poultry

Curry Kosher (Chicken Wings, et al)

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Back in the day, before so many modern kosher cookbooks hit the market (including my own Hip Kosher and The Modern Kosher Kitchen), anyone who was kosher and wanted to expand home cooking beyond the traditional family favorites would buy a cookbook and adapt recipes in accordance with kashrut.

Although it’s easier now to find contemporary kosher recipes, there is still a whole world of flavors, wonderful foods and good cookbooks out there that are too good to be missed. There’s still a reason to look beyond the obvious kosher cookbook market.

Recently I came across this book: Spice Spice Baby: 100 Recipes with Healing Spices for Your Family Table at my daughter’s house. The author, Kanchan Koya, is a Harvard-trained molecular biologist who blogs about the health benefits of spices at www.spicespicebaby.com and is also a chef-creator for www.Buzzfeedtasty.com.

I found the recipes in this book irresistible. Too good to be missed. They are interesting, intriguing and globally inspired. All include one or more of 15 spices that have health benefits (which she discusses in the book).

I made several of the dishes, changing what was needed for the kosher kitchen. The original recipe here included boneless chicken — I changed it to wings because my family likes them. The sauce contained yogurt, which I changed to coconut milk plus some lemon juice, to mimic the tart dairy taste. But the spices — unchanged. They are a fabulous tasting, intoxicatingly aromatic blend.

This dish was awesome. We gobbled it up, every morsel. The flavors are vibrant, satisfying, and perfect for autumn when the weather turns and there’s a chill in the air.

Check out Koya’s website. Lots of good stuff.

Btw, I was not paid for this post nor did I receive any book or benefit. I included a photo from the book showing the original recipe (photo credit to www.wayne-wong.com) so you can see how different it looks with the chicken wings.  

 

Curry Chicken Wings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • pinch or two of cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 12-15 chicken wing parts

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir the ingredients into a paste. Stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Add the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the water, cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with chopped coriander or parsley if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Honey Orange Chicken Wings

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You can never have too many recipes for chicken wings, whether or not you watch or even care about the Superbowl. 

My latest chicken wing recipe came about recently, after I attended a honey tasting with my friend Liz Rueven, who blogs at Kosherlikeme. We went to Red Bee Apiary in Weston, Connecticut, where all of us were in rapt attention as beekeeper Carla Marina Marchese told us all about different kinds of bees and different kinds of honey. Then we had a feast of single origin honeys with tidbits of food (cheese, fruit and so on) that went best with them.

Of course, everyone knows that there are many varieties of honey and they all have a unique flavor. No different than wine, for example. You don't have to be an expert to understand and appreciate the differences. But it is fun to taste several all in one sitting. So I recommend this place (or one near you if you don't live in Connecticut).

After it was all said and done I bought a few jars of honey and experimented with them.

Buckwheat honey proved to be very interesting to work with. It has a distinct, intense, almost molasses-ey flavor that makes it a big winner for cookies, muffins and similar types of baked goods. Or baked apples. Or mashed sweet potatoes and so on.

But my favorite was this recipe for chicken wings. Just in time for Superbowl. Or whenever.

 

Honey Orange Wings

  • 1/4 cup honey (I used buckwheat honey)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • salt and pepper
  • 24-30 dozen wing pieces

Preheat the broiler with the rack at least 6-inches from the heat. Place the honey, orange juice, chives, mustard, orange peel and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix for a minute or so or until well blended. Add the chicken wings and toss them in the liquid to coat all the surfaces. (You can let the chicken marinate for an hour or so if you wish.) Place the wings in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil the wings for about 15-18 minutes, turning them every 3-4 minutes to prevent over-browning.

Makes 24-30

Chicken with Figs and Grapes

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Tu B'Shevat may not be the most well-known Jewish holiday but it always conjures up good thoughts and fond memories for me.

First: it was when my parents gave money to plant trees in Israel.

Second: it was when my Mom would buy dried figs that came in a wreath of sorts, the figs tied together with string, and I ate at least half of them.

Third: it was when my Mom made her famous Date-Nut Bread.

And more: spring is coming soon!

And finally: it is one delicious holiday, featuring foods that include lots of fruits and vegetables. 

So, this year, to celebrate I am making this chicken dish, which includes figs and grapes, and served on cooked, fluffy bulgur wheat.

