I finally got around to spatchcocking my first chicken. Spatchcocking, also known as butterflying, is extremely easy and produces a bird that cooks quickly and evenly by removing the backbone and the keel (breast) bone. I learned my technique from this here video. Rather than use poultry shears, I used my very sharp, very honed knife. Everything worked out. Below is a picture of the raw bird, post spatchcock. I totally blanked and forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but I assure you, it was some of the most deliciously moist chicken I’ve ever had. I dusted the chicken in a heavy blend of Greek-ish spices (oregano, thyme, salt, lemon pepper, garlic) and olive oil. I fired up the gas grill until the temp reached 450 degrees. I then turned the middle burner (out of 3) off and placed the chicken skin side up over the now turned off burner. Close the lid and walk away for 45-50 minutes, and you have a perfectly cooked chicken. This was paired oh so wonderfully with a greek salad.
That was the name of a Good Eats episode the other day on Food Network that inspired me to make red beans and rice. An American, creole classic. This dish is very satisfying. The only omission for me on this recipe was the pickled pork. I subbed 9 ounces of bacon instead. I didn’t have the foresight or time to pickle pork. This still turned out damn good. I topped the concoction with pan fried andouille. Screw that zataran’s box nonsense.
Ok, so the hash made from my corned beef leftovers was 100 times better than the original meal. For serious. I love a good corned beef hash (or any breakfast hash for that matter). The Washington Post recently did a write up on the awesomeness of hash for all you breakfast lovers. Since I had leftover mashed potatoes, rather than boiled or roasted potatoes, I formed them into small potato patties. These patties were then pan fried until each side was golden brown. This was the base layer of my hash. It was then topped with a sauteed mixture of green bell peppers, mushrooms, and leftover cubed corned beef. The finishing touch was the oh so lovely sunny side up egg. Amazing.
For the upcoming day to celebrate St. Patrick, I took advantage of grocery store specials and made an Irish style feast. Corned beef brisket (point cut) was down to $.99 per pound, and cabbage was basically free this weekend. I simmered the corned beef in water and spices for about 4 hours until it was fork tender. The cabbage got sauteed down (after a 30 minute salting to squeeze out some moisture) for 15 minutes in some olive oil with onions. Lauren provided some serious mashed potatoes and biscuits (not Irish, I know). All in all, it was a solid attempt at a hearty Irish meal; all that was missing was a leprechaun and a pot of gold. Check back later in the week because I’m going to treat the leftover corned beef the only way it should be treated…diced and put to use in a good corned beef hash.
The New York Times did a great piece on a recession friendly piece of meat, the cube steak. Cube steaks are a darling of southern cooking, so after reading the article, I became a bit nostalgic for a this wonderful slice of pierced round slathered in some sort of gravy. I decided to try out the braised cube steak recipe that’s listed in the article. The recipe is from Gillian Clark, noted southern chef located in the DC area. This recipe was super simple and definitely affordable. The total cost of the ingredients (pantry items like oil, flour, salt, and pepper aside) was about $5. The instant I tasted the thick brown onion gravy, memories began to flood in (some good, some not so good) of the cube steaks of my past. I bought about 3 packages of cube steak when I was at the store (I couldn’t resist at $2.50 a package), so I’m eager to try some variations on the tried and true Southern style.
I just found out that my roommate has a card reader for digital cameras, so I can get back to taking pictures and posting them on this site. I know you all have been dying to hear from me.
Anyway, since I didn’t know of the existence of said card reader, I had not been taking any pictures 😦 I promise to be better at documenting my culinary endeavors, so my dedicated readers can fill their lunch hours with joy and websurfing. Attached is a picture of my old pizza making attempts. Hopefully this will hold everyone over until I can think of stuff to blog about. Also enjoy the tiny snow man I constructed on top of my car. I was very productive during my snow day away from the office.