Tag Archives: chicken

Humble Paella | Mark Bittman

Humble Paella | Mark Bittman.

Simple PaellaMaking Paella tonight from a Mark Bittman Recipe, but also referring back to some of my previous creations.  Of note, it seems the paella recipes with chorizo and shrimp get the best flavors.

As Bittman says, paella is basically leftovers with risotto.  But, its even easier than risotto because you pop it in the oven at 450f and leave it for 15-20 minutes.  My favorite approach requires these ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups of chicken stock
  • Pinch of Saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces of Spanish Chorizo
  • 2 tablespoons of smokes paprika
  • .5 cup dry white wine
  • .5 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups Aborio rice
  • 2 cups peeled shrimp (1 pound)
  • 2-3 bone-in chicken thighs with skin
  • Parsley for garnish

I’m full already!

  1. Get the oven hot to 450f.  On the stove top, warm the stock with saffron threads.  In an oven-safe large pan, get the olive oil hot.  Once hot, add the chicken thighs.  Get the chicken thighs brown on both sides then add the onion and garlic, seasoning.  Once that is soft, add chorizo, paprika, wine and tomato.  Bring it all to a boil for 5 minutes.  
  2. Add the rice, stirring it in as evenly as possible.  In about a minute, add the warm stock.  Lastly, add the shrimp.
  3. Put the pan in the oven and bake, undisturbed for 15 minutes.  Check it at the 15 minute mark and see how the rice is.  If it’s too al-dente, add more stock or water and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Otherwise, turn off the oven and let the dish sit in the cooling oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley.  You can also put the dish on heat for a few minutes and get a bit of a crust on the bottom.

Mango Chicken Curry Salad. #yogurt #mango #curry and season to taste. #dudeswithfood

Mango Chicken Curry Salad.  #yogurt #mango #curry and season to taste. #dudeswithfood

Such an easy recipe.  [amazon_link id=”1416575677″ target=”_blank” ]Mark Bittman, Kitchen Express[/amazon_link], people.  Get it.

I used plain yogurt, a mango, seared a butterflied chicken breast and diced it all together an plated over lettuce.

If you really need step by step:


  • Butterfly a chicken breast, season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Put olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium-high.
  • Get a mango.  Remove skin, slice fruit into little cubes.
  • Get a bowl.
  • Get some plain yogurt.
  • Get some curry powder (spice level dependent upon your taste or your girlfriend’s taste).

Make it

  • When the olive oil in the pan is just smoking, place the chicken in there.  We want to sear it.  Leave the chicken to sear for about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • While you’re counting down the minutes for the sear, finish chopping/dicing your mango.
  • Grab that bowl, put about 8-12oz of yogurt in the bowl.  Thats a few spoonfuls.  Now, add the mango and curry.  Mix it all together.  Too runny?  Thats ok.  We still have to add the chicken.
  • Reduce the heat on the chicken and let finish cooking.  If you still need to chop your lettuce and set the table, this is the time.
  • Once your chicken is done (about 8-10 minutes), remove and dice into cubes.   Then put in the bowl with the yogurt and mix until everything is coated.

Plate it.

Simple.  Lettuce, yogurt on top.  If you really want to spice it up, use arugula or romaine lettuce.  Salt or season to taste.

Olive-pistachio breadcrumb chicken with rice noodles.

Olive-pistachio breadcrumb chicken with rice noodles.

This is a Mark Bittman recipe that I adapted a bit from the recipe.  I used almond flour to try and make this basically a gluten free recipe.  Using the almond flour along with the rice noodles, I think we get pretty close.

