Jailhouse Jambalaya

bedraggled and ready to eat

We have been working hard on the farm lately. Our weather is beginning  to turn toward Autumn and soon all outdoor work will come to a halt – so we’re kicking it into high gear.  We have the scintillating task of clearing a large field…of all rocks, all rose hips, all by hand.  In my previous life I was a suburban girl; I don’t remember all this manual labor being in the brochure.  I call Steve ‘The Warden’ now – he works me like a dog.  An upside is my pants fit a little better AND I can eat tasty, meaty dishes without as much guilt –  Such as this streamlined, bastardization, Pacific Northwestern version of a creole classic.

jailhouse jambalaya


serves 4-6


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 links of cooked sausage, such as Hempler’s, cut on the bias

6 bell peppers, seeded and rough chopped

1 large yellow onion, rough chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh minced)

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

2 cups cooked brown rice


In a large heavy saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot add sausage and brown on all sides.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Add onion, peppers, spices and herbs to the pan (add additional oil if needed).  Saute vegetables until soft but snappy.   Add the sausage back to the pan and cook until heated through.  Turn off the heat and add butter, stirring until melted.  Serve with brown rice.



Basil Chicken, Basil Corn, & Basil GG Salad Dressing – Go Basil!

This is the best grilled chicken we’ve enjoyed in a very long time.  The recipe comes from a popular restaurant in Pennsylvania called JohnJJeffries and was recently posted in the Epicurious RSS.   This flavorful dish is brined, marinated and served with a chimichurri sauce. The process is a little lengthy, but worth it.

Allow for 1 hour brining and 4 hours marinating.

Serves 4


CHICKEN:

1/4 cup fine sea salt

2 teaspoons pickling spice (buy fresh if it’s been around a long while – this brine is only as good as your pickling spice!)

2 tablespoons honey

4 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces, or whole chicken backbone removed

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil, rough chopped

1/3 cup flat parsley, rough chopped

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped


CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh flat parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 garlic clove, minced

pinch of red pepper flakes


FOR THE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:

Put all the ingredients in a processor and puree until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate.


FOR THE CHICKEN:

If you are using a whole chicken, removing the backbone as well as spliting it in two makes handling much easier (to ‘flatty’ a chicken see previous post: Roasted Flatty Chicken with Compound Butter 7/17/2010)

Boil 2 cups of water with pickling spices and 1/4 cup of fine sea salt in a large pot.  Stir and heat through until salt has dissolved.  Let cool on stove top.  Add 6 cups water and honey stirring until combined.  Place chicken pieces in pot and let brine for an hour.

Meanwhile mix 1/2 cup olive oil, shallot, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a processor until finely chopped.  Place herb mixture in a 13x9x2 inch glass dish.  Rinse chicken in cold water, pat dry and place in herb mixture.  Turn all the pieces coating all sides.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or more.

Prepare barbecue for medium heat.    Remove excess marinade from chicken pieces and place on a baking sheet.  Salt and pepper all sides.  Grill the chicken covered until cooked through turning about every 30 minutes.  Watch for flare-ups!  Move the chicken to cooler locals if necessary.

Alternatively, pre-heat oven to 325°.  Bake chicken for an hour and 40 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165F.  

Serve with the chimichurri sauce.


Basil Lemon Corn on the Cob

This  version comes from the September issue of Food Network magazine.  We excluded the flavored oil side, because we think the water the corn cooks in is flavorful enough.


Serves 4

1/2 cup basil, whole leaves

1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt

4 ears of corn, cleaned

Bring 4 cups water, basil, lemon, oil and a pinch of salt to a boil.  Carefully add corn and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain and enjoy!

creamy basil green goddess dressing

This salad is from Ina Garten with only a few tweaks.  The dressing is very creamy and a little goes a long way, however it tastes very herbaceous and light because of the citrus, basil and tarragon.

serves 4

1 cup mayonnaise

4-6  green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh basil, rough chopped

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons tarragon, rough chopped

2 teaspoons anchovy paste

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoons fresh black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 cup sour cream

2 heads of bibb or butter lettuce, cleaned and dried and chopped

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges


You will likely have far more dressing than required to dress your salads, but it also works well with baja fish taco, salmon sandwich or fajita, tartar sauce substitute and countless other applications.

Place the first 9 ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Add sour cream and blend briefly.  Serve with tomatoes and lettuce.  We found that fresh croutons added a much needed grounding for this very rich dressing so you may want to cube some bread up, toss it with some olive oil, salt and pepper and bake approximately 15 minutes at 350°.

