Garlic Chicken In Casserole with Israeli Couscous

I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to use chicken. Here’s one that’s fairly easy and tastes pretty good too. It goes great with Eggless Caesar Salad.

Garlic chicken

Garlic Chicken In Casserole with Israeli Couscous

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken: - 2 whole garlic bulbs - 1 lemon, zested and juiced - 1 large bunch thyme, leaves only - 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground - Pinch crushed red pepper flakes - Kosher salt - Extra-virgin olive oil - 1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 to 10 parts

Couscous: - Kosher salt - 2 cups medium-size Israeli couscous - Extra-virgin olive oil - 1 large onion, sliced - 3 ribs celery, sliced thin on the bias - Pinch crushed red pepper flakes - 1 1/2 cups dry white wine - 3 tablespoons tomato paste - Large pinch saffron - 2 zucchini, green part only, cut into 1/2-inch dice - 2 to 3 cups chicken stock - 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted - 3 scallions, white and green, sliced thinly on the bias

METHOD:

  1. Chicken: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the garlic bulbs in a small tin and roast them until they are soft when squeezed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let cool.

  2. When the garlic bulbs are cool, slice the tops off and squeeze out the roasted garlic. Add the garlic to a food processor or a bowl, along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, cumin, crushed red pepper and salt, to taste. Add a little olive oil and puree or mash into a loose paste. Massage the mixture all over the chicken pieces and let sit for at least 1 hour.

  3. Couscous: Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil, over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook it until it’s about 2/3 of the way cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and reserve.

  4. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and brown it on all sides. Remove it to a plate, drain the fat and add the onions and celery. Season with salt, to taste, and the crushed red pepper. Deglaze with white wine, scraping up all the crud on the bottom of the pan and cook the onions and celery for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the saffron, zucchini, cooked couscous, and chicken stock. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish. Nestle the chicken, skin side up, in the couscous and cover with foil. Add some more chicken stock to keep everything nice and moist. Sprinkle with pine nuts and cover with foil. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan.

  5. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, covered, then remove the foil and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and top with scallions before serving.

Tender Beef Tongue with Onions and Garlic

I made Tender Beef Tongue with Onions and Garlic.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 beef tongue
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno (optional), sliced in half or minced
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1 bay leaf

METHOD:

Put all ingredients into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer for about 3 hours until tender. Let cool until you are able to handle. Peel off skin and slice.

NOTES:

Beef tongue can be eaten plain (many people recommend dipping it in mustard), pickled, or sauted until crispy.

Basic Brown Veal Stock

Have you ever wondered why your meat dishes and stews taste like crap? You know the ones I mean? The ones were the recipes call for beef stock or beef broth? It’s not because you’re a bad cook. (Well, you might be, but in that case everything you make tastes like crap.) It’s because you’re using that crappy store bought stuff. The stock is the base of dish, so if your base is crap, then the dish will be crap too.

The solution is very simple. Make your own veal stock.

Basic Brown Veal Stock from The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 lbs meaty veal bones and joints (knuckles, breast, shank), cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • 4 large carrot, peeled
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 2 large onion, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns, cracked
  • 5 stems thyme
  • 5 stems parsley
  • 2 bay leaf

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and lightly oil two large sheet or roasting pans. Place the pans in the oven. When the oven and the pans are hot, remove them, and place the meat and bones on them. Make sure they’re spread out so they brown as evenly as possible. Roast them for 30 minutes, then turn them and continue roasting for another 15 minutes or until they’re appealingly golden brown and smell delicious.

  2. Place the bones in a stock pot. Pour off the fat from the pans, add a couple of cups of water to the pans, place them over high heat, and scrape the brown bits stuck to the pan. Taste this liquid. Sometimes the juices from the bones can burn and make this deglazing liquid bitter – if it’s bitter, don’t use it. If it tastes good (its flavor will be much milder than its deep color will indicate), add this liquid to the stock pot, then continue to add enough cold water to cover the bones by a couple of inches, about 10 quarts. Bring the water to a simmer, skimming the surface of any fat and impurities that rise. Place the stock pot in the oven and heat it to between 180 degrees and 200 degrees F. Let the stock cook for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

  3. Meanwhile, clean and roughly chop your vegetables. When the bones have cooked for 8 to 10 hours, remove the stock pot from the oven. Add the remaining ingredients. (For an even deeper, richer stock, roast the vegetables and tomato paste till they are slightly caramelized, and then add them to the stock.) Bring the pot back up to a simmer, skimming as necessary, then return the pot to the oven for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Strain the stock through a colander or strainer as soon as it’s out of the oven. Strain the stock a second time through a kitchen cloth. Refrigerate the stock. Remove and discard the congealed fat on the top of the stock. Use within a week or freeze as necessary.