Category Archives: Chicken

Shiner Bock Drunksticks


Last weekend, Collin and I attended the Addison Oktoberfest — an annual beer festival that takes place in Addison Circle towards the end of September.  We’ve gone every year for the past 3 years and it’s always a grand spankin’ good time.  I mean what’s not to like?  Copious amounts of beer? Check.  Greasy plates of brats and funnel cake? Check. Carnival rides and endless debauchery?  Double check.

As continuation of the bright, youthful spirit of Oktoberfest, I’ve decided to feature some recipes that uses beer as the main ingredient.  Collin has been out of town all week and our fridge was stocked full of Shiner Beer — to the point where I had no room for any of my groceries (boys, what am I going to do with you?).  So what other option did I have but to drink a bottle and use the rest to make this fabulous recipe — Shiner Bock DRUNKSTICKS <—- ya like that?  I had that epiphany while I was enjoying my bock, not gonna lie I felt pretty good about myself after that.

Ingredients for Shiner Bock Drunksticks: (serves 2-3)

  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks (about 4-6) – preferably organic
  • 2 bottles Shiner Bock
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Rinse the drumsticks under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.  Set aside.  In a large bowl add all the ingredients and whisk well until most of the sugar and salt has dissolved.  Place the drumsticks in the marinade and marinate for 3 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a large baking tray with foil.  Remove drumsticks from marinade, pat dry and place on the baking sheet.  Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your drumsticks) — you can use a meat thermometer or pierce the thickest part of the thigh with the tip of your knife (if the juices run clear it is done).

For the Glaze:

  • 1 bottle Shiner Bock
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons sriracha
  • salt to taste

While the chicken is baking in the oven, you can prepare the glaze.  In a large saucepan, add the beer, and sugars– place over medium high heat.  Make sure the sugar is evenly dissolved and allow mixture to reduce to the consistency of maple syrup, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the Sriracha and add salt to taste.  Once the chicken drumsticks are done, toss them with the sauce and serve immediately.

Happy Friday Folks 🙂 it’s good to be back!

Cinnamon Curry Roasted Chicken with Tomato Yogurt Sauce


One of the most common questions I get is “What’s the easiest and most impressive dinner I can make for friends?” My response is always Roasted Chicken. It’s relatable, always delicious and easy to make.  There are so many different varieties — herb roasted, lemon pepper, cajun, the possibilities are left to your imagination.  You can pair it with a salad, or rice, any type of veggie, I guarantee your guests will leave with happy stomachs and a full heart!

There’s something magical about roasted chickens — perhaps it’s the down-to- earth simplicity, the intoxicating flavors and smells, the comfort that seems to spread to the deepest corners of your soul — okay got a little overly dramatic there, but you get the idea.

Today I am taking a page from the big boss, Oprah Winfrey, is there anything that woman can’t do?  In the Oprah Magazine Cookbook I found this beautiful recipe for a Cinnamon Curry Roasted Chicken.  I made a few changes which I will note in parentheses and then came up with two sides that I felt would pair well — Coconut Basmati Rice and some Saffron Garlic Skillet Potatoes.  The flavors of the spices were out of this world, I loved the boldness of the cardamom and the spicy sweetness of the cinnamon.  O-M-G talk about flavor heaven!  The recipe was by Chef Rori Trovato — “It’s a little bit sweet, a litte bit daring.  It’s cinnamon, and it’s probably sitting right there in your pantry.”

Ingredients for Cinnamon Roasted Chicken: (Makes 2-3 servings)

  • 1 (3-4 lb) roasting chicken
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods ( I used 5)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder (I also added 1/2 Tbsp of Garam Masala powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I also added 1/2 tsp red chili powder)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled, plus 6 cloves, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 shallots, unpeeled and quartered
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Ingredients for Tomato Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, room temperature (I used fat-free)
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

***I also brined the chicken, it retains more moisture in the meat.  I have included the ingredients and direction below.

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods ( I used 5)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder (I also added 1/2 Tbsp of Garam Masala powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I also added 1/2 tsp red chili powder)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled, plus 6 cloves, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 6 cups ice water

Take your spices and ground them in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.  For the brine, combine the water, salt, sugar, and spices in a large saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Reduce to heat to low and simmer for 10 min so the flavors of the herbs can be drawn out. Pour the brine into a deep set large bowl and cool it down with your ice water.  Set aside.

Clean the chicken by rinsing out the cavity and outer skin and place on a clean surface.  Be sure not to contaminate any vegetables or other ingredients, because no one is a fan of salmonella!  Place the chicken in the brine,  make sure it is completely immersed in the brine.  Cover and allow to marinate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

To make the chicken: Preheat oven to 400F.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Place on a rack in a small roasting pan or baking dish.  Set aside.  In a small frying pan over medium heat, combine cumin seeds, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods.  Swirl until lightly toasted and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool slightly; grind using a mortar and pestle (or a coffee grinder).  Mix with curry powder, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.

