Category Archives: meat

Baked Chicken And A Dog Named Vishnu

Baked whole chickens are just about the simplest thing you can make with limited time and resources and still come out with a creation that would merit the reaction “Wow!” I made it first in high school under the direction of a teacher who also taught me how to make lasagna.

Doesn’t it look amazing? So easy!

Many years later while broke and jobless in a house in Quezon City, Philippines, we gathered our resources to buy a whole jumbo chicken which I marinated and baked. We ate it for Christmas dinner and proceeded to cocktails and guitar playing. And then our dog named Vishnu quietly reached up onto the dining table and grabbed the rest of the chicken, prompting our screams as she ran out the door. Vicoy, an uncle figure in that household, chased after Vishnu and pulled the bird out of her mouth and brought it back inside. We then asked what he planned on doing with a carcass that had already been inside a dog’s mouth and on the ground. Disgusted, he threw it back out for Vishnu to feast on for her best and last Christmas. (Poor dog died the folowing year shortly after nursing her only litter.) But again, I digress.

This gravy is so simple but so rich with the flavors of rosemary, oregano and garlic.

Serving a whole roasted bird with shiny brown crispy skin could be just as rewarding as serving a labored-over lasagna. But the difference in prep time and the versability of a baked chicken is hard to beat. I hope you enjoy one of my favorite dishes to make and I hope you also get the WOW you deserve. Continue reading

Peking Duck House

Photo by Katie Ligon

For duck in NYC there is no other place than Peking Duck House,  now with two locations on Mott Street (preferred), and Midtown (good enough!). The duck is served whole and sliced in front of your eyes, then placed on a plate alongside cucumber and scallion slices, hoisin and homemade tortillas. A wrap is made with these ingredients along with a few slices of duck, and one bite into this creation yields several layers of crunch, texture and flavor that is unique to the peking duck experience. Both locations also have typical Chinese-American fare, but the focus should remain on the star of the show. Lovers of rich, flavorful cuisine and unique flavors will definitely be pleased.

Ham Ji Bach Restaurant

Ham Ji Bach Restaurant in Flushing serves crispy pork belly cooked over a hot iron plate. This a special treat for fans of Korean food and pork belly. Their side sundobu chige is also the best I’ve had anywhere. I haven’t been to any other Korean restaurant and NYC that serves pork belly this way, so going to Ham Ji Bach is definitely a unique experience each time.
Several slabs of pork belly await cooking by your table’s attendant.

Exceptional banchan (side dishes)

Cooking time.

Browned and crispy-fied to perfection.

Each piece is wrapped in a thin slice of pickled daikon with scallions, pickled onions, and dipped in sesame oil and tofu sauce.
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Kalbi (Korean BBQ Shortribs)

After purchasing bottled Korean Barbecue marinades years ago, I decided to try and make it myself with what I thought I tasted in the store-bought sauces. Ever since then I’ve made my own mix and marinated short ribs for as long as a week. I use a FoodSaver vacuum-sealed container, but any airtight container will do as long as it soaks long enough. Ziploc bags are very effective for bigger batches.

9-12 strips flanken shortribs
1 head garlic, crushed and peeled
10-15 whole peppercorns
5 stalks scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

In a bowl, mix well until blended all ingredients except for the meat. Adjust seasoning to taste. Arrange meat in layers in an airtight marinating container, slipping pieces of garlic and scallions in between layers. Marinate for 2-3 days, checking daily that all pieces are in contact with the liquid.
Grill on high heat until brown. Serve with rice, vegetables and kimchi.


Chicken or Pork Adobo

Chicken and pork adobo, broiled before serving.
Pork butt, spare rib tips, or pork belly, cubed and/or chicken pieces
2 parts white vinegar
1 part  water
1 part soy sauce (Silver Swan, or any other Filipino brand works, do NOT use Kikkoman or Japanese soy sauce)
5 bay leaves
1 head garlic, crushed and peeled
1 tsp black peppercorns

Crockpot: In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine all ingredients and set on low for 6 to 8 hours. (Optional: At about 4 hours the meat should be perfect, you can drain the meat and fry in oil until brown and top with remaining sauce.) Serve with rice.

Conventional Stove: In a large pot, combine all ingredients except for soy sauce. If using chicken in addition to pork, add chicken 30 minutes later than pork. Simmer over medium heat until meat is tender (usually one hour). When meat is soft, add soy sauce and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain and fry meat in oil until brown (or broil in oven), and top with remaining sauce. Serve with rice.

(Photo by Kanako Shimura)
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