The recipe is pretty simple:

Butterfly or pound down boneless chicken breasts.  Coat them in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.   Create a flour mixture that also includes pistachios, salt, pepper and fresh (gluten free) bread crumbs.  You can also try to substitute gluten free oatmeal.   Coat the chicken in this mixture.  Place in a medium-high pan with olive oil (oil should be just smoking) so that the coating actually fries and doesn’t just absorb the olive oil.  Let sit for 4 minutes a side.  Remove, put in the oven at 350 degrees for another 15 minutes.  While this is finishing off, start your rice noodles.  They take about 8 minutes.  Also, dice your kalamata olives and any extra pistachios you want to garnish with.

Cold Udon Noodles in Spicy Peanut Cucumber Sauce. Cornish Game Hen on the side.

Cold Udon Noodles in Spicy Peanut Cucumber Sauce. Cornish Game Hen on the side.

This Mark Bittman recipe turned out really well.  Soaking the dry Udon noodles while I prepared the cornish game hen and the sauces really made the noodles nice a plump.


  • Soak the dry udon noodles in cold water in a pot that you’re going to heat them in.
  • Set the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the cornish game hen.
  • Get all your ingredients together.

Ingredients (taken from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, page 509)

  • Salt ( to taste)
  • 1 medium or 2 small cucumbers
  • 12 ounces of fresh Chinese egg noodles (I used dried Udon)
  • 2 tablespoons of dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini (I used peanut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of mined ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine
  • Hot sesame oil. ( I had some chili oil and Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion for garnish


  • 1 cornish game hen
  • 1 sliced lime
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil

Make the chicken

Because it takes 35 minutes and the rest is super fast.  I put the hen on a [amazon_link id=”B0000E19MW” target=”_blank” ]pizza stone[/amazon_link], but you can use anything you want.   Season the chicken and rub with olive oil.  Put the sliced lime wedges inside the hen.  Now, put it in the oven.

Make the sauce

Start the heat on the water for the noodles.  This will take a while (so maybe start that before you make the chicken).

Now slice the cucumbers in half length wise.  Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Use a cheese grater and grate the cucumber into fine shreds.

Cook the noodles in the boiling water until they’re tender, but not mushy.  Meanwhile, now you make the sauce.  Whisk together the sesame oil, peanut butter, sugar, soy, ginger, rice wine, chili oil/Tabasco and pepper in a large bowl.  Thin the sauce with hot water (I used water from the boiling noodles) until it’s the consistency of cream.  Once it’s the consistency of heavy cream, stir in the cucumber shreds.  When the pasta is done, drain it and run cold water over it to stop the cooking.  Drain all water from the cold noodles.

Finish and Plate

Toss the noodles with the sauce.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.  Remove the hen from the stove (assuming it’s cooked through).  Slice it and plate it alongside the noodles.  Garnish with scallions.

Cornish Game Hen and root vegetables.

Cornish Game Hen and root vegetables.
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Much like the roasted chickens that I’ve been making, I wanted to see how I could make a cornish game hen flavorful and moist without a lot of work.

Prep your kitchen:

  • Chop your root vegetables into larger cubes as pictured above.  You cook them with the chicken, so the size should be large enough that these don’t dry out in the oven.
  • Set your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put the roasting pan and the rack in the oven now, so it gets up to temperature.
  • Wash your game hens.  I don’t use the giblets inside, so you can discard them or feed them to your cat.

Prep the veggies:

  • Once the veggies are chopped (takes the longest of anything you’ll do tonight), put them in a large mixing bowl.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and another teaspoon of dill and salt.  Add maybe half a tablespoon of ground black pepper.
  • Stir this around until all the veggies are coated.  If you need more seasoning, add it now.
  • Let this sit while you get your chicken ready.

Prep the Chicken:

You’re going to be coating the chicken in a butter-dill mixture to create a crispy and flavorful skin.  If you don’t want to use butter, just rub olive oil and a spice on the skin.

  • Put a touch of minced garlic on first to give a little more flavor to this butter sauce.  If you don’t have garlic, no worries, but this will make the flavors pop a bit more.
  • Melt some butter in a pan on the stove top. I used 1 tablespoon per hen.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of dried dill to this.  You could probably use  fresh, but I only have dried.

