Monday, June 10, 2019

Poultry Victory

I've finally figured out chicken (sometimes I'm very, very slow, but one of my secret tricks is to keep plying away, ant-like, even in - especially in! - realms where I'm hopeless. That's why I'm a writer even though I'm aphasic).

The trick: low heat and long cooking time. Also, I added a bit more olive oil to the pan than usual. I need to eat low-fat (and enjoy the creative challenge of devising delicious workarounds), but some things can be a little less low fat than others. So for twice this quantity of chicken, I used a tablespoon rather than my usual teaspoon. Not exactly a deep fry.

Here's how I produced this weird-looking plate:

Crush a few garlic cloves and very briefly sauté them at medium low temperature (mostly to flavor the oil).
Lay unfurled boneless/skinless chicken thighs atop crushed garlic cloves, rough side down.
Sprinkle with ground coriander, Smoked Spanish Paprika, Aleppo Pepper, and salt and pepper.
Cook on medium, just barely sizzling. Don't touch anything.
Flip when brown and shrunken (and pull out and set aside garlic cloves).
Note: I never needed to scrape chicken thighs to flip them before. A good development!
Requires only minor cooking time on other side (just as well; you don't want the smoother surface to get tough/dry/browned).
Remove thighs, add chicken broth or wine to pan, reduce while stirring, pour over final result at the end.

Baby Bok Choy
Cooked American style, not Asian! This 'Merica, dude!
Cut bulbous bottom off each baby bok choy
Cut roughly in 1" thick slices, vertically
Lots of water baths to remove dirt
Shake dry then blot dry with paper towel
Season with Aleppo Pepper and salt
Sautee with olive oil in post-chicken pan until well-shrunken and tired looking.

HMart's Five Grain Rice (pre-cooked)
Heat cast iron pan or griddle to high.
Add rice mixture to pan (no oil necessary if pan is properly seasoned), crushing it down with heel of hand
When it starts sputtering like popcorn, remove and serve.
Note: any leftover rice or rice dish would work.


Unknown said...

You can get equally good results more quickly with high heat and just watching carefully so you don't overcook. But if you're doing something Asian, try this:

Jim Leff said...

I’ve been using high heat and rabid watching for a decade with poor results. And I’m not sure what gave the impression that I was thinking Asian. In fact, I specifically said I wasn’t.

I think water velveting is great, but, as I said, I cook low fat.

Unknown said...

Well I've gotten good results with high heat. I didn't necessarily think you were doing Asian, although bok choy kinda hints at that. I just mentioned the velveting (preferably in water) as a way to get a very tender result.

Jim Leff said...

Do you use a lot of oil? One of the handicaps I’m working under is low fat, which makes all cooking harder. If you have a way to cook chicken thighs at high heat without a lot of fat, I’d love some guidance.

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