Honeyed Balsamic Braised Chicken with Figs

I thought I should explore some savory applications of fresh figs rather than just going dessertcrazy. For some reason, a Morrocan chicken I’d made several months ago kept popping up in my head, so I decided to follow a similar tact and braise a chicken with figs and see where it took me.

I began by breaking down a whole chicken. I strangely enjoy this and seem to get better at it every time I do it, so if this is something that intimidates you, there’s only one way to get better at it so do it! With the chicken in more manageable pieces, I then braised it in a flavorful broth of wine, balsamic, honey, leek, herbs, and figs. The result was absolutely delicious–the chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was sweet, honeyed, with a surprisingly well-rounded, balanced,… click to read more…

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Indian Pizza

Once again, Jeff over at Culinary Disaster organized an Iron Chef style challenge, and this go around, the theme was pizza. Since I always aim to make something a bit different, I wanted to make some sort of exotic pizza. After imagining many dead ends, a friend’s recounting of chicken tandoori pizza popped up in my head, and suddenly, a rush of Indian-themed ideas started swirling together. The result: Indian Pizza!

If you’ve never had something like this before, you’re probably skeptical about this one, and hey, I hear you–it does sound weird, but if you like Indian food, I promise you, this is a joy to eat. I didn’t want this to be some everyday pizza with just chunks of chicken tandoori on top (which sounds like it would be…crappy), so I revisited every element… click to read more…

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Smoked Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

While I’ve professed the wonders of brining turkey to ensure a moist bird, I’d never brined chicken before. However, after seeing what Jeff did with some chicken thighs, it seemed like it was time to give this a try. So I brined, smoked, and glazed some chicken thighs with a tangy pineapple barbecue sauce.

This was absolutely delicious and very well suited to July 4th weekend (or any summer weekend) kind of grilling/barbecuing occasion. The effort is pretty minimal and the results are very flavorful. If you were to taste the sauce alone without the chicken, it will taste a little unbalanced as far as a barbecue sauce goes (in my opinion–it leans most heavily towards sweet and spicy), but when combined with the chicken as a glaze after being flavored with… click to read more…

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Chicken Teriyaki Lo Mein

Asian cookery isn’t one of my strongest areas, so I have a tougher time dissecting flavors. Teriyaki sauce, one of those universal favorites, has always eluded me. The only way I could have it would either be by buying a bottle from the grocery store or having some haute cuisine on a toothpick at the mall. If this sounds familiar, I imagine you’ll be surprised by how simple Chicken Teriyaki can be.

I was originally inspired to try this after seeing some delicious looking Salmon Teriyaki over at Closet Cooking and I was almost shocked by how simple the basic teriyaki sauce was. It almost seemed too easy, but I figured why not just give it a shot. Tasting each component of the sauce individually, I dunno, I still had my doubts. But mixed all together, it was… click to read more…

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Creamy Mustard Pasta

When I think pasta, my head usually gets stuck on one of two kinds of sauces: tomato-based or garlic & cream-based. So imagine my delight when I saw a mustard-based sauce over at Thyme for Cooking. In retrospect, it doesn’t seem at all far-fetched, but it was eye opening at the time, so I had to try my hand at Creamy Mustard Pasta.

This dish is very largely inspired by Katie’s dish and I am very glad I tried it (not to mention beans in pasta, another new idea!)–as soon as we ran out, my wife demanded another batch be made promptly. I wanted something colorful and just full of earthy, vegetal flavors, so there’s a lot of that going on here: peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, kidney beans, pine nuts, etc. This was all tossed with bow-tie pasta (I usually don’t venture far away from linguine, so… click to read more…

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Sweet “Faux” Gras Pâté on Pear Chips…wait, wtf? Chicken for dessert?

Jeff at Culinary Disaster posed a challenge among a few friends recently to make a dish using chicken. I think we’ve all made many a chicken dish before, and seeing how dessert is where I seem to have the most fun, I thought it would only be appropriate that I try to do something a little odd and make a chicken-based dessert since I thought (a) that has to stand out and (b) that sounds like a hell of a challenge. I know…dessert…and chicken? You didn’t misread, so let that one sink in and bear with me (have I ever steered you wrong, dear reader?). Trust me, this one has a happy ending!

Obviously, one has to tread carefully to get a dessert out of a chicken, and leaning too heavily on eggs seems like a crutch (given how obvious they are in dessert, anyways). So I thought I might be better off looking away from the usual breast/thighs… click to read more…

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