Category Archives: Poultry

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

This is the post-ricotta tart and oatmeal cookie dinner I promised to post about: a somewhat strange recipe for chicken and milk from Jamie Oliver. Even Jamie says it’s “slightly odd”. Basically, it’s chicken roasted in a braising liquid of milk, lemon, spices and a whole stick of butter. Naturally, the combination of lemon and milk causes the milk curds to separate from the whey, which means a not-so-pretty sauce, but interesting flavors for sure.

My photos look a little plain, right? Well, that’s because the curds and whey looked so unappetizing that I couldn’t bare to include them as part of the photo.

The original recipe serves four, but obviously I made it just for one. Along with it I had a sliced tomato salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. A little unconventional (to me anyway), but tasty.

Enjoy!

Chicken in Milk (from Jamie Oliver)

printable recipe

Serves 4

1 whole chicken (3 lb/1.5 kg)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 oz (115 g) or 1 stick butter

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked

2 lemons, zested

6 garlic cloves, skin left on

1 pint (565 ml) milk

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over with salt and pepper, and fry it in the butter, turning the chicken to get an even color all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the butter left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan, which will give you a lovely caramel flavor later on.
  2. Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce, which is absolutely fantastic.
  3. To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato.
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Chicken Baked in Tomato-Spinach Sauce

For someone who loves food so much, it seems odd to eat as much yogurt and cereal as I do. The fact of the matter is that cooking for one is booooring. Of course this bothers me. For one, it’s not exactly healthy. In a recent discussion with my friend Natalie regarding my carb and sugar diet of late, she told me, “I’m surprised you don’t look more like Jabba the Hut”. Me too. Second, it’s lame; it’s not like I don’t have the time, money or skill. And third, and most obvious, I am the Little Baker SF! and have a responsibility to blah, leafy greens, blah, organic, blah…you know what I mean.

Chicken baked in a tomato-spinach sauce. There, my redemption dish. Easy, yummy and organic. It’s not so quick–1 hour cooking time–but breast takes a long time to soften up. Using thighs would probably speed up the process.

Enjoy!

Tomato-Spinach Baked Chicken (recipe by Theresa)

printable recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 chicken breast (mine was with bone and skin—moister and more flavor this way)

1 cup canned stewed tomatoes, crushed

1 handful spinach leaves

1 clove garlic, bruised but still whole

1 tbsp onion, roughly chopped or thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil or oregano (or combination of both)

pinch of sugar

pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Rinse and pat chicken dry. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together tomato, spices and onion. Then mix in the spinach.
  3. Place chicken in an ovenproof dish. (I used a glass pie plate.) Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken, making sure to coat completely. Drizzle olive oil over chicken. And season with a little more salt and pepper if you like.
  4. Cover dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes. At the midway point, remove foil and finish baking.
  5. Remove from oven, replace foil and let sit for 10 minutes before eating.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese for Natalie

We met in Switzerland as pimply-faced exchange students; but then went out separate ways for university and work. Then last year—11 years later—we were reunited in San Francisco. She took me in as I nursed a broken heart and attempted to start a new life. And now is no different—she’s still taking care of me (and everyone else who needs her help).

Natalie travels during the week for work, which leaves her pretty exhausted when she gets home. So to show my appreciation for all she does and will do for me, I made her this little weekend dinner treat! Hope she likes it!

P.S. She loved it! Happy me ❤

Natalie’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (recipe inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe courtesy of My Plate, My World)

Serves 4.

1/2 butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 1 inch thick slices

olive oil

salt and pepper

8 oz. medium-sized pasta shells (I used whole wheat)

1 1/2 reduced-fat milk

2 tbsp unsalted butter (Oops—forgot to put this in, but actually didn’t notice any difference)

2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 cup grated cheese (I used sharp white cheddar, but I think you could use any kind you want)

pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 medium onion

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

2 chicken sausages, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces

2 large handfuls spinach, washed and dried

3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I was lazy and just ripped up two slices of whole wheat bread)

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Toss and coat prepared squash in a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in an oven dish until tender, 30-45 min. Remove and allow to cool. Once cooled, mash or food process until pureed. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package direction in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a pan, brown sausage. Then, add in the garlic and onion and sauté over medium heat until just golden. Stir in spinach and allow to wilt down. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, continuing to do so for about 1 min. Slowly whisk in half the milk, completely incorporating liquid and flour. Whisk in the remaining milk, then reduce heat to low and continue whisking until sauce has thickened.
  5. Stir in pumpkin puree, followed by the grated cheese. Season sauce with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  6. Finally, stir in cooked pasta shells and sauteed sausage until combined with sauce.
  7. Pour mixture into your casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and breadcrumbs are golden.

