Tag Archives: chicken thighs

Asian Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken

No it’s not Asian beer, it’s an Asian-oriented marinade that includes beer, a Belgian beer to be more exact. Blue Moon® beer is a wheat beer made with some orange peel, but I’m not really counting on it to provide noticeable citrus in the marinade—would be nice if it did. Unlike last year’s grilled chicken thighs, I marinated these overnight. Here’s the simple marinade:

  • 1 12 oz bottle Blue Moon beer (or your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (for the saltiness)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro paste (convenient to not have to smell the stuff while chopping)

I poured the marinade over the chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, set in a large bowl, and put it in the fridge overnight. Take it out about an hour before grilling to bring it up to room temperature. The grilling itself, over indirect heat, takes about an hour for perfect, juicy chicken every time. It’s like cooking in a self-cleaning oven, only better because you also get the smoky grill flavors.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

Yes, I’m calling it soup and my husband will just have to deal with it. I’ll make him some garlic bread to dredge in it.

I’m starting with packaged chicken stock, but cooking the chicken in that stock for a double punch of chicken flavor, and I’m not removing the skin from the chicken, because —chicken fat! You can’t overestimate the importance of chicken fat in your soup for flavor. Then, I’m using a combination of brown basmati and wild rices, cooked in the stock, so they soak up all that flavor and do some thickening.

I used 3 chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on, and 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. While it was a lot of meat, it was just fine for the 2+ quarts of soup.

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

  • Servings: makes 2 quarts
  • Difficulty: easy
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Stock and chicken:

3 large chicken thighs, with skin and bones, browned in 1 tablespoon bacon fat

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 large carrot, cut in large chunks

1 large yellow onion, with skin, cut in half

top of large celery bunch, about three inches, including leaves

2 quarts chicken stock, packaged or homemade

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

  1. Brown chicken thighs in 1 tablespoon bacon fat in large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken breasts and continue to simmer the thighs in the stock, covered, for another 30 minutes.
  4. Remove thighs. Strain stock and return to pot.
  5. Pull the chicken into rough shreds or cut uniformly while the rice cooks.

Rice:

1 cup brown basmati rice

1/4 cup wild rice

tender heart of celery bunch (about 1 1/2 cups), including leaves, thinly sliced

3-4 carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

about 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  1. Bring strained stock to boil and stir in rices and vegetables.
  2. Reduce to simmer, cooking. covered, for about 45 minutes or until done.

Finishing soup:

pulled chicken (about 4 cups)

2 cups heavy cream

Optional: about 1 cup frozen corn

salt & pepper to taste

  1. Add chicken to simmering stock; return to simmer.
  2. Add cream, salt & pepper to taste, and corn, if using. Return to simmer, cooking until heated through, especially if you added frozen corn.
  3. If you prefer a thicker gravy, here are some tips from The Kitchn on ways to thicken soup: http://www.thekitchn.com/soups-on-7-ways-to-make-any-so-106057

 

Chicken Burgers

These burgers are made from boneless, skinless thighs for a more moist and flavorful burger than you would get with white meat. You can grind (or really mince) chicken in a food processor, but you have to be careful not to turn it into a paste. I use the food processor to grind ham, and I might use it for beef, but poultry is so tender and sticky, that you need to be on your toes. A search on the web will show you that freezing the poultry chunks first can help you reach the right grind before it turns into a paste. Luckily, I have a grinding attachment for my stand mixer, so the grinding is really easy and foolproof.

I looked around at what others do to make such burgers and found that some just shape the meat. Some add breadcrumbs both inside and outside the burgers; some just outside. I thought about breading them, as I do my fishcakes, but I was hoping for a more traditional burger this time. I did add a small proportion—1/2 cup per 1 1/2 lbs chicken—of fresh breadcrumbs to the mix, just to make them a little lighter, but not enough to detract from the chicken. Two tablespoons of half and half was the only moisture added, no egg, which actually can toughen a meat mixture and dry it out. I didn’t overdo the flavoring additions, just some chives, salt, and pepper. They turned out flavorful and juicy, browned in a cast iron skillet and served on ciabatta rolls with a quick homemade burger sauce.

Regardless of how you grind the chicken, it will be sticky and hard to form into patties. I placed four mounds of the meat mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap, then placed another sheet over them to do the shaping. then I put them in the fridge for a few hours until time to cook. It helped keep the meat in the patties instead of stuck on my fingers.

Chicken Burgers

  • Servings: 4 burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons half and half or milk

oil for browning

  1. Grind your chicken, unless you purchase it ground at the store.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except the oil, lightly.
  3. Divide into four portions and place them apart on a sheet of plastic wrap.
  4. Place another sheet of plastic wrap over them, using the wrap to press down and shape the patties. You can refrigerate them at this point if not ready to cook. I cut them apart in the wrap to easier place them on a plate.
  5. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, heat enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When shimmering, add the patties and cook for about 8 minutes per side, until browned and done in the middle. I used a thermometer to test for about 165°

The quick sauce was a mixture of mayonnaise, A. 1., ketchup, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I would have added garlic powder if I had any!

Sour Cream Oven-Fried Chicken

I’m still hooked on my oven-fried chicken, but for a change, I thought I’d add the extra step of marinating it beforehand, and that was a good idea. It’s not uncommon to marinate chicken before frying, especially with buttermilk, a method I often use if frying small pieces of boneless chicken or other birds, like the mountain of pheasant we had in the freezer last season. I didn’t have any buttermilk and really didn’t want to venture out in yesterday’s interminable downpour, so I figured sour cream would work in a similar fashion. I looked around the web and wasn’t wrong about that.

I decided on Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipe, because of its simplicity and because her final flour coating is almost identical to the one I use without the marinating. I just stopped at the point where she fries the chicken and used my oven method to finish it off. Like a buttermilk marinade, another wet and thick marinade, this one sticks to the chicken and makes little clumps in the final seasoned flour coating that become wonderfully crispy bits, especially on the skin. Crispy fried chicken skin—it’s the bacon of chicken.

The chicken fried up in the oven as it always does, and my husband declared these the best chicken thighs ever, for both flavor and crispiness. I guess I’ll be using this extra step a lot.

Sour Cream Oven-Fried Chicken

  • Servings: makes at least 1 whole chicken or more
  • Difficulty: easy
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Marinating the Chicken

1/2 cup whole milk or cream (I used cream, just because I had some on hand)

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground

8-10 pieces of chicken, bone-in, skin-on—I used thighs

  1. Mix together first 5 ingredients.
  2. Pour mixture over chicken in large dish or plastic zipper bag.
  3. Marinate covered in refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight, removing 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

Cooking the Chicken

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons paprika—I used smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons solid shortening

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large oven-proof dish—my large Pyrex dish is 10″ x 15″—melt butter and shortening in the oven while coating the chicken. Watch to make sure the butter does not start to burn. Swirl the fats together before adding chicken.
  3. Mix together the first four ingredients in a large bowl. I find that coating wet pieces in a bowl prevents a lot of flying flour from coating everything else in the kitchen.
  4. One piece at a time, coat marinated chicken in the flour mixture, patting the flour on. Shake off excess and place coated pieces on paper towels or parchment paper. Notice that I breaded my fingers on one hand nicely, but I couldn’t think of a way to cook that.
  5. Place coated chicken pieces in hot dish, skin side down.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece and bake for 30 more minutes.
  7. Remove hot chicken to a serving dish or cooling rack. Briefly blot each piece with a paper towel, if necessary, before placing on serving dish.

Don’t burn yourself picking up those missed fried bits in the pan.