Monday, July 18, 2005

If ya holdin' up to brawl, then ya missin' the point...

Dennis Miller once made a brilliant point in his book, The Rants, about people who are obsessed with Infomercials and the crap that Late Night Dirt Merchants push on an insomniac society...

"(Ron) Popeil has convinced the American public that there's no need to go to the store and buy a 99-Cent box of Spaghetti when, for $129.95 and a couple days of Labor and Assembly, we can make a perfectly mediocre bowl of Tagliatelle from the comfort of your own Cinder-Block Based Trailer Home..."

That being said, I love making my own ice cream. I love making it myself, but I stick to a few loose rules of pragmatism. Basically, whenever I slip on my clogs and tie that flowing white bistro-apron around my waist, I think like I'm at work. Like I'm in a professional kitchen...

Case in point, I love Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - but I'll never make it at home. Why? Well, Vanilla Beans generally cost anywhere between 8 and 15 dollars a jar, and you usually only get two or three to a jar. After you factor in Heavy Whipping Cream, Eggs, Whole Milk and Sugar, you're WAY in the Red.

On the other hand, I love making things you'll never ever see at your local grocer. Raspberry Saffron Sorbet, Orange Rose Ice Cream, or specially designed Chunky Monkey ice cream for the allergy-prone among us...

I guess I find it funny that people buy crap that they could use so creatively, and waste huge amounts of time completing somewhat complicated tasks for an end result that could have been achieved with a trip to the Grocery Store.

So there...

This past week I did some grilled chicken, as thighs and wings were on sale. I find grilling chicken to be somewhat of a lost art. Mainly, and there is nothing wrong with this mind you, because people just salt and pepper a piece of Chicken Little and slap it on the irons. Again, that's fine but... I feel there is a more defined and enlightened way of doing up a lil Chick-Chick. Essentially, brine the chicken overnight. The difference in the end product is ree-dick-ooh-lass.

2 Quarts water
1/8 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt

Bring Water, Sugar and Salt to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Allow water to cool completely (Over 2 to 6 hours) and add chicken.
Soak Overnight.


No matter what you do after that, your chicken will be infinitely better. This past week I got 5 thighs and brined them all. The first ones I did I tossed with a Lime Vinaigrette and they were amazing. Last night I did up a few with a spicy cayenne based rub and they were equally intense.


So now I'm working out the menu for this week. Tonight we'll have Onglets with the classic Red-Wine butter and roasted potatoes. Highlights for the rest of the week though: I'll be making pizza, roast duck wings, and a cheese-and-wine type meal. We picked up a nice Chorizo\Mozzarella roll, some Italian bread, and Romain hearts at Jungle Jims yesterday, so I'm looking forward to making a big production out of it. Word Bitch! Chorizo like a MuhFuh...

Today's Groove provided by Pharoahe Monch. I'm also digging on Sweet's Greatest Hits and The Crystal Method's Legion of Boom.

4 comments:

Kristy said...

Saw this link and thought of you this morning.

About brines: Do you leave the chicken skin on or off? I'm normally not a fan of chicken skin, so I'd probably take it off. I'm wondering if that would make a difference... When I brined the turkey breasts for thanksgiving last year, I added to the basic brine honey, lemon, white wine, and lots of fresh herbs. Then I cooked the breast on a bed of the herbs from the brine -- fabulous. Best turkey I've ever had (and I'm not a big fan of turkey). Tom even ate it too, and he hates thanksgiving food (well, not anymore).

BGslum said...

I leave the skin on, only because I like it. Especially once you've grilled it - I love "crispy skinned" birds. Like all things culinary, thats just preference.
It's weird you posted that link, as I just read an articale about the FPS yesterday in a copy of "Pastry Art & Design" I got. That place is intense, like it is to Pastry what Harvard is to Law...

Kristy said...

I got it in my Daily Candy email and what really piqued my interest are the guest chef master classes. If you and Kerrie ever find yourselves in Chi-town (north-siiieeeede!) and have 500-1200 bucks to throw around, it might be something fun to do. What I didn't realize until just now is that it's located a block from where I work! Holy Crap!

Suzanne Downes said...

Here is my haiku ode to Orange Rose Ice Cream:

The taste of happy
Blossoms in frozen splendor
Oranges and roses.

Here's a more common tribute:

That's some dayum good ice cream!

Thanks Jay!