Chicken & Dumplings

  • 8 chicken pieces (i use skin-on, bone-in thighs)
  • 1 large yellow onion or 2-3 leeks, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and left whole
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 t green peppercorns
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t rubbed sage
  • fresh dill and parsley to garnish
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 dry white wine or vermouth

Dumplings

  • 1 2/3 C flour
  • 1/3 C fine cornmeal
  • 3/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 c milk
  • 3 T chicken fat or butter
  • 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 T each fresh dill and parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper and then brown chicken pieces well on both sides. Remove from pan and reserve 1-2 T of the chicken fat in the pan. Add in the garlic cloves and sauté until lightly browned. Add in onions, carrots, and celery and sweat until softened. Meanwhile grind the green peppercorns, celery seed and dried thyme to a coarse powder in a mortar and pestle or suribachi. Add to the vegetables and cook for a couple more minutes. Deglaze pan with the wine and allow to reduce by half. Add in the broth and make sure all the fond is scraped up from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back in on top of the vegetables and cook with the lid on for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add water to the pan is too much has evaporated. Remove the chicken from the pan and spoon the dumpling mixture into the boiling liquid making 10-12 dumplings. Put the lid back on and allow to cook on a slight simmer for 15 minutes. The sauce should have thickened to a gravy and the dumplings should have risen and no longer be wet in the centre. Sprinkle the fresh dill and parsley over the dish and serve.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

4-5 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
2-3 T Shaoxing wine or sake
2 t ginger, grated
1 large garlic clove, very finely minced
1 t kosher salt
1/3 C corn starch
2 T mirin
1 egg, beaten
vegetable or peanut oil for frying

1 poblano pepper
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 large yellow onion

Sauce:
4 T white sugar
4-6 T white rice vinegar (depending on how sour you like it)
2 T Chinkiang black Chinese vinegar
2 T light soya sauce
1 T dark soya sauce
3 T hoisin sauce
1 T ginger, grated
4 T Shaoxing wine or sake
1/2 C chicken stock or water
4 t corn starch

Marinate the chicken with the wine and aromatics for a minimum of an hour up to overnight. Before cooking, add the corn starch, mirin and beaten egg to the chicken and mix very well. Add more corn starch if too liquid, more mirin if not saucy enough. Shallow fry in a wok or cast iron dutch oven on medium-high until just barely cooked through. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Mix all ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.

Cut the peppers and onions into 2″ square pieces, then stir fry over high heat for 1-2 minutes until just barely softened, with slight charring and blistering. Add in the chicken and stir fry until warmed back through and then add in the sauce. Cook for a minute or so until the sauce thickens up. If too thick add in some water/sake to thin it out. Serve over steamed rice.

Thai Chicken Wings

6 lbs chicken wings, cut into wings and drumette pieces and tips reserved for making stock.

Marinade:

3 lemongrass stalks, white parts only
3 coriander roots, or 1/2 bunch of coriander/cilantro including stems
1 1/2″ piece of galangal, peeled. Replace with ginger if unavailable, or use both.
4 garlic cloves
4 shallots
zest of 1 lime, juice of 2
sriracha or thai chillies to taste
1 T coconut cream (from top of coconut milk can) to help a paste form. A little vegetable oil will also work.

Place all in a food processor and blend until a fine paste forms. Rub thoroughly onto chicken wings and then add 1 C coconut milk and stir to coat well. Let sit overnight or at least 2 hours.
Grill on medium heat until well browned and slightly charred on each side, about 15 min. per side. Do not over cook or you will dry out the meat. Feel free to baste the wings with the remaining marinade as they grill, making sure you cook them thoroughly to avoid any contamination.

Though these taste great on their own, you could also make a peanut sauce to dip them in.

Serves 6-8

Gong Bao Chicken

This recipe is loosely based on this one at Food52.com but has been altered quite a bit.