You’re going to quickly slice a lime into a few sections and put them inside the game hen while the butter is melting.  This is quick, and don’t over think this.  Just do it now.

  • Melt this down until it just starts to bubble, then remove from the heat.
  • Brush onto your clean hens completely.
  • Any leftover butter sauce pour into your veggie bowl and mix again.


By now the oven should be pre-heated to 425F.

Pour the veggie bowl in the roasting pan.  You might have to CAREFULLY remove the hot rack before doing this.

Put the game hens on the rack, breast side up.

Cooking time is about an hour.  If you have a thermometer, check the game hens regularly (every 20 minutes) to make sure they don’t get overcooked.  The thermometer should read no lower than 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

That’s it!  No carving necessary.  Just pull them from the oven in about an hour.  Your veggies are cooked, your chickens are cooked and you’re ready to eat!


Don't just make a sandwich. Heat it, relish, toast it.

Don't just make a sandwich. Heat it, relish, toast it.
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Chicken tacos that are fresh, not spicy. A good change up.

Chicken tacos that are fresh, not spicy. A good change up.
Posted by Instagrate to WordPress

Homemade Chicken Lo Mein with Ginger Mushrooms

My dad always reminds me to start posts with a “Prep” section and “Ingredients” section.  I realized why last night when I made this recipe from Epicurious.  The reason is, Epicurious sucks at telling you how to prep.  Now, I was using my iPad in the kitchen, and I know from experience that designing a comprehensive iPad app sucks, so I’ll at least hand it to them for trying.  But there is some serious “Prep Section” action they need to address.  So, here we go with a Dudes With Food version of this Chicken Lo Mein with Ginger Mushrooms.

The first problem is Epicurious doesn’t seem to know that preparing to cook is not the same as executing the cooking.

Ingredients: (not changed from Epicurious)

  • 12 ounces fresh Chinese thick, round egg noodles
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thigh, cut into 1/4-inch-thick bite-sized slices
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 5 ounces)
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded scallions
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Lo-Mein-with-Ginger-Mushrooms-388609#ixzz29azggvsA

I’d have to say there isn’t a clear amount of “sauce making” versus simply basting everything.  And there is a lot of oil.


  • Cut your cabbage, scallions, mushrooms and set aside.
  • Shred your ginger and set aside.
  • Slice your chicken and set aside.  Make the pieces smaller than you think.
  • Measure the dry items first: Salt, ground white pepper, red pepper flakes, corn starch.
  • Measure the wet items second: sesame oil, rice wine, soy sauce, vegetable oil.  Setting these aside might be hard, so you can also just have them ready to measure.

To make it:

“1. In a 3-quart saucepan bring 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the noodles. Return to a rolling boil and boil according to package directions until al dente. Carefully pour the noodles into a colander and rinse several times with cold water. Drain the noodles, shaking well to remove excess water. Return the noodles to the unwashed pot, add the sesame oil, and toss until well combined. Set aside.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Lo-Mein-with-Ginger-Mushrooms-388609#ixzz29b1HXGJg

Your unwashed pot is still going to be hot, so add the sesame oil (at least 1 tsp) to the bottom to keep the cold noodles from sticking.  Otherwise, this is straight forward in telling you to cook the Lo Mein al dente because you’ll later reintroduce it to the wok.

2. Put the chicken in a shallow bowl and add the ginger, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine, cornstarch, 1 tea- spoon of the soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Lo-Mein-with-Ginger-Mushrooms-388609#ixzz29b1vJ64m

I used a mixing bowl with a lid and just shook everything together to coat the chicken.  The whole “teaspoon” versus “tablespoon” additions of sauces before and after mixing I didn’t understand (I’m a dude, afterall), so I just put everything in there at once, shook the hell out of it and set it aside.

