Teriyaki Chicken Onigiri

Teriyaki Chicken OnigiriOnigiri, also known as omusubi or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in nori – which is the seaweed used to make sushi rolls.  Traditionally, onigiri are filled with all manner of ingredients you’ve probably never heard of.  Sushi like stuff.  Because of the popularity of onigiri in Japan, most convenience stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors.  There are even specialized shops whose only products are onigiri for take out.  It is however, definitely not sushi.  If you’d like some more info on onigiri you should hop over here.  Chances are they’ve answered any questions you might have.

Given that we’d made a whole ton of sushi rice the other night, we used that.  If you were making this for yourself the best bet would be to just fire up the rice cooker or follow the directions on the package of rice that you have.  Medium grain rice, just like sushi rice, is the way to go.  Basmati, Jasmine, long grain rice – all wrong.  There’s not enough gluten and it won’t stick together. Continue reading

Chicken and Waffle Dinner (Or Epic Mealtime #1)

Chicken and Waffle Dinner (Or Epic Mealtime #1)

A few years ago somehow while in Rhode Island my brother and I were searching for a chicken and waffle house.  I used my navigation system on my phone and we found one.  Unfortunately Big Mama’s Chicken & Waffles is in Dallas, at the time more than 2000 miles away.  That’s a hell of a commute for dinner, even for chicken and waffles.

I decided that this evening me and the other half would be having a large unhealthy dinner in which chicken and waffles played a not insignificant part.  Yum.  I like unhealthy dinners.  Unhealthy dinners are often very tasty, and often have the potential to stop your heart cold.  Tastes like danger! Continue reading

Chicken (optional) and Cheese Quesadillas

Chicken (optional) and Cheese QuesadillasQuesadillas are something that I like quite a bit when I go out.  They’re tasty, full of cheese, and they’re generally fried on a griddle.  Griddle anything and its gotta be good, I’m sure I could make a case for my socks tasting good as long as there was enough butter and a griddle involved.

I’m also a firm believer that most things I make at home will, with some research, practice, and a bit of love, turn out better than any dish served by any restaurant.  No different here, then.  I got an email from some fantastic family back East giving me some feedback on what I’m doing here.  In there was also a desire for a quesadilla recipe.  I’m working on the rest my dear, but here’s something to munch on while you’re waiting. Continue reading

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

Spicy Thai Basil ChickenAs I’m sitting on the couch watching Top Chef and writing this, one of the best people on the face of the planet made a comment on my blog that I should post this recipe.  Spooky.  I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe.  I first had this at a restaurant we wandered into in Boston.  Ostensibly we were going to a one-minute film festival (hundreds of one minute films played on outdoor screens.)  The films were bizarre and we thought food might be a better idea.  I decided to try something different.  This dish was the result.  Thanks to bad films!   I had no idea what was in it, but I was transfixed.  Basil, chicken, spicy….fantastic!  I looked around for a good recipe and didn’t really find one that made me too happy.

Cue much experimentation, trial, and error.  What follows is a fairly simple recipe that’s better than anything I’ve gotten at a Thai restaurant, anywhere – New York, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, LA…anywhere.  My kitchen, seemingly, is where it’s at as far as Spicy Thai Basil.  The secret is really oyster sauce.  It’s one of those things that you may never have even seen before, but it’s one of those things that goes into many great Chinese and Thai food dishes that you could never figure out how to make at home.  This recipe will feed four quite comfortably. Continue reading

Homemade Chicken Stock – Or What to Do With That Carcass…

Homemade Chicken StockLots of stuff under the banner of homemade banner this week.  I guess everything is really homemade, if – you know – you make it in your home.  That aside, I just made a chicken.  Quite tasty that.  Once you’re done with the bird, or at least get it out of your cooking vessel, you’re left with juices and whatnot.  Generally I put the stuff that comes out during cooking in a little container and pop that into the fridge.  It’s good chicken goodness – I use it to flavor just about anything really; mushrooms – yup, potatoes – yup, risotto – yup, anywhere you need some oil or fat and chicken would be a nice addition – this is the ticket.

At the point where you’ve gotten all the usable things off of your bird – you’ll have a carcass.  I used to just toss that into the trash (now the compost – here in Seattle.)  Mistake.  We go through a lot of chicken stock.  Not that it’s too expensive, but with the amount of chicken we eat – why not make my own?  Good question.  I didn’t think it was particularly hard, but it does take some time to get things cooked down properly. Continue reading

Simply Roasted Moist and Tasty Whole Chicken

Simply Roasted ChickenPoorly cooked chicken makes me want to throw furniture.  Really.  Dry chicken should be a crime, like the Hague should investigate.  It’s not hard to make truly moist and tasty chicken.  But it’s amazing the number of times I’ve been subject to a dry piece of meat foisted upon me.  Unfortunate at best.

I try to make a whole chicken whenever I have a recipe that’s chicken based.  There’s a few reasons for that.  First, it’s cheaper.  Buying a whole chicken and cooking it, then breaking it down, always makes for meat for everyone dollar for dollar.  Second, I get to make some homemade chicken stock.  I’m always happy to be presented with a carcass.  What’s better than free chicken stock.  And thirdly, it’s always more moist and more tasty when you make a whole bird.  Well that’s my take at least.  I can buy a free range four pound bird for six bucks.  That’s cheap eats.  No way around it.  It’s also incredibly easy to make.  And I have never screwed up a little bird, ever.  Even a little over-cooked and they are just dripping moisture.  I can’t imagine what people do to these when they present something that’s sawdust dry.  What gives? Continue reading