Chicken Marinade:

  • 5 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
  • 1 T beaten egg
  • 1/4 C corn starch
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t rice wine (chinese cooking wine OR sake will work here)
  • 2 t Japanese white rice vinegar
  • 2 t grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Remove as much visible skin and fat from the thighs as possible and cut into 1″ cubes. This is much easier if the thighs are slightly frozen. Put into a large bowl and add all the marinade ingredients and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, or do early in the day and place in the fridge until ready to fry.

  • 1/2 C unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • 12 scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces, dark green separated from white/light green parts
  • 2-3 sweet bell peppers, red, orange and/or yellow, diced into 1″ inch squares
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 t grated ginger
  • 8-12 dried red chiles, crushed with your hand
  • 4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, semi-coarsely ground
Sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

Fry the chicken in 3-4 batches in the bottom of a very hot wok (425°F+) until light brown and crispy in about 1/4 C peanut or canola oil. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Clean out wok and bring back up to a high temperature.  In a couple T of high-temperature, neutral oil (peanut, safflower, canola), very quickly sauté the bell peppers, peanuts, white parts of the scallions, garlic, ginger, half the Sichuan peppercorns and chilli peppers until the bell peppers are seared but still very crunchy. Add back in the chicken to reheat and then add in the sauce, adding water/stock/rice wine as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick. Add in the green parts of the scallions and remaining Sichuan peppercorns just before serving. Serve with steamed rice and garlic sautéed green beans or pea pods. Serves 5-6

Curried Citrus Yoghurt Chicken with Pineapple & Tomato

2 large chicken breasts, skinned and boned

Marinade:
2 C whole milk yoghurt
2 T Indian style meat rub
juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
juice and zest of 1 medium orange
kosher salt to taste

2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves
2″ piece of ginger, peeled
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 15 oz can of pineapple
1 12 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 C chicken stock
1 T garam masala
3 T flour

Slice the chicken breasts into 2 inch long, 1/2 inch wide strips like so. Ish.

Arrange the marinade ingredients into dishes so you can photograph them. The lemon isn’t pictured because I already juiced it, and after I did so it fell apart and looked nasty, so I threw it away. But you get the idea. I used fat-free yoghurt because that’s all we had in the house, but I’d go for the full-fat stuff normally. The spice mix in the bottom left is the rub, which in this recipe isn’t actually rubbing anything/one.

Pour the yoghurt into a medium mixing bowl, add the juices, half of the zest, the spice mix, and some salt. Taste it to make sure it is seasoned well enough, but not too much (as this marinade is going to be added to the rest of the dish at a later point, and you don’t want to oversalt).

Mix the marinade together and add in the chicken, stirring to make certain the chicken is well covered with the marinade.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate from anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days. This time I just did it for a couple hours.

Now get the rest of your ingredients out.

Peel the garlic and ginger, chopping the ginger into garlic clove-sized chunks and place both into your food processor (or blender).

Chop the onions into similar sized chunks and do the same.

Grind/purée until smooth. Clearly, this isn’t there yet.

And now it is. Nice and smooth. Beauty, eh.

Heat a large dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pan and add in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Heat on medium-high until warmed and add in the chicken, being sure to drain as much of the marinade off as possible.

Fry the chicken in batches until well browned.

Once you’ve browned all the chicken, you might want to add the whole amount back to the pan just to caramelise the coating a little more.

Meanwhile, mix up your chicken stock and pineapple juice making 3 cups of liquid. I love the Better Than Bouillon product (which comes in a ton of different flavours), though it’s saltier than the broth you can buy in the carton (which I do often use), in this case I just cut back on the salt I add to the recipe.

Remove all the chicken from the pot and add in the onion, garlic, and ginger mixture, the curry powder, and a little salt.

Sauté for several minutes until it becomes well browned and a fair bit of the liquid reduces out.  Once it starts to stick too much add in the tomatoes, chicken broth, and pineapple juice.  Be careful when you add in the tomatoes and make sure you don’t accidentally dump the tomato can lid into the pot and then grab it with your bare fingers. Because you know, it’s kind of hot in there. So yeah, don’t do that.

