Category Archives: Chicken

Spicy Chicken Thighs with Rhubarb-Cucumber Salsa

It’s that time of year again in The Pie Society kitchen when we make tons of Strawberry Rhubarb pie. I love making this pie not only because it’s delicious and a joy to make in the kitchen, but every time I purchase rhubarb at Whole Foods Market someone makes a comment that they grew up with it in their back yard and have such fond memories of this gorgeous bittersweet root. I love helping bring back memories like that through pie!

David’s reaction to this dish from Bon Appétit was hilarious. He insisted that I place a blog post up about it so all three of you would be inspired to make it and kept going “mmmm!” and pointing his finger at his almost empty plate. The spicy marinade on the chicken was a perfect complement to cool, invigorating notes of cucumber and the bitter and sweet flavors of rhubarb in the salsa. It was extremely quick to make and was so deliciously balanced we couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the night. This is going under Emily and David favorite and I have feeling will be on rotation in our house for as long as rhubarb is in season this year!


Chickpea Stew

I really don’t have many words to describe this recipe from Bon Appetit except it’s…amazing, savory, spicy and deep in delicious flavors. This is one of my most favorite things I’ve made in really long time and it’s super simple to boot. In fact it was so good, I was a smidge jealous that David was getting the leftovers for lunch the next day…jealous, over leftovers, now that’s saying something.



Chickpea Stew (photo by Jonny Valiant)

Do you feel like chicken tonight?

Well, you will with this Sautéed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Roasted Lemons from the gentle Italian lamb and talented Chef Lidia Bastianich.  This hails from the same great line-up of female chef recipes I tried last week and was so lovely in every way. The lemons were muted a bit due to roasting them in olive oil and were contrasted by the briny olives and capers. I also loved the crispy breadcrumbs and arugula (it calls for spinach but I wanted a bit of spiciness to this) that made it feel like a substantial but not too filling meal. The one thing that really gave a “zing” to the chicken was the simple light dusting with flour before sautéing. A simple but effective step that made the chicken slightly crispy while still retaining its moisture.  I felt the simplicity and bright, clean flavors of the dish is what really made this a winner for us. Serve this to your loved ones or at a dinner party, trust me, their will be licked plates.


Sauteed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Roasted Lemons (Photo by Tina Rupp)

Girl Power!

You might be saying to yourself, “self, doth my eyes deceive me or is this really a new Cooking Inside the Lines post?” Yes it is, and I also made you sound like a Shakespearean actor, ha! I know, I know. I’ve been really bad about posting but I have managed to try some fantastic recipes recently, even in the midst of planning a wedding and running my own pie business. I still can’t believe I get to marry the man of my dreams next month. I am just dripping with happiness that I get to be Mrs. Emily Kealey!  Sorry, I digress.

Food and Wine magazine has this excellent little slideshow featuring recipes from top female chefs, and I have the pleasure of telling you that the three I tried were all rock stars. Go ladies, do your thang! I liked these so much, that I’m trying three more from this round-up this week to see how they turn out. Scout’s honor, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, give these three beauties a try. Here they are with my thoughts:

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore – Deep , rich, spicy flavors. A beautiful dish from Chef Barbara Lynch. We loved this “deconstructed” version of a chicken cacciatore, and I love me some chicken cacciatore so I’ve tried many at home. See, you don’t have to pick from the litter, just make this one!

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore (Photo by Marcus Nilsson)

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding – When I saw the pairing of these two dishes I thought, “hmm not sure if they fit together, but they both sound so delicious, let’s just see.” Well, they don’t pair really. I would like to serve the Sweet Corn Pudding with some kind of ham smothered in some kind of gravy. The scallops were just delicious with the basil and anchovies, and I think I would have liked it better if they were nestled on top of a turnip or parsnip puree. They are just so elegant that the pudding kind of threw us off. Either way, both were delicious, and quick to boot.

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding (Photo by Anna Williams)

Hanger Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa – Hands down our favorite of the group. They had us at herb-nut salsa and Chef Naomi Pomeroy is one of my favorites. This was quick, delicious, crunchy, savory, herbalicious and packed a super flavor punch. if I’m in a pinch and want something I know is going to be the bomb, this is it.

