Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Notes: June 2016

5 June 2016

"Skillet-Roasted Chicken in Lemon Sauce"

Recipe from the June 2016 Cook's Illustrated

This recipe for lemon chicken is inspired by a famous dish at Rao's, a famous Italian restaurant in New York City. (Nope, I had never heard of it.) We like the Chinese restaurant versions of lemon chicken so this seemed worth trying.

The recipe calls for 3 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces. I purchased a 4.5 pound whole chicken (air chilled organic at Lucky, $2.99/lb) which provided 2.75 pounds of chicken after being broken down: two legs, two thighs, four breast pieces. Dinner took two hours to prepare but it would have been less if I had remembered to turn on the oven sooner. The chicken was served with sautéd carrots, noodles, and Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc. The recipe claims it will serve four; it will likely serve the two of us for four meals. 

The chicken pieces were brined for 50 minutes then browned in a skillet until the skin was golden and crispy. While the chicken rested the sauce was made using oil, butter, shallot, garlic, flour, chicken broth, lemon zest, and lemon juice. The chicken was gently added to the sauce then roasted in a 475&deg oven until done; this took about 20 minutes, significantly longer than the recipe suggested.  The carrots and noodles were started when the chicken was placed into the oven; both were ready well before the chicken was done. Some chopped fresh parsley and oregano were combined with a little lemon zest and added to the sauce just before serving and used as a garnish on the serving plate.

The chicken was very good, moist and nicely cooked but the sauce disappointed. It was too too acidic, too tangy from the lemon juice. It improved some when served as a left over and made a nice dressing for noodles and boiled potatoes, too.

12 June 2016

"Grilled Glazed Baby Back Ribs"

Recipe from May 2013 Cook's Illustrated

I've written about this recipe before but thought it was worth another mention. This is a relatively quick recipe as the ribs are not smoked on the grill. Rather, they are first boiled to an internal temperature of 195° and then finished on the grill using a glaze. This is a relatively quick way to prepare grilled ribs, this dinner took about an hour to prepare, perhaps a bit more. The ribs were served with "Easy Boston Beans" from The America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook and steamed (in the microwave) sweet corn.

I purchased a three pound rack of "pork loin back ribs" which worked our well for two meals for the two of us. Rather than making one of the glazes I used store-bought: a combination of Bulls Eye and Dinosaur Barbecue Sauce. I had to use the combination because both jars were low on sauce; I ended up finishing both off and still wanting some more sauce. They ribs came out great, this is a good way to go when grilling ribs at home.