Chapter 6 Chicken and Other Poultry

If there is a food more versatile than chicken, I don’t know what it is. It shows up in all kinds of cuisines and can be prepared in all sorts of ways. My general preference is for dark meat, especially thighs, for at least two reasons. First of all, it tastes great - I find it to be much more flavorful than white meat. Second, it is much more forgiving with respect to overcooking. While only a small amount of overcooking turns white meat into cardboard, dark meat stays moist far longer.

Note that I haven’t included recipes for fried chicken. The reason is simple - I don’t want to have to deal with the mess. Maybe some day I’ll invest in an air fryer and see how that works.

So below are a bunch of recipes I’ve developed over the years - some barbecued, some baked, some pressure cooked. Have at it!

6.0.1 Basic Barbecued Chicken

Ingredients

Four bone-in chicken thighs
olive oil
kosher salt
milled black pepper
~1/2 cup your favorite barbecue sauce

  1. Light your grill and heat it to 450o F.
  2. Rub the surface of the chicken pieces with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the chicken for ~15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes.
  4. Brush both sides of the chicken with barbecue sauce and return to the grill.
  5. After 2 minutes, brush the chicken with more barbecue sauce, flip, and brush the second side as well.
  6. Repeat this process 1-2 more times, until the barbecue sauce is gone and/or the internal temperature of the thighs has reached 170o F. (155o for white meat).

Note that this recipe goes very well with corn on the cob. If you choose to do both, grill the chicken first, put it in a foil-covered bowl, and then grill the corn.

6.0.2 Lemon Chicken

This recipe is derived from a 40 year old cookbook - The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. At the time of publication, the authors ran a small restaurant in New York City; since then they have expanded to the web, where you can find an extensive selection of sauces and recipes. Some of their products may be available at a store near you.

Note that the big difference between the original recipe and mine is that the chicken is initially broiled rather than fried. This was a technique suggested by my late sister Nancy Cochrane, someone who abhorred grease in cooking. That is indeed true - the results I typically obtain after the broiling are dry and crisp (the chicken will be well moistened in the subsequent baking). Also, I’ve provided what I use for two servings of dark meat, but it can can easily be scaled up or down, and white meat can be used if preferred.

Ingredients:

4 Bone-in chicken thighs
White flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. paprika (I use Penzey’s Hungarian Half Sharp, but feel free to use your favorite)
1 lemon
brown sugar
1/3 cup chicken broth

  1. Combine the flour, pepper and paprika in a plastic bag.
  2. Zest the lemon and then slice it as thinly as possible.
  3. Add the chicken pieces one at a time to the bag and make sure they are coated evenly with the flour mix.
  4. Place chicken into a baking dish (a 7 X 11 glass one works fine) skin side up and broil, watching regularly, until the chicken is lightly browned. Flip the chicken over and do the same with the other side
  5. Set the oven to bake at 375o. Sprinkle the lemon zest and brown sugar evenly over the top of the chicken pieces. Pour the broth into the dish (not over the chicken) and place 1-2 lemon slices on top of each chicken piece.
  6. Bake at 375o for 35-40 minutes.

Feel free to be creative in how you serve; I usually have this with white rice and a side of applesauce.

6.0.2.1 In the Instant Pot®

I have not tried this, but based on other recipes out there, the following might work:

  1. Dust the chicken as described above.
  2. Sauté the chicken lightly - 3 minutes per side or so.
  3. Hit cancel, and remove the chicken to a plate with paper towels to blot it.
  4. Add a total of one cup of liquid to the pot - some mixture of chicken broth and lemon juice.
  5. Place the chicken on the trivet, dust with brown sugar and zest, and place a lemon slice on each.
  6. This is a bit of guesswork here, but try a pressure cook (on High) of six minutes, followed by 5 minutes of natural release.
  7. If you wish, set the IP on sauté and reduce the liquid to a desired consistency.

6.0.3 Berbere/curry chicken

This one is lifted straight from the Penzey’s web - it’s been tweaked a little and adapted for slow cooking.The biggest change I made was to double the amount of Curry and Berbere seasoning, rendering the dish spicier. For firmer chicken, cook on the stove top; rather than 3 hours of slow cooking, cook for ~45 minutes over medium low heat.

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped coursely
~ 2 tsp curry powder (I use Penzey’s Now Curry
~2 tbsp Penzey’s Berbere Seasoning
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

  1. Use the sauté setting to heat the oil, and add the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are softened (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the chicken and cook, stirring as needed, until it is browned (5-8 minutes).
  3. Add the two spices and stir
  4. Add the tomatoes, cover, and slow cook on high for 3 hours (or over medium to low heat for 45 minutes to an hour).
  5. If necessary, uncover and set the heat to sauté to reduce the sauce. Serve over white rice.

