FBI Gloves- Closet Cooking

April 21st, 2009

Marija of Palachinka started a fun event called FBI Gloves. Every month, a blog is chosen for our investigation.  We pick a recipe, make it and report back.  Closet Cooking was the blog under inspection this month.

Kevin’s Closet Cooking is one of the first blogs that I started following.  His blog covers a diverse spectrum of cuisines, cooking types, and flavors.  He is very adventurous, making dishes that I would never have the guts to make at home.  I often save his blog posts for something to make later.  However, sadly, I never have made anything from his blog.  This event changed that.  I made Curried Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken.  I wish the photos had turned out better but it was raining all day.  The chicken was great.  The next time I would add a little more Cayenne and marinate it over night. Check out the round-up here.

P.S. reminder… Cry Me an Onion Contest will be open until next Thursday…so get going… send me your onion recipes!

Won’t you be my neighbor?

April 7th, 2009

This is one of those posts that for some reason, I cannot figure out what exactly to say… Maybe it is the fact that my brain has been so busy lately keeping Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Property and Copyright issues all straight in my head, that writing a post is very difficult. Or perhaps because this recipe is from a very good friend and I’m not quite sure how to adequately articulate that…

N and her family are our former neighbors in Chapel Hill. My family moved away from the “Thrill” when I was in college. As families, we became very close. I refer to her son as my “Other Little Brother.” He spent many afternoons playing with my brother and raiding our house for Ritz crackers (my mother only bought them for him). When I go back to Chapel Hill, I stay with them. I know that I always welcome. Plus, they have the most AMAZING couch!!! It is so comfortable! I remember once N had fixed up the guest room for me but I still slept on the couch. I used to walk over just to nap sometimes…

Some of my favorite times (and my sister will agree) have been sitting around their kitchen table talking. N always fixes something that is delicious and we will sit for hours talking. They are part of my family. This recipe is from N. It is as good at it looks… a really delicious mix of flavors. It also reheats really well, so is excellent to make in a large batch and eat throughout the week. I did not get sick of it, even four meals later. A very good comforting meal and reminds me of being back in Chapel Hill… something I need sometimes as school gets more stressful and Chicago continues to be cold…

Chicken Marbella

(adapted by N from the Silver Palate Cookbook)
Marinate chicken overnight

1 and a half pounds each, quartered (I use a variety of boneless breasts)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives (I add more – see what you think when the chicken is in the baking pan)
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
¼ cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro)

In a large bowl combine chicken pieces, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in one or two shallow baking pans.
Spoon marinade over evenly.
Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour wine around them.
Bake 50 min to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices.
Transfer with slotted spoon to a serving platter.
Moisten with pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining sauce in sauce boat.

(I usually serve it at room temperature*N)

P.S. Check out and enter my Cry Me an Onion Contest! I’ve gotten some great submissions and would love some more!

Also, GO HEELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NCAA CHAMPS 2009!!!!!!!!!

Stress = Comfort Food

October 28th, 2008

There are about six weeks left before exams…I can’t believe that the semester has gone by so quickly.  It has not been too bad and most days, I enjoy it.  I love being in such an intense environment and surrounded by people who really enjoy learning and arguing.  My friends and I will sit around debating and sometimes just laughing about the cases.  However, by the end of the day, my brain tends to ache from working so hard.  Sadly, I’ve barely cooked.  I normally just want something quick and easy.  But today, I decided that I needed a good warm comforting meal because as my exams get closer, I feel the stress mounting.  I made chicken pot pie with buttermilk biscuits.  It is delicious!  Perfect for these cold windy Chicago days!

Chicken Pot Pie with Dill Biscuits
(adapted from Wandering Chopsticks)

1 buttermilk biscuit dough  (I use this one from Nook & Pantry…just add 1 teaspoon of dried dill)
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
1 onion, diced
1 or 2 chicken breasts, thighs, whatever body parts you want, sliced into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup buttermilk, milk, or cream
2 tblsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste

On medium-high heat, saute diced onion until softened. Add diced chicken and stir until almost cooked through. Then the vegetables and mix. Dissolve 2 tblsp of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of milk and mix into the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a pie plate.  Using about 1/2 cup of dough, shape the biscuits into circular shapes and place them on top of the mixture.  Or you can just spoon heaping tablespoons of biscuit dough onto the mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-35 min.