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November 2011 COTM: Gourmet II: Fish and Shellfish; Poultry

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters about fish and shellfish and poultry.

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  1. Chicken Scarpariello (p. 365)

    Somehow I'd never heard of this dish before, but it sounded interesting. I'm glad I tried it - my husband absolutely loved it, and I liked it. Sauteed chicken thighs (after sauteing, set aside) with sauteed chopped onion, red peppers and 2-4 chopped jarred hot cherry peppers, slivered garlic. Once vegetables have softened you add a little chicken stock and white wine (and add back in the chicken thighs). Boil down and bit and heat through. They suggest serving over orzo, so i did, and it was a definitely a hit on a chilly night. Those hot cherry peppers give it a nice zing.

    8 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      Chicken Scarpariello is a favorite at Casa Gio. It's the wonderful hot cherry peppers an lots of garflic that does it. My version uses a whole cut up chicken. Thighs are so much easier. I usually serve it over baked soft polenta but orzo sounds like a good variation. I'll have to put this version on my To Make list. Thanks LLM.

      1. re: LulusMom

        You inspired me! This will be tonight's dinner. I knew I had that jar of hot cherry peppers for a reason. Report will be forthcoming!

        1. re: roxlet

          This was tonight's dinner, and it was excellent. A little bit of heat added to the great flavor of the dish. Since it was just two of us, I halved the recipe, though I think my son could have eaten more. Teenaged boys, don't you know. I did cut the chicken thighs in half as directed, though I wonder if that is really necessary aside from so-called meaning of the recipe's name. Also, I think that next time I would use a bit less garlic and chop it as opposed to the slices. We were both picking them out of our orzo!

          1. re: roxlet

            Woohoo! Glad to have helped inspire. The one thing that was odd to me in this recipe was the whole thing with letting the garlic get golden. There was no way I was going to be able to tell if the garlic was all golden in amongst the peppers and onions.

            My husband is like a teenage boy. There is never too much food when he's around.

        2. re: LulusMom

          Chicken Scarpariello, Pg. 365

          We made the scarpiello last night and were not as delighted with it as LLM or Roxlet, sad to say. As I posted upthread, I have a recipe that I make regularly that we really like. I'll have to get it out and compare the two and probably have a taste test. I don't think I'll make this TGC recipe again. G is now referring to the book as The Bland Book.

          For the record I followed the recipe with no deviations using chicken thighs, 5 cloves of sliced garlic and 4 hot cherry tomatoes (from a newly bought jar), plus all the other ingredients as listed. I served roasted cauliflower and fennel as a side dish...

          That's right - Roasted. We had a brand new gas range installed in the afternoon and were able to use the oven at night. Yippee...

          1. re: Gio

            Hooray for your new appliance! It must be so nice to have one again! One sweet day, I dream of having a gas range of my very own.....

            1. re: Gio

              Sorry about the disappointment in the recipe, but thrilled about your new range!

              1. re: LulusMom

                Thanks Allegra...

                LLM: It's OK. As usual the next day the flavors of the left overs had matured and decided to have them for lunch. To quote, "Not bad, now."

          2. Chicken in a Pumpkin Seen Sauce p.360

            Poached chicken pieces are gently simmered in a pale green, slightly nutty tasting, gentle flavoured sauce. This was the first time I'd tried the mole-type dish, and although it was good, it wasn't fantastic.
            Chicken pieces are simmered with garlic, cilantro, onion, and allspice until cooked. I removed the skin afterwards, as flabby limp epidermis just isn't my favourite ingredient (however, deep fried is another story....).
            The sauce consists of toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, some warm spices like allspice, cloves, and peppercorns ground up to a powder. I slaved away at my mortar and pestle for a while instead of using a spice grinder, which does not make an appearance in my kitchen.
            Meanwhile, tomatillos are simmered with serranos and then blended to a puree with onion, garlic, and more cilantro. This is fried in oil ( I used lard for the fat)and reduced until thick. At this point I started to really get excited and hopeful about this dish, as the lovely tart tomatillos were giving off a wonderful fragrance. The pumpkin seed mix/paste is added to the pan with the stock used for poaching the chicken. Once thickened, a pureed roasted poblano and more cilantro is added, then the whole deal is baked in the oven to warm through.

