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


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.


Sticky Curry Wings

What's your favorite part of the chicken?

For me it's always been the wings. I was never one of those kids who liked holding a drumstick and eating off that big bone. First of all it seemed like the drumstick had too much meat on it for a little kid to handle.

Second, my mother always told me that wing meat is the softest and sweetest and therefore the best.

So that was that.

She was right. 

I love chicken wings. Any kind. Baked, fried, grilled. 

Here's a new favorite: curry seasoned and honey-sticky. You can bake these. Or grill them for a 4th of July feast.


Honey-Curry Sticky Wings

  • 24-30 chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the wings and place them on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. In a small saucepan, combine the honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, curry powder, garlic powder and salt to taste. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook for one minute, stirring to blend the ingredients thoroughly and remove from the heat. Brush the tops of the wings with some of the honey mixture. Bake the wings for 10 minutes. Turn the wings over, brush with more of the honey mixture and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the wings over again, brush with the remaining honey mixture and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the wings are golden brown and crispy looking. OR: grill the wings, turning them occasionally and brushing with the honey mixture. 

Makes 4 servings





Coconut Crusted Chicken


Coconut Chicken with Mango Salsa

I don't remember when chicken nuggets became one of the stock items on childrens' menus. But it's right up there with pizza, pasta and mac n' cheese.

Of course, grownups like chicken nuggets too. I suppose it's the anything crunchy-fried-golden-brown thing.

Most recipes give chicken nuggets a bread crumb crust, but during Passover there are other alternatives. Check out my recipe below, which has a matzo meal and coconut crust. I keep the pieces bigger than standard nuggets so they feel more like dinner to adults, but you can cut the chicken into smaller chunks to make actual nuggets (which are terrific as hors d'oeuvre).

The coconut gives the chicken a lovely sweet taste, which is fine all by itself, but grown up palates might want to balance that with a refreshing, citrusy, slightly spicy mango salsa.

Coconut Chicken


  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened packaged shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken
  • vegetable oil for frying


Place the potato starch in a dish. Beat the eggs in a second dish. Combine the coconut, matzo meal, salt, paprika and garlic powder in a third dish. Slice the chicken into strips (about 2-inches long, 1-inch wide). Press the strips, one by one, into the potato starch, covering the entire surface. Immerse the strips in the egg, making sure to cover the entire surface. Press the egg-coated chicken strips into the coconut mixture, making sure to coat the entire surface. Place the strips on a cake rack and let air dry for at least 15 minutes. Heat about 1/8-inch vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough to make a matzo crumb sizzle, add the strips a few at a time, leaving room between each strip, for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining strips. Serve plain or with Mango Salsa.

 Makes 4 servings

 Mango Salsa

  • 2 cups diced fresh mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped purple onion
  • 1 small chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

Place the mango, purple onion, chili pepper, mint, ginger, garlic, lime juice, honey and vegetable oil in a bowl and toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes about 2-1/2 cups

My goose is finally cooked!


Every year, sometime during the Hanukkah holiday, I make a roast goose dinner for our family. The menu is almost always the same: goose, braised red cabbage, potato latkes and some green vegetable or other.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another, we just never got to it last December and so, when my kids and grandkids came up for Ed's birthday weekend, we had our Hanukkah meal. 

I cooked the bird a little differently this year, basting it with sweet white wine several times as it roasted. That tiny change sweetened up the pan juices.

A good meal was had by all.

PLUS, I made stock with the bones.

PLUS, I strained all the fat, which is snow-white when it hardens, and froze it all.

If you've never had roasted potatoes in goose fat or matzo balls made with goose fat, well, folks, you've been missing something awesome.

Looking forward to that Passover matzo ball soup.


Roasted Goose

  • 1 10-12 pound goose
  • lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sweet white wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the goose and remove excess fat. Rub the goose with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prick the skin all over with the tines of a fork. Place the goose, breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour the water into the pan. Roast for 45 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 325 degrees. Turn the goose breast side down. Pour the wine over the goose. Roast for 45 minutes, basting once during this time. Turn the goose breast side up again and roast for another 30-60 minutes, basting once or twice, or until the juices run clear when you prick the thickest part of the thigh with the tines of a fork (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast should read 165 degrees). Let rest for 15 minutes before carving. 

Mom’s Fried Chicken Wings



  • 12 chicken wings, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • shortening or vegetable oil

Rinse the chicken pieces and set them aside. In a large dish, mix the flour with the paprika, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour. Place them on a cake rack to air dry for 25-30 minutes. Heat the shortening or vegetable oil in a deep saute pan over medium-high heat (should be about 1/2-inch) to 365 degrees (a bread crumb will sizzle quickly when you add it to the pan). Add a few chicken pieces at a time (adding too many will make the cooking oil too cool) and cook, turning the pieces occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.


Makes 12


Grilled “Korean Style” Chicken


Barbecue for Father’s Day: Ribs and Chicken

For years and years on Father’s Day our family, my brothers, parents and I, went to an extended family barbecue (called a “cookout”) at my Aunt Min’s house. All the cousins were there so it was a generally raucous event. My Uncle Herb made hot dogs and hamburgers.

I didn’t like it. I wanted to be with my father and and not everyone else’s. It wasn’t as if we never saw the cousins. There were always plenty of other occasions during the year.

Besides, I wanted my Mom’s delicious food. Uncle Herb was a nice guy and all but he tended to overcook everything so the hot dogs were shriveled and the burgers were like hardened play dough.

So one year I got really brave and told my mother I didn’t want to go.

Wow — she agreed! It was like a miracle. She loved the family thing (it was her family, not my Dad’s) so I was really surprised. Maybe she was looking for an excuse not to go? Maybe all the little, noisy kids were too much for her? Maybe the traffic was a hassle?

In any event, after that our family went solo with our own cookout and that’s the tradition I follow with my own children. It’s raucous enough just with us! 

We change the menu from year to year, but it’s always something on the grill plus a few veggie and grain salads and maybe potato salad.

I just bought some beautiful beef ribs for Sunday. And some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Here’s the recipe I’m going to use (it’s for the chicken, but you can use the same marinade for the beef ribs).

Grilled “Korean Style” Chicken

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 thick scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

Combine the soy sauce, agave, brown sugar, vegetable oil, sesame seed oil, garlic, scallions, ginger and black pepper in a dish large enough to hold the chicken breasts. Mix the ingredients well. Immerse the chicken and turn them a few times to coat all surfaces. Marinate for 2-3 hours, turning the meat from time to time. Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill the breasts, brushing occasionally with the marinade, for about 8 minutes, turning once or twice, or until the breasts are cooked through. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds if desired. Makes 4 servings 


Tagged: Father's DayGrilled ChickenKorean Barbecue Sauce