Sunday, August 29, 2010

1 chicken 4 ways: numbers 2 and 3

In the last several years, I have endeavored to make a few meals a week meatless and to make the most of our meat. Think Michael Pollan's mantra: eat meat, not too much, mostly plants. When I buy a piece or package of meat, I want it to make several meals, complementing the vegetables and starches, but not dominating the meal. It has also been important to me that the meat we do eat comes from local and humane sources. I've been heading out to a nearby butcher to get pork and whole fresh chickens. That's where I got the meat for our beer-can chicken.

A few days later, the rest of the chicken became a lunch and a dinner. Sorry about the dark photos. We've been eating really late for the last few weeks, so my natural lighting for photos has been nearly gone.

Curry Yogurt Salad
from Serious Eats

2 to 3 ounces of boneless, skinless shredded turkey or chicken or 1 shredded Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlet
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons of curry powder
7 ounce container of single-serve Fage 2% yogurt, or other Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of cashews
2 tablespoons of golden raisins (sultanas)
1 pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Mix the curry powder into the Fage, add a pinch of salt or pepper to taste. Add the raisins and cashews. Add a pinch of nutmeg if desired. Squeeze lemon on the cooked, shredded Quorn or poultry. Stir into the yogurt mixture. Add more curry powder, salt, pepper, or lemon to taste. Serve on shredded lettuce or on a slice of warm cinnamon raisin bread, whole wheat bread, or Naan bread.

Minced Chicken in Lettuce Cups
from Serious Eats

I had less chicken and more mushrooms than were called for, but everything still balanced well.

2 pounds chicken, skin removed and bones removed (in my case, precooked chicken)
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 cup water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
2 scallions, white part diced and green part chopped
1 cup cremini mushroom, chopped
8 leaves Boston, bibb, or iceberg lettuce
Salt and pepper

Finely dice the chicken. Pour the oil into a work or large iron skillet set over high heat. Add the ginger and scallion whites and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Dump in the chicken and mushrooms. Continue stirring, breaking up the chicken pieces, and cook for about a minute, or until the chicken is white and no longer raw (if using precooked chicken, just stir-fry until the chicken is warmed). Pour in the oyster sauce and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat and add the scallion greens and chopped water chestnuts. Stir until everything is combined. Season with salt if necessary. Fill each lettuce cup with a little bit of the mixture and serve.

I felt like this could have used some kind of soy-based sauce to top the lettuce cups. I liked a bit of okonomiyaki sauce and Matt used some Sichuan black bean paste. I thought something like a ponzu might be nice too. Any ideas?

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