Editors Note: This should have been posted about 6 months ago. But better late than never.
Whole chickens were on sale at the grocery store for $0.69 a lb. So I thought that it was high time to make a roasted chicken on the grill.
The cooking time couldn’t be simpler for this dirty bird. With the bird directly over the coals, grill 8 mins on breast side, flip, than 8 mins on the back side, finally another 2 mins on each side of the bird (20 mins total.) Then move to the cool side of the grill, with the breasts facing the coals. And let it go for 30-40 mins, until the bird is at 160F.
As for the swiss chard, my crop of swiss chard was a total disaster this year. So I ended up having to bum some swiss chard from my farmer neighbor. As for cooking method, I lightly blanched the swiss chard, along with some green beans for a couple of minutes. And then in a frying pan with a with a little bit of bacon fat, I sautéed the swiss chard and green beans until golden. And then at the end, I gave it a couple of squirts of sriracha for some heat. I might have added just a little too much sriracha (as you can tell from the pics), but I like it hot. Thought it could of used some kind of crunch in the mix, maybe french fried onions or breadcrumbs. But I consider a missing crunch, only a minor detail.
As tribute to the Nick Cage/John Travolta movie…..we are going to have a Face (hand motion) Off.
Once again I picked up two crazy looking flavors, and surprisingly, I thought that these two chips would be very similar in taste, but they ended up being pretty different. Both in the intensity of the hot sauce hot, as well as the overall flavor.
First up are the Hot Sauce chips from Herr’s, and the description on the bag perfectly describes these chips, which is chips with a coating of dried hot sauce on them. You maybe get a little bit too much of the vinegar flavor, that you would have with a cayenne based hot sauce (such as Texas Pete or Franks.) But in actuality it’s the cayenne and vinegar that make these hot sauces who they are, so you really can’t fault Herr’s for trying to capture the full essence of a hot sauce on a wavy potato chip.
Lastly we have the Ruffles Molten Hot Wings, and these chips kind of surprised me, since I was expecting them to be close in flavor to the Herr’s chips, but they really weren’t. With the key difference being that the Ruffles have not only the hot sauce flavor, but they also have some chicken bullion added in, so that you actually kind of think that you’re eating a buffalo wing, even though you are eating a potato chip. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the flavor is “molten”, but they are mildly hot, and quite interesting for a chip flavor.
Unfortunately in the end I thought this challenge was going to be more like apples vs. apples, but it turned out to be more of apples vs. oranges. Both chips overall have a good flavor, it’s just that with the addition of the chicken flavor on the Ruffles, it puts them in the same category in my mind as the Baby Back Ribs chips from Herr’s, due to the addition of a “protein” flavor on the chips. But really, if you are looking for a chip with hot sauce flavoring, either one is more then adequate to satisfy your desire for hot sauce. I know it did for me.
I haven’t made a chicken stock at home, in at least a couple of years. With the main reason being that I usually just buy chicken stock by the 1 quart carton at Aldi, which covers most of my chicken stock needs. But with chicken bones piling up in the fridge and freezer, it was time to finally bit the bullet and make up a batch of stock.
Personally I’ve gotten to the point where I really don’t even use a recipe when making up a batch of stock, but I do make sure that it always includes the following four items: water, chicken, vegetables, and herbs/spices.
So to break it down even further, here is what I ended up using for this batch of chicken stock:
One whole young chicken cut up into seven pieces (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs and the spine)
Three Quart sized plastic bags of “chicken bones” (this includes wing tips, leftover skin, breast bones & thigh bones)
A large handful of frozen parsley stems
A quart sized bag of frozen green onions
One whole head of fresh celery
6-10 large carrots
A couple of tablespoons of whole black peppercorns
Four or five Bay Leaves
Four or five cloves of frozen garlic
Enough water to cover all the ingredients by 1″, plus you’ll need to add more water after the first 12 hours of simmering.
Having assembled all the ingredients, I realized that I needed to use my strike water kettle from my homebrewing set-up to cook this stock, since my 12 quart pot wasn’t going to cut it for all these ingredients. As a side note, since I was using my strike water kettle. I should have heated up the pot and contents on my propane turkey fryer burner, since it would have brought the mixture up to boiling much more rapidly compared to my electric range. But with that lesson out of the way, it’s time for the “boring” part of making stock, which is letting the mixture simmer for as long as possible. So after the stock was brought to a boil, I let is simmer for 24 hours, so that every last bit of flavor was extracted from the ingredients.
And speaking of flavor, I almost forgot to mention a step before the actual boiling/simmering of the stock. Which is roasting all the ingredients under the broiler. Since I had so many ingredients for this stock, I ended up using two half-sized jelly roll pans for all the ingredients (except for the bay & peppercorns.) Make sure to give everything a light coating of olive oil, and then roast the ingredients (turning often) until they are good and browned all around, which should take about 30-60 mins depending on your broiler and the rack setting of your oven.
So with the roasting and simmering done, strain out all of the solids from the stock, and chill overnight. The next day, remove the fat cap on the stock, and bring the stock to a full boil, and reduce by about half to concentrate the flavors. And now you have a pot of chicken stock to use for whatever cooking needs you have.