Recipe: Coq au vin (chicken braised in wine)

Go ahead. Impress people. Tell them you're making coq au vin. It's just chicken... braised in wine, thus making it fabulous. In its original French inception, the coq referred to a rooster, typically mean old birds who have worn out their welcome in the hen house. The tough nature of their meat required a long simmer time to soften, aided by the sugar in the wine which helps to break it down. Classic recipes include … [Read more...]

Recipe: Easy Thai Curry

Thai curry sounds exotic and complicated, but in truth it's a quick meal for which you can keep the bulk of ingredients in your pantry or freezer, plus it’s a great option for using up leftovers. If you can't find it in your supermarket, you can order a variety of curries online for under $12. Vary up the main protein and vegetables based on what’s in your fridge. The basic formula calls for one pound of a protein (tofu, … [Read more...]

Recipe: My Uncle Clarence’s Corn Flake Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken

My Uncle Clarence debuted a deep-fried recipe that became so popular in my parents' Italian restaurant in the 1950s that they had to put it on the regular menu. After their restaurant went out of business, Mom adapted it to an “oven-fried” version to capture the same flavors but with an easier and (marginally) healthier variation for home cooks. The key is to lightly glaze the top with some kind of fat over the chicken … [Read more...]

Chicken Piccata or How to Pan-Fry Chicken Breasts

This is a great, basic recipe that will teach you a terrific fundamental - how to pan-fry breaded chicken breast cutlets. My friend Chef John demonstrates the technique in the video above. If you're using smaller breasts, you don't necessarily need to pound them thin. You can also slice the chicken breast in half horizontally if they're quite large. You can use the bottom of a small saucepan to do the pounding, at least, … [Read more...]

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mornay Sauce

Let’s set the record straight: The Paris-based cooking school has nothing to do with this dish. The specific origins remain a bit of a mystery, but the original (with veal) is likely a cousin in Germany’s schnitzel family, and may have originated in Austria. Taste the ham and cheese before you start; overly salty or smoky versions of either can overwhelm this dish. Secure the chicken parcels by threading a trussing needle … [Read more...]

How to Roast a Chicken

You don’t need a fancy roasting pan, just any kind of oven-proof pan, skillet or sauté pan with sides one inch or higher in which the chicken fits comfortably will work. A rack is nice, but you can just roughly chop up carrots, onion and potatoes to spread them across the bottom and balance the chicken on top to allow the juices to drain. Include some kind of fat such as oil or butter, plus salt and pepper, and baste it … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chicken braised in mustard

Inexpensive and easy, this is arguably the most popular recipe from The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. You can make this dish with a whole cut-up chicken, but it’s well suited to bone-in chicken thighs.  This dish pairs nicely with simple green beans. In cold weather, I add in cream for a richer dish. Shallots add a nice touch, but you certainly don’t need them.  2 ½ pounds (1 kg) chicken pieces, preferably dark … [Read more...]

How Make Salt-Free Poultry Seasoning

Simply combine the ingredients and grind together with a mortar or pestle or a small food grinder. I set aside a coffee grinder for milling whole spices or mixes. If you want to use a coffee grinder that’s been employed for beans, you can clean it by adding in rice and salt and grinding thoroughly and then wiping clean with a paper towel.  This is a versatile seasoning that can be used in a lot of applications, including … [Read more...]