That is a truly classic bird. Pizza ain’t bad at all, either.
Great looking roast chicken. Seriously that skin looks nice and crispy. I get Cook’s Illustrated and it’s a joy to read some of those tips. To be honest, I’ve not used that one. I have roasted a number of ways though and spatchcock with an overnight dry brine are my preference. It makes REALLY crispy skin that way and cooks much more evenly.
Maybe in an advanced lesson, if you haven’t already, teach him how to part a chicken. As part of that, help him understand the markup in price for pre-partioned chicken pieces, etc. So, essentially, knowing how to part a chicken can save money, or help get things into packs to freeze as you need later.
You could also take the carcass/wingtips and make stock, etc.
That may be a later lesson because if he’s a little squeamish about a whole chicken now, it takes time to get over that.
I did a good thing.
I made some pork mushroom wild rice soup… Stuff. I say stuff because i had no recipe, no real guidance beyond simply having some stuff that i wanted to use.
So I started out with some pork shoulder that I had in the freezer. I had gotten a shoulder roast a while back, and turned about half of it into some pulled pork. I chopped the rest up into big pieces, and threw it into the freezer. I decided it was time to make use of it.
I also had some porcini mushroom powder, and some crimini mushrooms that were getting a bit skunky in the fridge and needed to be used.
I had bought the porchini powder on the recommendation of someone here, I forget who… it’s almost certainly in this thread. I had gotten it, but had never really found a use for it. Also, I have a ton of it, so I figured that I could make some kind of pork and mushroom soup. Those flavors go well together, so let’s do it up.
I started off by carmelizing some onions and the mushrooms in the bottom of the instant pot. Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of it. I did get the picture below, that’s after I’ve added the pork shoulder, on top of the mushrooms and onions. By the end of the browning process, the onions were basically dark brown mush, and the mushrooms were nice.
I also added some berebere spice (which is THE SHIT, and you need to get some, because it is good on damn near everything), some bay leaves, salt, pepper.
So I browned the pork for a while. The nice thing about the fact that this is gonna be cooked in the pressure cooker is that you almost can’t dry it out at this point. I got it good and browned on the edges, but looking at the picture, I realize that it’s a piss poor picture, so you’ll have to take my word for it. The lighting on my stove isn’t really that great, and taking pictures of the inside of the pressure cooker while it’s throwing off steam tends to do weird things with the focus.
Some other things I added in at this point were some chopped up kale, and celery. I think I added in the mushroom powder at this point… I had no idea how much to use, so I went with 2 tablespoons. Seemed like enough, as the stuff smells strong. Apparently I guessed correctly, as it all worked out. Here’s the bad camera shot of the pork with the kale, before adding in the mushroom powder and the water.
So then I ended cooking it on high pressure for 25 minutes. Normally, if I was cooking the pork, when it’s chopped up, I’d cook it for around 50 minutes. But in this case, I wanted to add in rice. But I didn’t want the rice to cook for a full 50 minutes. It’s a wild rice blend, so it’s good and tough in a soup… but it would have problems after 50 minutes in high pressure.
So I cooked the pork for 25 minutes. Then I opened it up, added in a cup of wild rice, and two cups of chicken stock, and then two cups of water. I then closed it up and cooked it for another 25 minutes. I honestly had no idea if this was gonna be long enough, or too long for the rice, as I’ve never cooked this wild rice stuff in the pressure cooker. But it seemed like it’d be reasonably close, and I figured I could cook it longer if I needed to, without the meat totally disintegrating.
Apparently, this was the correct amount. as when I opened it up, and tasted it, the rice was good. Chewy, but not hard, which is what I want in wild rice. And the meat was spot on.
So this is that result:
At this point, it was good, but it had a little bit of an edge on it, I think from the mushroom powder. It was by no means unpleasant, but I felt like it needed to be mellowed out a bit. Honestly, just sitting in the fridge over night would probably have achieved it.
But still, I decided to add a little milk. Normally I don’t actually have milk in my fridge, but I happened to have some right now, so I added that.
The result is subtle, but it’s what I wanted. A little bit mellower, bringing things together. And the final result is below!
