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Thread: The Cooking Thread

  1. #3481
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Last time I asked about chicken, you all scoffed at cooking boneless breasts. I went out and got breast with bone and skin, so now what do I do?

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    Member birdiearch's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    When I was oven-less in Washington DC, I made a pineapple upside down cake in mine. Ha. 7 hours.

  3. #3483
    Member insbordnat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by algunz View Post
    Last time I asked about chicken, you all scoffed at cooking boneless breasts. I went out and got breast with bone and skin, so now what do I do?
    You should have gotten a whole chicken.

    But seriously, I'm a proponent of brining a chicken breast on the bone for people that aren't great at cooking chicken OR those who just don't do it that often. It helps retain moisture and give some flavor to an uneven, awkwardly shaped piece of meat.

    A pretty typical ratio is around 3/4 cup of Morton's KOSHER salt to a gallon of water or unsalted stock, plus around 2/3 cup of sugar. I use turbinado typically. If you don't have kosher salt, you'll need to adjust your ratio since by volume Morton's is less salty (bigger crystals, less salt per cup). Ditto for Diamond Crystal, but opposite issue, you'll need more.

    I'm not big on recipes, but if I was doing a brine for chicken, I'd probably dissolve the sugar and salt in a vegetable stock and heat on the stove, kill the heat, add some peppercorns, smashed garlic, fresh thyme, etc. and let cool. Add chicken and brine in refrigerator for 2-4 hours max.

    Pull brine, give chix a shake of excess brine, pat dry, add add'l dried herbs to your liking, including maybe some paprika, black pepper, dried thyme, oregano, etc. and a drizzle of olive oil (not extra virgin). Throw on medium-low heat grill and start to check at around 30 minutes or so with quick read thermometer. I'd pull the chix at around 150 (or more, depending on your liking) and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Brining helps idiot proof the chicken and gives you more flexibility with cooking time.

    There are a million recipes online for brining if you're wanting more ideas or a recipe to follow.
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  4. #3484
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by birdiearch View Post
    When I was oven-less in Washington DC, I made a pineapple upside down cake in mine. Ha. 7 hours.
    In your bone-in chicken breast?
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  5. #3485
    Coachella Junkie jackstraw94086's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by insbordnat View Post
    Throw on medium-low heat grill and start to check at around 30 minutes or so with quick read thermometer. I'd pull the chix at around 150 (or more, depending on your liking) and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
    I expect you've cooked more chicken than I have this so is a genuine inquiry. I've always avoided it on an outdoor grill after a horribly painful food poisoning experience at someone's party 20 years ago. To this day I don't eat anyone else's grilled chicken or fuck around with potentially undercooked chicken in general. I even plunked down for a touchless faucet to prevent even spreading even tiny amounts of it. You mention pulling the breasts at 150. Are you assuming that because of the slower cooking method they will continue to cook up to the general guideline of 165? or do you believe the 165 is unnecessary (I realize the fresher the chicken the safer it may be but that wasn't specified here so the question is just general)

  6. #3486
    Member insbordnat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    I don't think 165 is necessary, and for me, it's too done, especially for unbrined chicken. I suppose if you brine, 165 is still ok since it'll retain more moisture. From what I understand most of the harmful bacteria is gone starting at 150+ assuming it's at that temp for 5-10 minutes which is where the resting time comes into play.

    If I'm cooking for myself, I usually rely on feel more than temp and I'll pull it when it feels relatively firm to the touch. If I have company over I'll err on the side of caution and stick a therma pen in to confirm temp, and I'll probably pull to 155 to end at 160-165 so that I'm extra sure everything is killed. For my personal liking though, I find 150 to end at 155-160 is usually good enough for the thickest part of the breast, since the thinner side will be a good amount above that.

    I haven't had any bad chicken food poisoning experiences and if I did I'd probably err towards being more done, especially with sketchy chicken.
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  7. #3487
    Coachella Junkie jackstraw94086's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    The 150+ for the worst bacteria is handy info. I'll look further into it and may back off the heat a bit (not on a grill any time soon though).