6.0.3.1 In the Instant Pot

  1. Proceed as above until the chicken is browned and the tomatoes and spices added.
  2. Add an additional half cup of water.
  3. Pressure cook for 8 minutes on high, followed by 5 minutes of natural release. Do not let NR go longer.
  4. If necessary, cook on sauté until the sauce has been reduced to the desired thickness.

6.0.4 Chicken Cacciatore

This is one of the very few recipes that I concocted by myself - I don’t really even remember when. For convenience sake, I usually do it in our slow cooker, but it can also be done (in less time) on the stove top. I’ve included the slow cooker instructions below, with parenthetical notes about doing it on the stove top.

Ingredients:

1-2 tbsp olive oil 2 lb. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes (white meat can be substituted if you prefer)
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup red wine 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Penzey’s Italian Herb Mix (a mix of dried basil and oregano can be substituted)

  1. Set the slow cooker to sauté and add the olive oil and onions. Sauté for 10 minutes until onions or soft (alternatively, do this in a metal casserole over medium heat on your stove).
  2. Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it is browned (5-8 minutes).
  4. Add the tomatoes, wine, crushed red pepper, black pepper and Italian seasoning to the mix*
  5. Set the slow cooker on “slow cook - high”, cover, and let it cook for 3 hours (On the stove top, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour)
  6. Uncover the pot. If the liquid needs reducing, return the slow cooker to sauté and cook until the desired consistency is achieved (on the stove top, raise heat to medium and do the same).
  7. Serve over white rice or pastas

* In actuality I don’t usually measure the spices - I just sprinkle them on as I see fit. Thus, you should consider the amounts given as approximations and fee free to adjust them to taste. Furthermore, if you have an Italian herb blend you like, feel free to use it.

6.0.5 Chicken Tikka

This is one of my favorite dishes from my favorite Indian restaurant. A reader on the NYT site suggested a sauce for use when serving over rice. I’ve included that here as well, although it does fine by itself. And do try to find Kashmiri chili powder - it has a unique flavor, and the heat won’t overwhelm either the other spices or you.

Ingredients

six boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup malt vinegar or lemon juice
1 +1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp malt vinegar
2-3 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (“deggi murch”)
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
4 + 4 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup melted butter

  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken with the lemon juice, 1 tsp salt and 4 tsp. ginger garlic paste. Let it rest 10 minutes.
  2. Mix together the yogurt, malt vinegar, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, and 4 tsp ginger garlic paste in another bowl.
  3. Blot the chicken dry and add it to the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  4. Prepare your grill and heat it to 450o F.
  5. For conventional grilling, place the chicken on skewers and grill, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches ~160o F. For Tandoor-style cooking, see below.
  6. Serve with naan or over rice.

6.0.5.1 Tandoor-style Cooking

An alternative way to cook these, somewhat similar to how it is done in an authentic tandoor, can be founr here. It involves using long skewers that are positioned through the upper vent of a very hot Egg.

  1. Ignite coals in a Green Egg, and leave it open until the coals are glowing.
  2. Place the chicken pieces on long (17”) metal skewers, with a half of a lemon or lime at the end (these serve as stoppers so the chicken won’t fall out during cooking.
  3. Close the egg, keeping both vents wide open.
  4. Place the skewers into the top vent, with their handles draped over the edge of the vent.
  5. Cook for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Remove one skewer and check the internal temperature of a large piece of chicken. You want it to be 165 o F. or greater. If necessary (and it likely will be), return the chicken to the Egg.
  7. Continue cooking until the desired temperature is reached.

Suggested Sauce

Leftover second marinade
1 14 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1-2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala

  1. Combine ingredients, bring to a simmer, and serve.

6.0.5.2 Notes

This can also be made into Chicken Tikka Masala by combining it with the Masala described for Lamb Kofta.

   Above: Chicken Tikka before and after Tandoori cooking. Below: Skewers suspended in Green Egg, and dome temperature during cooking.

  

6.0.6 Ajwain Chicken

This is one that Amar used to serve but removed it from their menu a few years ago. I found this suitable substitute. It’s a fair amount of work, but the result is worth the effort.

Ingredients

For the marinade

4-6 skinless bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup yogurt (avoid low fat)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper (cayenne or flakes)
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ajwain seeds

For preparation

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cinnamon stick 3 black cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2” piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients, add the chicken, and let it marinate overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Once the spices begin to sizzle (about 30 seconds) add the onion and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onions are softened and reduced in size by about a half.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the turmeric, followed by the chicken and sauté for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally
  6. Add the chicken stock and cook on low heat for 40-50 minutes

Serve with rice.

