Tag Archives: rice

Chicken Skin

21 Jan

Chicken skin is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It starts off slimy and with goosebumps, can turn chewy if sauteed a bit and then golden brown crunchy. To utilize about half a dozen chicken breasts (obviously not skinless), I decided to make a curry the other night. I removed the skin and left it to use later on in the curry. Grab a wok, toss in chopped up chicken breast to brown up with garlic, shallots and onion. Over top pour coconut milk and peas (even if they start off frozen they’ll thaw and cook perfectly within the heat of the curry), then as much mace, turmeric, yellow curry, cayenne pepper as you want. I would have loved to throw in some cherry peppers too but my mother’s palate is a little more sensitive to heat than mine. Cherry peppers are possibly the cutest hot pepper I’ve run into and they have a much sweeter and slightly less spicy quality than jalapenos. They would also give the curry another vibrant color to play off the yellow of the curry powder and the bright green orbs of peas.

While the curry is simmering and melding the spices, start some white rice in another pan. Then while both of those are going, get a small sauté pan, some butter, white wine vinegar and the chicken skins from before. Melt a good amount of butter in the pan, then toss in the skins and pour maybe 3 tablespoons of vinegar over them. The vinegar gives the skin a nice tanginess that plays nicely with the spice and sweetness of the curry. Once the skins shrivel up a bit and brown, drain the liquid from the pan and dump the skins on a cutting board and slice length wise. Then serve the rice in each diner’s dish (preferably a pasta bowl), spoon curry over top and then sprinkle the skin over top. You get a combination of textures: chewy, crunchy, tender and the snap of the peas make this a more interesting variation on the traditional curry.

Hot Damn

16 Aug

I love the simplicity of preparation, cooking and presentation of seafood.  Meats can take forever to cook but when you throw shrimp in a pan or a grill you have to wait 5 minutes tops until they turn opaque.  In my constant quest to utilize cilantro in almost everything, I decided to cram it into the lifeless bodies of some fat wild shrimp.

Cilantro-stuffed shrimp:

Prep is the longest part of this recipe – clean a pound of shrimp with shell still on, rip off the legs and pull out the poop shoot.  Take the cleaned shrimp and slice open down the middle where the legs used to be.  Start cramming in a large pinch of freshly chopped cilantro (stems too!  it gives the dish more crunch), you can really manhandle the shrimp because the shells are so tough you won’t bust through them with your fingers.

stuffin shrimp

Next step, thinly slice a large shallot, do not dice.  Then dice up 2 large garlic cloves. Toss in a large high-lipped skillet with a small slice of butter and a thin coating of olive oil.  Lay shrimp over top when the shallots and garlic start to cook down a bit and brown.  Take 2 large lemons, juice the shrimp and throw into the skillet with shrimp.  Find  a dry white wine and pour into skillet (pour in one quick circular motion – this is just for flavor and will mostly cook off, we’re not trying to drown the shrimp in booze).  Add salt and pepper to taste.

hot in the skillet

The shrimp, pictured above, are perhaps a minute away from being completely done (opaque).  I like to serve this with white rice and black beans.  It’s fun at a dinner party because you have to use your hands to rip the shells off so it lightens the mood and is freeing for your guests.

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