    In my case I'm pretty sure the dude just didn't have any clue and pulled them off because the grill was too hot. The chicken wasn't raw or even very pink but it can still get you anyway if it sat out for a bit. Later it felt like someone twisting a rusty blade in my gut. They stuck a saline drip in me in case it was my appendix and then the ER doctor let me lie there for 45 minutes through waves of massive pain because he couldn't diagnose me and thought I might just be a junkie. Nobody did shit until a nurse checking on me tried to flip down the rail on the gurney and noticed I had bent it. Then they finally gave me a shot of demorol in my ass and then shoved me out the door in a stupor 20 minutes later.

    Moral of the story: don't eat someone else's outdoor grilled chicken unless you saw it cook.

  8. #3488
    Member birdiearch's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bmack86 View Post
    In your bone-in chicken breast?
    It's the latest culinary craze, haven't you heard???

    Haha. Sorry. Will quote next time.

  9. #3489
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by insbordnat View Post
    You should have gotten a whole chicken.
    Ha. I knew this was coming.

    Thank you for the suggestions. I'll let you know how it goes.

  10. #3490
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    I'm half joking - seriously though, my favorite grilled chicken is spatchcocked whole chickens. I prefer dark meat though.
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  11. #3491
    Coachella Junkie chairmenmeow47's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    ha, i cook a lot of boneless breasts myself. good reading above though. i've started being a bit more lax with chicken and pork because it always tasted overcooked to me. i don't measure temperature though, but maybe i should give that a test.

    i'm trying to log some of my recipes to get an idea of how many calories are in what i'm cooking. i find it really hard to believe that a serving of pistacio-sage pesto is 400 calories. i know the pistacios and olive oil make up the majority of calories. i pretty much feel like anything i cook with olive oil is hard to measure. for example, if i rub olive oil on asparagus and bake it, i find it hard to believe i'm really eating like 150 calories. i say this because the olive oil would push me over my calorie goals, but i'm still losing weight. anyway, does anyone else notice this? if i look online for pesto calories per serving, i see results from like 70 to 300.
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  12. #3492
    Coachella Junkie stinkbutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    I always brine the chicken if I'm cooking a whole one. It makes a world of difference. Beer can chicken is a great way to grill an entire bird. Only takes about an hour. The beer can adds enough moisture that you don't need to brine, but I'm sure you could and it would be great.
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  13. #3493
    Coachella Junkie locachica73's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    I've never brined a chicken, I usually just cut a lemon in quarters, get a few sprigs of rosemary and garlic and stuff it in the cavity and roast it until the thigh pulls away easily from the body and the juices run clear (about 1.5 hours). It never comes out dry and it tastes delicious.
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  14. #3494
    Member insbordnat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Usually I don't brine either. I brine typically if a) I'm smoking the bird or pieces or b) I'm only cooking breasts on the bone. For boneless chix breasts, I'll marinate, and my marinade often is salty enough to provide some osmotic action, so I suppose it's somewhat akin to brining.

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkbutt View Post
    I always brine the chicken if I'm cooking a whole one. It makes a world of difference. Beer can chicken is a great way to grill an entire bird. Only takes about an hour. The beer can adds enough moisture that you don't need to brine, but I'm sure you could and it would be great.
    You may find this article that dives into beer can chicken to be interesting here.

    One more thing. Make sure the chicken you are buying isn't already "brined". Any chicken that says "enhanced" or "contains up to xx% of solution" etc. is in effect processed to retain moisture (colloquially known as "plumped"). Either a sodium chloride (i.e. saline/brine) or a sodium phosphate solution is added in these instances. Helps the chicken to retain moisture, but also helps bulk the meat with water weight to increase profits. Ditto with pork and turkey.

    So to Gunz - don't enhance already enhanced chicken, and for those who don't brine, your chicken may already be in effect brined.
    Last edited by insbordnat; 07-30-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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  15. #3495

    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by unit300021 View Post
    Just got a crock pot. What are some of your favorite dishes to make in it?
    I use the hell out of my crock pot. It does a great job with all of the cheap cuts of meat (pork shoulder, beef chuck, lamb shanks). Some pork cushion meat, chili, spices, and hominy and you have a nice pozole - serve with fresh onion, oregano, and lime.

