Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Henan Chicken Stew

This is from this week's "Slow Food Fast" series in the Wall Street Journal. I made it this afternoon for tonight's dinner, and my house smelled so good that I have to share this with you tonight. While it requires a lot of different spices, you won't be disappointed. Your house will smell like an Asian marketplace, minus the goats and cigarette smoke.

Henan Chicken Stew

Boiling in a big, deep pot

Beer Braised Henan Chicken
Adapted from Danny Bowien, Mission Chinese Food
From Wall Street Journal

Total time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6


1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, broken down and cut into 10 pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup dried red chilies
2 Tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns or whole black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. fennel seeds
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 pieces star anise
4 pods green cardamon
2 Tbsp. Chinese chili paste or Sriacha
2 cups chicken stock or water
16 oz. lager-style beer (Budweiser, Tsingtao, etc.)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
4 small russet potatoes, washed and cut into 1 inch dice
Sherry vinegar to taste
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

First, season the chicken with salt and two tbsp. fish sauce and let sit five minutes. Meanwhile, set a heavy, deep pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, work in batches to brown both sides of chicken pieces, about six minutes per batch, transferring chicken to a bowl as you go.

Return chicken to pot, increase heat to high and add all remaining ingredients except the vinegar and cilantro. Bring pot up to a rolling boil, cover and cook until chicken and potatoes are tender and sauce is reduced, about 20 minutes.

Season with vinegar and extra fish sauce to taste. Top with cilantro.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dulce de Leche Goat Cheese Cookies

This recipe is decadence upon decadence. It was printed out on a recipe card for work, and since we'd just salted a batch of goat curd, I thought I'd give it a try. Wow. The other aside is that 1. I had a free afternoon, and 2. happened to have a jar of dulce de leche sauce in the pantry. In any case, dulce de leche sauce may be a little tricky to find. Stonewall Kitchens makes it, I found it at Your DeKalb Farmer's Market. You may always look for a recipe and make it yourself. It really isn't that difficult. 

The trick here is the sable-style cookies. You really do need to roll them and measure out the cookies as indicated. Use a very sharp knife to score and slice the dough. If it is too soft, they won't cut right. 

Dulce de Leche Goat Cheese Cookies
Origin unknown


2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
7 oz. Dulce de Leche sauce
3.5 oz. CalyRoad Creamery Fresh Plain Goat Cheese
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl, blend butter and sugars together until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the yolks one at a time, and whisk well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour into the bowl. Mix until dough is roughly the same texture throughout (I found it to be a bit crumbly). Stir in pecans. 

Divide dough into two balls. Place each ball on its own sheet of plastic wrap. Using the wrap to press the dough, roll the balls into eight inch logs. Twist the ends of the wrap tight and refrigerate the dough from two hours to overnight. When ready to bake, remove rolls from refrigerator and proceed. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Unwrap dough and place on a cutting board. Starting from the center and working your way out, score the log with the blade of your knife to mark 24 cookies on the log. Cut half, then half, then each 1/4 into sixths for a total of 24 cookies per log. Slice the log into the marked pieces. Do this with each roll. 

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Space cut cookies on parchment so that they are about 1 inch apart. Place baking sheets in hot oven, and after 10 minutes, rotate sheets, baking for a total of 20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden. Remove from oven and let cool. Warm the dulce de leche in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. When just warm, remove from heat and stir in goat cheese. Cool the goat cheese de leche mix. 

To finish cookies, take about a teaspoon of the mixture and spread it on the bottom of one cookie, and sandwich it with another cookie. Continue until finished. Dust cookies with confectioner's sugar. 

Makes approximately 24 cookies. 

Dough ball

Logs chilled and ready to cut

Note the score lines in the dough to the right

Goat cheese prior to mixing into Dulce de Leche

The finished cookie