Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chicken Parmigiana

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
4 large eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable oil or pure olive oil
Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh basil or parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each breast in the flour and tap off excess, then dip in the egg and let excess drip off, then dredge on both sides in the bread crumbs.

Divide the oil between 2 large saute pans and heat over high heat until almost smoking. Add 2 chicken breasts to each pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each breast with some tomato sauce, a few slices of the mozzarella, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of Parmesan. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil or parsley leaves.

Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch Italian parsley
1 Cubano chile pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, and bring to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.


Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Dressing

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper puree
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 pound snow peas, julienned
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Chili oil, optional
Grilled lime halves, for garnish

Whisk together the vinegar, peanut butter, ginger, chipotle pepper puree, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and canola oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Combine cabbage, lettuce, carrots, snow peas, cilantro, and green onion in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.

Transfer to a serving platter and top with the shredded chicken, chopped peanuts, and mint. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired. Garnish with grilled lime halves.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Pioneer-Style Herb Roasted Turkey


One 17-pound whole fresh turkey, rinsed well and patted dry
1 1/4 stick (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, quartered
8 cups homemade chicken stock

Sage Gravy:
Turkey neck
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

For the turkey: Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

Combine the butter, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with half of the carrots, celery, and onion. Rub the entire turkey with the herb butter and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Put 4 cups of the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Place the remaining vegetables on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Put the turkey on top of the vegetables, put in the oven and roast until lightly golden brown, 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue roasting, basting with the warm chicken stock every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 160 degrees F, about 2 to 2 1/4 hours longer.

Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a baking sheet, tent loosely with foil and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

For the sage gravy: Strain the cooking liquid from the roasting pan into a medium saucepan (should be about 4 cups, if not, add more stock to make 4 cups). Add the neck, bring to a boil, add the sage leaves, remove from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the sage leaves.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced. Whisk in the sage-infused stock and cook until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and chopped sage.