Pan-seared chicken with fresh lemon and thyme

Chicken and lemons – a classic flavor paring made in heaven.

While personally I don’t think this recipe needs much instruction, here it is for those who’d like to learn the trick to achieving crispy chicken skin without flour.

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The acid from the lemons will cut through the fat from pan-searing dark chicken meat.

 

Ingredients: 

  • a pat of butter
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 2 lemons – 1 halved, 1 sliced thin
  • Splash of white wine
  • Fresh thyme
  • Plain rice (for serving)
  • Peas and corn (for serving)

Directions:

The trick to crispy skin is placing the meat skin-side down over high heat in a cast-iron skillet. To do so, heat up a cast iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes, then add the pat of butter. When melted, place the chicken skin-side down on the skillet, then proceed to not touch it for approximately 4-5 minutes until the skin turns golden brown. SIMPLE!

Squeeze both halves of the lemon over the chicken, then flip the chicken to its other side and cook for another 3 minutes. Around the chicken add the rest of the sliced lemons, a splash of white wine, and let the chicken cook for another 10-15 minutes until juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from the skillet, and serve with pan juices, plus fresh thyme. Serve with plain rice and peas and corn (or other veggies) for a refreshing and tasty dinner.

David Chang’s Bo Ssam

After reading about David Chang’s bo ssam dish in the Nytimes, I knew I had to try it. Tender, rich, and packed with intense flavor, bo ssam is a slow-roasted pork dish of Korean origin that is available only with a reservation at one of Chang’s NYC restaurants. It was a long wait (almost 3 whole years), but lo and behold the opportunity finally came up and I jumped at the chance.

R. was shooting a music video for one of the songs on his newest album and needed me to play a number of important roles: 1) make up artist 2) stage manager 3) cook 4) host 5) actor/dancer.

So in typical form, I proceeded to punch and kick my way into awesome-dom by making this bo ssam dish. Not only was it easy, delicious, and inexpensive, but the hands-free slow roasting also freed up time so I could prep make-up, keep track of all the actors on set, and keep everyone fed and happy.

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So without further ado, the recipe as I’ve edited it from the original on the nytimes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (8-10 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 heads bibb lettuce (for serving)
  • plain rice (for serving)
  • chopped kimchi (for serving)

Directions:

Score the pork shoulder all over in a cross-hatch pattern all over, being sure to cut through the skin to the fatty layer underneath. Place the pork shoulder into a heavy duty plastic freezer bag and dump in all the salt and sugar. Seal the bag and shake, rubbing the salt and sugar mixture into the meat through the bag. Let it rest in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 300º F and place the pork in a deep roasting dish lined with aluminum foil. Cover the top with the remaining brown sugar, pressing into the skin, and let the pork roast for AT LEAST 6 hours, basting regularly.

After 6 hours, test the meat with a fork. If the meat falls easily away from the bone with gentle pressure, it is done. Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest at least 20 minutes. Shred into chunks, and toss with any remaining pan juices.

While the meat cools, consider preparing the ginger – scallion sauce. While David Chang provides his own recipe, I just made it the way my grandma did. Start your ginger – scallion sauce by sautéing finely diced garlic in a shallow saucepan heated with a splash of grapeseed oil. As it starts to brown, add julienned ginger. Mix it up a bit and finally, add a large handful of thinly sliced green onions. The mixture will cook down quickly so take it off the fire and add 2 tsp light soy sauce. The sauce is ready to use immediately.

To eat, each person serves him/herself by taking a piece of washed bibb lettuce and spooning on some roasted pork. Drizzle on the ginger – scallion sauce, roll it up like a taco, and enjoy! IMG_5137

Not a coffee drinker

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Not a coffee drinker

Coffee smells good but tastes bad. I understand it’s an acquired taste, by why bother? There are so many other delicious drinks to be had.

And if you think I’m alone, check out this quote from a recent Telegraph Article:

“For many it is the first highlight of the day, just when you need it most: the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the house first thing in the morning.

But scientists claim to have solved the mystery of why coffee never tastes as good as it smells.

The act of swallowing the drink sends a burst of aroma up the back of the nose from inside the mouth, activating a “second sense of smell” in the brain that is less receptive to the flavour, causing a completely different and less satisfying sensation.”

Also if anyone is wondering, the above-pictured drink is actually foamed milk, honey, and cinnamon. My drink of choice at any coffee shop.