6.0.6.1 For the Instant Pot®

  1. Follow the instructions above through step 5 (using the sauté setting for preparing the onions, spices and chicken).
  2. Remove the chicken temporarily and add the chicken broth.
  3. Put the trivet in place and place the chicken pieces on it.
  4. Pressure Cook on high for 8 minutes, followed by a 5 minute natural release.
  5. Switch the cover switch to vent and let all remaining steam release.
  6. Remove the chicken. If the sauce needs some thickening, set on sauté and cook until it is sufficiently released.

6.0.6.2 Notes

I tried cooking this Biryani style, by adding the rice to the mixture in the IP, placing the chicken on top and attempting to pressure cook as above. The result was somewhat disastrous - Burn notice and all that - and I won’t go into the full story, but at least I was able to salvage it and it was absolutely delicious. I’m going to try again, using one of these fixes, and in both cases increase the amount of stock (or water if necessary) to 1.5 cups.

  1. Layer the rice on top of the liquid (increased to about 1/5 cups) and place the chicken over it on the trivet.

  2. As recommended by Amy and Jacky, add the chicken first, followed by the rice, and then pour the liquid over it.

6.0.7 Chile Fry (Bhuna Murchi Murgh)

This is one I particularly like - as Indian recipes go, it’s relatively straightforward. This is actually a southern India dish, so it is quite distinct from the northern Indian cuisine with which we are most familiar. The sesame oil is a key ingredient.

Ingredients

2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
5-7 dried chiles
2 1 inch pieces of peeled ginger, cut into matchsticks
1-2 medium onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
2 lb skinless chicken thighs, cut in half through the bone
1 cup fresh cilantro, including soft stems
1/4 cup white vinegar
~1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat the oils in a large pan and add the peppers and ginger. Stir until lightly browned, about two minutes.
  2. Add the onions and cook until browned, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, paprika and chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cilantro, water, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook over high heat until it comes to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.
  6. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Serve with rice.

6.0.8 Tamarind Chicken (Imli Murgh)

The original recipe calls for tamarind paste. I’ve never made it myself, rather I have used commercial tamarind concentrate in its place. This dish comes from Goa, a former Portuguese colony, and again is quite different from the Northern Indian cuisine widely available in the US.

Ingredients

3-4 tsp tamarind paste or concentrate
3 tbsp peanut oil
1 inch stick of cinammon, split lengthwise
2 black cardamom pods, gently crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, sliced
1 tbsp peeled minced ginger
1 clove garlic, peeled
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
3-5 serrano peppers, split or with skin punctured
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add cinnamon, cardamom and cumin. Sizzle briefly.
  2. Add the onions and cook until browned, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Mix in the finger and garlic, and then add chicken, coriander, turmeric and salt. Cook with stirring until the chicken is golden, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the tamarind, serrano chiles, vinegar and brown sugar.
  5. Cook uncovered for 7-10 minutes, until the chicken is soft and the sauce clings to it.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve (as always) over rice.

6.0.10 Chicken with za’atar, paprika and lemon

This is a recipe from The Splendid Table, an NPR radio program on sophisticated cooking. Normally, I don’t find their recipes to be all that appealing, however this one looks promising (I haven’t cooked it yet - it will be one for when we have omnivorous company). The key spice in it is za’atar, a Persian blend of sumac, sesame, thyme and salt. Not surprisingly, I purchase it from Penzeys, however it is often available in international sections of larger grocery stores.

Ingredients

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp. za’atar
1 tbsp paprika (I use Penzeys half sharp)
zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2
sea salt and black pepper to taste)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350o F. and line a baking dish with foil.
  2. In a bowl, coat the chicken thighs with the remaining ingredients. Mix well with your hands.
  3. Place them on the lined dish skin side up and bake for 45-60 minutes, until they are nicely browned and the internal temperature has reached 170o F.

Recommended accompaniments ar baked halloumi with lemon, thyme and honey, or spiced orzo polow. If I can find recipes, I will add them at a future date. In the meantime, rice pilaf might be a good accompaniment.

6.0.10.1 The Original Recipe

The Splendid Table credits the cookbook “Persiana Everyday”, by Sabrina Ghayour, for the original recipe, and I couldn’t help but download the book ($8.99 on Kindle) and take a look. Turns out that it does have some differences, notably that it uses a whole chicken and adds orange zest and some additional spices.

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, 3-4 lb
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 heaping teaspoons za’atar
zest of two lemons
zest of two oranges
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Again, make all of the ingredients (except the chicken) and apply to the chicken. Bake on a foil-covered pan for ~1.5 hours at 425o F, until the breast has reached 155o and the thighs have reached 170o. As always, spatchcocking the bird might facilitate even cooking.

6.0.11 Roast Chicken and Potatoes with Gochujang

This looks like an interesting one to try when folks are visiting.

