Monday, August 8, 2011

The second best chicken recipe ever and making weird stuff

I have so much to tell you and little energy to tell it. So, here is the condensed version. You know I put enough stuff in one post for 3 blog posts but that is because I don't like to string it out. I want to show you what I did this weekend.

First off I have to tell you the recipe I made on Friday night because it was so easy and good. It was the Second Best Chicken Recipe in the world. The FIRST best Chicken Recipe EVER is here


This SECOND best Chicken Recipe ever is easy easy easy too. Just coconut milk, brown sugar, and Red Chili Paste.


Flatten a chicken by cutting the backbone out (or you could use chicken parts)


Rub all over chicken and grill.


Make it. You will like it.

Next off I started making Soy Sauce. Yes, Soy Sauce. Someone happened to say to me "Next thing you know you will be making Soy Sauce" and that was all I needed to hear. I was going to ferment and make soy sauce damnit.


So, I found organic dried soy beans at the local health food store and I brought home 500g and soaked them overnight. Next day I boiled them until they got soft.


Made quite a mess on the stove at which point Dr. Food said "um, do you realize that you paid more for making it than a damn bottle costs at the store? (he didn't say damn but I heard it).


I mumbled as I cleaned up the mess that buying it isn't as good. His reply was "So you think it is going to be THAT much better?" I pretty much think that it will be THAT much better or I will be poisoned by the bacteria that I am growing.


Soy beans are smooshed into a paste and a log is made.


Then discs are cut and laid out.


They are covered with wet paper towl and plastic wrap and left to mold.


Check back often for updates. May take months and months but I will still be here.


Saturday night we were making a dish from Rick Bayless called Tangy Yucatecan Grilled Pork with Roasted Onions and Fresh Garnishes


This recipe was fantastic and pretty easy to make.


I made some salsa to go with it. The ingredients are simple and tasty.


The Weber was used to grill the onions and the meat.


Thin slices of pork.


Served with some tortillas it was a perfect dinner. Dr. Food made some beans that I forgot to eat.


So Sunday came around and I found a recipe in Kate Hill's cookbook A Culinary Journey in Gascony: Recipes and Stories from My French Canal Boat So simple and so good. It will be made again in the Winter.


A simple chicken stuffed and stewed.


Lots of vegetables.


The broth on this dish is amazing and is meant to be served as first course (We saved it for another time)


Oh oh! One more thing. I was watching TV and Mark Bittman came on and showed this cabbage salad. I loved it and it is also really easy to make.


Ok, so I am a bit out of breath from so much info. 2 fantastic 2nd Best Chicken Recipes Ever. 1 Amazing Cabbage Salad Recipe and a tale of soy sauce making. Ok now go cook something.

Grilled Red Curry Chicken
Food and Wine Contributed by Melissa Rubel Jacobson

One 3-pound chicken, wing tips removed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Light a grill. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the chicken backbone; discard the backbone. Turn the chicken breast side up and press down firmly on the breast bone to crack and flatten it. Using a sharp knife, cut deep slits to the bone 1/2 inch apart along the chicken legs and thighs. Transfer the flattened chicken to a medium baking dish.

In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk with the curry paste and brown sugar until smooth. Rub the curry mixture all over the chicken, into the slits and under the skin; season with salt and pepper.

Grill the chicken skin side down over moderate heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up, cover and grill over moderate heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve.

Print Recipe

Tangy Yucatecan Grilled Pork with Roasted Onions and Fresh Garnishes
Rick Bayless

2 medium white onions, unpeeled
1 1/2 pounds well-trimmed, thin-cut, boneless pork steaks, cut from the shoulder or leg
OR 1 1/2 pounds thin-cut, boneless pork chops
3/4 cup fresh sour orange juice, plus a little more if needed
OR a generous 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, plus a little more if needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning the meat and vegetables
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1 pound (2 medium-large round) ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4-inch thick


1. Roast the onions. Light a charcoal fire and let it burn until all the coals are medium- hot and covered with gray ash. Nestle the onions directly in the coals and let them roast until charred on the outside and soft within, about 20 minutes.

