Honey, Lemon and Lavender Chicken

This dish is based off Rachel Khoo’s (a la “Little Paris Kitchen”) recipe “Poulet au citron et lavande”.  Basically roast chicken with a honey lemon marinade with lavender.

Side note:  I’ve already spelled lavender “lavendar” about 5 times.

DSC_0170 1

Honey, Lemon and Lavender Chicken

  • 1 tbs dried lavender (the store didn’t have any, so I used a few drops of lavender oil I had in the pantry)
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • chicken parts
  • salt and pepper

Okay, it’s time to butcher your first whole chicken!  First I watched THIS video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEW4uFzKm4k

Cut your wing tips off, remove the rest of the wings, then each thigh, and last but not least, dissect out the breasts.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.  You should now have these lovely parts:

DSC_0161 1

Set aside the carcass and wings for STOCK!

Continue reading

Tom Ka Gai

Apparently I’m one of those people who gets sick on vacation.  I spent the last five days in Manuel San Antonio, Costa Rica, and with two days left on my wonderful vacation, I began to feel that gross phlemy throat feeling that is my body saying, oh good job, here’s a cold.  Then my nose started to get stuffy.  Then runny.  Then coughing and that lovely headache. Luckily this illness has mostly held off until I returned stateside, and that means it’s time for SOUP.

This is the soup that my roommate Jason and I make anytime we’re feeling under the weather.  We want liquids.   And hot and spicy liquids?  Even better.  I’ve made this more than any other soup, but beware if I’m making it for you, for it’s not for the faint of heart and you may feel like breathing fire.

Tom ka gai is a spicy coconut chicken soup that is made with a base of chicken stock and coconut milk, then gets a spice from hot peppers and an immune boost from lemon and ginger.  Here’s to feeling better.

Le ingredients.

Le ingredients.

Tom Ka Gai Soup

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • a few slices of galangal root (this is a Thai ginger root that can be found in most Asian sections of your grocery store)
  • 2-4 stalks of lemongrass, sliced lengthwise (my grocery store didn’t have stalks, so I used this weird tube stuff, but better than nothing.  you need that lemongrass flavor to really make this soup)
  • 1-2 serrano peppers, sliced thin (I use 2 peppers with seeds, but for a milder soup, use less pepper and remove the seeds on the pepper.  also do not make the mistake of rubbing your eyes)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 knob of ginger (I sliced some thinly, then grated the rest)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • juice of a lemon and some zest
  • 1 tablespoon of Sriracha (again, add less for less spice)
  • a bunch of mushrooms (any variety will do, I used buttons)
  • 1 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 head of bok choy
  • salt for seasoning

Continue reading

Shrimp and Grits

Sometimes I don’t understand why there are foods that I never ate before coming to Texas.  Like breakfast tacos (why are these not a thing EVERYWHERE?! I do not understand), or in this case:  GRITS.  Grits are like a big cheesy pile of delicious mush.  And when you put shrimp and gravy over them, it’s like an explosion of awesomeness in your mouth.  And turns out they’re pretty easy to make.  It was harder to FIND them in the huge ass Whole Foods than it was to cook them.

Shrimp and Grits

(based on this recipe:  http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/01/16/shrimp-and-grits/)

  • 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • juice of a lemon
  • hot sauce (I used Sriracha because obviously – this is optional if you’re a wuss)
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grits (not the instant kind)
  • 6 slices bacon (I got the thick sliced stuff at Whole Foods)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a bunch of mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar

First, defrost your shrimp if necessary and peel them.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp and drizzle with hot sauce (in this case, Sriracha).

Sriracha just goes on everything in my house.

Sriracha just goes on everything in my house.

Toss all that together and set aside.

Grab your grits.  This was the only kind that Whole Foods has that weren’t instant, but I think there’s also yellow grits.

DSC_0014

Also known as polenta?! Who knew?!?!

Continue reading