6.0.12 Barbecued Chicken

Chicken, of course, can benefit from low temperature cooking. But sometimes, you may want to cook up some chicken pieces for a quick dinner. As with most chicken recipes, I greatly prefer thighs - they are much more forgiving, in that unlike white meat, they don’t dry out if they are cooked to too high a temperature. Here’s a very basic but versatile recipe.

Ingredients

Four bone-in chicken thighs
olive oil
kosher salt
milled black pepper
~1/2 cup your favorite barbecue sauce

  1. Light your grill and heat it to 450o F.
  2. Rub the surface of the chicken pieces with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the chicken for ~15 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes.
  4. Brush both sides of the chicken with barbecue sauce and return to the grill.
  5. After 2 minutes, brush the chicken with more barbecue sauce, flip, and brush the second side as well.
  6. Repeat this process 1-2 more times, until the barbecue sauce is gone and/or the internal temperature of the thighs has reached 170o F. (155o for white meat).

Note that this recipe goes very well with the next recipe for corn on the cob. If you choose to do both, grill the chicken first, put it in a foil-covered bowl, and then grill the corn.

6.0.13 Chicken Fajitas/Tacos/Quesadillas

This is a recipe from New York Times commentator Jamelle Bouie. He recommends adding guacamole to the final product; do so according to your taste.

I absolutely love the flavor of this, especially if the chicken is grilled. The sesame oil is the key ingredient. And my favorite way to use the chicken is in quesadillas.

Ingredients

1 cup dark Mexican beer
2 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
guacamole to taste
(optional) Sautéd onions and peppers
flour or corn tortillas

  1. Mix all of the ingredients except for the last four.
  2. Add the chicken thighs (intact) to the mixture, cover, and let marinate for at least two hours and up to overnight.
  3. Prepare your grill for direct cooking at 450 o F.
  4. Grill the chicken until browned, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  5. Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes and then cut into strips for use in fajitas or tortillas
  6. Warm the tortillas, either on the grill or in a toaster oven, for 1-2 minutes
  7. Add guacamole and/or sautéd vegetables to the tortillas and cover with chicken strips for serving.

As an alternative to this recipe, I’m sure that the recipe for Beef Fajitas would work as well, only the chicken would be sliced prior to seasoning and cooking, and grilling would be in a basket.

6.0.13.1 To use in Quesadillas

The following works for three chicken thighs prepared as above.

  1. Grate some Mexican cheese (Cotija is great).
  2. Place chicken on one semicircle of a flour tortilla, followed by cheese and Mexican hot sauce (I like Cholula). You might also want to try adding some grilled onions and/or peppers.
  3. Repeat with a second tortilla.
  4. If cooking in the Micropro®, fit the two quesadillas into it, and microwave for 3 minutes.
  5. Flip them carefully and cook for three more minutes.
  6. Remove to serving plate. If melted cheese and other liquid have cooked out of them, drizzle it over the quesadillas.

Similar results could no doubt be had in a heaving skillet. Heat the skillet to ~375o F. and then fry the quesadillas, flipping occasionally, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are browned.

6.0.14 Korean Chicken Skewers

This is a recipe from Southern Living and is absolutely delicious and pretty easy to prepare. I cook these on metal skewers that are about 12 inches long and have a flat shape, so that the skewered food is easier to handle.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 lb boneless skinless thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges

  1. Prepare your grill for direct cooking at 450o F.
  2. Melt the butter on the stovetop over medium low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for about two minutes.
  4. Add the honey, salt, vinegar and 2 Tbsp soy sauce, bring to a boil, and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Toss the chicken with the remaining soy sauce.
  6. Thread the chicken and onion wedges onto skewers, adding two pieces of chicken followed by one onion wedge.
  7. Grill, basting often with honey butter mixture, for 10-12 minutes until chicken is light charred and cooked (if you want to check with an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature of the chicken should be ~165o.
  8. Serve over rice or bucatini.

6.0.14.1 Notes

Recently I made this to celebrate the return (in March) of the comfortable barbecue season. Based on my winter forays into Thai cooking and flavoring, I’m thinking about trying addition of a tablespoon or so of Thai chili sauce to this in the future.

6.0.15 Margarita Brined Chicken

This recipe was originally published in Southern Living and called for high temperature grilling. However, I found that low temperature direct grilling works extremely well. As always, I use thighs, but if you are using breast meat, simply change the pull temperature from 170o to 155o F. And it’s a great recipe to prepare for company - while on the grill it requires very little attention, so you can mingle with your friends instead of being chained to the grill.

