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Born a Texan, but traveled the US extensively.  Now staying on the East coast.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a cooking double header!

The other day i went South,
now in many circles it means something that did not work and had to be discarded,
but for me it means into the southern US for cooking inspiration!
I learned something from my least likable chef on food network, Ann Burell.  I always learn form her even though i do not like her presentation.
In this case it was removing the spine of the chicken - hers was done to butcher a chicken into pieces
Me?  I do not like the little bones from the spine when roasting a chicken.
So i kept the chicken whole and with a SCISSORS removed the entire spine and neck.
Because i do not like to waste i took all of these discards and boiled them down to remove the meat form the bone.
So my first offering:

Chicken Roasted, with biscuits and gravy
(Southern style)

1 whole chicken
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 tablespoon flour

Remove the spine, neck, heart, liver, gizzards and tips of the wings from the chicken and begin boiling them in enough water to keep them covered.
Since the chicken is splayed, lay the cut side down in the roasting pan.
Carefully separate the skin from the meat of the chicken breast.
mix the butter, sage, thyme and salt with 1/2 stick of butter,
slather about half of this mixture between the skin and the meat and on top of the skin.
Begin baking for 1 hour at 250 F.
Raise the temperature to 350 for an additional hour - skin will be crisp and the meat falling off the bone.

For the gravy:
When all the chicken parts are beginning to fall apart, remove them from the heat.
when cool remove all the bones and cartilage.
Blend the meat and remaining liquid with the remaining sage/thyme butter till smooth.
Heat this mixture and add black pepper and bacon fat.
prepare a roux using the remaining butter and the flour.
Add this to the blended mixture just before serving and stir while heating till thick.
Serve gravy over freshly baked biscuits next to the pieces of chicken.

Second offering-the next day i wanted to do a spaghetti and meat sauce, but found i only had ground pork (it was on a sale and you never know and well this was the day!)
This is not Italian as i have been taught, but was recognizable as a good meat sauce, which is a bit thicker than i usually make, but that would be for spaghetti anyway.

Meat Sauce For Spaghetti
(this makes enough gravy for 2 lbs of spaghetti)
1 lb ground pork
5 cloves garlic diced
1 long Italian hot pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 32 oz can tomato sauce
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 tablespoon salt
enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your sauce pan
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups red wine

 heat olive oil with garlic until just hot and add pork.
brown the pork and work it to a fine ground.
add peppers, salt, bacon fat and basil.
when the mixture begins to simmer again add tomato sauce, rinsing the cans with water.
bring to a simmer and cover until the mixture begins to thicken.
Add wine and when simmering again, add tomato paste.
stir well and when this mixture begins to simmer, serve over al dente spaghetti
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