Finely chop peeled garlic cloves and combine with ginger and olive oil in a small bowl.  Rub mixture over entire chicken.  Sprinkle with salt, then with spice mixture.  Place unpeeled garlic, shallots, and cinnamon sticks inside chicken cavity.  Tie legs with kitchen string.  Roast 30 minutes before basting with 1/2 cup chicken broth.  Roast 20 minutes more, then baste with remaining 1/2 cup broth.  Continue cooking until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife and meat is no longer pink, about 1 hour and 15 minutes total.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.

To make the sauce: Transfer juices from pan into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Slowly add in the yogurt, stirring constantly with a whisk so yogurt doesn’t curdle.  Remove from heat.  Add most of the tomatoes and cilantro, setting some aside to garnish top of the chicken.  Serve with sauce on side.

Ingredients for Saffron Garlic Skillet Potatoes:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound boiling or baking potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron

n a small bowl stir together the butter and the oil along with the saffron and garlic. In a food processor fitted with a 1-millimeter slicing blade or with a mandoline or similar hand-held slicing device, slice the potatoes thin. Working quickly to prevent the potatoes from discoloring, brush the bottom of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with some of the butter mixture and cover it with a layer of the potato slices, overlapping them. Brush the potatoes with some of the remaining saffron buttermixture and season them with salt and pepper. Layer the remaining potatoes with the remaining saffron butter mixture in the same manner.

eat the mixture over moderately high heat until it begins to sizzle, transfer the skillet to the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven, and bake the galette for 25 minutes, or until it is golden and the potatoes are tender. Cut the galette into wedges or you can cut them with a circle cutter.

Ingredients for Coconut Basmati Rice:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Basmati rice

In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

Herb Roasted Chicken


Food Blog 028

There are many reasons why I enjoy cooking, one of them being the feeling of accomplishment after making a wonderful meal.  Many people my age eat out a lot, with the common complaint that cooking at home is just too time consuming.  However, what many do not realize is the beauty of taking quality ingredients and creating magic with your hands.  Though yes, cooking can definitely be time consuming there are also many recipes that are simple to make with minimal cleanup.  This Herb Roasted Chicken is the perfect example — you marinate it for an hour  in a brine and throw it in the oven for another hour.  The reason I love this dish so much is that you can use this chicken with anything — pair it with some vegetables (I chose carrots), or use the left overs for sandwiches, salads and even soups!

Untitled-5

Ingredients for Herb Roasted Chicken:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups ice water
  • 1 chicken, about 3 lbs, neck and giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Untitled-2

For the brine, combine the water, salt, sugar, half of the dried herbs and bay leaves into a large saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Reduce to heat to low and simmer for 10 min so the flavors of the herbs can be drawn out. Pour the brine into a deep set large bowl and cool it down with your ice water.  Set aside.

Clean the chicken by rinsing out the cavity and outer skin and place on a clean surface.  Be sure not to contaminate any vegetables or other ingredients, because no one is a fan of salmonella!  Place the chicken in the brine,  make sure it is completely immersed in the brine.  Cover and allow to marinate for at least an hour and up to 6 hours.

Untitled-3

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Remove the chicken from the brine and place on a clean surface.  Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel as shown.  Separate the skin from the flesh, you can do this by carefully inserting your fingers underneath the skin and gently pull up to create a space or pocket.  Take the butter and rub it underneath the skin and flesh — this will make your chicken moist and tender while accentuating the flavor of the herbs in the meat.  Coat the skin with te remaining herbs and place in a roasting pan, if more herbs are needed just add more.

Untitled-1

Bake the chicken for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, basting the chicken half way through and again during the last 10 minutes.  To test the doneness of your chicken, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, it should read 165F.  If you do not own a thermometer, cut into the chicken and if it releases pink juices it is undercooked.  Your chicken is done when the juices are a clear yellow.

Food Blog 022

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and allow it to rest for 10-20 minutes.  This allows the juices to settle into the meat so it does not end up running out all over the board.  To serve, begin carving the legs –it is easiest to cut at the joints.  Remove the wings and then the legs and thighs the same way.  To carve each breast, start at the breabone and cut downward and parallel to the rib cage.  Then make a deep horizontal cut right above the thigh and wing joints.  You can choose to serve the breasts whole or cut them into thin slices.

Food Blog 017

I hope everyone gives this recipe a shot, like I said it used minimal ingredients and theres not much to clean up either! You can save cooking time by cleaning as you go, so at the end you do not feel like you’ve made a mess at all 🙂 Remember, always keep your work space clean, it makes cooking a lot easier.

Like I said before, you can use these leftovers in various ways — chop up any leftovers and make a chicken salad, or even shred up the chicken and put it on a bed of field greens.  I like to keep the carcass and make a wonderful chicken stock out of it for sauces and soups, either way the options are limitless!