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Chicken Ramen

Ramen has a rap about it being a cheap as dirt staple of starving students.  While absolutely true, it makes a very tasty base for more upscale dinners.  I like poaching an egg or two in the broth.  I put a daub of sambal in mine.You could leave the egg in the simmering broth long enough to get beyond the runny yolk phase but that is not something I would do.  The yolk adds a richness to the broth that is hard to beat.

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Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the easiest things, but be sure to use older rice that has dried out some.  This lunch was the happy result of finding a baggie of rice in the back of freezer beyond during an exploration this morning.  I also used up a single link of garlic pepper sausage left over from a breakfast a few days past.  Saute the sausage or ham or whatever in sesame oil, add the peas and carrots and chopped green onions and sweat those for a few minutes, add the rice and warm that up.  Lastly stir in some oyster sauce and a little soy sauce.  I usually add in some scrambled egg but this time I didn’t.The chicken was dredged in flour, fried, and set aside.  It has a sauce of honey, garlic, ginger, chili paste, and soy sauce that was simmered to warm and reduce.  Add the chicken to it and toss to coat.  The green beans were steamed and chilled, then re-warmed in a pan with garlic and sesame oil.

Pan Biscuits and Chicken Gravy

 

This was a cross between biscuits and gravy and chicken pot pie.  I went with this recipe for the biscuits.  I’ve made it before but this time I used an 8×8 inch glass pan.  I should have stayed with my larger hotel pan because the biscuits took way longer to bake than the recipe indicated.  After I took the pic I tried to plate some biscuits for the dinner but they were not yet done, I had to give them 10 more minutes past the 25 I had set the timer for and they were still not quite right.

The chicken was leftover from the “Winner, Winner..” post the other day, and the gravy was just a simple white sauce with powdered mustard, a few ounces of Parmesan, plus the remaining chicken gravy.  I steamed some more veggies to add to it.  I was hungry when I put the biscuits into the oven and ravenous by the time they were finally done.

Multi-Pot Recipes: Cooking In Two Layers, Shredded BBQ Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

I’ve been using my multi-pot electric pressure cooker a lot. I’ve been making my standard pressure cooker recipes, including a delicious pot roast  (recipe here – although I’ve been using  whiskey instead of wine and really liking the flavor)

My multi-pot came with both a steamer tray and a steam basket. The former is so you can steam instead of boil your food and the latter so  you can cook two items at once. On a busy day, I may not cook fancy, but with a pressure cooker  you can put together a quick flavorful meal in a few minutes.

I thought it was time to give the steamer basket a try.

First up – the steamer tray. The one that came with the multi-pot is basically a wire rack. The one from my stove-top pressure cooker is a flat tray.

I wondered if it would fit and sure enough it did. So I started with that one, since I was more familiar with it. What I love about the steamer tray is you can infuse whatever you’re cooking with lots of flavor by placing a spice packet (I use unbleached coffee filters and string) under the tray, add just enough water to cover the tray and cook as usual.  Super flavorful when pressure cooked.

I made Chicken in BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes:

Shredded BBQ Chicken

  • 3 small boneless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • water
  • spice packet: rosemary, sage, garlic, oregano – crushed together and tied into a flat spice packet to fit under the tray

Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts. In the multi-pot add enough liquid (1/2 water and 1/2 red wine vinegar) to barely cover the tray. Add spice packet, steaming tray and then chicken breasts.

Now it’s time to add the potatoes in the steaming basket.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 potatoes (I like yukon gold, but any will do), washed and cut into eight pieces each)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the steam basket into the multi-pot and add potatoes.

Now it’s time to attach the lid and cook according to directions – use the time for the longest cooking item, in this case the chicken (15 minutes vs. 10 minutes for the potatoes).

Once the cooker has depressurized, add potatoes to a large bowl to mash, heat milk and butter in microwave until butter is melted and add to potatoes. Mash and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

For the chicken, remove from the pressure cooker to a plate. Remove spice packet and liquid (I save the liquid and freeze for soup base). Shred chicken (I use two forks, pulling in opposite directions) and then add back into the multi-pot along with BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays – sweet & spicy – is my favorite) and turn the multi-pot to WARM. Let simmer until everything is heated through (a couple of minutes).

Serve with steamed buttered green beans for a quick evening meal.  It’s not fancy, but it’s also not fast food. 😉

This technique can be used with many items – instead of BBQ you can skip the vinegar when cooking and then use the liquid, along with milk, butter and flour to make a quick gravy after the chicken has steamed. Shred the chicken, add to the gravy and serve over potatoes.

Use this two-tier technique with pot roast, ribs, pork roast… etc.

I think I’m going to try lemon juice, chicken and rice for my next concoction.

Note on steamer tray – I made my first batch of mashed potatoes without it and the potatoes were watery. The next batch I switched to the steamer tray and they were smooth and creamy. Lesson: steam whenever you can instead of boil.

For all the Multi-Pot recipes, bookmark this link.