Hangar Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa (Photo by Petrina Tinslay)







The Momofuku Challenge

As I’ve mentioned before, the Momofuku cook book has intimidated the heck out of me for quite some time. I’m not sure why, but the recipes can be lengthy and it seems a majority of them require a lot of marinating or sitting to make everything work. For someone with a new business, planning a wedding and remodeling a home with their adorable husband-t0-be – time is of the essence right? So I wasn’t sure if had time to tackle or take on lengthy recipes with a lot of steps. Yeah, wrong as usual.

I have three words for Chef Chang: God Bless You. I tried his Fried Chicken (with Octo Vinaigrette) and Ginger Scallion Noodles last week and I can’t get the flavors out of my head. No wonder his restaurants are so successful – the food haunts you. So memorable in fact that I’m trying a pork dish of his on top of, wait for it, Ginger Scallion Noodles. Love, love, love. I can’t wait to go to New York and actually visit one or four of his restaurants to try the real thing. Intimidated no more I am! What I also love about this cook book is Chef Chang’s tone, he can be brusque and drop tons of f-bombs (which is too funny in parts) but I also love his passion for cooking and his belief that his recipes will knock your socks off (they do poodles) which in turn makes you want to roll up your sleeves and let ‘er rip.

Give these a try and it will blow your mind. If I like the pork, I’ll share here too…wait, I did and it was AMAZING. Hands down, my favorite slow-roasted pork recipe ever and all you do is cover it in salt and sugar and sugar. Who knew? Recipes below pandas.

Recipes courtesy of Momofuku Cookbook, Published by Clarkson Potter, 2009

Fried Chicken (Serves 2 to 4)

  • 4 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of kosher salt
  • One 3-t0- 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into 4 pieces (2 legs, 2 breast halves with wings attached)
  • 4 cups grapeseed or other neutral cooking oil
  • Octo Vinaigrette (below)

1. Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a large container with a lid or a large freezer bag, and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the chicken to the brine, cover or seal, and refrigerate for at least one hour and no more than six.

2. Set up steamer on the stove. Drain the chicken and discard the brine. Put the chicken in the steamer basket (if you are using a stacking Chinese-style bamboo steamer, put the legs in the bottom level and the breast on the top). Turn the heat to medium and set the lid of the steamer  ever so slightly ajar. Steam the chicken for 40 minutes, then remove it from the steamer and put it on a cooling rack to cool. Chill it in the refrigerator, preferably on the rack, for at least two hours or overnight.

3. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you fry it.

4. In a deep skillet, heat enough oil for the chicken to be submerged to 375 degrees. Fry the chicken in batches, turning once, until the skin is deep brown and crisp, six to eight minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

5. Cut the chicken into a few pieces: cut the wine from the breast, cut the breast in half, cut through the knee to separate the thigh from the drumstick. Put in a large bowl toss with the vinaigrette, and serve hot.

Octo Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Pickled Chiles (page 68 of the cookbook) or 1 fresh Bird’s Eye-Chile, seeded and chopped (I used the Bird’s Eye)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of usukuchi (light soy sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the garlic, ginger, chile, vinegar, soy, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, sugar, and a few turns of black pepper in a lidded container and shake well. This will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, and is good on everything except ostrich eggs, which is really the ostrich’s fault than the vinaigrette’s. (love him :) ).

Ginger Scallion Noodles (A must make!)

  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
  • 1/2  cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup finely minced peeled fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons usukuchi (light soy sauce)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

Mix together scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Though it’s best aftre 15 to 20 minutes of sitting, ginger scallion sauce is good from the minute it’s stirred together up to a day or two in the fridge. Use as directed, apply as needed.


  • 1 whole 8-to-10 pound bone-in Boston Pork Butt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus one tablespoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. Put the pork shoulder in a roasting pan, ideally one that hold it snugly. Mix together the granulated sugar and one cup of the salt in a bowl, then rub the mixture into the meat; discard any excess salt-and-sugar mixture.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and discard any juices that have accumulated. Put the pork in the oven and cook for 6 hours, basting with rendered fat and pan juices every hour. The pork should be tender and yielding at this point – it should offer almost no resistance to the blade of a knife and you should be able to easily pull meat of the shoulder with a fork. Depending on your schedule, you can serve the pork right away or let is rest and mellow out at room temperature for up to an hour.

