Cooking Stuff

Where Stuff Is Cooked

BBQ Pulled Chicken Open Face Sandwich

Here’s a quickie but a goodie and my new favorite thing to do with pulled chicken (or beef, pork or whatever).039 - CopyI didn’t used to like open face sandwiches and I still have a problem with the name, I mean if you can’t pick it up how is it a sandwich? But this totally won me over. The secret, other than using good pulled chicken, is garlic bread. I like to use Texas toast (which you can buy loaves of here) because thin bread just can’t hang. I use this pulled chicken although I have to admit to being a little embarrassed posting that link. Not just because it’s almost five years old and the pictures are terrible, but the method has certain flaws.

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For example you really don’t need to braise boneless skinless chicken breasts for an hour or more. But what did I know, I was just starting at this blogging thing and still refining my cooking skills. Of course I’m still refining my skills, but that’s an endless journey. Heh. And anyway, the concept is sound, chicken, bacon and BBQ sauce are awesome together. They’re even better slathered on thick garlic bread with sauteed onions, covered in cheese, tossed in the oven for melting goodness and then topped with some scallion. Seriously.055 - Copy How can you not want to eat that wicked bad? Unless you’re a vegetarian, although I doubt I have too many of those following me. Heh.

Filed under: bacon, barbecue, bread, chicken, sandwich

Souvlaki

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  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together, marinade chunks of meat in it for several hours. Skewer and grill.

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I finally paid attention and measured things when I made souvlaki! It’s wicked simple and frigging awesome. All you do is take the ingredients and mix them up.006Then pour the resulting marinade onto some kind of meat and let it sit, refrigerated of course, for a couple hours. 009Oh and here’s a tip, don’t throw out those squoozen lemons. That zest is still good so toss them in the freezer. 011

You can also zest the lemons first and just freeze the zest, but I never think of that. Anyway, souvlaki. You can use pretty much any meat that can be cut into cubes, lamb is my favorite but pork is pretty traditional I’ve been told. Beef and chicken also work well, this time I’m doing chicken because that’s what I have. Heh. And sweet merciful crap I finally have a grill! Words can’t express my joy adequately. It’s been something like 6-7 years since I’ve had a grill of my own. So expect to see lots more grilled stuff from now on. I’m also building a smoker in my sisters back yard, if that works I’ll definitely by talking about that too.

Anyway, back to souvlaki again. I didn’t have pita or tzatziki unfortunately, but I did have rolls, Greek yogurt, lettuce and onion. So that’s what I did.038 - CopyI could have gussied up the yogurt some, but I didn’t think of it until after the souvlaki was cooked and by then I just wanted to eat. It was still wicked good. Now I need to find some ground lamb and make grilled gyros.

 

Filed under: chicken, Greek

And Now I’m in Iowa. With Children? …Really?

This is strange to me, especially since it was so sudden, but especially because it’s Iowa. It’s not too bad though, everything is wicked cheap and hopefully there are some bored, lonely, corn-fed farm girls who would be delighted to be regaled with stories of the big city. But until I find out where they’re all hiding I guess I’ll just be cooking for me.

Oh and my sister, her husband and five kids who live around the corner. Which is the real reason I’m here. Heh. In fact, you’ve already met one of my nieces when she came to visit me a year or so ago. She’s a bit bigger and more entertaining now even if she still isn’t too sure of me.

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But this will pass, I’ve been bribing her with food. Oh right, food, that’s why you’re all here! Well, not much going on since I haven’t even gone real grocery shopping yet (something about living near my sister and her fridge full of kid friendly food I’m guessing). But here, this is the last thing I cooked in Lynn in that horrible, tiny kitchen.

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It’s braised shredded pork, naan and a red wine vinegar yogurt sauce. Good times. And my sister cooks too! here is some amazing bread that she makes, I’ll post the recipe soon.

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The first thing I cooked for them while I was saying at her house (it only took me a week to find an apartment and the contract was hand written of all the crazy things) I made chicken and pasta with a garlic white sauce and broccoli.

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They had to all be separate since some kids will eat some thing and not others, etc. It was good, but I’m not used to cooking for groups so it wasn’t as good as I wanted. And in case you were worried about the Real Bob put your fears to rest, he is fine.  In fact he loves the leather couch that came with the apartment, but then so do I. 495Which is good since at the moment it’s also my bed. Heh. I’ll do a whole post about my new kitchen later, just wanted to check in and such.