Ingredients

1 cup water
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup cold water
½ cup tequila
3 tablespoons orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons lime zest
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
6 bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks or breast halves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 limes, halved
Fresh cilantro for garnish

  1. Add water, salt and brown sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring regularly until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, let stand 10 minutes, and then add cold water, tequila, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest and black peppercorns to it.
  3. Submerge the chicken in the brine mixture, cover the bowl, and let it marinate refrigerated at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Set up your grill for low temperature cooking at 230o F.
  5. Remove the chicken and pat it dry. Discard the brine mixture.
  6. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  7. Place the chicken on the grill, with a temperature monitoring probe placed in the largest of the pieces.
  8. Grill, turning occasionally until the internal temperatures reach 155o F. for white meat or 170 o F. for dark meat.
  9. For the last 5 or so minutes, grill the lime halves, cut side down.
  10. Place the chicken on a platter, cut the lime halves in two and place on the platter. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

6.0.16 Arroz con Pollo

A Jeffrey Eisner recipe that I have reduced by half

Ingredients

1 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) of butter
Pinch of saffron  1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tbsp of crushed garlic
1. lbs of chicken thighs (boneless & skinless preferred), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 links of Chorizo, sliced into 1/4″ discs
1/2 cup of a dry white wine  1 cups of chicken broth
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
7 oz of Goya Arroz Amarillo/Yellow Rice (plain rice is fine as well)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp of dried parsley
1 tsp of smoked or regular paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

  1. Set your IP for saute and melt the butter and oil.
  2. Add the saffron and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and peppers and sauté for 3 minutes,
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  5. Add the chicken and chorizo, followed by the paprika, parsley and chili powder. Cook stirring, for three minutes until the chicken is evenly seared.
  6. Add the white wine and simmer for a minute. Then add the broth, lime juice and tomatoes.
  7. Once it is bubbling, add the rice and submerge without stirring.
  8. Cancel the sauté cycle, close the lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes, followed by a quick release.
  9. Stir the rice and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

6.0.16.1 Notes

  1. This was good using the yellow rice called for, however I think I’ll try plain basmati rice next time - the yellow rice was too salty for my taste.
  2. It came out a bit soupy using the liquid called for above. Some may prefer it that way, but I like mine drier. Accordingly I reduced the chicken broth to 1 cup from the original 1.25 cups.

6.0.17 Garlic and Jamon Chicken

I ran across this one on the La Tienda web site, and it sounds too good to pass up.

Ingredients

3 lb bone-in chicken pieces
8 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
2 oz. diced Jamon Serrano
3 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme and/or rosemary
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. mild smoked paprika
1/2 cup white wine or sherry
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Heat olive oil in a frame proof casserole.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Remove from casserole.
  3. Sear the chicken, flipping occasionally, until well browned (~15 minutes).
  4. Add garlic, serrano, bay leaf, rosemary/thyme, parsley and paprika. Squash the garlic slightly.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes, until sherry is reduced by half.
  6. Add the broth, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

This would go well with Patatas Brava

6.1 Chicken Wings

What’s not to love about chicken wings? Because of their versatility, they deserve an entire section to themselves. Aside from the fact that they are messy to eat, they are very tasty, either by themselves or (as is more common) dipped in one of many different wing sauces. Of course, wings are often broiled or fried, but I have found that slow cooking on the barbecue works very well. My preference is for wings that have been sectioned prior to cooking, but that is not necessary if you prefer keeping them whole.

Of course, the traditional approach to cooking wings is to deep fry them, a procedure I avoid in the home. Thus I’ve come up with three alternative approaches, any one of which can be used for most recipes

Baking

This is the basic method for baking wings. In my hands, they don’t truly replicate the best fried wings, but treated right, they are very tasty.

  1. Cut wings (however many you want - most recipes call for 2 pounds) into drumettes and flats. Remove and discard the wing tips (or use them for stock).
  2. Treat wings however you wish - I do recommend dredging in a mixture of 2 tbsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt before doing anything else. For basic barbecue wings, I then sprinkle with Penzey’s Barbecue 3000 rub.
  3. Bake in a 400o F. oven for about 20 minutes, until the wings appear crispy and the internal temperature has reached ~170o F.
  4. Coat with your favorite wing sauce and serve.

Barbecuing

Our goal should be to cook the wings over low heat until they are partially cooked, and then increase the heat to finish the cooking and crisp up the skin. Initially I did this directly at 225o F. over a bed of coals, turning the wings when they reached and internal temerature of 125o, at which time I turned them over and increased the heat to 425o F. to finish. However, more recently I’ve used a true indirect method as follows:

  1. Ignite coals on one side of the divider and let them burn in the open until some are starting to glow.
  2. Close the grill and the top vent, and either attach your Billows set at something like 250o F. or simply close the top vent and keep the bottom vent minimally open.
  3. Place the wings, treated as described above, on the cool side of the grill.
  4. When the internal temperature of the wings has reached 125o F, move them to the hot side of the grill and either open the vents or increase the Billows temperature to 425oF.
  5. Continue to cook, flipping at least once, until the internal temperature of the wings reaches 170o F. and the skins are well browned.