Arroz con Pollo (Peruvian-style Chicken and Rice) and Herby Roasted Potatoes

There seem to be endless versions of this well-known dish. So no surprise, Perú has it’s own version which gets its principle flavor and color from cilantro. Normally this is served with an onion-aji amarillo-lime salsa, but I was too lazy and also didn’t think the fresh onions would go over well with the students. (I don’t think it would have mattered; they scraped the pot clean—I guess they liked it!)

This turned out so great! I love learning new dishes to cook when I am abroad and am always really excited to try it out at home. However, often my version never tastes quite the same. The source of the ingredients is different and sometimes, as was the case this time, you have to substitute less common ingredients with ones you have around the house. The aji amarillo chiles are really important for an authentic flavor, so I was worried about how my version would turn out. Luckily, though, it came out great. Actually, I think it was the lime that saved it. So, definitely don’t forget the lime!

Enjoy!

Arroz con Pollo

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

Arroz con Pollo:

1 1/2 lbs. chicken pieces (I only had chicken breast on hand, but dark meat is tastier, i.e. more tender)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped finely

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into small cubes

olive oil

1 bunch cilantro, stalks trimmed

5 aji amarillo, deseeded, deveined and roughly chopped (Use a spoon to clean the chiles—they’re hot! This time, I didn’t have any, so used mild yellow chiles, plus ca. 1 tsp cayenne)

1/2 bottle of beer, preferably dark

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups rice, well-rinsed

3-4 cups water, divided (my guesstimate)

1/2 cup frozen or canned peas (In Perú they use fresh)

1/2 cup fresh hominy corn (I didn’t have this, so left it out. You could put regular yellow or white in, however.)

juice of 1 lime

Herby Roasted Potatoes:

5 medium to large size baking potatoes (I used russets), scrubbed but not peeled and diced into large pieces

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp dried oregano

3-4 tbsp olive oil (or more—it should be generous enough to completely coat the potatoes)

METHOD

For the chicken and rice:

  1. Pat the chicken dry; season with salt and pepper. Then in a large stockpot, brown the pieces in a little olive oil, in batches if necessary. (If you overcrowd the pot, the chicken won’t brown properly.) Remove and set aside. Also empty pot of excess grease.
  2. In your blender, liquidize the cilantro and aji (or in my case, mild yellow peppers), adding 1 cup of water to help in the process. Set aside.
  3. In the same pot used to fry the chicken, fry the onion, garlic and carrots until just golden. Pour in the cilantro-aji liquid and the beer. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to half. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting
  4. Put the chicken back into the pot, cover and simmer until cooked. Remove and set aside. (I deviated from the traditional method here in that I added a little more water to the pot and allowed the meat to braise for 2 hours. As I only had chicken breast, I wanted to tenderize the meat a bit more.)
  5. Add the rinsed rice, the remaining 2-3 cups and salt to the water to the pot and increase the heat, bringing the liquid to a boil. The liquid should taste salty. (I also added the cayenne at this point.) Once boiling, reduce the heat once again to the lowest setting and cover. Allow to cook for ca. 20 minutes or until almost cooked. (I did this differently as well by keeping the chicken in the pot and allowing it to cook with the rice.)
  6. Once the rice is just cooked, stir in the peas and corn. Replace the cover for 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are warmed through.
  7. Just before serving, season for salt and pepper and then optionally, squeeze into the pot the juice of 1 lime. Or you can just serve lime wedges with the meal, which is how is normally done.

For the herby roasted potatoes:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  3. Remove and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Honey Mustard Red Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

I’ve been eating a lot of red cabbage and cilantro these past few weeks. For two reasons: they’re totally budget-friendly (1 head of cabbage and 1 bunch of cilantro lasts me an entire week) as well as figure-friendly, or at least that’s what my mom and sister say. They both swear they’ve lost inches off their waistlines just by replacing lettuce with cabbage. Save money AND lose weight? Sounds good to me.

This salad was so awesome. Super crunchy from the red cabbage, kicky from the cilantro and sweet from the dressing. I made the dressing with non-fat greek-style yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and I sauteed the chicken thigh, eggplant and zucchini in only a drizzle of olive oil. So fat content is pretty minimal as well. You can of course play around with ingredient combination. I use canned tuna a lot or go completely vegetarian and use sweet potato instead.

