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Archive for Meat & Poultry

RECIPE: Buttermilk Roast Chicken

We have roasted chicken on our mind. It’s close to Rosh Hashanah (September 23rd this year), and we’re thinking back to Nana’s roasted chicken.

Post-Nana, our roast chicken was never as good, even if we followed the same steps. Nana must have had an understanding with chickens.

Until we tried the recipe below, soaking the chicken in buttermilk. Some chefs prefer to soak the chicken overnight. It creates a tender chicken with an extra punch of flavor.

Marinating chicken in buttermilk is a time-honored pathway to moister meat, whether roasted or fried. With a bit of advance planning the night before to marinate the chicken, you’re virtually guaranteed a beautifully browned and richly-flavored bird the next day.

The recipe is from chef/writer Samin Nosrat.

Samin serves the chicken with a panzanella (bread salad with vegetables). In this case, panzanella comprises the greens and rustic bread cooked in the pan.

If you’re off bread, simply roast, saute or steam triple the amount of veggies. Samin uses mustard greens. We highly recommend them—they’re a very under-used green. If you don’t like even a hint of mustard flavor, you can substitute collards or kale.

Thanks to Good Eggs for sending us the recipe.

Don’t need a while bird? Another of our favorite food writers and photographers, the White On Rice Couple, presents this delicious recipe for Milk Roasted Chicken Thighs, using whole milk.

With the chicken marinated in buttermilk, you need just 15 minutes of prep time, and 60 minutes to roast the chicken.

Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 3-4 pound chicken, salted
  • 1 quart buttermilk, well shaken
  • 3 tablespoons table salt or fine sea salt
  • 4 slices of rustic country bread, torn into 2 inch chunks
  • 2 bunches of mustard greens or kale, de-stemmed
  • 4 shallots, sliced or 1 red onion
  • Handful of fresh sage or rosemary leaves
  • 6 ounces king trumpet mushrooms*, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ preserved lemon†, sliced thinly

  • Brining bag or other resealable plastic bag
  • Butchers twine
  • ________________


    Buttermilk Roast Chicken
    [1] With this buttermilk chicken, technique delivers a remarkable bird.

    Country Loaf
    [2] A country loaf, also known as a rustic loaf.

    Mustard Greens
    Mustard greens. You can substitute kale.

    King Trumpet Mushrooms
    King trumpet mushrooms. All photos courtesy Good Eggs.

    *King trumpet mushrooms, also called king oyster mushrooms and French horn mushroom and eryngii/eringii mushroom and other names, is the largest variety in the oyster mushroom family. It is now being cultivated in the U.S. You can substitute matsutake mushrooms (which may be even harder to find), or any meaty mushroom (perhaps portabella or baby bellas).
    †Here’s a recipe for preserved lemons; but you only need a bit in this recipe. Check your food store’s olive bar or a Middle Eastern market: You may be able to buy one already made.


    This recipe requires some preparation a day in advance. Beginning the day before you plan to cook the chicken:

    1. SEASON it generously with the salt (more salt than you’d use for ordinary seasoning). Let the salted chicken sit for 30 minutes.

    2. ADD 3 tablespoons of salt into the container container of buttermilk. Seal it and shake to encourage the salt to dissolve. Place the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk. Seal it, squish the buttermilk all around the chicken, place the bag on a rimmed plate or in a pan, and refrigerate. If you’re so inclined, over the next 24 hours you can turn the bag so each part of the chicken gets marinated, but it’s not essential.

    3. REMOVE the chicken from the fridge two hours before you plan to start cooking. When you’re ready to roast, preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without being obsessive (we used a rubber spatula).

    4. TRUSS the chicken by placing a 12-inch length of butcher’s twine with its center at the small of the chicken’s back. Tie the twine around each wing tightly and then flip the chicken over and use the remaining twine to tie the legs together as tight as you can.

    5. PLACE the bird in a big cast iron skillet or a roasting pan with, the legs pointing toward the rear left corner of the oven. Place in the oven and close the door. You should hear the chicken sizzling pretty quickly. After about 15 minutes, when the chicken starts to brown, reduce the heat to 400°F/205°C and continue roasting.

    6. WAIT another 15 minutes, remove the pan and add the shallots/onion, greens, herbs and chanterelles. Using tongs, mix the veggies around in the chicken drippings and place the pan back in the oven, this time with the legs facing the rear right corner of the oven.

    7. CONTINUE cooking for another 35-40 minutes, stirring the veggies with tongs once or twice so they cook evenly. The chicken is done when it’s brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh.