Upright & Outtasite Cornish Game Hen

'juiced' and ready to cook


Crispy on the Outside & Juicy on the Inside

Beer Can Chicken has been around for a while and is still very popular – the reason being it’s a fantastic way to prepare the humble bird or it’s relation the cornish game hen.  We use game hens when we cook for two.  The method is the same with only a few tweaks.  The most obvious one being the size of the can that the bird ‘sits’ on.  A normal beer or soda can is perfect for most chickens, but we found a smaller can such as an energy drink or cold coffee drink can works well with the smaller game hens.


serves 2


1 cornish game hen, cleaned inside and out

1 can sized to fit the bottom hole of the bird

2 tablespoons light olive oil

1 tablespoon herbs de provence

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350° or prepare grill with lid to 350°.  If using an oven, move the rack low enough to accommodate the upright (and Outtasite) bird on the can.  Drain the liquid from the can and rinse.  Fill the can only halfway with water, beer, or soda.  The flavor of the liquid is pretty much indiscernible after cooking.  Place the can on a small sheet pan. Dry the hen inside and out with paper towels and tuck the wingtips behind the back.  Rub oil on the outside and season with herbs and spices.  Carefully mount the bird on top of the half filled can.  For the oven, keep the bird on the sheet pan to cook.  For the grill, place the hen with the can directly on the BBQ grill and cover with a lid.

Roast or grill for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.


Spicy Mango Wings & Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

A few bottled products are used for these dishes, not necessarily as shortcuts-although welcome, but because they add a truly unique flavor boost!


serves 4 as main or 6 as appetizer

For the Wings:

8 chicken wings

5 ounces of PickaPeppa Spicy Mango Sauce (not so spicy actually)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat (toaster) oven to 350°. Place wings in a sealable container, add sauce and salt and mix thouroughly.  Let marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and line with foil.  Spray the top of the foil with non-stick spray as well.  Place the wings on the sheet pan so they don’t touch.  Bake wings for about 3o minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare or preheat the BBQ for a 2 station area – one at about 300° and the other about 350°.  Your shrimp will cook over the 300° and your chicken will brown over the 350° area.


For the Shrimp:

8 extra large or jumbo shrimp (26/30 or 21/25)

8 strips of bacon, thick cut

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

salt and pepper

8 toothpicks, soaked in water


Preheat (toaster) oven to 400°.  Place a wire rack into a rimmed pan and lay the strips of bacon on the rack.  Bake the bacon for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Add a grind or two of pepper.  Turn bacon over and brush with maple syrup, adding more pepper.  Bake for another 3 minutes. Place bacon maple side up on paper towels.  The bacon should be soft, pliable and just about cooked through.  Cool.

Remove the shells and de-vine shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap each shrimp with maple bacon and secure with a soaked toothpick.


When your BBQ is ready, place the wings over your hotter station and the shrimp on the cooler one.  Watch, and turn each piece so that it browns but doesn’t burn, moving if necessary.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Use Patak’s® Medium Mango Relish as a dip for both the wings and the shrimp.

far tastier than it appears! Patak's Mango

The Patak’s® Mango Relish medium is actually pretty darn spicy so a little can go a long way.  It’s intense and very unique flavor adds an amazing dimension to many dishes.

#mce_temp_url#

#mce_temp_url#

Roasted ‘Flatty’ Chicken with Compound Butter

Making a ‘flatty’ chicken is quick and simple allowing for more even cooking.  Using compound butter under the skin gives extra flavor and moisture.



FOR THE CHICKEN:

1  4 pound whole chicken

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil


FOR THE COMPOUND BUTTER:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperture

1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 350°. Remove any loose bits in the chicken cavity and either reserve for another use or discard.  Rinse and pat dry inside and out.  Flatty the chicken (slideshow of this below) rub both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken on rack inside a large roasting pan, tucking the wings behind the breasts.  

2.  FOR THE COMPOUND BUTTER: Using room temperature butter, add herbs de provence, salt, smoked paprika and garlic powder until well blended.  Stuff the butter under the skin of the chicken (images shown below).  Roast the chicken until internal temperature reaches 165°.   Once the internal temperature is met, turn the broiler on to 500° to crisp the chicken skin to medium brown (optional). Let cool slightly and quarter.  Serve on warm plates.

How To Flatty a Chicken & Add Compound Butter:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.