With the Micropro®

  1. Sprinkle 8-10 wings and drumettes with baking powder, salt, and barbecue rub (if desired).
  2. Cook in Micropro with microwave on high for 3 minutes
  3. Flip chicken pieces and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Repeat this process until the wings appear done, and their internal temperature has reached 170o F.
  5. Coat the wings with your favorite wing sauce and serve.

6.1.1 Homemade Buffalo Sauce

This is actually pretty easy if you have a bottle of Louisiana-style hot sauce (like Tabasco or Frank’s) on hand.

Ingredients

2/3 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup butter
1.5 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in either a sauce pan or microwavable container.
  2. Warm on the stovetop until butter is melted. In a microwave, a minute or so on high should get the job done.

6.1.2 Sweet Chili Glazed Wings

This is one from Epicurious that requires advanced treatment, but results in a taste treat.

Ingredients

2 pounds chicken wings
1/4 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
Steamed white rice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

  1. Combine wing pieces with a mixture of the oil, cilantro, soy sauce, 2 tbsp of the garlic, ginger, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. While the chicken in marinading, combine the vinegar, sugar, water, chili garlic sauce, and the remaining 1/2 tbsp garlic and 1/2 tsp red pepper in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, and then simmer uncovered until it thickens (the recipe suggests 20 minutes).
  3. After the marinade period is complete, cook the wings by whatever means you wish (the recipe calls for baking, but barbecuing might be interesting as well).
  4. When cooked, coat with sauce and serve over white rice, sprinkling with green onions.

6.1.2.1 Notes

I got this right the second time I made it. Although the wings were not at all crispy, they were delicious. I cooked a pound of wings and cut everything by 1/2, and served it over bucatini rather than rice. If you like Asian sweet and hot flavoring, this is a good one for you. I also used 2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste (divided between the marinade and the sauce) in place of the minced ginger and garlic, making preparation that much easier.

6.1.3 Sweet Soy Wings

This is another version of Asian-inspired wings, in this case Japanese. The recipe calls for baking; I’ve included its recommenations herein.

Ingredients

2 lb. chicken wings, divided
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp mirin
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds and/or scallions for garnish

  1. Combine all of the ingredients with the wings in a greased baking dish. Marinade for at least 30 minutes
  2. Preheat your oven to 400o F.
  3. Drain the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a fast simmer for 3-5 minutes, until slightly reduced. Set it aside
  4. Bake the wings for 30 minutes, turning them after 15.
  5. Brush the wings with the reduced marinade and serve, adding garnishes if desired.

6.1.4 Peach Glazed Wings

The recipe below calls for broiling, however I’m sure that grilling and baking would be workable alternatives.

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup peach preserves
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 lb chicken wings

  1. Mince ginger and garlic in a food processor.
  2. Add preserves, soy sauce, water and red pepper flakes, pulsing until combined.
  3. Pat the wings dry, dredge with 2 tbsp baking powder, and lightly salt them.
  4. Coat the wings with the sauce and then spread on a foil lined, lightly oiled sheet pan.
  5. Broil wings 4-6 inches from heat for five minutes.
  6. Turn over and baste with additional sauce. Continue to broil, turning and basting ~3 more times until wings are cooked through (internal temperature of ~165o F, about 20-25 minutes).

6.1.4.1 Notes

These were outstanding when baked, albeit not very crisp. They are crying out to be grilled.

Given that we now have a surfeit of Alice’s pear preserves, I tried using it in place of peach. It turned out to be somewhat milder in flavor but good nevertheless

6.1.5 Harrisa Glazed Sticky Wings

I originally ran across this one in the New York Times, which recommended purchasing Tunisian Harrisa Paster from Zwita Foods, a company run by two Tunisian brothers. I purchase their sampler pack of pastes (mild, smoky and hot) and tried the recipe with the hot variety. Note that this is one in which the wings are glazed following cooking, so either baking or grilling is appropriate (I grilled them).

Ingredients

2 lb. chicken wings, separated into drummets and flats (save the tips for stock)
fine salt
baking powder
4 tbsp. Harissa paste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. black pepper

  1. Blot the wings dry on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and baking powder.
  2. Cook the wings, either by baking at 425o F. for 15-20 minutes or by grilling.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. You may want to heat the glaze briefly in the microwave.
  4. When the wings are cooked, toss them in the glaze and serve.

6.1.6 Turmeric and Pepper Wings

This is one from Epicurious, that should be great for the barbecue. It goes with the Tamarind sauce described below.

