Category Archives: chicken

chicken fennel kebobs with tzatziki

to say that it is grilling season in texas would be somewhat incorrect–it is always grilling season in texas. we like our meat, we sometimes like to fetch it ourselves (aka hunting), and we like to cook it outdoors because it’s usually too hot to turn on the stove and, let’s face it, it’s the right thing to do. regardless of where you stand on charcoal or wood vs. propane, direct or indirect heat, or barbequeing vs. grilling, most everyone agrees that cooking outside kinda rocks.

this is a fairly light preparation and works well when you are feeling overwhelmed by the summer heat but have a hankerin’ for more than just another salad. the cool creaminess of the tzatziki compliments nicely the char and warmth of the kebobs. and, if you’ve never grilled fennel, oh boy. it becomes sweet and caramelized, all while still retaining it’s crisp nature. add in some sweet red onion with singed edges, moist and lemony chicken, wrap it up in a seared pita and top the whole thing off with a cool sauce and let the magic happen.

chicken and fennel kebobs with tzatziki (4 servings)

adapted from bitchin’ camero

kebobs:

2 lb boneles, skinless chicken breats, cut into large cubes

2 fennel bulbs, remove frond and stem ends, clean and cut bulb into 2″ pieces (reserve a few fronds for the sauce)

1 large red onion, cut into 2″ pieces

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt & pepper

tzatziki:

7 oz plain yogurt *

1 cucumber, seedless variety, or seed a regular one

1 tbsp chopped fennel fronds

1 large clove garlic

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

*greek yogurt will make a particularly thick sauce or you can just drain regular full or lowfat plain yogurt for a similar effect.

prepare tzaziki first so the flavors have some time to develop–sometimes i’ll make this a few hours ahead. grate cucumber with a box grater onto a paper towel or cheesecloth. make a small package of the papertowel and twist the ends up, squeezing out any liquid from the cucumber. you may or may not be alarmed at how much liquid you can get out doing this–DO NOT skip this step. chop garlic and make into a paste on the cutting board with the salt, by smashing it with the side of the knife. place garlic/salt mixture in a bowl with the yogurt, cucumber, fennel fronds, and lemon juice. adjust seasoning to your preferences. in other words, taste it. if you like more garlic go for it, but remember the flavor will be more pronounced as it sits.

alternate placing chicken, fennel and onion pieces onto 8 separate skewers. sprinkle with oregano, salt & pepper, then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. place on a (preheated-very important) medium-high grill and cook for a total of about 20 minutes, rotating skewers every 5 minutes or so. you want a nice char on all sides and the chicken to be cooked through. allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with tzatziki and grilled pita.

this goes really well with a glass of nice, dry french rose. but everything, including another glass of rose goes really well with a nice, dry french rose this time of year, doesn’t it?

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Filed under chicken, main dish, meat

sriracha love

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sorry i was unable to get these out before the big game yesterday, but they have to be made fresh and the photo of the finished product was taken seconds before dozens of hungry super bowl watchers descended upon them and devoured them within minutes. but don’t worry. once you try these you will look for ANY excuse to make them again. and next time we’ll make more. this recipe was featured last year in food & wine magazine. houston, a man of few dishes, knew immediately that we had to try them, what with sriracha being one of our favorite condiments and all…he has made them about a dozen times since. yes, they are that good.

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sometimes when you read a recipe, you can get a sense of whether all the elements will work together and be pleasing to your palate. and sometimes, no matter how hard you try to imagine what that will be, the sum is just so much more than it’s parts. this is true here; the heat of the sriracha, the cool elements of cilantro and lime, the depth of the freshly ground spices. thank you michael symon, for making these wings part of our lives–we shall forever be grateful.

this went well with a bottle of mulderbosch, a rose made from cabernet saugvignon (or a glass of veuve clicquot-thanks frank!)

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spicy sriracha wings ( adapted from michael symon in food & wine)

10 pounds chicken wings, split

1/4 cup coriander seeds, crushed*

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed*

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup Sriracha chile sauce

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes

3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying**

In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 30 minutes, until firm but not cooked through. (At this point, if you don’t want to fry the wings, you can roast them for 1 hour longer, until crispy and golden.) Wash out the bowl. Add the Sriracha, butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice. In a deep fryer or a very large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 375°. Fry the wings in 4 or 5 batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch; drain, shaking off the excess oil. As each batch is finished, add the wings to the sauce and toss well. Transfer the wings to a platter, leaving the sauce in the bowl for the remaining batches. Serve hot.

*we use an aging coffee grinder that we have designated for spice use only, you could also use a mortar & pestle

**the first few times we made these, we fried them. the third time we decided to try the roasting method and have not gone back since. you can really get a great crisp up in the oven!

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Filed under chicken