Folded Enchiladas

October 7, 2014

Most Enchiladas are an elaborate affair and stuffed with some type of slow cooked meat, for example these 3-hour Beef Enchiladas that I made a few years ago.  Today’s folded enchiladas are intended as a simple side-dish. In this case, I made them as part of my big-Mexican meal. They come together in about 1/2 hour with very little effort, and are cooked mostly in the microwave. Given the minimal effort, I was surprised that they were so popular at my dinner table; even my picky-eating-son was happy with them. Overall, I would rate them 3-1/2 stars; an excellent side-dish that will compliment most Mexican meals.

Folded enchiladas

Folded enchiladas

Comments:

  1. My supermarket doesn’t reliably sell Queso Fresco, so I substituted Monterrey Jack. Obviously a much different flavor, but not a big deal given that this was just a side-dish.
  2. Step 4 of the recipe calls for an 8″ square, Pyrex baking dish. Because my rectangular Pyrex casserole dish won’t fit in my microwave oven, I used a round Pyrex pie plate. Nobody noticed anything unusual.
  3. The guajillos stained the soft-rubber lid of my blender. Even after soaking in soapy water for a week, I am still unable to get it clean.
  4. In addition to the sauce for this recipe, I made a very similar (but slightly different) Red Chili Sauce. There was so much leftover sauce (both kinds) that there is no need to make two recipes. If you are making Enchiladas, then just make the Enchilada sauce. Otherwise, just make the Red Chili Sauce.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $2.50.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:30 PM. Dinner time 5:00 PM.

The Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

2/3 ounce dried guajillo chiles
8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt
12 (6″) soft corn tortillas
Vegetable oil spray
1 small onion
2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (1/2 cup)

  1. Put a 10″ non-stick skillet over a medium-high burner. Wipe guajillos clean and toast them for 1 to 2 minutes per side until soft and fragrant. Move to a plate and allow to cool until you are able to handle. Remove the stems and seeds, and rip into pieces. Put in blender and process for 60 to 90 seconds until finely ground, scraping down the sides as required.
  2. Add tomato sauce, 1 cup broth, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and 1 teaspoon cumin to blender and process for 60 to 90 seconds until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of blender a few times. Taste and adjust salt.
  3. Spray both sides of tortillas with oil spray and stack on plate. Microwave, covered, until softened and warm, 60 to 90 seconds.
  4. Put 1 cup enchilada sauce in large bowl, then working with 1 tortilla at a time, dip into sauce and coat both sides, fold into quarters, and arrange in 8″ square baking dish (enchiladas will overlap slightly in dish). I had to use a round pie plate
  5. Finely chop your onion and crumble the queso fresco.
  6. When ready to serve, pour the remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until hot throughout. Sprinkle evenly with onion and queso fresco. Serve.

Simple Refried Beans

October 4, 2014

I have made refried beans from scratch before, and it’s only about 25 minutes of work (but spread over 24 hours). When compared to a canned refried beans, the difference is like night-and-day. This time I followed Chris Kimball advise, and abandoned my dried pinto beans in favor of canned whole beans. Overall, the dried beans require overnight soaking, but are only a few minutes more work. The ingredient list in today’s beans is shorter, and the bacon (in lieu of salt pork) is a more convenient ingredient; not requiring an extra trip to the supermarket. Still, I would recommend adding a few of spices to improve the simple flavor; it doesn’t add any extra effort. The simple recipe as written is 3-stars.

Easy refried beans

Easy refried beans

Comments:

  1. When compared to this other recipe, I would recommend adding any of the following ingredients that you happened to have available:
    -Substitute 1/4-cup chicken stock for the 1/4 cup water.
    -1 minced jalapeno chile, seeded. (added with the onions)
    -1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (added with the garlic)
    -1/2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves (added at the end)
    -1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (added at the end)
    -A little crumbled queso fresco or grated jack or mozzarella cheese.
  2. I was a little worried about using a metal potato mashed in my non-stick skillet, but the beans are thick enough to the potato masher never touches the pan.
  3. I made these refried beans as part of my Mexican Feast.