3. When ready to serve…turn the oven to 500 degrees.

4. Stir together the remaining one tablespoon salt and brown sugar and rub the mixture all over the pork. Put it in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the sugar has melted into a crisp, sweet crust. (Emily just drooled)

Top Chef

I adore Richard Blais and don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy he won Top Chef All-Stars, and yes I might have had something in my eye when he won…sniffle! However, Chef Tre Wilcox is now Top Chef (besides me…hahhhahahahaha, I made a funny) in this house with his Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs.  Bless. Wow this was phenomenal and has earned a spot as an Emily and David favorite. Yep, I don’t need to say much else do I?

The recipe is a little bit of work with a long recipe list but it works. I think if you served this at a dinner party you might get fist bumps and hugs. The sauce on this is sweet, tangy with just a hint of spice. And with it smothered all over the chicken thighs with their awesome rub..bless.

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs...from Heaven (Photo by Fredrika Stjärne)

David made this killer side of Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto from Bon Appetit. This complemented the chicken dish quite well with both using chive and parsley. YUMMY David! So we didn’t have to wait, we roasted the potatoes at the 325 degree temperature that the chicken recipe called for but just for a bit longer. Easy, breezy lambs!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto (Photo by Ditte Isager)




Sautéed Chicken and Radishes with Mustard and Tarragon

To the Bon Appetit test kitchen or actually, the new team in charge, please give a big, fat raise to your staff because the peeps in charge of the At The Market section have nailed it yet again. Y’all are batting a thousand in our household let me tell you.

This dish is super French inspired and contains delicious butter, so naturally I was doing my best Julia Child (in my head) while making this dish. Let me backtrack by saying we had what was an incredibly great but busy day for the little pie company that could, and I was super wiped out when I got home. It was bad y’all, I suggested ordering a pizza…Somehow, I think with a little vino encouragement, I got up and carried on *fist shake*!  “Carried on” may not be the correct term (I’m so dramatic :)), as this took no time to make. I didn’t have white wine (that’s odd for this house) so I deglazed with a bit of lemon juice and sherry vinegar. I LOVED this. That sauce. Gosh, that sauce. With the bitter tarragon, mustard, butter and broth it just sung on top of the sauteed chicken and radishes that had turned a little sweet from being sauteed as well.

I served this with a side of Carrots with Caramelized Ginger. This is a super simple side that worked beautifully with the chicken dish! I think I might make this my go-to side dish if I’m stumped and need something quick. Delicious!

Pull out the apron, have a glass of French wine, wield your stick of butter and channel your best Julia Child – you are going to love this for sure.


Carrots with Caramelized Ginger (Photo by Nigel Cox)

Put a Little Pep in Your Parm!

For their January issue, Food and Wine focused on the top food trends for 2011 with complementary recipes per month such as gourmet ice-pops in July and and DIY sodas in August. One trend is the General Store Redux which is a good old fashioned general store with a locavore focus. A recipe featured from one of these new types of stores, Seattle’s Take 5 Urban Market, was the Chicken Parmesan with Pepperoni.  I followed this to a “T” and I said to David after we were done eating that it’s the easiest and best chicken parm crust I can recall making in quite some time. The crust is PERFECT and the chicken was still moist and delicious. We loved the sauce, pepperoni and cheese on top and I served this with their superfast salad idea which is simply mixing roasted bell peppers (I used jarred) with fresh basil and toasted pinenuts and then dressed with red wine or we used white balsamic (David’s idea!) vinegar and olive oil, plus a little salt and pepper.

Chicken Parmesan with Pepperoni (Photo by Quentin Bacon)

I cut the chicken breasts in half and baked off two halves in the oven without any cheese, sauce or pepperoni. For some schuper sandwiches today I brolied the leftover breaded chicken halves, cheese, sauce and pepperoni until the cheese was bubbly and melted on whole wheat rolls.