    8. REMOVE the bird to a platter and set it on a cutting board on your counter. Add the bread to the skillet or pan and toss with all of the veggies, making sure to coat the bread evenly in the drippings.

    9. RETURN the vegetables to the oven for 10 minutes. When you remove the pan from the oven, add the preserved lemon to the bread and mustard greens. The chicken will be ready to carve and eat immediately.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Dry Rubs For Meat & Poultry

    Spice Rub For Game
    [1] Take a look at the spices and herbs you own. Look for recipes online or use your own palate to choose what to use on your meat. These are some of the ingredients used in rubs for wild game by Wide Open Spaces.

    [2] Pick what you want for your blend. Use smaller amounts of more intense spices (chiles, cumin, garlic, pepper, etc.) and larger amounts of base flavors (oregano, thyme, etc.). Use very small amounts of accent flavors like cardamom, cinnamon, lemon peel and nutmeg (photo courtesy M Magazine).

    Homemade Rubs

    [3] When you arrive at your signature rub, bottle it and give it as gifts. This one is from Dad Cooks Dinner.


    Just as you can throw together a vinaigrette or a marinade in one-two-three, you can make a rub for meats and poultry.

    Sure, you can buy them: But why pay big bucks for convenience foods when you can make them for pennies with ingredients you already own?

    Take a quick look at your spice shelf. Allspice, chili powder and ground chiles, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, lemon peel, mustard powder, nutmeg, onion powder, paprika, sage and thyme all have a place in rubs (although a limit of five or so is best).

    When you mix your own, you can also eliminate the large amount of salt blended into commercial rubs.


  • Seal the flavor of the meat.
  • Form a tasty crust on the meat.
  • Enhance the color of the cooked meat.
    Rubs pull moisture from the air, as they draw up the juices from the inside of the meat. This process (osmosis) causes the meat to marinate itself as it cooks.

    They can also be used on fish and vegetables.

    There are two types of rubs:

  • Dry rubs are blends of herbs and spices that are rubbed onto the meat before cooking. The rubs are hand-rubbed, or sprinkled, onto on the surface of meat before it goes onto the the grill.
  • A dry rub is best on food that is cooked faster, at a higher temperature; and on food that probably doesn’t need to tenderize, like shrimp or chicken.
  • Dry rubs are also preferable on steaks and chops. Chefs generally cook them simply with salt and pepper; but if you want to add other touches of flavor, reach for a dry rub.
  • Some of the spices on your shelf are rubs, such as chili powder, curry powder, jerk seasoning and Old Bay; there are numerous rubs in the spices section, reflecting different cuisines (Cajun, Indian, etc.) or foods (barbecue, pork).
  • Rub both sides of the protein. With a whole chicken, rub the inside of the cavity as well.
  • The more time the rub has to react with the meat prior to cooking, the more the flavor it will yield.
  • Wet rubs mix the spices with oil, water or prepared mustard, to spread onto the meat. Pesto is an example of a web rub, although it’s a versatile ingredient that’s also used as a sauce.
  • Any dry rub you have can be turned into a wet rub. When a dry mix combines with the meat juices, it turns into a paste anyway.
    Today we focus on dry rubs. If you’re grilling this weekend, it’s an opportunity to try different combinations.

    Try different combinations and proportions over time. If you make too much, give it to friends or neighbors.

    Aim for a signature blend for each of your favorite foods: burgers, chicken, steaks, etc. When you have that eureka! moment, you can bottle it as stocking stuffers or house gifts.


  • Sweet. White or brown sugar is a common ingredient because it is a flavor enhancer, it helps browning, and with crust formation. No other sweetener can substitute. If you’re concerned about adding sugar, one expert estimates that in a slab of ribs there’s one teaspoon of sugar.
  • Savory. Savory flavors come from amino acids called glutamates, which is why MSG has been a popular flavor enhancer. Green herbs, some spices and garlic, among others, contain glutamates.
  • Spices and herbs. If you’re looking for a certain flavor—curry, sesame, whatever—add it. Paprika is often included as a color enhancer.
  • Spicy. For some sizzle, add some heat. Common additions are black pepper, cayenne or chipotle, ginger, horseradish, and mustard powder.
    Should you add salt to a rub?

    To avoid over-salting, we recommend leaving salt out of a rub, and salting the meat as you normally would. Then apply the rub.

    Note that you cannot judge how a rub will taste when it’s raw. It tastes very very different after cooking.

    When the juices of the meat mix with the herbs and spices and the heat of cooking, they undergo chemical reactions. Thus, a rub may taste too hot when raw, but just right when on top of a piece of cooked meat.