Next Multi-Pot recipe will be Sesame Chicken. Until then…



 

Roasted Chicken and Pear Crisp

This is such an easy dinner. Season bone-in chicken thighs with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. I gently pull up the skin and sprinkle spices underneath and replace the skin. I brush a bit of olive oil over them and then place them on top of halved potatoes and zucchini, also brushed with a bit of olive oil. Roast at 375 degrees.

Pear Crisp is delicious. It is my basic Apple Crisp recipe (here), added some walnuts and yum!



 

Posole Verde with Chicken

This was easy enough.  I poached some chicken thighs in stock and then set them aside to cool.  I found a pint jar of tomatillo salsa and added that to the broth, a quart jar of hominy, plenty of garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, and finally, the chicken , shredded.  Thicken, as needed, with a slurry of masa in water.

Some corn tortillas, cooked on the griddle and then torn into pieces and fried, made a nice side.  Toss them with salt and a grind or two of mixed dried peppers while warm.

Chicken Parm

This dish is usually made with tenderized chicken breasts, I like the boneless, skinless thighs better.  I pounded these a little but not a lot.  The prep was typical, though:  dredge in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs,  Cook in olive oil until golden, then flip.  Bake, topped with sauce and cheese and serve.  I like a bed of spaghetti that has been tossed in butter and good olive oil with plenty of garlic.

Tacos for Sunday Lunch

Used the rest of those first cherry tomatoes in a pico de gallo.  The taco base is refried beans and chicken, I finished mine out with the pico, chopped lettuce, queso fresco, and my new favorite taco sauce.  I like the red, Mrs J goes for the green.

Tidbits

Mmm… another Reuben.  We’ve pretty much settled on an assembly standard:  The corned beef, sliced just so, homemade sauerkraut, and cheese all warmed in a skillet – adding the cheese only when the beef and ‘kraut are warmed through.  The rye slices are started in the toaster when the cheese goes on.  The thousand island dressing goes in a small bowl to be used as a dip – this helps to keep the sandwich intact because it is not soaking through the toast.  Pickle spear garnish is optional but encouraged!We’ve been seeing a lot of rain, 10 inches in the last week, and rivers and creeks are overflowing.  Whenever we get high water  one of the obligatory stops on the gawking tour is this municipal band shell at the aptly named Riverside Park.  The Big Muddy River (actual name!) is a tributary of the Mighty Mississippi, it enters a few miles below Grand Tower, IL.An access road loops around the park.  It would be visible below the shell but for the high water.  Right now we are kinda “meh” – we’ve seen it higher.  All bets are off should the rain come back.  Crews are sandbagging the big levee along the Mississippi just in case and they are keeping a 24 hour watch.We’re using those naan loaves for pizzas, and here is one replacing a tortilla in a vaguely Tex-Mex hodgepodge with rice, beans, chicken, cheese, eggs, and a salsa verde.Another selfie with Bitsy that I’ve run through the Prisma app.  This is using the Heisenberg filter.  My favorite filter is the one they call Gothic.Time for another pineapple upside down cake!  I used dark brown sugar in this one rather than the light brown I usually go with.  Pour melted butter mixed with brown sugar in the bottom of a pan, this one was made in a 9-1/2″ x 12″ hotel pan with 3/4 cup of butter and 3/4 cup sugar.  I drained the juice from a can of pineapple tidbits and used about half of them in the recipe.  Use the pineapple juice to replace some of the water needed for a yellow cake mix and pour the prepared mix over the pineapple bits.  These baked at 350 for 20 minutes and were not quite done so I added 10 minutes to the timer and reduced the temp to 325 because the top was browning nicely.  If you would rather go from scratch this recipe should work fine for you.These are a favorite and this surely won’t be the last one you’ll see here.  We are just getting warmed up for those summer garden tomatoes.

Biscuit Crust Pot Pie

Well, it’s a semi-sorta biscuit crust pot pie.  Biscuit crust pot pies are a thing, but whenever I’ve made them (usually with store bought pop biscuit dough) the tops of the biscuits browned nicely but the bottoms were always nearly raw.  This fixes that.  I found a nice pan biscuit recipe [here] that looked really good.Lacking any buttermilk, I went the ersatz route with a tablespoon of white vinegar in regular whole milk.  I wasn’t sure that the butter in the pan bottom would incorporate well but it worked fine.My pan was 10×12 inches rather than the 8×8.  I figured that for what I was doing there wouldn’t be any problem with a tad thinner biscuit.  It did finish quicker, mine took 15 minutes at 425.I wish I had thought to use parchment paper in the bottom.  I made a few half-hearted tries at winkling the whole thing out but ended up taking it out in pieces……and placing them atop the chicken and veggie filling that had been cooking on a different shelf in an identical pan.  I gave the top a brushing of melted butter and popped it back into the oven for a bit.The pan biscuits were really good, I do think that for this application the recipe should have been reduced by a third, or the amount of filling increased.