• Chicken Minestrone
    Chicken,  Italian,  Main Dish,  Soups,  Technique,  Vegetables

    Pressure-Cooker Chicken Minestrone

    Minestrone—that famous medley of veggies, beans and macaroni in tomato broth—means  “thick soup” in Italian. But don’t stop with veggies—switch it up with tender bites of chicken. Chicken pumps up the flavor, mellows out the tomatoes, and turns a chunky soup into even more of a meal. Pressure-Cooker Chicken Minestrone falls somewhere between stew and soup—”stoup,” if you will. We got our classic minestrone from longtime pal Elinor Lipman. Most people know her for her novels, but she’s also a clever cook and baker. Her latest success, Ms. Demeanor, is a finalist for this year’s prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor. In it, to our delight, she spices up her usual witty dialog and…

  • Mea or Chicken Curry
    Beef,  Chicken,  Indian,  Lamb,  Pork,  Techniques & Ingredients,  Turkey

    Classic Indian Curry with Meat or Chicken

    Call it “Curry 101.” This recipe taught us how to blend aromatics and spices into a savory paste—the secret to a classic Indian curry. This paste can flavor meat or chicken, and makes a bright sauce with chopped tomatoes or a smooth and tangy sauce with yogurt. No matter which variation—whether red or golden brown—this curry rivals authentic Indian take-away. We say “take-away” because that’s what they do in the UK, the source of this recipe. Brits love Indian food (some say chicken tikka masala outsells fish ‘n chips) and this recipe comes from Cooking the Indian Way published in London in 1962. And as much as we idolize Madhur Jaffrey, the Godmother of…

  • Steamed pork buns
    Appetizers,  Asian,  Breads,  Chicken,  Chinese,  Main Dish,  Pork,  Sandwich,  Side Dishes,  Snacks

    Steamed Chinese Buns (Bao) with Chicken or Char Shu Pork

    Our friends Joanne and David made these pillowy Steamed Chinese Buns long before the term “bao” (short for “baozi”) became fashionable.  Fluffy and full of flavor, these buns rival those you’d get at any restaurant. The secret is the soft, enriched dough which puffs up high and airy in the steamer. Stuff it with Char Shu Pork or David’s Garlic-Ginger Chicken and you’ll be in bao heaven. Joanne started making this lighter-than-air dough using a recipe she found in the 1986 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. David, who knows his way around a wok, created this luscious Garlic-Ginger Chicken filling to go with it.  We’ve also tacked on a sweet and salty Char…

  • Beef,  Chicken,  Ingredient,  Italian,  Main Dish,  Pasta,  Techniques & Ingredients

    Classic Ragù Bolognese Redux: Do Chicken Livers Deliver?

    A comment from an Italian cooking teacher about our Classic Ragù alla Bolognese from Ada Boni got us thinking about what makes a bolognese a bolognese. In particular, are there chicken livers in its DNA? So we put Recipephany’s Research and Testing Institute to work. Here’s what we learned from our deep dive into the evolution of one of the world’s favorite meat sauces. A genetic analysis of bolongese ragù’s ancestry brings you immediately to Pellegrino Artusi’s 1891 seminal cookbook, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. The meats Artusi favored for his “Maccheroni Alla Bolognese” (which is curiously tomato-free in a book with many tomato sauces) were simply veal and…

  • Chicken,  Other

    Oscars 2015: Imitation Game (or, “Rabbit” Out of the Woods)

    Best-picture nominee The Imitation Game handed me this pun on a platter for Oscars Night 2015. This recipe for Sicilian sweet-and-sour rabbit marinated in red wine and simmered with pine nuts, golden raisins, olives and capers made a tender and deliciously drunken stew with chunks of chicken thighs. Alongside it, we served Grand Goudapesto Rotelle, a baked casserole of corkscrew pasta tossed with basil pesto and grated gouda. It was all much more satisfying than the half-baked Oscars show. As you can see below, Oscar himself is reading up on our Variety Boffo Buffet, which included: The Tequila of Everything Margarita with Eddie Redmayne Pomegranate Juice (to honor National Margarita Day) Birdmanchego Cheese Rosamund…

  • Chicken croquettes
    Chicken,  Main Dish,  Recipes,  Technique,  Techniques & Ingredients

    Oven Chicken Croquettes à la Mini-Prep

    Ah, comfort food. This recipephany produces a classic croquette from the early 50s. But it is neither deep fried nor béchamel-laden, as you’d find in a diner. So you can take comfort in the wholesomeness of Oven Chicken Croquettes. More like chicken patties, these croquettes are best served with spicy barbecue or horseradish sauce. Surprisingly, they have no onions. More surprisingly, I’ve never been tempted to add any. (Note: Since I posted this, however, I tried adding chopped scallions. They gave the croquettes a nice little bite and turned them into something like baked chicken salad.) Easy to make, it’s comfort food for the cook. I whirr it up in the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus…

  • Chicken,  Main Dish,  Techniques & Ingredients

    How to Fowl-Up a Chicken

    Long ago, when I was an advertising copywriter at an agency we affectionately called “the Pit,” I cranked out headlines and calls-to-action for everything from cheesy inflatable pool toys to police-car flashing lights. I didn’t have time to get too friendly with the products, though, since I had to log in every minute of head-banging “creativity.” So it was with excitement that I got to take home a new kitchen gadget, the Poul-Tree vertical roaster. The rack would fit into the chicken’s cavity (okay, up its rear) to stand it upright in the oven. The idea was that the fat would drip away and the bird would brown crisply all over, without any soggy…

  • Asian,  Chicken,  Main Dish,  Recipes

    Olympic Seoul Chicken, or How My Mom Met Frank Perdue

    Olympic Seoul Chicken, a dish popular all over the Internet, began with a contest. After all, winning cooking contests runs in our family. My brother created a prize-winning peanut butter and provolone sandwich (see the PS in the last post). Decades later I too started dabbling in cooking contests. I even entered one of my mom’s heirloom recipes with only a minor substitution and it came in third. My mom could have been ticked off that I used her recipe. But instead, it stirred up her competitive juices. If her daughter could do well with her recipes, why couldn’t she? Her target: the 1988 Delmarva Chicken Cooking Contest. Her concept: an adaptation of a…