Monday, October 17, 2016

Mealtime Magic: Recipes from Chicken - A Savor the South Cookbook

Chicken…who doesn’t love a good piece? While fried chicken may be the best known chicken dish, there are a lot of ways to love America’s most popular meal. In her new cookbook CHICKEN: A Savor the South® Cookbook (The University of North Carolina Press/September 2016), author Cynthia Graubart celebrates the bird in all its glory…from southern styles to international.  CHICKEN contains the essential information needed for cooking the perfect chicken, humorous anecdotes, the culinary history of chicken, and 53 delicious recipes everyone will love. 
Cynthia divides this little gem of a cookbook into chapters that cover The Whole Bird, What’s Your Favorite Piece?  and A Bird in the Hand (cooked chicken on hand saves the day). And, be assured that Cynthia includes instructions for making the best fried chicken ever—seven different ways! Ranging in style from traditional Southern to contemporary and international, Cynthia’s recipes are organized to help easily match the cut of chicken to the perfect recipe. Some of recipes in the book include:
  • Perfect Roast Chicken
  • Straight Up Bundt Pan Roast Chicken
  • Carolina Chicken Bog
  • Virginia Coq au Vin
  • Latin Fried Chicken with Smoky Ketchup
  • Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Lemon
  • Korean Twice-Fried Chicken Wings
  • Fried Chicken and Waffles
  • Chicken Sausages and Apples
  • Chicken and Parslied Dumplings
  • Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)
CHICKEN packs all the know-how that cooks need to make irresistible chicken dishes for everyday and special occasions, from shopping and selecting to cutting up, frying, braising, roasting, and much more.  You won’t need take-out when you have CHICKEN in your kitchen!
This holiday season cook up one, or both, of these delectable chicken recipes.
Recipes may be reprinted with the following credit:
Recipe from CHICKEN - A Savor the South® Cookbook by Cynthia Graubart
Copyright © 2016 by the University of North Carolina Press.  Used by permission of the publisher.
Summertime Anytime Bourbon Peach Chicken Thighs
Makes 6–8 servings
I always feel like a traitor to my state (Georgia) when I eat South Carolina peaches and feel like South Carolina should be the peach state. I wish fresh peach season would never end, and I always look for new ways to use them, especially in savory dishes. Freestone peaches are the easiest to use, but sliced cling peaches are nearly as easy. I even unabashedly use frozen peaches in the off season. The minced shallot is superb in this dish, but a Vidalia or other sweet onion could be substituted for a milder flavor. The bourbon is a mild taste in this dish—not at all overpowering. The bourbon brand is your call. Aren’t we fortunate to have so many to choose from?
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup bourbon
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced, or 1 1/2 cups frozen and defrosted
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, cook the chicken pieces skin-side-down until golden brown, about 5 or so minutes. Turn the pieces over to brown the other side for 3–4 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a platter (the chicken will not be fully cooked at this point). Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Cook the shallots in the hot fat, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the bourbon and scrape again if needed. Return the chicken to the pan. Tuck the rosemary springs in between the thighs and scatter the peaches over the thighs. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the thickest part of a chicken thigh reaches 175° on an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer the chicken and peaches to a serving dish and discard the rosemary. Coat the chicken lightly with the pan juices. If any juices remain, pour them into a gravy boat and serve with the chicken.
Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pies
Makes 4 servings
The fresher and more deliciously cooked the chicken, the better the pot pie, but we do not have to go so far as the cook in the nursery rhyme who arranged for “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie” and found that “when the pie was opened the birds began to sing.” I usually use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for this recipe unless I have cooked chicken on hand from another meal. The biscuit tops are delightful.
1 cup sliced carrots
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen cut pole beans, thawed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 325°. Place four (10-ounce) ovenproof ramekins or bowls on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.
Place the carrots and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe glass bowl and microwave on high for 1–2 minutes, or until crisp- tender, and drain.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the beans and carrots, and cook for 2 minutes.
Sprinkle the all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper over the vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the flour is incorporated. Gradually stir in the stock or broth and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 8–10 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in the chicken and remove from the heat.
Stir together the self-rising flour and cream in a bowl just until flour is moistened. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat out and fold the dough 3–4 times and then pat it out to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 4 disks, reshaping the scraps once, if necessary, for the fourth biscuit. (Avoid twisting the cutter so the biscuit will rise properly.)
Divide the hot chicken mixture evenly between the prepared ramekins or bowls and top each with the cut biscuit dough. Bake for 20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve hot.
Cynthia Graubart is passionate about food – from researching its origins, writing recipes, teaching technique, to bringing families together at the table.  She is a food writer, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, speaker, and former cooking show television producer.  Cynthia is the author of Slow Cooking for Two, Slow Cooker Double Dinners for Two, and The One-Armed Cook. Teaming with Nathalie Dupree, she is the co-author of Southern Vegetables, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, and Southern Biscuits. After achieving her BA in Journalism at the University of Georgia, and studying for her MA at the University of Florida, Cynthia Graubart launched her television cooking show career producing Nathalie’s first national public television series New Southern Cooking. Traveling around the South, researching the crops and products of the region for the series, Cynthia continued for more than 10 years producing and consulting for television cooking programs, chefs, and authors known around the world. She is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and Les Dames d’Escoffier (LDEI). She and her husband, Cliff, who owns the Old New York Book Shop, regularly travel to book festivals and host book store owners as well as authors in their Atlanta home. They have a full bar always at the ready. To learn more about Cynthia visit her at

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