to the skin (especially if pre-sliced).
If the latter (i.e., you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen when guests are there), then you might want to explore sous vide. Cook the meat and skin separately a la the sous vide turkey recipe posted last week. The crisp skin should do fine in a warming oven.
Meat can be held in the water and kept at temp until right before service. If you don't want to cook the meat sous vide, you can still cook in the oven, let it cool off, put it into a bag, and then reheat in the water bath right before service (sous vide is wonderful for reheating meat).
If you cook the turkey sous vide, you could even cook the meat days ahead of time and keep in the fridge until T-day. Keep in the bag and then reheat in water right before dinner.
I love this method - don't let the prep scare you but it does require a really good pair of shears and a bit of fearlessness. Don't worry about perfection, just get in there and do it. It might seem like a mess while you're cutting but you won't notice in the end result.
Besides the amazingly short cooking time, the thing I love about this recipe is that it's easy to get every nook and cranny seasoned. Between a good application of salt and a day or two in the fridge to let the spatchcocked bird dry out a bit, the skin comes out so crispy and delicious. The fridge time also acts as a dry brine so you don't have to worry about a waterlogged bird.
Only word of caution. Definitely use a thermometer to monitor progress. This sucker cooks faster than you think and since every oven and bird is different, it's hard to rely on 'X minutes per pound'. My bird last year was about 18 pounds and it cooked in something like an hour (starting from room temp).
It might be because I'm from the northeast but I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Love this recipe - it's so straightforward and results are great. I'll be using it again this year.
One question. I'll be using bagged pre-dried and cubed bread this year (don't hate, I'm cooking for 40). Any tips on what to watch out in terms of conversion (pre-bagged cubes are about 0.5 inch instead of 0.75 and I'm guessing they're much drier than would be produced from fresh).
Assuming I do 3 batches of the original recipe and keep the non-bread ingredient measures the same per batch, do you think that scaling the bread back to something like 1.75 to 2.0 pounds per batch would be a decent guess?
I love queso fresco but for some reason, my mind went directly to 'queso' when I saw the headline (i.e., trashy nacho cheese dip).
Now I'm disappointed though I'm sure this is a great receipe for queso fresco.
I forget where I saw the tip but should you get pieces of egg shell into your eggs, fish them out with another piece of egg shell. I have no idea why it works, but it's almost like the egg shells are magically attracted to each other. None of that stupid painful chasing of egg shells around the bowl.
NJ native here and pork roll is worth the hype. Best sliced thin and griddled with egg, cheese, and ketchup on a kaiser roll (the egg is optional as a plain pork roll and cheese sandwich is also a standard diner order in these parts).
Just as acceptable when served withed pancakes. Just like bacon, pork roll does really well with maple syrup.
By itself it's actually kind of meh. It doesn't really work well as a standalone breakfast meat for some reason. Best to stick with bacon (or scrapple if you're so inclined) for that purpose.
Also, because I have to defend my state's integrity - regardless of that deli sign above, I can assure you that we normally spell potato without the E just like the other 49 states.
Delicious but be warned, you'll smell like garlic something terrible afterwards.
I've done these with ribs before and the 'gnawiness' of the end product is part of the appeal. That said, you can also use boneless pork nuggets and get a great result (cut-up country ribs tend to work really well due to the mix of fatty and lean).
The end result when using boneless cuts is really tender and soft since the marinade/batter/fry process mimics the velveting process used in chinese stir fries.
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