    The real marvel of the Crock Pot, and something that I discovered recently is that it was invented to cook beans. Boy, does it do a good job! You soak the beans as usual, then just rinse, add more water, spices, and a ham hock, and let her rip! It works well for all kinds of beans. Kidneys, pintos, garbanzos, split peas, etc.
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  16. #3496
    Coachella Junkie stinkbutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    That article is interesting, but I've never had any of those problems. I usually do truss the legs and use a tall boy at higher temps (425) though. I also cut off the top if the can and add spices in with the beer

    Edit: The part about the lining and paint is concerning though. I will have to rethink that whole part of it
    Last edited by stinkbutt; 07-30-2014 at 08:43 PM.
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  17. #3497
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Damn. I love cooking beer butt chicken. I feel deflated.

  18. #3498
    Coachella Junkie chairmenmeow47's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    i made scalloped potatoes last night and they were so yummy. does anyone have a good recipe for potatoes au gratin?
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  19. #3499
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    I'm not the biggest fan of au gratin/scalloped potatoes so this may seem ignorant - but what's the difference between the two? I've always thought of them as one in the same, perhaps scalloped potatoes are more of a béchamel sauce and au gratin are more of a mornay with added cheese and/or crumb on top for a crust.
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  20. #3500
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by insbordnat View Post
    I'm not the biggest fan of au gratin/scalloped potatoes so this may seem ignorant - but what's the difference between the two? I've always thought of them as one in the same, perhaps scalloped potatoes are more of a béchamel sauce and au gratin are more of a mornay with added cheese and/or crumb on top for a crust.
    look at you and your fancy language. my understanding is that there isn't much difference. based on my reading of recipes, scalloped tends to use heavy cream and au gratin uses milk. au gratin recipes seem to put in cheddar type cheeses in before baking and scalloped puts harder cheese grated on the top towards the end of cooking.

    i love them both!
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  21. #3501
    Coachella Junkie jackstraw94086's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by insbordnat View Post
    I'm not the biggest fan of au gratin/scalloped potatoes so this may seem ignorant - but what's the difference between the two? I've always thought of them as one in the same, perhaps scalloped potatoes are more of a béchamel sauce and au gratin are more of a mornay with added cheese and/or crumb on top for a crust.
    You've perfectly described both, but coming from a place where everyone made this (way too) often, in practice people usually do both at once and conflate the terms, but more commonly call it au gratin.
    Rule of thumb: when you hear someone pronounce gratin like "rotten" then they're almost surely talking about a mix of the two.

  22. #3502
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Heirloom tomatoes won the flavor war with burrata, sliced chorizo and olive oil on a sour baguette. But there were no actual casualties.

    Also we have a single deep frying pan with vertical sides (oven-safe, no lid), a one-quart dutch oven with no lid that I got to boil water, one chefs knife and a few spatulas to work with at the new apartment until our stuff arrives in 10 to 20 days. I have made eggs but missed the sides of vegetables and breakfast meat. I just thought of sausage and peppers but am blanking on other (essentially) one pan dishes for dinners, etc.

    Ideas, anyone?
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Stir fry with shrimp is a good one-skillet meal.
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    You could do any type of taco or fajita meat and warm tortilla in the oven or char them on the burner.
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  25. #3505
    Coachella Junkie locachica73's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    For breakfast you could do chilliquillis (sp?) Or an omelette.
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  26. #3506
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    And like an omelet, scrambles are easy and good too. Saute onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and and sausage, then pour whipped egg over top, let cook for a bit, then scramble it all up together.
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  27. #3507
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Or even a frittata. Yum.
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  28. #3508
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    You can also do portobello mushroom pizzas (wherein you use the portobello caps as the dough).
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  29. #3509
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Scrambles with cherry tomatoes, spinich, orange yellow and red peppers, and chorizo. Add Chalula
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  30. #3510
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    Default Re: The Cooking Thread

    Thank you for the ideas, folks. I will definitely make some scrambles and probably a fritatta, stir fry, etc.

    Also I saw bacon ends at the meat market and realized I could buy disposable aluminum roasting pans so now I can roast potatoes, etc. in bacon fat.
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