            The resulting sauce is khaki green, mildly spiced, with a vague creamy/gritty nut-butter texture to it. It was also far too salty, so beware. I feel that this dish has the potential to be extraordinary, and probably is, with a different recipe. Maybe the sauce needed an extra day for the flavours to properly meld, or maybe it needed more spices? More tomatillos? I will keep trying.

            1. Salmon Burgers with Spinach and Ginger, Pg. 291

              Cruising around last night looking for something different to do with a little over a pound of ground organic turkey - dark meat - I happened upon this interesting sounding recipe for salmon. The salmon is diced, not ground, but the ingredients sounded so intriguing I subbed the turkey for the fish. I'm glad I did. If turkey tasted so good I can only imagine how salmon would be. Two very different flavors to be sure but it could only be delicious.

              The recipe calls for stirring together the salmon, chopped spinach/scallions/ ginger, salt & pepper. Beat an egg white (I used a whole egg) in a bowl then add it to the mixture. Form patties and cook in a hot oiled skilled till golden brown. Making the patties was slightly sloppy but easy to do. The finished patty was quite flavorful, however I don't think the spinach added much. To serve I spooned a dollop of Dijon on top each one and served the Potato and Thyme Salad on page 148 and Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts on page 526. Very nice meal for a last minute effort.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gio

                The spinach added the air of healthy radiance, hence the halo I see over your post.

              2. Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings, page 373

                A whole chicken is cut up and browned, then sprinkled with a cup of shallots, and white wine. When the chicken is cooked, it is fished out and put into the oven while the cornmeal dumplings (with parsley, chives, and buttermilk) cook in the gravy. Well, if you don't have the book, you can see the entire recipe here:
                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                Mr. Nightshade and I worked on this dish together, and had a lot of fun doing it. The epicurious estimate of 1 3/4 hours total time is accurate, although we seemed to spend most of that time working (including our side dish). The kitchen was a mess when we were finished! But we felt it was worth it. Mr. NS raved, thought it was a company-worthy dish. I thought it was more old-fashioned comfort food for family (I brought out my grandma's china to serve, it seemed fitting). I did love those dumplings. Cornmeal and fresh herbs give them an interesting little punch. We'll put this dish into our regular rotation.

                We served this with a version of the Roasted Squash and Green Beans with Sherry Soy Butter on page 581, a perfect pairing.

                 
                2 Replies
                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  That looks delicious, but sounds like so much work!!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    I don't really know why it seemed so time-consuming, it's just a chicken with pan gravy, right? Anyway, it wasn't a prohibitive amount of work, as evidenced by the fact that we put it on our "do again" list.

                2. Page 457 - Veal Marsala

                  This is a very straightforward recipe for veal Marsala, and although it was good, it was not as flavorful as I would have liked, and I am not sure why.

                  White mushrooms are quartered (I sliced mine) and browned in a mixture of olive oil and butter. After 10 minutes, chopped garlic and flat leafed parsley are added and cooked for one minute. The mushrooms are removed to a bowl, and the skillet is wiped out. The veal, which has been sprinkled with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, is floured, and then cooked in the skillet with a mixture of olive oil and butter. They are removed to a platter, and kept warm while the pan is deglazed with the sweet Marsala. When that has boiled down to half, demi-glace that has been disolved in water is added to the pan, let to boil, and the veal and mushrooms are added back in.

                  I think it was fine, but I will continue to search for the Veal Marsala that matches my taste memory. This was not it, and maybe it had something to do with the commercial demi-glace I picked up at Whole Foods. Naturally home made would be better but...

                  A solid "B." Everyone else really liked it, but no oohs and aaahs.