When Janis from Bite Me New England’s recipe for ‘the best chicken ever’ dropped into my mailbox over at Foodbuzz I had to take a look because not only do I love chicken but I love Janis’s website. Her quirky, funny, sarcastic and warm way of writing never fails to bring a smile whether she is talking about her ever so picky dinner guest Sam, turns out he was 5, or making a multi-course birthday dinner for Dr. Food.
This recipe is a Ga Nuong grilled chicken recipe and everything that she says about the marinade being so simple that you are going to be tempted to add things to it is true. As I was standing in my kitchen fish sauce in hand, I had to physically turn myself away from the fridge where I knew ginger root and Hungarian wax peppers where just begging to be added. But I took my blogging buddy’s advice and added nothing to the simple list of ingredients. Salty Seattle was recently discussing the difficulty in following recipes to the letter as essentially an issue of trust and that fabulous fashionista, molecular gastronomy queen is absolutely right. Now, when I am trying out one of the fantastic recipes I find out in the blogosphere, I chant to myself like a new mantra, “trust your fellow cooks, trust your fellow cooks.” At first the recipe doesn’t seem like enough marinade for 3 lbs of chicken, and I was tempted to make more, but it was enough, and it was indeed a perfect example of Umami. I took 30 of these legs to the last barbecue of the season and each one was snacked up with lots of full mouths asking me exactly what was on that chicken? Thank you, Janis, for your wonderful blog and your chicken recipe that made me a barbecue star!
Also this week were homemade pot stickers. I did a lot of research for this one and I’m going to list every recipe that influenced me and then give you mine. Interestingly Food Network has a pretty solid recipe for pot stickers but I will disagree with the cooking instructions. They said to cook the pot stickers until golden brown on the bottom then to add the stock to steam them then to wait for the stock to cook off before removing from the pan. I found that I had to take them out of the pan before the stock cooked all the way down because when I did it their way, mine stuck and the first batch was ruined.
Yumsugar has not only a good recipe but a quick video on how to stuff and crimp the pot stickers as well as an extremely detailed photo layout of the process from start to finish. Last but not least, was Daisy’s recipe over at You Fed a Baby Chili? whose writing style is so engaging I forgot I was looking for a recipe.
To be brief since this post is already much longer than I thought it was going to be, the issue that I had was that I was using pork shoulder that I had left over that was already cooked and shredded. To compensate for potential dryness of the from using pre-cooked meat, I added 4 ounces of turkey sausage and 4 tablespoons of duck fat. I also used 2 ½ cups of finely chopped boy choy instead of napa cabbage, I did salt the boy choy to drain it of it’s extra fluids. With the exception of the ruined first round, and have no fear I did eat them, these came out really well for a first try, and like Daisy says in her post, there really isn’t a hardfast list of things that can and cannot go into pot stickers or mandu (Korean).
Jennifer’s Leftover Inspired Pot Stickers
Made about 50
1 ¼ pound cooked and shredded pork shoulder minced
4 oz hot turkey sausage
4 tablespoons duck fat
2 ½ cups finely chopped boy choy
2 Hungarian wax peppers minced
2 tablespoon ginger minced
3 garlic cloves minced
3 scallions finely sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 package gyoza wrappers
Neutral nut oil, for frying
2 cups chicken stock, for steaming
Put the minced boy choy in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Mix thoroughly and let sit for 30 minutes. The water will drain out of the bok choy. In a separate bowl add the minced pork shoulder, turkey sausage duck fat, peppers, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy and hoisin sauces and mix thoroughly. When the bok choy is ready add into the meat mixture.
Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into the center of the gyoza wrapper wet the edge of the wrapper with water and fold in half and pinch together. Seriously, go to yumsugar for visual details. Once the pot stickers are all filled. Heat the oil in the pan, when the oil is hot add pot stickers and let cook until the bottoms are golden brown, then add ½ cup chicken stock to the pan when the wrappers start to puff out a little you are ready. Remove the pot stickers from the pan and drain the pan of any leftover oil and stock. Then repeat until all the pot stickers are cooked.