2. Prepare the meat and vegetables. While the onions are roasting, pound the meat with a flat mallet to about 1/8-inch thick. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the sour orange (or 3 tablespoons lime) juice, cover and set aside. Cool the onions until handleable, peel the charred outer layers off, then cut what remains into 1/2-inch squares. Toss with 1/4 cup of the sour orange (or about 3 tablespoons lime) juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss the cabbage with the cilantro and the remaining 1/4 cup of the sour orange (or 3 tablespoons lime) juice; season with salt and pepper. Spread onto a large serving platter about 14-inches or so in diameter. Decorate the perimeter with alternating slices of tomato and avocado, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

3. Grill and serve. Stoke your fire with new charcoal and let it get really hot. Sprinkle both sides of the meat generously with salt and pepper. Working with a couple of pieces at a time, grill the pork: let it sear about 2 minutes on one side, then flip it over and sear on the other. (The total cooking time for 1/8-inch pork steaks over a very hot fire will be no more than 3 or 4 minutes.) Lay the meat slightly overlapping down the center of the platter and strew the onions over the meat. Decorate with a few cilantro sprigs and serve without delay, accompanied by salsa and baskets of hot tortillas.

Print Recipe

Cabbage Salad
Mark Bittman

Recipe: Cabbage Salad Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 to 2 hours for salting

Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 to 2 hours for salting

1 small head white cabbage, about 1 pound, cored and shredded

1/2 small head red cabbage, about

1/2 pound, cored and shredded

1 or 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and shredded

Salt as needed

Extra virgin olive oil to taste

Vinegar or lemon juice to taste

Black pepper to taste

Chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional.

1. In a colander, combine cabbages and carrots. Toss with at least 1 tablespoon salt, enough so that leaves exude moisture within 10 or 15 minutes. If they do not, add a little more salt. Let sit an hour or two, pressing out moisture out with your hands once or twice.

2. Taste, and if mixture is too salty, rinse and dry. Toss with oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and pepper; you may even need a little salt. Serve, garnished with parsley if you like.

Yield: At least 4 servings.

Print Recipe


  1. you made me read this at lighting speed!! lol, you certainly have cooked a lot! I feel like a bum! soy sauce....interesting. you are a rock star. no wonder Goober doesn't answer my phone calls!

  2. Wow..I like to try all sorts of weird projects but the soy sauce thing...?? never even thought of doing that. You are going to ultimately have to get a barrel and age it, no? You were sure as hell busy this week. Very very impressed.

  3. I want to eat at your house, it all sounds wonderful.  I can't wait to hear more about the soy sauce making, good luck!

    Lisa~~ Cook Lisa Cook

  4. The grilled pork looks insanely good and aren't you tired?

  5. Love the chicken! Anything using coconut milk and chili paste is bound to be fantastic! I'll be checking back to see what happens with the soy sauce... please; no dying from bacteria. :-P

  6. MY! you've been busy. I'm impressed that you're even going to try to make your own soy sauce... but after the whole cured meat thing, I really don't know why I'm shocked.

    Love the stewy chicken thingy - what a great way to impart flavors!

  7. WOW!  You sure were busy in the kitchen, everything looks amazing!!  Love all your photos! :)

  8. VERY excited to read more about your soy adventures. Looking forward to seeing what comes next with your little mounds of mold.

  9. Can't wait to see and hear the final verdict on the soy sauce experiment. You were so busy in the kitchen this weekend. Everything you made looks and sounds delicious (minus moldy soy bean paste). Your photos make everything look crave worthy. (Once again, minus the soy bean log.) Haha!

  10. Yup, I'll be making that second best chicken dish for sure. It's definitely my kind of food.

    You had me wanting to make the soy sauce until I read the word mold. I don't know why since Brie and and Blue are my favorite cheeses and they're all about the mold.

  11. dinner looks good at your house.  I could eat it all. :)

  12. Have just discovered your blog. LOVE it.

  13. I'm in awe of someone who makes their own soy sauce.  While I love making most things, soy sauce hasn't been one.  However, if yours turns out okay AND doesn't kill you, I might have to try it.

    2nd best chicken looks great!