The ultimate fried chicken, part 3: the breading and the glaze


You've seasoned the chicken and fried it perfectly. This third and (maybe) last part of the ultimate fried chicken series is about the little extras -- the variations that make a fried chicken recipe unique. Let's start with the breading or the crumb coating.Does fried chicken need to be coated with crumbs?No, the breading is optional. It is traditional in some … [Read more...]

The ultimate fried chicken, part 2: the frying part

The ultimate fried chicken: seasonings, frying techniques, endless variations

Does fried chicken require deep frying? Ideally, yes. But how many home kitchens have a deep fryer? Even if a heavy deep pan will do, how many home cooks are willing to dump a gallon of cooking oil into a pan for one meal? Not me.I'm a wok person. It's the singular cooking pan than I simply cannot do without. You can take away the cast iron frying pan, the glass and … [Read more...]

The ultimate fried chicken, part 1: season ahead or just before cooking?


There are so many myths about how to cook fried chicken that I've lost count. Some are so ridiculous that I can't even imagine who dreamed them up. The worst I've heard is that the chicken must be seasoned just before frying because letting it sit in salt or any marinade with acid in it will dry the meat. Really?The seasoning is what gives the cooked fried chicken its … [Read more...]

Easy grilled cheese pasta topping


One of the most popular posts in my recipe blog is the baked macaroni. With its rich and creamy cheese topping, it's a real crowd pleaser. But cooking baked macaroni is a rather involved process -- something that my daughters will ask me to do but not do themselves as the procedure involves using a lot of bowls and pans, and no one wants to wash a sink full of dirty … [Read more...]

How I reheat meat stews


A lot of people consider stew as a cold weather dish, something substantial and eaten steaming hot to warm the body but, for me, a stew doesn't require cold weather at all. I cook stew whenever I get the craving and, the thicker the sauce and the more colorful the assortment of vegetables, the better. And I always cook more than enough for one meal because stew always … [Read more...]

What to do with leftover lasagna noodles


Newbie cooks are notoriously fearful of making mistakes in the kitchen. I know I was when I was just starting to learn because my mother was always breathing down my neck about the cost of food and how mistakes often meant waste. Good thing that, with a lot of encouragement from my father, I was quite the little rebel and I experimented anyway AND learned from my mistakes. … [Read more...]

Use leftover stir-fried veggies to make a gorgeous noodle dish


Asian-style stir-fried vegetables don't reheat well especially if the sauce had been thickened with starch. The sauce thickens considerably after chilling overnight in the fridge and it has to be reheated gently to prevent the starch from scorching. The problem with gentle reheating is that it takes long and the length of time turns the vegetables soggy. Steaming gets rid … [Read more...]

How to prevent skin from forming on custard


Many liquids, when left undisturbed, form a skin on the surface. This is true with cans of paint, with meat broth, gravies, milk, custards... And that's just a short list. Why a skin forms varies. With meat broth, for instance, the fat rises to the top and, as it cools, it congeals. The skin the forms on the surface of hot milk is especially disturbing to many.This … [Read more...]

More than one way to peel a lot of garlic in less than a minute


In many of the recipes that call for peeled garlic, I almost always include the tip that it is so much easier and faster to peel garlic if you smash the cloves first. Then, you can hold the tip of the skin, shake it a bit and the garlic will fall off. Easy. That's what I've been doing for years.Then, a friend and fellow lawyer gave me a link to a very interesting … [Read more...]