 

Chicken With Figs and Grapes

  • 1-3/4 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 bone-in pieces of chicken
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup diced dried figs
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup halved fresh grapes
  • chopped fresh mint
  • cooked bulgur wheat, optional

Boil the cider for about 5 minutes or until it has reduced to 3/4 cup.  Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning the pieces occasionally. Remove the chicken pieces and set them aside on a plate. Add the shallot, ginger and diced figs to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes over low-medium heat. Return the chicken to the pan. Sprinkle the ingredients with curry powder, Aleppo pepper and salt and black pepper to taste. Pour in the reduced cider. Turn the pieces of chicken to coat all sides with the pan ingredients. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Add the grapes and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint. Serve on a bed of cooked bulgur wheat if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

 

Stuffed Squash with Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Turkey leftovers? 

Sure, there's sandwiches, salad and so on. 

How about a one-pot meal-in-one you can get ready way ahead and pop it into the oven a few days after Thanksgiving? Something tidy, compact, with a profusion of appealing color? That includes so many food groups?

Like this Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Note: you can make the squash and filling ahead separately. These are good hot or at room temperature.

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

  • 4 small acorn or carnival squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped yellow squash 
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way down and remove the cap (you can bake it and serve it for decoration). Scoop out the seeds (you can rinse them off and roast them separately to use as a snack). Wrap the squash in aluminum foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. While the squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, to soften them slightly. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the squash, turkey, spinach, cranberries, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and cayenne pepper (if used) and toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Mix in the eggs and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the baked squash hollows. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4 servings

PuPu Platter Chicken Wings

What I am about to say may acknowledge me as a dinosaur but here it is: I remember the time before there was a Superbowl. 

I remember the first Superbowl. 1967.

I didn't watch. It was sort of a big deal, but not nearly the kind of nationwide (worldwide?) event it is today.

I can't recall what people served at Superbowl get-togethers. Or even if there were Superbowl get-togethers.

But I do remember that over the course of time, people everywhere used the occasion not only to watch football or bet, or both, but as time for a relaxed day with good friends and casual food. Like chicken wings.

I can remember before Buffalo Wings became a thing. And that after they did, wings of all sorts became one of the popular Superbowl foods.

For me -- wings were always a thing. The best part of the chicken. My mother told me they were the best part mostly because of the soft soft meat between the two narrow bones in the middle part of the wing.

She made chicken wings for us often.

I have made chicken wings often too. My mother was right. They are the best part of the chicken! Whether or not you serve them for Superbowl.

But if you do, how about these?

 

PuPu Platter Chicken Wings

  • 15 chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons crushed crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  •  

Cut the chicken wings at the joints, wash and dry the pieces and set them aside. Combine the red wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, crystallized ginger, lemon juice and garlic in a large container. Add the wing pieces and let marinate for at least 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the wings in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Turn the wings and bake for another 15-18 minutes or until crispy.

Makes 30 pieces

 

 

Hurry Hurry, Eat That Curry

I know there are differences in the traditions among observant Jews as to whether certain ingredients are permitted during Passover. Like beans, which most Ashkenazy Jews won't eat, but if your background is Sephardic, well, then beans are ok.

It's the same for curry powder, which contains cumin, which can be questionable and is generally not on the kosher for Passover list for many.

And so, if you're looking to use up your curry powder here's a goodie for dinner this week.

The other benefit? This recipe has four ingredients (not counting salt and pepper, which are optional) and is so easy that you will be thoroughly grateful for this dish during the tremendously busy time right before the holiday. And also during the year whenever you're busy and need a quick-and-easy dinner.

Also, it's really really tasty. And perfect with rice, which you might be wanting to use up as well. 

Easy 4-Ingredient Orange-Curry Chicken Breasts

  • 4 chicken breasts on the bone (or use whole legs)
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, preferably hot curry powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix the orange marmalade, lemon juice and curry powder together and spoon over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes. Baste the chicken and turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Roast for another 25-30 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy.

Makes 4 servings

Talking about South Carolina ......

Turn on the TV or radio and all you hear about is South Carolina. 

Now, I realize that the presidential primaries are coming up (Republicans on February 20, Democrats on February 27). So all this yakyakyak is not surprising.

And of course, South Carolina has always made news, politically speaking.

For example, do you remember in American History class learning all about South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, who was also Secretary of State and Vice-President (under both John Q. Adams AND Jackson), and famous for his fierce advocacy of states' rights, his fierce defense of slavery and his fierce leadership in the secession of southern states from the Union?

