Russian Roasted Chicken

DSC_0812For Stone Dog XII, being held in 2016, I’ll be the head cook for our Russian-themed Feast. Since it’s my first go-round, I was asked to try the recipes I’ll be making (and actually document them, in some cases). Given that it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I figured I’d make the chicken dish I’m planning; it’s not turkey, but it’s pretty amazing all the same.

One batch makes ~10 lbs or 20 pieces of chicken.

Ingredients:

16.9 oz. Baltika No. 9 Russian Lager

1/4 C. Sea Salt

3/4 C. Sugar

1.5 L  Hot Water

1.5 L Ice Water

10 lb. or 20 pc. Chicken Thighs

1/4 C. (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter

1 Tbsp. Each of:

  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Minced Garlic

Instructions:

1) Combine Russian Lager, Salt, Sugar, and Spices in a large bowl or kitchen tub. Stir to combine ingredients and begin dissolving salt and sugar for the brine base.

2) Heat up 1.5 L of water to just below boiling. Once heated, add into brine base and stir in, ensuring salt and sugar are dissolved.

3) Add 1.5 L of ice water to cool the brine down.

4) Add chicken, giving it a stir to distribute the spices throughout the mixture.

5) Cover chicken and brine, and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.

6) When ready to cook, pre-heat oven to 375* F, line pans with foil (helps with clean-up later), and melt butter.

7) Pat chicken pieces dry and lay them out in a single layer on the pans you’re using. Baste chicken with melted butter before placing in the oven.

8) Place chicken into oven and set the timer for 60 minutes. At the 40 minute and 20 minute marks, baste with more butter.

9) At the end of 60 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a kitchen thermometer to 165* F. Once it’s at 165* F, remove chicken from oven and allow it to rest prior to plating and serving.

10) Serve and enjoy!

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Candied Bacon

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My SCA sword brothers, House Clovenshield, love bacon… And when celebrating one of your sword brothers’ 4 years of cancer remission, why not go all out? So, I made them candied bacon.

Makes 4 lbs. of Candied Bacon. The ingredients can be quartered if you’re only making 1 lb… But why would you?

Ingredients

2 C. Light Brown Sugar

4 Tsp. Garlic Powder

4 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

2 Tsp. Black Pepper

4 lb. Thick Cut Bacon (I used bacon that was applewood smoked)

Utensils

1 Spoon

1 Large Bowl (or reclosable bag)

4 cookie Sheets

Parchment Paper

Cooling Rack

Sharp Knife

Cutting Board

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Open bacon packages and cut in half.

4. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

5. Lay bacon in cookie sheets from edge to edge, making sure the pieces touch.

6. Liberally sprinkle approx. half of the dry rub on bacon. Rub into meat once applied.

7. Place bacon into oven for 15 minutes.

8. After 15 minutes has passed, remove bacon from oven and turn over.

9. Liberally sprinkle the other half of the dry rub on the bacon.

10. Cook bacon in the oven for another 15-18 minutes.

11. Line cooling racks with parchment paper.

12. Remove cooked bacon from cookie sheets and place on lined cooling racks.

13. Allow bacon to cool.

14. Enjoy (preferably with a cold beverage of your choosing)!

 

Tiger’s Chana Masala

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic
2 Medium Sweet Onions (I used Vidalias), Chopped Finely
2 28oz cans Crushed Tomatoes
24 oz. Canned Garbanzo Beans (Fresh can be used, too, but boil to soften before adding!)
1 Tbsp. Coriander Powder
3 Tbsp. Garam Masala
16 oz. Water
1/2 c. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Instructions:
1. Prepare chickpeas according to their packaging (If using canned, skip this step.)
2. In a medium-sized frying pan on medium heat, heat the olive oil. Once it has gotten hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook them until soft/slightly brown from frying.
3. Once the onion and garlic are where you need them to be, add the garam masala and coriander powder. Stir them together and form them into a paste-like consistency.
4. In a separate pot (I suggest using a dutch oven or slow cooker), add the crushed tomatoes and garbanzo beans, stirring them over medium heat.
5. Once the tomato and garbanzo bean mixture is heated thoroughly, add the onion-garlic-spice mixture and stir to incorporate.
6. Add the sugar and water, and stir to combine.
7. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover, and let cook. Stir occasionally. This can be left on for as little as an hour up to four hours. I suggest letting it cook for the entire four hours to let the flavors meld better.

Serve with naan or any other “classic” chili toppings. When I made this last, I used mashed potatoes, cheese, and sour cream!

Happy eats!