Deliciousness

In what may be turning out to be a curse, my mother gave me a copy of Jeffrey Steingarten’s It Must Have Been Something I Ate to read on our trip to China. Since returning, I seem to be suffering from a Jeffrey-esque obsession with cooking and eating. Last night I had trouble falling asleep as I pondered what to make for dinner tonight, and then had further trouble once I had decided on making a Thai peanut chicken on how best to exactly cook it. Reading the book has really awakened the desire within me for further experimentation and exploration in the kitchen.

One of my latest discoveries is a new method for making chicken based “stews.” By stews, I really mean anything where the chicken is coated in a thick sauce. Unfortunately, chicken, even on the bone, doesn’t seem to stew particularly well. My solution lately, which seems to have met with great success, is to oven roast the chicken first. This works best with skin-on chicken still on the bone. The bones lend more flavor and the skin helps preserve the moisture, but even skinless chicken does well being roasted. So far I’ve kept the roasting simple, just rubbing the chicken with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

After roasting, I let the chicken cool for a bit to let the juices retract, and then shred or cube or otherwise prepare it. Then, to make my “stew,” I simply add the chicken plus any roasting juices, of which there aren’t many, at least not until you cut it, to the stewing sauce, which I’ve been making on the stove top. This approach yielded a delicious chicken curry, where I’d prepared a yogurt-based sauce of apples and onions (with appropriate spices) in a large sauteing pan. After allowing the sauce to really simmer and develop while the chicken roasted, I simply added in the post-roasting chicken and tossed the pieces in the sauce on medium heat for a few minutes to infuse some flavor but not otherwise over cook the chicken. Then I let it sit in the warm pan to soak up some more flavor for a few minutes before serving.

The end result was that the chicken was still extremely juicy and tender (and surprisingly flavorful), and the sauce had the benefit of cooking for almost 40 minutes, giving it a much richer flavor than it would have had if I had simply cooked it until the chicken was appropriately done. I’m looking forward to further experiments and will keep you posted. Mmmmm, delicious.

4 thoughts on “Deliciousness

  1. Dude, get yourself a crock pot. Toss everything in in the AM and set it to “Low” before you head to the pool in the AM.It will be done by dinnertime, and have self-basted/stewed in its own juices all day. AWESOME.Just whip up some rice and you’re good to go.

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  2. Purse is a good cook, but she’ll make you eat tofu and eggplant. I don’t know about you but that don’t jive w/ the jonnyo…McD’s doesn’t serve McTofu and McEggplant in N America!

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