Ingredients

2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 lb chicken wings
1.5” piece grated ginger
2-3 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Lemon wedges

  1. Mix the spices in a bowl and then add the wings to it, tossing to coat.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic (or a tablespoon or so of ginger garlic paste), and oil and toss again. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or longer refrigerated (up to 1 day).
  3. Choose your preparation method. If baking, spread them on an oiled sheet pan, place in cold oven, and heat to 425o F. Bake until golden brown, turn over, and continue to bake until internal temparature reaches 165o F.
  4. If barbecuing follow the directions given above

6.1.7 Indian Spiced Wings

I found this one while looking for a sauce for turmeric and pepper wings and decided to try it. The initial verdict: pretty good, but way too much cumin. I’ve greatly reduced it below.

Another suggestion (from the NYT) - add the spices to a half cup of yogurt and marinade prior to cooking.

Ingredients

salt and baking powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder - or 1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2-1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 Tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1-2 lbs split chicken wings
Enough vegetable oil to coat the wings
Fresh lime to drizzle over the wings

  1. About 1-2 hours before preparing, blot the wings dry and dredge the wings in baking powder. Sprinkle with salt and refrigerate.
  2. Combine all of the dry spices in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle the wings with vegetable oil such that they are all uniformly coated.
  4. Add the spice mix to the wings and mix to ensure that they are all coated.
  5. As usual, pick your method for cooking, however barbecuing as described here is highly recommended.
  6. When completed, mix with tamarind sauce and serve. Alternatively, the wings could be served dry with the sauce available for dipping.

6.1.7.1 Tamarind Sauce

Ingredients

2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp tamarind paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili powder

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Simmer until reduced by 1/2.
  3. Cool slightly, and either serve as a dipping sauce or pour over rice or pasta.

6.1.8 Smoked Wings

The link above gives details regarding rub and sauce-making; for now, we’ll use the smoking technique given, with some commercial Buffalo sauce for flavor.

  1. Prepare the wings in advance. For my first try I’m going to toss with Penzey’ barbecue seasoning and a little salt.
  2. Soak three wood chunks for smoking - I’m going to try apple.
  3. Set up Green Egg for divided cooking, adding the wood chunks to the charcoal.
  4. Ignite the coals. When the they are coated with ash, set up Billows with the probe over the indirect side and set to 275o F.
  5. Add wings to indirect side, with a needle probe in the fattest wing piece.
  6. Smoke until the wings reach an internal temperature of 165o F. (1 to 1.5 hours).
  7. Remove and toss in warmed wing sauce of your choice. ### More ideas

Epicurious has this compilation of recipes that includes some tempting ideas - dry wings with curry powder, salt and pepper, coated with peach preserves, and others. Cooking methods vary, but most could be adapted to grilling, baking, or cooking in the Micropro.

6.2 Other Fowl

6.2.1 Smoked Spatchcocked Turkey

What can be more traditional than turkey with the trimmings for Thanksgiving? As a child and as a younger adult, I had it on almost a yearly basis. Now, I only do it on the rare occasions that we have company - otherwise, I get to eat all of it myself, and leftovers do get old!

Smoke certainly adds a nice touch to the turkey, and slow cooking helps to keep the meat moist (as does dry brining the bird). The challenge is in reaching two different pull temperatures - 150o F. for white meat and 170o for dark. This is where spatchcocking - removing the backbone and pressing the bird as flat as possible - comes into play. Doing so allows heat to penetrate the bird more evenly, so that it is easier to reach a uniform pull temperature. Of course, by doing so you lose the ability to make a grand entrance into the dining room with a golden brown bird, but what is more important, image or substance?

The recipe below can be found on seriouseats.com. It is optimized for a standard kettle cooker, so if that’s what you have, you should follow their grilling instructions. For Big Green Egg cooking, we’ll make a couple of changes:

  • Of course we’ll use lump charcoal, not briquets, as was recommended.
  • In place of indirect cooking, we’ll use our convEGGtor.
  • The original recipe calls for adding additional wood to the coals as the turkey cooks. This is, of course, very difficult to do with a convEGGtor in place, and quite frankly can result in a turkey that tastes more like wood smoke than anything else. Four chunks, well mixed into the coals, will provide smoke for about 2 hours, more than enough to flavor the bird sufficiently.

I also strongly recommend fresh turkey if available (I’ve gotten mine straight off the farm). The meat will be juicier, and if you can find it from a local farm, you will be supporting their business. I usually shoot for a 14 pound bird - smaller ones tend to dry out and larger ones are suitable only for very large families or get-togethers.

Ingredients

1 12- to 16-pound turkey
2 tablespoons (35g) kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
2 tablespoons (40g) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preparing and dry-brining

  1. 1-3 days before cooking, remove the turkey’s backbone by cutting on either side of it with either poultry shears, a cleaver, or a heavy carving knife.
  2. Remove the wishbone with a paring knife and discard. Place the bird on a flat surface and press hard on the breast to crack the bone and flatten the bird.
  3. Rub the surface of the bird with olive oil.
  4. Mix all of the remaining ingredients (the spices) together and rub over the entire surface of the turkey. Refrigerate, covered, at least overnight and up to three days.