    Similarly, the flavors blend together. People who don’t like a particular spice may not even know that it’s there.

    You don’t use a both a rub and a marinade. Just use one for flavor. If you want to make the meat less tough, a marinade that includes vinegar is better. Otherwise, Pereg Natural Foods advises:

  • Rubs self-marinate the meat, so you don’t have to continue to brush with marinade as the meat cooks.
  • Rubs add a colorful and tasteful crust to the finished meat.
  • Rubs make it easier to control the final flavor of the meat.
  • Rubs are perfect for larger pieces of meat such as spareribs, briskets, and tenderloins.
    You can apply the rub a few days before you cook the meat, wrap it up in plastic wrap or butcher paper, and place it in the fridge until you’re getting ready to cook (move it to the counter first; don’t put cold meat on the grill).

    Add a generous portion of the rub at first to the meat. After it sits for a few days, add a bit more rub before cooking.

    Ready, set, blend!


    TIP OF THE DAY: Veggie Burgers For Labor Day

    Island Burger Morningstar
    [1] The Island Burger has grilled pineapple, to whisk your taste buds to the tropics.

    Pita Burger Morningstar Vegetarian
    [2] The Pita Burger has Mediterranean accents, including feta cheese.

    Morningstar Grillers Prime

    [3] MorningStar Farms makes its Classic line of veggie burgers in 11 flavors (all photos courtesy Morningstar Farms).


    When one of Top Chef’s favorite chefs, Richard Blais.

    In addition to his cuisine moderne, Chef Blais previously owned the FLIP burger boutique in Atlanta.

    Using MorningStar Farms’ veggie burgers. The burger line alone is extensive (here are recipes for the entire product line):

  • Garden Veggie Burgers
  • Grillers Prime Burgers
  • Grillers Prime Burgers
  • Spicy Black Bean Burgers
  • Spicy Black Bean Burgers
  • Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers
  • Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers
  • Tomato & Basil Pizza Burgers
  • Tomato & Basil Pizza Burgers
  • Grillers Original Burgers
  • Grillers Original Burgers
    Chef Blais created four vegetarian burgers, just right for Labor Day Weekend.

    Even meat eaters like a good veggie burger—and these are great veggie burgers. Serve both beef burgers and veggie burgers, and you’ll be surprised to see who comes back for seconds on the veggie.


    Prep/cook time is 20 minutes.

    Ingredients Per Burger

  • 1 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger
  • 1 tablespoon Kansas City-style barbecue sauce*
  • 2 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
  • 1 Slice pineapple, skin and center removed
  • 3 sprigs cilantro, torn
  • 1 cup shredded green or red cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 soft Hawaiian roll
  • ________________

    *Kansas City-style barbecue sauce is smoky and sweet. It is made by large brands like Bulls-Eye and Heinz, as well as by artisan producers.


    1. GRILL the Spicy Black Bean Burger to warm, and chop roughly while still warm. Toss with barbecue sauce. Set aside in bowl.

    2. GRILL to warm the Grillers Original Burger. Grill the pineapple slice on the hottest part of the grill, 1 minute on each side.

    3. TOSS the cilantro, cabbage, sesame oil and mustard in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

    4. PLACE a small handful of dressed cabbage on bottom half of the bun. Add the two Grillers Original Burgers, with the grilled pineapple slice between the patties. Top off with the Spicy Black Bean Burger-and-barbecue-sauce mix. Add the top bun half and serve.



    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.

    Ingredients Per Burger

  • 1/?2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 slices cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 slice seedless watermelon
  • 1 small handful of arugula
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
  • 1 slice pita bread, split lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed, coarsely ground
  • 2 slices cooked canned beets

    1. PICKLE the cucumbers. Bring the bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a small pot. Remove from the heat; whisk in the turmeric and coriander seed. Add the sliced cucumbers. Cool in the fridge in an airtight container.

    2. MIX the yogurt with the garlic, cumin and mint in a small bowl. Set aside.

    3. GRILL the watermelon on the hottest part of the grill, 1 minute on each side. When cool enough to touch, dice into cubes.

    4. TOSS the watermelon with the arugula and feta in a small bowl. Set aside.

    5. SPREAD the herbed yogurt on the inside of the pita. Arrange the burger, cucumbers, beets, arugula, watermelon and feta inside of the pita shell.

    Perhaps the best known sauce of Spain, Romesco is a pungent, smooth, rich red sauce made from red peppers, tomatoes, ground almonds or other nuts, olive oil, garlic, and cayenne pepper. It originated in Tarragona, a port city on the Mediterranean Sea in the province of Catalonia in northeast Spain. Here’s more about romesco.