Filed under: Admin Stuff, bread, cats, chicken, children, pasta, pizza, sauce

More Pizza

Seriously, I’m still in shock about how little pizza I have posted here. So, more.106

This is another one with that barbecue sauce I made but it also has broccoli, chicken, onions, cheddar and mozzarella. Came out wicked good, I love broccoli on pizza. It gets just lightly roasted in the fat from the cheese and gives a great contrast in texture.112

Plus it makes it healthy so you can eat twice as much. The chicken I just browned and braised in chicken broth seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic and onion. I shred it by hand so as to leave jagged edges for more browning. Browning is key as I’m sure you know.  115Whew, ok, feeling a little better now that there’s two pizza posts. I’ll probably post more soon though. Heh. I need to do something about the lighting in my apartment, too. It’s made of suck. More experimentation is clearly needed.

Filed under: barbecue, chicken, pizza, sauce

How to Cut a Chicken in Half and Then Roast Half of It.

From the Vault:

This is a post from my old Blogspot location but it’s the most popular one there so I figured I’d bring it over here. Because I’m shameless. Although to be fair it’s a good one, great method and delicious end product. Enjoy.

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Ok, I really don’t know if this is the best way to go about halving a chicken, but it was the first time I had ever done it and it worked just fine, see?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. My girlfriend came home with a roaster and I got to thinking. I realized that a whole chicken was a bit much for just the two of us and even though we use all the leftovers, it’s never quite the same as it is when freshly cooked. So, why not cut it in half, freeze one and cook the other? Why not, indeed?

I had recently read this post over at Girlichef about breaking down a chicken, so I figured I would just do what she did and stop when I had two halves. I figured out a couple things while doing it, one little trick and one fact. The fact? The inside of a chicken is gross. It’s full of some kind of weird spooge and I don’t know what it is. I assume it’s a chicken fluid that… solidifies or something after it gets slaughtered. We aren’t going to talk about it anymore and I’m not going to show you any pictures of it. I’ll tell you about the trick when the post catches up to it. So, grab a chicken, some kitchen shears and lets do this thing.

First, you need to get a plastic freezer bag (unless you’re making stock soon, then don’t worry about freezing it. You are making stock with the chicken bits, right?). You need this for bits that you want to keep to make stock from. From now on it will be referred to as the stock sack. Toss the giblets and neck in there,

they are good stock stuff. Now trim the tips off the wings.

I’ve found the tips brown too quickly and turn into nasty little black lumps. You don’t have to do this, it’s a personal preference thing. Next trim off the tail bit.

This is just a big chunk of fat, for the most part, and you really don’t need it. Toss it in the stock sack. Plus it shows you just where the spine is.

That’s the trick I was talking about earlier, hope it wasn’t too anticlimactic. Now just snip next to it all along the length of the spine.

The snapping bones wig out at least one person that I’m aware of, but it didn’t bother me too much, thankfully. Heh. First one side,

then the other.

Toss the spine in the stock sack, there’s some good stuff in there. Now you’ve got this.

You want to flip it over and cut it along the breast bone. A big ass knife is the best (I’m told), but I had already dirtied up my shears so I figured I would soldier on with them.

I know, I know, it’s one of those chickens. The ones with the “let’s over cook it” pop up dealies. I actually like them because that way I only over cook it a little, instead of a lot like I do when I try to take the temperature myself. I’m terrible at that for some reason. But once you cut through it you’re all set. Two halves.

It looks better like this.

Of course, now we need to cook it. I decided to keep it pretty simple. I put the half chicken in my ten inch, stainless steel stir fry pan.

I figured this would help hold it together and also make the juices pool underneath it, since it didn’t quite touch the bottom, and help keep it moist (it did). I minced half a shallot, a couple cloves of garlic, a couple tablespoons of fresh basil, salt, pepper and olive oil and mixed it all together.

Well, I didn’t mince the oil, salt and pepper, but you know what I mean. I stuffed all that under the skin, then just drizzled some more olive oil on the outside and sprinkled it with a bit more salt and pepper.

Then I roasted it at 375 until it was done.

Yes, I waited for the dealie to pop up. And it was fine, I swear! Only the white meat was a little dry, but the juices that pooled up in the bottom of the pan fixed that up just fine when I spooned them over it. In fact, it was fantastic. Rich chicken flavor with nice shallot, garlic and basil overtones. I’m going to be making chicken like this over and over. So, how would you cook a half a chicken?

Filed under: chicken, technique

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