3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, add the red pepper flakes, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the pepper flakes are fragrant. Push the pepper flakes to the sides of the wok, carefully add the chicken mixture and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the chicken begin to sear. Stir-fry 30 seconds or until the chicken begins to brown. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minute or until the cabbage is just wilted but the chicken is not cooked through. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a plate.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Lo-Mein-with-Ginger-Mushrooms-388609#ixzz29b2KYAlN

This seemed a lot more complicated than necessary.  Maybe it was the long paragraph, so I’ll try to keep it short.  Prep that wok with peanut or veggie oil (use more than what they say because it’ll burn off a bit) and red chili peppers.  Basically, you’re going to brown the chicken in an already hot wok.  Once it’s brown, add the shredded veggies for another minute and remove.

4. Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil into the wok. Add the noodles and stir-fry 15 seconds. Restir the soy sauce mixture, swirl it into the wok, add the scallions and chicken mixture, and sprinkle on the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and noodles are heated through.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-Lo-Mein-with-Ginger-Mushrooms-388609#ixzz29b2s1sPX

Now you’re going to fry the noodles.  I had to reduce the heat a bit (noodles are stone cold and hopefully not a ball of starch yet) and then add the noodles.  Once the noodles have cooked a bit, re-introduce the chicken and veggies.  Should be good.

Tools you’ll need to make this:

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B000ND3GQY” /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B000277Y96″ /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B0000VLU62″ /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B000RT4ANW” /]


The noodles came out quite nicely, though a bit clumpy in some places.   The chicken remained nice and moist.  Really easy to overcook small pieces of chicken on a hot wok.  I’d like a little more of the peanut/sesame oil sauce, though.  I’d make it again, and it saves well in the fridge.

Coconut Chicken and Basil over Coconut Rice

Coconut Chicken and Basil over Coconut Rice. #foodpics #chicken #basil #basamatirice
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Definitely one of my favorite dishes to make.

In the past, I’ve tried to make this with a lot of punch, but I’ve learned some subtly is good, too. Instead of making something that had eyes watering in the kitchen because of the spices, I kept it simple, followed the timing closely and made sure my chicken was pounded evenly.  “Low and Slow” was also a primary thought when making this.  I really let everything simmer, which also means cooking the chicken less when initially searing it.

The ingredients.

  • Chicken breasts
  • coriander
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • fish sauce
  • red onion
  • fresh basil
  • 3 minced garlic
  • 2 thai chili
  • 2 cups basamati rice


Coconut Basil Chicken Preparation - ChopStart with the rice.  Basamati doesn’t take 50 minutes like brown rice, but still get it soaking at the very least.  This recipe can be done quickly, but “low and slow” means you wait on getting the rice going.

Now chop your red onion and thai chili.  The thai chili you need to de-seed it.  This is also referred to a “seed”, which I thought was confusing.  Why would you say, “Seed the chili” when you mean “remove the seeds”?  You can also mince your garlic here, too.

Chop your basil and keep cool.

Pound the chicken breasts down to even thickness.  About 1/2 inch, but no less than 1/4 inch.

To Make It

Once again, this is an adaptation of a [amazon_link id=”B00381B7XW” target=”_blank” ]Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express recipe #57 Chicken in Spicy Basil-Coconut Sauce.[/amazon_link]  You can start here, but this is my version.

Sear Seasoned ChickenPound the chicken down, season it, sear it quickly.  About 4 minutes a side on medium-high heat.  This time can be adjusted if you’ve been super aggressive on pounding down the chicken in your prep.  Remove from the pan when both sides have hit some heat. Remember that we’re going to put the chicken back, so don’t worry about cooking the chicken through.

This is probably a good time to at least get your rice going.

Simmering VeggiesNow, add the onion, thai chilis, garlic and salt to the same olive oil.  Let it simmer for a bit before adding the coconut milk.  This gets the onion and thai chilis to hang out a bit and get soft.