Overall, I’m very happy with how the experiment turned out. The instant pot is great for this kind of thing, and I always like figuring out something new.
Oh, and bonus: The only pot to clean is the instant pot itself. Woot.
Thank you, Skipper. The skin turned out perfect. And what’s more, my kid doesn’t like the skin! SO I GET IT ALL! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
I’m unfamiliar with the term “part a chicken” but I assume you mean how to take one apart before it’s cooked? He prefered the roasted breasts alone because of how we do the sear, whereas on the whole chicken, they are just tender and moist without the sear. Until we do the second-day chicken we do the next day, and then all is well. But this is, I suspect, a salt/fried thing.
The whole chicken came to just under $10 for a 4lb bird. I explained that two-to-three breasts of average size come to about $8 (at Trader Joe’s…at the normal groc store it’s usually between $12 and $15). Plus we get to have some dark meat for me, some sandwiches for the next day, and a pizza.
And of course there’s the stock thing. You just have more options.
I like your idea of easing him into it, though. And I’ve never spatchcocked a bird, but I’ve always been curious. Especially because Alton Brown’s brick-wrapped-in-foil method looked really nifty.
That’s all on the pig.
You cook a pork shoulder long enough, and you can’t screw it up.
I like how it turned out though… it’s got just enough to not be greasy, but have that really nice mouth feel. And maybe a TINY bit greasy.
What I’m impressed with, is that I didn’t add any kind of thickener. But the effect is almost as though I had used a roux. Frankly, I might make this again with a roux, because a roux makes everything better.
But even without it, it’s got a kind of gumbo feel. I’m thinking that it might be a combination of the mushroom powder and the rice. I’m sure the connective tissue in the shoulder helped too.
Man it’s been a long time since I’ve had gumbo. Or cooked jambalaya.
What I love about your pictures is that they make me want to eat what you’ve made with just a handful scoop of some kind of flatbread. Not even a spoon.
Really looks good.
Yeah, the porcini powder absorbs a lot of water and is VERY flavor-dense. One rounded teaspoon is like a half-pound of fresh mushrooms, and you put in two tablespoons. I love porcinis, but you can actually overdo it with that stuff. I think probably one tablespoon would have worked better.
The flavor ended up being spot on, but yeah, maybe could have been less.
The pork and berebere had some strong flavor to compete with, which is perhaps why it worked out, and the extra tablespoon likely helped with the thickness.
It needed that bit of milk though to mellow it.
Yep, last time I overdid it I nuked up a potato, mashed it, and mixed that in. Thickened the soup and potato is bland so it absorbed some of the extra mushroomyness. I can see the fat from milk doing the same.
Sorry, the sourthern part of me was trying to say, “cut a chicken in to different pieces for use.” So breasts, thighs, legs, wings, maybe back/neck and carcass. I didn’t learn how to cut up a chicken until nearly 40. Seriously. I wish I at least had a little of that knowledge early on. It’s so easy to re-learn something, it’s harder to learn it for the first time.
I agree, it’s the perfect mix of emulsified fat. Similar to a great pan sauce, that’s hard to achieve, so if you don’t eat it, at least pour it off for future use.
The simple life in Mexico:
Fresh shrimp (purchased today) sauteed in olive oil and garlic over pasta with a little bit of lemon juice, salt, and parsley.
What could be better?
The first time we went to Mexico - and we went to the same place for 10 years, was Rincon De Guayabitos (about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta), we used to get Langostino for $7.
So I would say Langostino instead of Shrimp ;-)
I made a quesadilla on the pizza steel. It turned out very well… Not really sure how i can show it off.
That looks good. What’s in it?
From now on let’s present all our food as graphs. I intend to make spaghetti later for a line graph.
I literally laughed out loud. You are great!
It’s got refried beans, onions, mushrooms, some shredded cabbage and kale, some spices, and a bunch of cheeses.
When it’s browned just so like that to the point where it gets flaky, you did very well man. The stuff in it sounds delicious.
Made shrimp taquitos tonight. Tasted better than they looked. The corn tortillas from BJ’s were a complete failure, but the flavor was sufficient, and all of us enjoyed the meal.
Do you have the exact recipe for that? It sounds delicious.