Rating: 3 star.
Cost: $2.50.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Start time 4:30 PM. Dinner time 5:00 PM.

Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

2 slices bacon
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
15-oz can pinto beans (do not rinse)
1/4 cup water
Kosher salt

  1. Cook two slices of bacon in a 10″ non-stick skillet over medium-low burner for about 8 to 9 minutes; flipping bacon and rearranging as necessary so that it cooks evenly.
  2. Meanwhile finely chop your onion, and peel your garlic cloves.
  3. After the bacon has rendered it’s fat and has crisped, remove it to a paper towel to soak up any extra fat. Chris Kimball says to “reserve for another use”, but I crumbled it on top of the finished beans.
  4.  Turn up burner to medium, and saute the chopped onion in the bacon fat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until it lightly browns. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Empty the canned beans (including their liquid) and 1/4 cup of water into the skillet with the onions. Bring up to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, while mashing the beans with a potato masher until it becomes mostly smooth
  6. Season with salt to taste, and serve.

Mexican Feast featuring Carne Asada

September 30, 2014

Just about everybody who has watched America’s Test Kitchen knows that Chris Kimball has a heat-avoiding Yankee palate. He complains about the heat levels in some of the most mild recipes. So, I was a bit surprised that the current issue featured more than 10 Mexican recipes. This weekend I made 4 of his Mexican recipes for a big Sunday dinner; Carne Asada, Red Chili Sauce, Simple Refried Beans, and Folded Enchiladas. Overall, the meal was fantastic. It all came together quickly without a big mess. I will write separate posts for the other recipes; today I will just review the main course; Carne Asada (Grilled Meat).

Wonderful meal with not-to-much work

Wonderful meal with not-to-much work

Many of Chris Kimball’s recipes are cost-conscious (for example, this $10 Vaca Frita ingeniously substituted a Chuck Roast for Skirt Steak), but the current issue (September / October 2014) contains the two most expensive recipes I’ve made ($41 fish tacos and today’s $37 Carne Asada).  It’s a bit of a splurge; not cutting any corners; using 2-1/2 lbs of beautiful Skirt Steak. By only lightly seasoning the steak with salt and a dash of cumin, the natural flavors were free to shine through. To attain the high heat necessary to char the beef without overcooking, Chris Kimball instructs us to cut the bottom out of a disposable aluminum pan (ensuring maximum airflow). This “trick” concentrates the intensity of the 6-quarts of charcoal; providing a perfectly even layer of charcoal. A typical mound of charcoal taper near the edges leaving the middle exponentially hotter. The steak was easy to evenly cook, only requiring minimal rearranging during flipping. The Carne Asada was fantastic; beefy flavor, and only lightly seasoned with lime and cumin. It was so delicious that I didn’t use a lot of my Red Chili Sauce. 4-1/2 stars, but mostly from the strength of the amazing cut of beef.

Comments:

  1. I made dinner for 6 people, so bought 2-1/2 pounds of skirt steak, and cut the meat into 6 pieces. I adjusted the spice mixture accordingly, but maintained the same spice-to-beef ratio.
  2. Because Skirt Steak has wider muscle fibers than other cuts of beef, it needs to be cooked to medium (130-degrees) to become tender. If you cook beyond 140-degrees it will become tough and dry.
  3. Chris Kimball also has a variation of this recipe to make this one a gas grill. Instead of using the aluminum pan method, simply turn all your burners to high, and pre-heat for 15 minutes. Leave all your burners on high during the entire cooking process.
  4. I opted out of making dessert; but Cook’s Illustrated also published four Flan recipes this month.

Rating: 4-1/2 star.
Cost: $37.  (Just for the Carne Asada)
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Start time 3:30 PM. Dinner time 5:00 PM.

Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows (while I did cook 2-1/2 pounds of Skirt Steak, I’ve listed the original 2-pound ingredients):

2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2-pounds skirt steak
13″x9″ disposable aluminum roasting pan
1 garlic clove
Lime wedges

  1. Trim your steak of any excess fat (mine didn’t have any). Use a meat pounder to pound until it reaches a uniform 1/4″-thickness, and cut into 4 equal steaks.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon cumin. Evenly sprinkle over both sides of the steak. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for a minimum of 45 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
  3. Meanwhile use kitchen shears to cut out the bottom of a disposable aluminum pan. You will only use the collar, discard (or recycle) the bottom.
  4. When ready to cook, completely open the bottom vents of your grill. Ignite a chimney starter filled with 6-quarts of briquettes. Allowing to light for about 20 minutes until the top coals become partially covered with fine grey ash. Put the disposable collar in the center of the grill, and empty the lit charcoal into an even layer inside the collar. Replace the grill grate and pre-heat grill for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grill grate (using tongs and oil-soaked paper towels).
  5. Position the steaks directly over the coals and cook (without covering) for 3 to 4 minutes, until the beef becomes well browned. Use tongs to flip (and rearrange as necessary), cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes. It is ready when the meat reaches 130-degrees (medium).
  6. Remove beef to carving board and tent with aluminum foil as it rests for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and smash your garlic and cut your lime into wedges.
  7. Bub the steak with the smashed garlic, and cut against the grain into 1/4″-thick slices. Serve with lime.

Modern Beef Burgundy

September 27, 2014

One of my favorite dishes to make during the cold months between October and March is Beef Burgundy (This has been a cool September here in the Northeast). The long cooking time warms my house for most of the day, and the building aromas eventually become overwhelmingly delicious. A Pavlovian response is guaranteed. Lately, Chris Kimball has been adapting recipes to avoid the traditional stove-top searing of meat; the technique has been relatively successful with heavily-spiced, Latin-themed recipes (see here and here). However, I don’t think the short-cut works in more delicately flavored French stews. I can taste the difference of beef caramelized in the oven and on the stove-top. In the future I will save this recipe for large gatherings when I cannot afford the traditional, labor-intensive technique in Julia Child’s 6-hour recipe. Even still, I prefer Chris Kimball’s 3-hour recipe over today’s recipe. Still a delicious 4-stars.

One of my favorite meals

One of my favorite meals

Chris Kimball’s oven-carmelization has a more muted, dulled flavor. Beef browned on the stove-top is brighter, more flavorful, and taste exactly as you think browned beef should taste. Plus this short-cut recipe only saves about 30-minutes; I recommend against it in favor of the full 6 hour Julia Child’s recipe.

Comment:

  1. The above photo is actually of a different Beef Burgundy recipe, but I was too busy to take a picture the day of the meal. I had intended to take a picture of the leftovers, but leftover Beef Burgundy doesn’t last long in my house.
  2. BTW, this is recipe number 450 that I’ve posted on this blog. Wow, that’s a lot of cooking. lol

Rating: 4-star.
Cost: $27.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 12:30 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

4-lb boneless beef chuck-eye roast
Salt and pepper
6 ounces salt pork
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1-1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef broth (32-oz)
1 bottle red Burgundy (Pinot Noir, 750-ml)
5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 onions, chopped coarse
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 garlic head, cloves separated, unpeeled, and crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
10 sprigs fresh parsley, plus 3 tablespoons minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme

  1. Thaw your frozen pearl onions. Trim your roast and cut into 1-1/2″ to 2″ pieces, adding to a medium bowl. Reserve the scraps into a large roasting pan for Step 4. Sprinkle beef cubes with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Toss to mix and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut 6-oz of salt pork into 1/4″ pieces, and place into a large roasting pan. Cut the large mushrooms into quarters, and medium mushrooms in half; placing on a rimmed baking sheet. Coarsely chop your onions, and peel carrots and cut them into 2″-lengths.
  3. Set up your oven by putting one rack in lower-middle of your oven and a second rack in the lowest positions of your oven. Pre-heat to 500-degrees.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the large roasting pan with salt pork and beef scraps. Roast on lower-middle rack until well browned for 15-to-20 minutes until the fat has rendered.
  5. Add pearl onions, 1 tablespoon butter, and sugar together with the mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet. Toss to combine and roast on lowest oven rack for 15-to-20 minutes. After the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated and vegetables are lightly glazed, empty into large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
  6. After removing the roasting pan from the oven, reduce temperature to 325-degrees. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over rendered fat and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in 4 cups beef broth, 2 cups wine, 5 teaspoons gelatin, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and 1 teaspoon anchovy paste. Add onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, porcini mushrooms, parsley sprigs, and thyme to pan. Arrange beef into a single layer on top of vegetables. Add water (perhaps 2 cups) as needed to come three-quarters up side of beef. Beef should not be submerged.
  7. Bake for 3 to 3-1/2 hours at 325-degrees until the meat becomes tender, stirring after 90 minutes and adding water to keep the meat at least half-submerged.
  8. Remove beef with a slotted spoon, adding to the bowl with cremini mushrooms and pearl onions; cover and set aside on the counter-top.
  9. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium/large bowl, and strain braising liquid, pressing on solids to yield as much liquid as possible. Discard the spent solids. Stir in the remaining wine and allow cooking liquid settle for 10 minutes. Using a wide shallow spoon to skim fat off surface and discard.
  10. Add strained liquid to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high burner. Reduce burner to maintain a brisk simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream
  11. Reduce burner to medium-low, and stir in beef and mushroom-onion garnish. Cover pot, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until just heated through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper according to your taste. Stir in minced parsley and serve.

Lobster Rolls

September 20, 2014

When this recipe first came out over a year ago, I really wanted to make it, but the recipe is so disjointed on their website (you need to follow three separate recipes) that I eventually became distracted with easier-to-follow recipes. Until recently, I saw the ATK episode that made it look so easy; so I gave it a try. I must have been a lot of “trick photography”, because the recipe was a lot of work and made a huge mess in my kitchen. I did have a problem with the lobsters becoming water-logged (discussed below); but overall, as you would expect, the lobster rolls were delicious. Just prepare yourself for a fair amount of messy work. 4-stars.

I hand cut a loaf to simulate the New England Hot dog rolls

I hand cut a loaf to simulate the New England Hot dog rolls

While I followed the cooking instructions exactly, my lobsters became waterlogged. While there are a couple of theories about why my lobster became water-logged: (1) allowing lobster to cook too long, (2) boiling lobster (vs. steaming them). Chris Kimball is convinced that it is the molting cycle of the lobster that determines whether or not the meat will be firm and dense or soft and water-logged. He gives a lengthy explanation here. Chris Kimball’s bottom line is this: lobster in Spring until early Summer and best. Late Summer lobsters are still growing into their softer-shells, whereas Spring lobsters are packed tightly into their hard, pre-molted shells. You may need to increase the size of your Late Summer lobsters by 1/4-pound to compensate. In reality, the molting cycle is a little more complex than Chris Kimball describes.

Comments:

  1. Many on the internet claim that boiling lobsters has a tendency to water-log them. Chris Kimball had tried to steam the lobsters instead (way back int 1997), and preferred steaming for its simplicity and efficiency. Yet, 17 years later he published this recipe using boiling without comment.
  2. I have never been able to find New England-style hot dog buns (sold by Pepperidge Farms), so I bought a beautiful Tuscan loaf from my local bakery and carefully cut it to mimic New England-style hot dog buns. The bread was fantastic.
  3. While fish is cooked to between 130 and 140 degrees, lobster requires higher temperatures because the muscle fibers are longer and need more heat to shrink. Chris Kimball recommends taking the temperature by inserting an instant-read thermometer into tail. It should reach 175-degrees.
  4. Chris Kimball also mentions that you can refrigerate the lobster meat in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. But this is a lot of effort to have “almost” fresh lobster.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $28 for four lobster rolls ($7 each)
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here, here and here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today (including all three of Chris Kimball’s recipes) are given below:

4 (1-1/4-pound) live lobsters
1/3 cup table salt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced celery
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
Salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
6 New England-style hot dog buns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 leaves Boston lettuce

  1. Put live lobsters in the freezer for 30 minutes, which will induces a coma-like state. Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons water to boil in large pot over high heat. Remove 2 tablespoons butter from refrigerator and allow to soften.
  2. Add the 1/3 cup table salt and the lobsters to pot. Use tongs to arrange them so that they are completely submerged. Cover, but leave the lid slightly ajar. You will need to adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil. Boil for 12 minutes, and check that the thickest part of tail registers 175 degrees (insert the thermometer into underside of tail to take temperature).
  3. Use tongs to put lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lobster meat according to the following methods.
    1. SEPARATE INTO TWO: Set lobster on a cutting board. Hold tail with one hand and the body with your other. Twist to separate.
    2. TAIL MEAT: Lay the tail on its side, then use both hands to press down on tail until shell cracks. Hold the tail with the flippers facing you (shell will be facing down). With your thumbs on opposite sides, pull back on both sides to crack open shell and remove meat. You can briefly rinse meat under running water to remove green tomalley, if desired, and pat meat dry with paper towels. Use a paring knife to de-vein.
    3. KNUCKLES: Twist the “arms” to remove claws/knuckles from the body. Then twist the knuckles to remove from claws. Use the back of a chef’s knife to break the knuckles into 2 pieces at joint. Use the handle of teaspoon or skewer to push meat out of shell.
    4. CLAWS: Wiggle small hinged portion of each claw to separate. Use the back of a chef’s knife to break open the claws, cracking the first side, flipping, and cracking the other side. Remove meat.
    5. LEGS: Twist legs and remove from body. One at a time, lay leg flat on counter. Using a rolling pin, starting from claw and rolling toward the open end, push out meat. Stop rolling before reaching end of legs so you don’t accidentally get any of the shell.
  5. Cut the tail meat in 1/2″ pieces. Cut the claw meat to 1″ pieces.
  6. Whisk mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, chives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cayenne together in large bowl. Add lobster and gently toss to combine.
  7. Put 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-low burner. Butter both sides of hot dog buns and sprinkle lightly with salt. Put buns in skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until crispy brown. Flip and continue to cook the second side for another 2 to 3 minutes crispy brown. Move buns to large serving platter.
  8. Line each bun with lettuce leaf, and spoon lobster salad into buns. Serve immediately.

Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 2

September 16, 2014

The second try definitely worked out better. While my plan had been to use low-sodium soy sauce, on my way home from the supermarket I realized that I had forgotten to buy it. So I reduced the soy sauce (and therefore the saltiness) by 1/3 cup. The flavors were much more robust when not masked by the extreme saltiness of my first attempt.  Also, I broiled the chicken for just 2 minutes (in Step 8) until the chicken was lightly browned. Even though the chicken was far from the broiler element, it is still amazing how fast this 195-degree chicken will crisp up. This attempt earns a solid 4-stars; flavorful and balanced, easy to make.

Better than the first time

Better than the first time

BTW – Chris Kimball recommends serving this with steamed rice, but because my son had a friend over who loves potatoes, I served it with mashed potatoes. The kids gave the recipe as high as 4-1/2 stars.

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
2/3 cup soy sauce (or 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce)
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees. Trim away any skin and excess fat from the bottom of the thighs.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put the skillet into the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 3 to 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 1.

September 13, 2014

Actually, I made this recipe before my summer vacation, and I forgot to rate it at that time. My only comments were that it was too salty, and that I accidentally let mine broil for too long. It was a little too dark, but still flavorful. I will make it again tonight, and will post Part 2 tomorrow. The changes I will make are to buy low-sodium soy sauce and will be extra vigilant during the broiling process.

Final results were a little salty and overly dark

Final results were a little salty and overly dark

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,
  2. He also recommends serving with steamed rice, but I might make potatoes.

Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:30 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 1 cup water, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put skillet in pre=heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and contine to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

 


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