    Prep time is 30 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.
    Ingredients Per Burger

  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 small roma tomato, charred on the grill
  • 1 slice red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons almonds
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small head romaine lettuce
  • 1 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger
  • 1 large soft corn tortilla

    Romesco Burger - Morningstar Vegetarian
    [4] The Romesco Burger is garnished with the famed spanich tomato-almond-onion sauce.

    Tandoor Burger Morningstar Vegetarian
    [5] Taste India with the Tandoori Burger.

    Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burgers

    [6] The Spicy Black Bean Burger is MorningStar Farm’s best-selling burger.


    1. MAKE the romesco sauce. Purée the red pepper, tomato, red onion, vinegar, almonds, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor, until finely ground. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil with the blender running. Add more oil if necessary.

    2. SPRINKLE the salt and pepper and drizzle the olive oil over the romaine. Grill to warm the lettuce for 1 to 2 minutes, cut side down. Chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.

    3. GRILL the burger to warm, slice into strips and set aside.

    4. SPREAD the romesco sauce liberally over one side of the tortilla and place on grill. Lay the burger strips on top; then add the cilantro and romaine.

    5. FOLD the tortilla like a book to close, and flip to the other side. Grill for 1 minute longer and serve.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.

    Ingredients Per Burger

  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon tandoori spice†
  • 2 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 2 small slices, eggplant
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoons cottage cheese
  • 1 small handful fresh spinach, chopped finely
  • 2 slices white onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
  • 2 slices garlic naan bread, grilled
  • ________________

    †For 1 tablespoon, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon of each: cayenne pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground ginger, paprika, turmeric, salt.


    1. MIX the yogurt and tandoori spice in a small bowl. Set aside.

    2. DRIZZLE the olive oil over the eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper. Grill for one minute on both sides.

    3. STRAIN the liquid from cottage cheese. Mix the cheese, spinach, onion, garlic and garam masala. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium to low heat with and cook 15 minutes. If the mixture starts to dry, add a few drops of water to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.

    4. GRILL the burger to warm it. At the same time, grill the bread. Place the burger on the bottom of the naan bread. Top with the eggplant, spinach mixture, cilantro, and yogurt. Add the top slice of naan and serve.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make More Room In The Hot Dog Roll

    Hot Dog With Onions

    How much can you pack onto a hot dog? More, if you use the tips below (photo courtesy Murray’s).


    Whether you call it a hot dog, frankfurter or wiener (see the evolution below), if you like the toppings as much as the sausage itself, this tip’s for you.


    JJ’s Red Hots of Charlotte, North Carolina, offers its toppings list in order of customer preference. At their establishment, the favorites are:

    1. Mustard
    2. Onions
    3. Chili
    4. Slaw
    5. Pimento cheese
    6. Relish/pickles
    7. Bacon
    8. Sauerkraut
    9. Salsa
    10. Caramelized onions
    There are regional preferences, of course: Pimento cheese is popular spread in the South; and ketchup, which many Americans prefer to mustard on their dogs, is not on their Top 10 list.

    When we were growing up, in greater New York City, the universal choices were mustard and sweet pickle relish (green, red or both), with optional sauerkraut.


    Whatever your choices, how do you get the most of them on top of that dog? Most hot dogs rolls are made to envelop the entire dog, assuming that one might want only a squirt of ketchup or mustard on top.

    The options for topping fans were to wedge it into the sides of the roll, or have it spill off the top. Until now. We received this infographic from

    Our favorite solution: #1 plus #3. Slicing the hot dog in half is enlightening!

    Hot Dog Toppings

    Hot dog is the most recent name, bestowed in the U.S. on German names.

  • Wiener. The hot dog traces its lineage to a 15th-century Viennese sausage called wienerwurst (in German, wiener = from Vienna, wurst = sausage). In the U.S., wienerwurst got shortened to wiener.
  • Frankfurter. In the 17th century, Johann Georghehner, a butcher from the German city of Coburg, made a slender version of wienerwurst. He brought it to Frankfurt, where butchers sold them as “dachshund sausages.” When the sausage came to the U.S. with German immigrants, it was called either the “frankfurter” or the now obsolete “dachshund sausage.”
  • Hot dog. In U.S. ball parks, concessionaires walked through the stands shouting, “Get your red-hot dachshund sausages.” The first published mention of the term “hot dog” as a food appeared in print in a September 1893 issue of The Knoxville Journal. While some hot dog historians suggest the “dachshund” sausages were being called hot dogs on college campuses in the 1890s, in 1906, Tad Dorgan, a cartoonist for a Hearst newspaper, was inspired by the scene at a Yankees-Giants game and sketched a cartoon with a real dachshund, smeared with mustard, in a roll. Supposedly, Dorgan could not spell dachshund, and instead captioned the cartoon, “Get your hot dogs.” Many imitators followed.
  • However… since that cartoon has never been found, and the term also appeared in print in the Yale Record, in nearby New Haven, prior to then [source]. Maybe Dorgan knew of it, maybe not. His spelling challenge is totally believable.
    Hot Dog Cartoon
    Image courtesy