Once you’ve let this simmer for a few minutes, add the coconut milk, basil and chicken back into the mix.  Simmer in Coconut MilkAdd a few dashes of fish sauce.  Cook until the milk boils.  Now, reduce the heat and let this simmer for at least 10 minutes. Check the chicken every few minutes so it doesn’t dry-out.  Yes, you can dry the shit out of this chicken, even when it’s simmering in the milk.

Don’t forget about your rice.

Plate it.

Coconut Chicken PlatedPlate over rice in a shallow bowl so you can also pour the milk over the chicken.  The rice will soak up the milk, too.  You can also dice the chicken into cubes now.  Careful, though – the juices will be hot!

What You’ll need to make this dinner:

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B0001LO5GS” /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B000QCPNWM” /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B003PDNYQQ” /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B00381B7XW” /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B0002MR0TA” /]

Apricot Fried Chicken and Wasabi Tuna

Apricot Fried Chicken and Wasabi Tuna

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We decided one night that we should try some local cuisine.  Partly motivated by an upcoming recital dinner without a venue, we headed to a local place that seemed to have some decent reviews.

I knew the place was going to have some problems when the menu allowed you to choose any one of a dozen sides to go with ANY entree on the menu.  Any place that lets you conjure up your own dinner and isn’t Old Country Buffet is going to have some problems. Take the Wasabi Tuna.  In and of itself, not terrible.  No, the tuna did not melt in your mouth – in fact it required a fair amount of chewing despite the fact it was ordered raw.  And no, the wasabi wasn’t nasal clearing.  But, to allow us to order sweet mashed potatoes on the side that had no flavor (no ginger, maple syrup or even brown sugar) was just disappointing.  Then you have the “Great Chicken Apricot Disaster on White Rice Kernels”.  In theory, pairing a savory with a sweet is fine (look for a post later next week with grilled pork and peaches), but this did not succeed.  The fried chicken was dry, and the fried dough didn’t have any zest.  The sweet apricot dressing (not sure if it was supposed to be dressing) was so sweet it knocked all the other (abet bland) flavors out of your mouth.  And the rice… try cooking it, adding some butter or cream to the simmer and possibly salt.

If we had a star rating, it would be 1 out of 5.  1 because the food was hot and they serve beer.

Mediterranean Chicken #bittman62 #simmer #basamatirice #capers #whitewine

Mediterranean Chicken #bittman62 #simmer #basamatirice #capers #whitewine
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The chicken took longer to fully cook than I anticipated, even though it had been pounded down. This meant I had to actually lower the heat and add more wine to the sauce pan after I had re-applied the chicken to the heat (see the recipe). The time I added ended up being about 20 minutes on “low-medium” heat, which is about a 3 on my electric stove top. Any higher and the cilantro (substituted for the parsley because we didn’t have any) started to burn.

I think I have to work on my reductions. When I added the capers and olive mix (again, substituting black kalamata olives for the requested green olives) then added the wine, butter and cilantro the reduction went well until I added the chicken. Initially everything under the chicken started to burn and the reduction became reduced very quickly. This is when I went to plan B and added more white wine and reduced the heat. So, either I need to really pound down the chicken or learn to go a bit slower on the reductions.

Lesson of the evening: low and slow still prevails over high and fast cooking.

Chicken wrapped in prosciutto with sage leaves on polenta with Tuscan sauté vegetables by @kateveronneau

Chicken wrapped in prosciutto with sage leaves on polenta with Tuscan sauté vegetables by @kateveronneau
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This was such a treat! A hearty overall dinner with a base of polenta cut with the acid of tomatoes was really nice. The polenta also had some parmesan cheese mixed in, so it was definitely a base of the dish. The protein was the chicken, which was cooked to perfection. Cooked all the way through without being dry and the prosciutto made it subtly salty. This complimented the bolder polenta and tomato base well. The cheese used on top was a “mystery” for us, but it was bold so it helped to add another bit of flavor.