Try this. It’s AMAZING.

Honey Mustard Red Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

1 chicken thigh, trimmed and patted dry with a paper towel

1/4 cup zucchini, sliced

1 round slice of eggplant, halved

a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/8 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Honey Mustard Dressing

1 large tbsp non-fat greek-style yogurt

juice of 1/2 small lemon

1 tsp mustard (any style)

1 tsp sugar or honey

salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Put the sliced zucchini and eggplant in an unzipped Ziploc bag and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a pre-heated non-stick skillet, fry the chicken thigh in a little olive oil, ca. 2 min. Do not move or flip during this time. Grind salt and pepper over the top.
  3. Then, flip the chicken and push to the side. Put in the zucchini and eggplant. Grind a little salt and pepper over the vegetables and other side of the chicken. Fry for about 2 minutes, moving the vegetables around to ensure even browning.
  4. Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the salad and dressing.
  5. In a medium-sized salad bowl, combine and mix together all dressing ingredients. Add the chopped onion, cabbage, cilantro and crumbled blue cheese and toss to coat.
  6. Slice the chicken at an angle. Put the salad on a large salad plate, topping with the sauteed veggies and sliced chicken. Grind a little more salt and pepper over top.

Delicious Peru

I’m back.

Ten glorious days of stuffing my face with as many Peruvian culinary delights as possible—now that is my idea of vacation. My body is a little mad at me (and was really pissed on the flight back home) for being such a glutton, but I don’t care. It was worth it.

I’ve posted pics of my favorite food memories. (Photo-quality was not my main priority when I took these—obviously.)

Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes with Aji Amarillo Cheese Sauce)

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Pollo Relleno

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Ceviche Mixto

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Arroz con Mariscos

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Ceviche de Pejarreyes

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Tamal Verde

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Chicharronnes

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Choncholi y Rachi Rachi

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Lomo Saltado

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Pachamanca

(I realize that this post is REALLY LONG because of the photos, but I couldn’t get the pictures to appear next to each other. (Does anyone know how to do this???)

9 to 5 Japanese-style Curry Rice (日本スタイルのカレーライス)

No work to do, so blog I shall.

I’ve been a legal assistant for all of 2 months. Before that, I was a writer and a teacher. Basically, I was my job—I thought about it on the way to work, from work, on the weekend, on holiday; even sleep offered no escape from it.

Now as an official 9-to-5er, my job no longer defines me. It does not follow me on my way home or on my errands, nor does it plague my dreams as I sleep.

I may be one of the few people who is actually OK (so far) with a 9-to-5 schedule. No, I don’t plan on being a legal aid for the rest of my life. I am wise enough, however, to be grateful for the work that I do have and also to realize that this job is a means to an end and is by no means an end.

You know what the best part of my job is? The walk home. Listening to my little iPod, eyes smiling, I bounce down the street and think about what I’m going to have for dinner. And now that it’s almost officially Fall, I’ve started craving warm, homey foods again.

One of my favorite dishes to make is one I grew up eating at home — Japanese-style Curry Rice (日本スタイルのカレーライス). It’s hearty, wholesome and tummy-warming. You can add whatever kind of vegetables and meat you like (I usually do ground beef or chicken to save time, which makes my version a mix between curry rice and hayashi rice—ハヤシライス.)—convenient when you  have veggies you’re trying to use up. After just 30 min., you can sit down with a big spoon and a side of red pickles (fukujin-zuke, 福神漬) and dig in!

Japanese-style Curry Rice (日本スタイルのカレーライス)

INGREDIENTS

1 carrot, peeled and chopped into large pieces

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion

150 g ground chicken or beef

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 cup chinese greens

1/2 small pkg Japanese curry

1 1/4 cup water

oil for frying

For Rice

2/3 cups short-grain rice

5/6 cup water

DIRECTIONS

1. Prepare and cook rice. (I wash and drain it 3 times in water—because that’s what my mom always does—and then cook it in my rice cooker.)

2. Fry meat in a pan until no longer pink.

3. Add onion, potato and carrot and fry until lightly golden.

4. Add water and bring to a boil. Stir in curry until thoroughly combined. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Once potatoes and carrots are completely cooked through and the curry has thickened, add corn and chinese greens. Stir in and allow to cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.

6. Serve over Japanese short-grain rice.