Remember Strom Thurmond? The South Carolina Senator who ran for president in 1948 (as a "Dixiecrat" aka States Rights Party) and actually got 39 electoral votes? He switched from Democrat to Republican in 1964 because he opposed the Civil Rights Act (in fact, in an attempt to stop the bill from passing he conducted the longest filibuster in history by a single Senator).

Chris Rock and Steven Colbert -- also from South Carolina, btw.

So all this political talk got me to thinking.

About food.

South Carolina food.

I did some looking and read about a famous South Carolina dish that sounded so delicious I just had to try it. It's called Bog. Basically, it's like a pilaf, or paella, with chicken and sausage. It may be called Bog because the chicken gets bogged down by rice. Some recipes are more soup-y, so maybe it's called bog because it looks boggy. 

In any case, the rice absorbs all that fabulous chicken flavor and becomes a golden/amber color (if you've ever cooked chicken and poured the roasting juices over cooked rice -- that's what this tastes like. OHMY it's good.).

I looked at several recipes, then devised my own.

It was awesome! 

Is it authentic? Does it taste like Bog that I might be served in South Carolina?

I have no clue, because I never tasted it.

All I can say is -- try it, you'll like it. Big winner.

South Carolina Bog

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Italian style sausages, (about 6-8 ounces), sliced 1/2-inch thick (I used Jack's Gourmet Italian style)
  • 16-20 chicken wing sections
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup white rice

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausage pieces and cook, turning the pieces occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until lightly crispy. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Working with a few at a time, add the chicken pieces and cook, turning the pieces occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not crowd the pan. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set them aside. Add the onion, garlic and celery to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened. Return the sausage and chicken to the pan. Add the thyme. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring the stock to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes. Add the rice, stir it into the liquid and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and cook for about 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. 

Makes 4 servings

Apricot Sticky Wings

Okay, there's actually no dish that's a must for Superbowl Sunday. It's not like Thanksgiving with a turkey or doughnuts during Hanukkah.

BUT, a whole lot of people are probably going to be eating chicken wings some time during that day.

Me? I never needed an excuse or a holiday or an event to eat chicken wings. They have always been my favorite part of the chicken. So I have lots of recipes. Lots.

Here's the latest.

Apricot Sticky Wings

  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, cut into sections

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the jam, brown sugar, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, ginger, garlic, scallions, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to blend ingredients thoroughly. Wipe the chicken wing parts and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with half the jam mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the wings. Brush with the remaining jam mixture. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the wings are lightly crispy.

Makes 8-10 servings

 

Roasting a turkey half breast

Suppose you're not roasting a whole turkey for Thanksgiving?

For example, your family just likes white meat. Or dark.

A whole turkey does look festive. And is traditional.

Still, if you don't like one part or another, just cook the part you like.

Fortunately for me, my Thanksgiving gang likes every part of the turkey. But when it's just Ed and me, or when I have Eileen and Jeff over for dinner, it's breast-only.

So, if you'll be cooking turkey breast for Thanksgiving or some other time, here's one of my easy, go-to recipes.

 

Roasted Turkey Half Breast with Sweet White Wine

  • half turkey breast, about 4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-½ tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-½ cups sweet white wine such as Riesling

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and dry the turkey breast and place it skin side up in a roasting pan. Brush the skin with the olive oil. Scatter the ginger, garlic and thyme over the breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Place the turkey in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Pour the wine over the turkey. Continue to roast for another 40-50 minutes, basting occasionally, or until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast measures 160°F. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Serve with pan fluids.

Makes 6 servings.

 

Roasted Chicken with Ginger Preserves and Rosemary

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My daughters used to say that we were all going to turn into chickens. Because we always ate so much of it.

We still do.

Fact is, chicken is easy to cook. It doesn't take long. It is the kind of food that you can use just about any seasoning or sauce on and it will taste good. You can fry it, bake it, broil it, grill it, braise it -- on and on -- and it's also good. Even the leftovers are useful and good.

With all those benefits, who wouldn't eat a lot of chicken?

Anyway, even though I have my favorite chicken recipes, I am always trying to prepare it in different ways, just so dinner won't be boring. This recipe, using ginger preserves, was a quick, easy, fabulous dinner.

 

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Ginger preserves and rosemary

4 large bone-in chicken breasts (or whole legs)

1/2 cup ginger preserves

2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse and dry the chicken pieces and place them in a baking pan. Combine the ginger preserves, Balsamic vinegar, mustard and rosemary and spoon over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F. Continue to bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes 4 servings.