A chronicle of my attempts to live a classy life as a single girl in the Nation's Capital

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hannah Hart: my new best friend

So I've stumbled across this new.. blog?  youTube star? Comedian?  I have no idea what exactly her thing is, but Hannah Hart has been releasing these cooking videos called "My Drunk Kitchen" and I want to know her now.
 I watched her make "apple pie" and it was pretty hilarious.  She and I share the same opinion about baking... some of my favorite quotes from this particular video:

"I use the term 'pie' loosely."  

"That's what American's do.  When we make a mistake, we do the same thing again and hope something different happens this time."

"I think part of the reason I don't like baking so much is that baking...sucks." 
"This whole cooking thing is a matter of opinion.  There is no right and there is no wrong.  There's just food and inedible." 

"The directions for apple pie turned out to be really, really long.  So I skimmed 'em..."

"I'm just an American. I want everything constantly." 

"Step One: Give a f--- about baking."

Here's the video: Her website is here

I also have to include this one on tacos. Not a big fan of using turkey instead of beef--but I also constantly crave Mexican when drinking. What's with that??

Monday, July 11, 2011

Poaching a Chicken

Several months ago, my mom told me that I had to try poaching chicken.  I've been lazy about it until now.  Poaching chicken breasts is perfect for when you have a casserole, soup or stew (or chicken salad) to make.  The chicken is the moistest I've ever had and is infused with all sorts of wonderful flavors.

So now I'm telling you: you have to try poaching chicken.  It makes a huge difference.  Here's how it's done:


Chicken (duh)
Liquid--enough to cover the chicken  (I used water and bullion.  You can use water, broth, wine or some combo)
Large pan

The ingredients-- I used a smashed garlic clove (no need to chop, it's just flavoring the broth), pepper, cilantro and a chili lime rub from Pampered Chef.  Later I added some lime juice on a whim. This chicken is bound for a Mexican soup I'm making for dinner.  Notice there is no salt--you can add salt but I try to keep my intake low and the bullion already has a lot.

Add chicken to the pan in one single layer.  Do not let pieces sit on top of each other--they won't cook evenly if you do that.

Cover the  chicken completely in liquid.  It took me about 6 cups (2 cups bullion and then water to supplement)

Add all your seasonings-- you don't need to bother with stirring. 
Bring the mixture to a boil.  Stay in the kitchen during this step.  As soon as it starts boiling turn it down and simmer for 2 minutes.  Poached chicken = yummy, tender, flavorful.  Boiled chicken = stringy, tough, gross mess
After 2 minutes, remove from heat (transfer to a different burner) and let sit for about 30 minutes.
And that's it!  Store the chicken in fridge with some of the liquid until you are ready to use it, then discard the liquid and cube or shred the chicken.  The chicken will be infused through with the flavors and make your dish seem more gourmet.

Note that these instructions are for boneless chicken breasts.  Bone-in or dark meat takes slightly longer during the simmer step.