Tag Archives: dutch oven

Recipe Review: Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

January 24, 2014

Filed Under : main courses

chicken in milk | © karacooks.com

One of my goals for this year is to get back to trying new recipes, playing and tweaking and ultimately finding a few new things to add to my regular repertoire. As part of that I think I’ll start doing regular recipe reviews along the way, instead of waiting until I get to the “perfect” version of whatever recipe.

The first one in the series is Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk. I’ve been fascinated by this recipe ever since I first saw it and I’m pretty sure I’ve had it pinned on Pinterest for the better part of 3 years! This week I finally made it – with a few changes. (I know, I know – I shouldn’t tweak until I’ve made the recipe as written at least once, but these were minor tweaks).

As written the recipe calls for a stick of cinnamon and some sage leaves. I didn’t have either of those, so I doubled up on the garlic and the lemon (using whole lemon slices, rather than just the zest). Everything else was exactly as in the recipe.

chicken in milk | © karacooks.com

The first thing that happened is that during the “fry it in olive oil” step, while turning the whole chicken, the skin over the breast stuck to the bottom of the pot and peeled right off the breast when I turned it, as you can see above. Sadness. I was really looking forward to that crispy, dark brown skin as part of the meal. Also, it meant that there wasn’t any protection over the breast while it roasted, so the breast wound up somewhat dry.

As it was roasting I could smell the garlic and the lemon, but there was also a very subtle sweet smell, which I’m attributing to the sugars in the milk as they cooked.

chicken in milk | © karacooks.com

When it came out of the oven, it looked pretty good, swimming in a vibrant yellow juice/broth. As I said, the breast was a little dry, so while the rest of the meal finished cooking, I rolled the chicken over so that the breast could soak in the sauce for a bit.

After about 15 mins, I removed the chicken to a plate (where I then pulled/cut the meat off the bones), and dipped out the bits of lemon and garlic from the sauce.

I used the stick blender on what was left and made a creamier gravy/sauce, based on the comments on the original recipe, and I”m glad I did.

I served this with roasted sweet potatoes – but next time I’d like to try it with some small white potatoes as I think they’d play better with the lemony, garlicky sauce.

Final Verdict: Even with the little bit of dry breast from being de-skinned and exposed it was delicious and flavorful. It’s something I’d make again with a few tweaks as follows:

I’d like to try this with chicken pieces rather than a whole chicken. I think it would be easier to brown individual pieces than to try to fry and rotate the whole chicken – and less chance of the skin peeling off and sticking. I also might add in some thyme, which I always have fresh in the front garden, and I’d like to try it with the addition of a cinnamon stick as the recipe calls for. Finally, I don’t think this recipe would work in a slow cooker or crock-pot, as it needs to cook uncovered at a higher temperature, and in a dry surrounded heat, for the milk and juices to evaporate some and thicken up.

Overall, 4/5 stars, and definitely something I’ll try again.

If I Were Limited to Five Items

June 26, 2013

Filed Under : house & home - miscellaneous food

Recently I’ve been trying to declutter (again) and clean out my kitchen (again) and try to pare down my belongings. I’m doing it little by little and being somewhat meticulous about the process.  Then on Twitter last night, I got involved in a conversation about buying new pots and pans. As part of that conversation about cookware, this happened:

What a GREAT question! I put some time into it and really thought about the things that I use the most in my kitchen currently. I realized that I actually do already have and use the items that I would pare down to or recommend for someone starting from scratch, so I came up with these five items to answer the question:

pots and pans | karacooks.com

  1. Without a doubt, the item that I use the most in my kitchen is my Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Skillet. My paternal grandmother (Meemaw) taught me most of my cooking skills and well over half of everything she cooked was made in a cast iron skillet. When I moved away from home I eschewed cast iron as too heavy and old fashioned and bought a top of the line non-stick skillet. Big mistake. It didn’t take me long to go back to tried and true cast iron, properly seasoned. I use this skillet every day. I do stir fry in it, scramble or fry eggs, make omelets, make frittatas, pan fry fish and chicken, even bake cornbread, dressing, and the occasional cake.
  2. The next most used item in my kitchen is this All-Clad 1-1/2-Quart Saucepan with Lid. I cook for one or two people most often and this pan is just large enough to make 2 servings of things like oats, polenta, rice or quinoa. It’s perfect to heat a can of soup or some frozen veg, or simmer just enough sauce for 2. It’s also the perfect size for poaching 2 eggs.
  3. For everything else, this All-Clad Stainless 3-Quart Saucepan is my go to. It’s big enough for a steamer insert when I want to use it that way. I can cook potatoes or pasta in it. I can cook an 8oz bag of dried beans, prepare rice or quinoa for a larger group, and even do small batches of soup. In fact I make either butternut, pumpkin, or a mixed veggie soup for lunches in this sauce pan at least once a week.
  4. Next up, is my All-Clad Stainless 8-Quart Stockpot.  I do a lot of big batch cooking for freezing and to make staples; I make batches of tomato sauce, chili, soups and stews, beans and ham, and both chicken and beef stock to freeze. During the winter the stockpot probably gets more use than the 3-quart just because we’re big fans of stew and chili and will happily eat leftovers of both for days at a time. During the holidays it’s the default mashed potato pot for when the entire family descends. Oh, and it’s also the pot I pop popcorn in; I much prefer stovetop popcorn to the microwave version.
  5. My last item is a Le Creuset 5-1/2-Quart French (Dutch) Oven, which is what I have now. If I were to do it again, I’d get  the Le Creuset 6-3/4-Quart Oval French Oven, because I think the oval shape works better for what I mostly use it for – cooking roasts and brisket and the occasional casserole. (Plus I’d get it in the cassis/plum color that wasn’t available when I bought mine!) My all time favorite brisket recipe, that is braised in beer and onions is practically made for the Le Creuset!

Now, that’s just cookware. I could get into a whole other list involving appliances and accessories. Maybe that’ll be a post for a later date. :)

What would be YOUR list, if you were only limited to 5 items?

Disclosure: The links in this post include an Amazon.com affiliate code. That means if you click on these links and buy these items (or any items from Amazon.com during your visit), I get a percentage of the sale. Just so you know.

slow cooked pork loin in beer

January 25, 2011

Filed Under : main courses

This is not a recipe per se and the photo is not gorgeous.  In fact it’s probably not even borderline attractive.  But by the time this pork loin came out of the oven, I was so hungry and it was so good … that I didn’t even think of picking up the camera to take a pretty “food porn” photo before I inhaled it!

slow cooked pork | © karacooks.com & kara hudson
Start with a 1.5 – 2 lb pork loin.  Take it out of the packaging and pat it dry.  Then brown it in a very hot dutch oven in a little bit of olive or canola oil.  Add some chopped garlic (I added 3 cloves!). Once the pork is nicely browned, pour a can of Guinness (or other dark beer) into the pot, cover it, and place it in the oven at 250 deg.  Cook it for 6 hours.  Don’t open the oven or peek until at least 6 hours are over.

When you take it out of the pot, just touching it with a fork will have it falling apart in shreds.  The first night I served this over rice.  The second night, I put the leftover shredded pork in folded over corn tortillas with some shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa and made pork tacos.

Try it.  I promise you’ll like it!

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