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    TIP OF THE DAY: National Hot Dog Month

    Hot Dogs & Sauerkraut
    [1] The basic—hot dog, mustard, sauerkraut—at Murray’s Cheese.

    Hot Dog Toppings
    [2] Bacon hot dogs from Vermont Cure. Bacon is mixed with the beef.

    Chili Dogs
    [3] Chili-cheese on turkey dogs from Jennie O.

    Chicago Hot Dog

    [4] Chicago-style hot dog from Kindred Restaurant. Here are the signature hot dog recipes from 12 more cities.


    July is National Hot Dog Month, a comfort food served in 95% of homes in the U.S. (June 23rd is National Hot Dog Day.)

    According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Americans purchase 350 million pounds of hot dogs at retail stores—9 billion hot dogs!

    The actual number of hot dogs consumed by Americans is much larger, incorporating those purchased from street vendors, at sporting events, state fairs, carnivals, etc. The Council estimates Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year, more than twice the retail sales figures.

    That computes to about 70 hot dogs per person each year; which sounds like a lot but is just 6 hot dogs a month.


  • Hot Dog History
  • How Hot Dogs Are Made
  • Why Are There 10 Hot Dogs Per Package But Only 8 Rolls

  • Bacon Hot Dogs
  • Homemade Hot Dog Rolls
  • Beer & Pretzel Hot Dog Rolls Recipe
  • Kobe Beef/Wagyu Hot Dogs
  • 20 Other Uses For Hot Dog Rolls

  • Bacon Cheese Dogs
  • Cubano Dogs
  • DIY Hot Dog Bar
  • Firecracker Hot Dogs
  • Gourmet Hot Dogs 1: Signature Recipes From 13 Cities
  • Gourmet Hot Dogs 2: Recipes Honoring China & Japan To Canada & Coney Island
  • Italian Hot Dogs
  • Mini Corn Dogs
  • Tater Tot Hot Dog Skewers
  • Top 10 Hot Dog Toppings

    The hot dog traces its lineage to the 15th-century Viennese sausage, or wienerwurst in German; hence, wiener.

    In the 17th century, Johann Georghehner, a butcher from the German city of Coburg in Bavaria, is credited with inventing the “dachshund” or “little dog” sausage—a slimmer version of wienerwurst. He brought it to Frankfurt, hence, frankfurter. Yet, it was still a sausage eaten German-style, with a knife and fork—no roll.

    The hot dog, a slender sausage in a roll, was undeniably an American invention. The attribution is accorded to a German immigrant named Charles Feltman, who began selling sausages in rolls at a stand in Coney Island in 1871.

    The 1893 World Exposition in Chicago marked the debut of the hot dog vendor. According to National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, around this time that the hot dog first made its first appearance at a ballpark, at a St. Louis Browns game. The first published mention of the term “hot dog” as a food appeared in print in a September 1893 issue of The Knoxville Journal. However, it was well established prior to then.

    As the legend goes, frankfurters were dubbed the “hot dog” by a cartoonist who observed a vendor selling the “hot dascshund sausages” during a baseball game at New York City’s Polo Grounds. Concessionaires walked through the stands shouting, “Get your red-hot dachshund sausages.”

    In 1906, Tad Dorgan, a cartoonist for a Hearst newspaper, was inspired by the scene and sketched a cartoon with a real dachshund dog, smeared with mustard, in a roll. Supposedly, Dorgan could not spell the name of the dog and instead wrote, “Get your hot dogs” for a caption.

    However, Dorgan’s cartoon has never been located. and some hot dog historians suggest the “dachshund” sausages were being called hot dogs on college campuses in the 1890s.

    “Little dog” sausages became standard fare at ballparks in 1893 when St. Louis bar owner and German immigrant Chris Von de Ahe, who owned the St. Louis Browns baseball team, began to serve them there…and started a tradition.


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