Barbecuing

  1. Prepare your grill for cooking with the convEGGtor in place, adding soaked hickory chunks and setting a smoking temperature of ~250o F.
  2. Place internal temperature probes into the breast and the thickest part of a thigh of the turkey.
  3. Place on the grill, legs pointing down, and cook until the breast temperature reaches 150o and the thigh one 165o F. This will take around three hours.
  4. Remove from the grill, let it rest 15 minutes, and carve.

6.2.2 Smoked Duck

If you aren’t feeding an army, a great alternative to turkey is duck. They are much smaller, realistically feeding two diners each, and they are all dark meat (a plus or minus, depending on your taste). The downside is that they are high in fat that needs to be rendered. This is where slow cooking on a barbecue is great - most of the fat is rendered during cooking and can be discarded afterwards (or used for cooking other dishes - duck fat is considered a delicacy by many. Also, like turkey, duck is considerably improved by dry brining over night prior to cooking.

This recipe, from Hey Grill Hey is relatively straightforward to prepare, and if cooked on a charcoal grill, is excellent. Note that I did try it once in the oven (weather was too bad for outdoor cooking, even for me) and the results were, to put it mildly, disappointing

Ingredients

For Brining

1 ~5 lb. duck
1/3 cup kosher salt

For Barbecuing

2 small oranges, halved
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup maple syrup

  1. The night before cooking, discard the neck and giblets of the duck, pierce the skin all over (the tip of an instant read thermometer works well for this), and sprinkle the kosher salt all over it. Refrigerate for up to 15 hours.
  2. Prepare your grill for smoking (with convEGGtor) at 275o F., using apple chunks for smoke.
  3. Stuff the orange halves into the cavity of the duck. If they don’t all fit, juice any left over to add to the basting liquid.
  4. Smoke the duck to an internal temperature of 160o F., a time of about 2.5 hours, basting periodically with the combined orange juice and maple syrup. The probe should be inserted into the breast.
  5. (Optional) When the duck is cooked, if the skin is not sufficiently crisp for your taste, place it under a broiler for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Let the duck stand for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.

6.2.3 Thai Basil Duck

In trying to figure out what to do with leftover Christmas duck, I set out to replicate this, one of my favorite Thai recipes. The one linked to above is a bit confusing to follow, but it’s relatively easy, and other than being way too hot, was quite good. I learned by cooking it is that the secret to Thai flavoring is fish sauce, and that fresh Thai basil, while expensive, is absolutely wonderful). I used the bottle I had on hand (Phú Quoć, a Vietnamese brand), but I may try it in the future with Three Crabs (also Vietnamese) recommended in the original recipe.

One point to note: As noted, I used already cooked duck, which I’d removed from the bone (the carcass being saved to make incredible duck broth), while the original recipe starts from fresh breast meat and involves frying and then slicing it prior to preparing the stir fry. The recipe below is what I followed; I will describe the frying process in the notes.

Ingredients

~12 oz. cooked duck meat
2 tbsp cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
1-5 chopped Thai peppers or 2-3 tbsp Thai chili sauce*
1/2 a large onion, coarsely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp Fish Oil
1 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot, mixed in 1/4 cup water (optional)
1/4 cup fresh Thai basil

  1. Heat the oil in a wok.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for about two minutes.
  3. Add the duck to the wok, and stir fry until the meat is heated though.
  4. Add the Thai peppers, onion and green pepper, and continue to stir fry until they are softened (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the fish sauce, and if thickening is desired, the arrowroot mix.
  6. Finally, add the basil, cook for ~1 minute, and then remove from heat. Serve over Basmati or Jasmine rice.

* As I noted above, when I used five red Thai peppers, the results were far too hot for my tastes. Thus, the next time I do this I will reduce the number to 2 or 3, and pehaps try green Thai peppers as an alternative.

6.2.3.1 Notes

To start with fresh duck breast, proceed as follows:

  1. Heat some oil in a wok (the recipe calls for 3/4 of a cup; I would probably use less.
  2. Coak 12 oz. of breast with cornstarch or arrowroot and fry until crisp.
  3. Cool the meat and then slice it. Clean the wok and proceed as above.

Like many Thai recipes, one could alternative proteins - beef, pork, chicken, or even tofu.

On my second try, I didn’t have any Thai chilis, so I tried two tablespoons of Sriracha Chili Sauce in their place. The result was delicious. Also, adding the basil at the very end was a big help.

While frying duck breast (indoors) for this, I realized that it wouold be a natural for grilling. It would probably take about 15-20 minutes on a 450o grill to reach an internal temperature of ~160o F. In fact, sautéing duck is so messy that grill cooking is decidedly preferable.

As of March 15 2024, the link to the original recipe is dead. I’m glad I transcribed it when I did.