There was one point of confusion as I made the dish. Check out the recipe picture and then read the instructions for cooking the chicken. Doesn’t it look like they plated it backwards from the instructions? I followed the recipe instead of how the picture looks i.e. chicken, with pepperoni, then sauce then the cheese but hey, if you want it to look like the beauty shot for your guests I think it would still turn out delicious no matter how you stack it! Tonight is the Slow Cooker Puerto Rican Chicken with Green Sauce, I can’t wait to try it lambs. UPDATE I made the Puerto Rican chicken last night and let me tell you, you can pass this one up – meh.

Chicken Parmesan with Pepperoni

Food and Wine magazine, January 2011


2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs), finely crushed in a food processor

Four 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 3/4 inch thick

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella

2 ounces sliced pepperoni

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a pie plate, beat the eggs with the milk. Spread the flour and panko in 2 separate pie plates. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and dust in the flour. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then in the panko; press to help the crumbs adhere.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Top the chicken with the tomato sauce, Parmigiano, mozzarella and pepperoni.

3. Bake the chicken for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Transfer the chicken to plates, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Kids Night!

Looking over my blog I realized, gosh darnit, we eat pretty well around these parts. Lamb the other night, Moroccan dates another. I was feeling a little too fancy for my own pants and decided to take it back a notch. Nothing can make me feel like a kid again than crunchy chicken fingers with a dipping sauce and creamy mac and cheese. I grew up in a house with a home cooked meal every night (thanks Mom!) with fun food items like these to look forward to when I came home from school. Something about this simple combo just made me giggle like a little Emily again.

I chose these Pan-Fried Chicken Fingers with Spicy Dipping Sauce and the Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Mac and Cheese both from Cooking Light plus some adult grape juice aka a nice bottle of a 2008 Cols Du Vents Corbieres to go along with. Trust me it just sounds fancy, it was on sale for $9.00 at Whole Foods Market! 

I also like Cooking Light’s comparison of regular chicken fingers versus their creation:

703 calories per serving
1,000 milligrams sodium
10.7 grams saturated fat
Deep-fried in lard
Drowning in sauce
Greasy, heavy coating

414 calories per serving
495 milligrams sodium
1.5 grams saturated fat
Pan-seared in canola oil
Just enough spicy mayo sauce
Light, crispy, crunchy

Pan-Fried Chicken Finger with Spicy Dipping Sauce (Photo by John Autry)

Dude, the sodium and saturated fat difference alone should be enough to convince you to give these a try. I couldn’t find the recommended Kashi brand cereal at our HEB so I winged it and grabbed Grape-Nuts Flakes cereal. YUM! This cereal made a delicious sweet crust for the chicken. I pan-fried two minutes per side as instructed but had to chunk the whole batch into the oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees to finish them off as they were still pink inside. After that though? Awesome chicken fingers with a crispy, crunchy crust and not greasy just like they say plus the chicken was still juicy. I heart this sauce. It was so simple but y’all it is a spicy little fireball so watch out and lower the amount of Sriracha if you are not a heat seeker. Of course I loved it’s spicy kick.

The mac and cheese. Nom, nom, nom. I omitted the chicken from the recipe because well that’s too much poultry for one night. Also, I decided to use turkey bacon and used three slices instead of regular bacon and only using one slice. I can’t help it, I love bacon or bacon flavor in anything! Otherwise I followed this to the letter and it turned out perfectly. I especially loved the ranch flavor of this dish. With the onion and garlic powder and fresh dill, it just zinged and zanged but without all of the calories of a true ranch dressing.

After dinner, bellies full but not too much, we sat down and watched Zombieland. This was David’s first time seeing the film and my second. My goodness I love this movie. I think every single line of Woody Harrelson’s is an excellent one-liner. My favorite…? Here you go. We have leftovers for lunch today and I’m thinking about making a chicken tender salad with the Pioneer Woman’s – don’t you just heart her?! – homemade ranch dressing with the remaining mac and cheese on the side.

Update! Leftover chicken fingers on top of mixed greens with above mentioned ranch dressing and mac and cheese – SUPER LUNCH!