August 11, 2009

Sick... and working.

Ok, I'm back-dating posts... otherwise August will be a Month-Without-Posts!

I'm not sure where I got it, but I picked up a NASTY cold. The associated fever and chills happened to coincide with the hottest days of the summer, compounding my suffering. Unfortunately, with Sean on vacation in Vegas (again!), there was some work at the office that HAD to be done on Monday, so I dragged myself into the office.

Four boxes of tissues and one night of absolute misery later, the worst of it had passed.

Posted by JAY at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2009

Table Tennis

Dan and Melanie dropped by earlier this month and we played table tennis in the basement. They're both beginners, but they're picking it up pretty fast. They had fun learning and Dan left determined to buy a ping pong table.

I didn't realize what a good deal Sean and I got on my ping pong table at just $200 + tax. It's not like we shopped around or anything, it was pretty much an impulse purchase.

The best deal Dan could find was online, which was $350 but included shipping. Which is a pretty good price with shipping included, but unfortunately the table isn't quite as nice and required more assembly (at least, I think so, Sean did most of mine).

That being said, because of that, it was much, much lighter and easier to carry into the basement! And really, for playing it works just as well.

Posted by JAY at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2009

High-Heat Roasted Chicken

This is a fast cook, especially since you can season the chicken in advance. Whole chickens were on sale this week, so I ate this a LOT. It's also really convenient because you can roast potato wedges or mushrooms along with the chicken. Melanie joined me for some chicken this week.

Recipe below:

Preheat the oven to 450F

Cut the chicken(s) in half, if it's whole.

Season generously all over and under the skin with your entire spice rack (or just salt and pepper), including:

Salt, pepper, chili flake, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary - whatever.

From here, you can toss the chicken halves in the fridge if you're not using all of them. It's actually better this way, because the salt in the rub will help retain moisture in the breast meat.

Place the chicken, skin up, in a roasting pan or cast iron pan. Try to 'spread' the leg and thigh out, because we want it to cook a bit more than the breast. You can add mushrooms or potato wedges around it, if you like, but try to remember to stir them about halfway through the cooking process. (Again, avoid crowding the leg and thigh.)

Stick it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the breast is 160F and the thigh temperature is about 170F. Let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving or cutting.

Posted by JAY at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2009

Fast Food Jacques P├ępin's Way

This is an ultra-fast, ultra easy way of making chicken thighs that I saw on "Fast Food My Way" (slightly adapted, because I don't remember exactly what the instructions were). Prep time is about 5 minutes and all you need is chicken, salt and pepper..

Take 4 chicken thighs with skin on and no backs attached.

On the non-skin side, use a paring knife and cut two slits along either side of the bone. This will help it cook evenly. Trim any excess fat or skin.

Season well all over with salt and pepper.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of veg oil. The skillet needs to have a lid. When the oil is hot (starting to shimmer), put the chicken thighs in, skin down.

When the chicken is sizzling nicely, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 16-18 minutes, till the temperature of the chicken is about 170F. Check half way to make sure nothing's burning (reduce the heat further if needed).

If you want to, after you remove the chicken from the pan, pour out most of the chicken fat and fry some onions, garlic and mushrooms. Deglaze with chicken stock or white wine (I use dry vermouth cuz it doesn't go bad) and any chicken juices that came out of the thighs and reduce to a sauce for the chicken.

Posted by JAY at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2009

Prime Steak

For less than the price of a McDonald's combo, you can have this steak? So why do people go to McDs? I'm not sure, but I do it myself sometimes. In fairness, their current Angus Burger with Cheese and Bacon is pretty awesome. Mmmm.

Anyway, searing steak takes about the same time as the drive through, and frying some broccoli, mushrooms and rice in the pan after takes less time than the drive home. You can see the thick streaks of fat that make this a prime cut of meat - the fat is what melts into the meat and makes it super tasty and tender.

Posted by JAY at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)