What you should do is add in the chicken and pineapple at which point it should look pretty much like this:

Pineapple!  Also add in the leftover yoghurt from the marinade.

Don’t forget to add in the rest of the orange and lemon zest.

Add the flour and a little cold water to a mason jar, put a lid on it, and shake until completely combined. No lumps!  Add to the sauce and then simmer for about 45 min – 1 hour.

Simmering:

Once it’s thickened up nicely, add in the garam masala about 1-2 minutes before you serve it.

Yay, you’re done! Now EAT.

I served this on a bed of brown rice (becuase it has more flavour and is better for you) alongside some buttered broccoli. Not very Indian I suppose, but it’s my favourite veggie, so suck it.  This would also be fantastic garnished with some chopped cilantro. I would’ve but I didn’t have any, and I made up this recipe because I was specifically cooking only from ingredients that I had on hand.

Grilled Coconut-Lime Chicken with Peanut Sauce (Chicken Satay)

8-10 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast and/or thigh meat

Marinade:
1 can coconut milk
1/4 c soy sauce
3 T freshly grated ginger
4 minced garlic cloves
1 T sriracha (thai chilli sauce) could also use sambal oelek/ulek
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
zest and juice of 2 limes
2 T sesame seed oil
1/3 C vegetable oil
2 T of curry spice mix, recipe below
salt to taste, if needed

1/2 bunch cilantro chopped as a garnish

Marinate the thigh and breast pieces for 1-2 days in the fridge. I like to use all thigh meat (because it’s juicier and more flavourful) that has been boned and skinned so it’s really easy to just put it right into the marinade with no prep.

Preheat your grill. Once hot, scrape off any crud, and oil well.  Once the chicken has finished marinated, remove each thigh and cut in half lengthwise. Skewer as many strips you can fit on your skewers (I did 3). Grill until just done on medium-high heat. During the last couple minutes of grilling, sprinkle the chicken with just a little bit of garam masala (recipe below) or the curry spice mixture if you prefer.

Once all the chicken is done, place on a large platter, and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve with the peanut sauce to dip.

Peanut Sauce:
1 1/2 C crunchy all-natural peanut butter (nothing in the ingredients but peanuts and salt) or 2 c roasted peanuts, crushed
zest and juice of 3 limes, extra lime juice if needed
2 T freshly grated ginger
1/2+ C dark soy sauce
1/3 C brown sugar
2-3 finely minced garlic cloves
sriracha/sambal oelek to taste (I like mine quite spicy)
2-3 t sesame oil
2 t curry spice mix, recipe below
coconut milk as needed until desired consistency

Mix all together. The liquids are in variable measure because depending on what kind of peanut butter you use, how oily it is, and whether you grind your peanuts freshly, the amount you’ll need to add in will change. If using peanuts instead of peanut butter, blend 3/4 of your peanuts in a food processor until it turns to peanut butter. Add the remainder of the crushed peanuts, and pulse a few times to mix them in, but retain the crunchy texture. Also depending on how limey and spicy you want it, change the amounts of lime juice and sriracha accordingly. In fact, feel free to adjust all amounts of all ingredients according to your taste.

Spice mix recipes

Curry spice mix:
2 t cumin seeds
1 1/2 t coriander seeds
2 t fenugreek seeds
3 dried bay leaves
1/2 t celery seeds
1 t ground turmeric

Garam Masala:
8-12 green cardamom pods (or 1 1/2-2 t ground cardamom)
1 T cloves
1 T black peppercorns
25g/1 oz coriander seeds
25g/1 oz cumin seeds
4 short cinnamon sticks
1/4 pod whole nutmeg (or 3/4 t ground)
3 star anise pods

Toast the whole spices in a small, DRY sauté pan over low heat until fragrant and warm, you should be able to just smell the spices, but be very careful not to burn them. Grind them in a coffee grinder you dedicate solely to grinding spices. Add in any pre-ground spices and grind to mix in.