No-Knead Bread

Mark Bittman from the New York Times had this recipe on his blog quite a while ago. Being a fan of homemade bread (mainly french baguettes) I had to give it a shot.  It’s definitely worth the time to make this bread & a cast iron dutch oven is pretty much required…

No-Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Applewood Smoked Turkey

I found this recipe on the Internet several years ago & have modified it to make it almost foolproof. It’s a great change from the standard oven roasted turkey.  You can smoke a whole turkey or just a breast, it’ll come out perfect every time (it’s pretty hard to screw up smoking meat if you just pay attention to it)!  Smoking meat on the grill gives you a good excuse to stay close to home too (someone has to keep an eye on things).  During football season I try to have at least one smoked meat a month so I can spend an entire afternoon watching TV!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 quarts apple juice/cider
1 or 2 quarts water (enough for the meat to be fully submerged in the brine)

PREPARATION:

Mix the brine well. Soak the turkey in the brine for 12-24 hours in a non metal container covered in the fridge.  I recommend a large Cambro CamSquare storage container.  You can put the bird in the brine frozen and allow it to thaw but this will require at least 24 hours.

I smoke on a Weber Kettle grill.  Once the coals are ready pile them on one side of the grill.  It only takes about 15-20 coals to get started.  Place an aluminum pan (with a couple inches of water in it) in middle of the charcoal rack.

Pull the meat out of the brine and rinse with water.  Pat dry with paper towel and place on the top cooking rack.  I like to lightly dust with BBQ rub to ensure a good crust on the skin.

Toss a handful of apple wood chunks on the charcoal (soaked for at least 30 minutes in water) & put the top on the grill.  I add charcoal as needed (about 2-3 briquettes every 2 hours).  I’ll add more wood as needed to try and keep a nice light flow of smoke coming out.

An 8 pound breast usually gets done in 2.5 to 3 hours with grill temps between 230F & 280F.  On average it takes about 20 minutes a pound.  Plan on babysitting for 4-8 hours of you smike a whole bird.  Pull the meat from grill when the internal temp reaches 175F.  This is where a precision thermometer comes in handy!  Wait at least 20 minutes before carving.

Give this recipe a try this holiday season.  It might just become a new family favorite!

Poached Chicken For Salads

This recipe can be used for a variety of dishes but its especially useful for Chicken Salad

Poached Chicken For Salads

1 tbl thyme
1 tbl oregano
1 tsp peppercorns
1 med onion, cut in large chunks
2-3 carrot, cut in large chunks
2-3 stalk celery cut in large chunks
2-3 pounds chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water

In a medium to large saucepan, place the  thyme, onion, carrot, celery, and chicken breasts. Cover with the broth. Bring just to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cover. Poach the chicken over very low heat for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover, cool in the stock for 30 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Remove the chicken from the bones and cut the meat into cubes. Discard the bones and skin.

Strain the broth and store, covered, in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.

Chicken Salad

This has to be one of my all time summer favorites.  My kids (especially my son) would eat this for breakfast if I let him.  If you have the time it’s worth going the extra step and poaching your chicken using the recipe listed here.

Chicken Salad

4 cups diced poached chicken (cooled)
3 rib celery diced
4 scallions thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, scallions and herbs. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Add to the chicken and mix gently until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The IndyScan Cookbook

I’ve created a new section on the IndyScan Blog called the IndyScan Cookbook.  This will be a seperate page that lists some of my favorite recipies.  Each recipie listed is one that I have personally prepared & I’ll be sure to include some info about each one.  Hope you enjoy!