© P-A Jorgensen / Spice-Rubbed Poussins
As of today, spring has officially sprung. There are, of course, amazing vegetables and fruits appearing in farmers' markets, but another seasonal specialty to look for is spring chicken, a.k.a. poussin. These small chickens are incredibly juicy and tender, especially when marinated in a savory mix of shallot, thyme, curry, ginger and other spices, as Fabienne Escoffier does in her recipe for Spice-Rubbed Poussins. Serve with a seasonal side dish from F&W’s spring produce guide.
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© Lucy Schaeffer / Quick-Roast Chicken
Today is National Poultry Day! Celebrate by learning how to perfectly prep a chicken. In a series of videos, master chef Jacques Pépin demonstrates the essential techniques for butterflying, chopping, trussing and carving. Another fantastic technique from Pépin: splitting the chicken and cutting between the leg andshoulder joints to cut cooking time in half. Try it tonight with his Quick-Roasted Chicken with Mustard and Garlic, ready in just one hour.
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Cooking Techniques to Perfect
© Petrina Tinslay / Lemongrass-Cilantro Chicken
More than any other herb, cilantro is polarizing. In a moving coming-of-age-essay on Gilt Taste, food writer Mei Chin chronicles her relationship with the love-it-or-hate-it-herb, beginning with childhood loathing and concluding with a ravenous obsession with its pungent leaves. “Suddenly, one morning, I awoke longing to cram fistfuls of the stuff, fresh, into my mouth,” Chin writes. For those who wish to experiment in smaller doses, this Lemongrass-Cilantro Chicken with Honey Dipping Sauce incorporates cilantro in an overnight marinade that is equally fantastic on fish or pork.
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Cooking with Herbs
© John Kernick / Pot-Roasted Chicken
From March 19th to 25th, a handful of New York restaurants will offer healthy three-course lunch and dinner menus from $25 to $75 as part of Wellness Week 2012. A highlight of the promotion, David Bouley’s luxurious Tribeca flagship Bouley will serve lunch for $55 ($45 if you go vegetarian). Bouley is no stranger to creating flavor without adding too much fat. For his Pot-Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms, he cooks the chicken on aromatic hay in a pot sealed with pizza dough to keep it juicy. Rather than venture out for hay bales, home cooks can use dried chamomile flowers from tea bags for a similar effect.
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Healthy Chicken Recipes
© Tina Rupp / Chicken Salad
During a recent visit to the Pasadena, California, farmers’ market, LA Weekly’s Felicia Friesema discovered a new, thin-skinned and supercreamy avocado. Aptly named the Surprise, this dark black fruit—a cross between the Hass and Zutano varieties—can be eaten whole, save for the small, marble-size pit. The rich, silky-smooth avocado's season is almost over, but its popularity should mean that more Surprises will turn up in markets next February. Whether you track down a Surprise or just have a perfectly ripe Hass on hand, this Spicy Chicken, Avocado and Mango Salad drizzled with a citrusy chile-lime dressing makes for a fast, tropical lunch or a light dinner.
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Great Avocado Recipes
Recipes for Spring Produce
© David Malosh / Chicken Tinga
Aside from the media events, music and parties, one of the major highlights of the SXSW festival happening in Austin right now is the tacos. Today at 2 p.m. CST, regional chain Torchy’s Tacos is holding an eating contest with a notable man to beat, local competitive eater Hungry Todd Rungy. The winner must be the fastest to devour two massive Ace of Spades tacos—each one an eight-inch flour tortilla filled with jalapeño sausage, smoked brisket, a fried egg, cheese, green chili queso, cilantro, queso fresco, sour cream and hot sauce. In the spirit of the event, but much more manageable, these Chicken Tinga Tacos are braised in a smoky Mexican tomato sauce that requires only a few ingredients, including canned tomatoes and chipotles in adobo.
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© Frances Janisch / Sesame Chicken Salad
Legendary chef and amateur blogger Jean-Georges Vongerichten slipped some big news into a recent post about staff changes. This spring, he plans to renovate both his grand New York flagship on Central Park, Jean Georges, and the more casual Nougatine. Perfectionist chefs often tweak things that already seem fantastic: In JGV's recipe for Sesame Chicken Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing, he substitutes juicy pan-roasted chicken breasts for the raw bluefin tuna that's served in a similar dish at the restaurant, resulting in a healthy, filling main course for the home cook.
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Great Recipes for Chicken Breasts
Jean-Georges Vongerichten Recipes
© Kana Okada / Ginger-Miso Chicken
If you could bring either Parmesan cheese or miso with you to a desert island, which would you choose? New York Times columnist Mark Bittman makes a case for miso. The umami-packed ingredient is incredibly versatile. “You can dry it and turn it into a condiment (which happens to be reminiscent of Parmesan); you can use it to create a fantastic compound butter (David Chang of Momofuku showed me this five years ago); or you can stir it into mayonnaise, which is consciousness-expanding,” marvels Bittman. You can also add it to chicken. F&W’s Marcia Kiesel mixes light miso paste with garlic, sesame oil and stock to make an addictively good sauce for her Miso-Ginger Chicken and Cabbage. The healthy, deeply flavorful stir-fry comes together in just 25 minutes.
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Healthy Chicken Recipes
© Melanie Acevedo / Roast Chicken
A recent cranberry surplus has resulted in plummeting prices, reports the Boston Business Journal. To stabilize costs and aid cranberry farmers, members of congress are asking the US Department of Agriculture to buy the extra berries, but you can also show support for the growers. While cooked cranberries areoften associated with holiday foods, their sweet-tart taste is delicious in this weeknight-friendly recipe for Roast Chicken with Cranberry-Apple-Raisin Chutney. Leftover chutney is a zesty addition to any chicken, turkey or ham sandwich.
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© Christina Holmes / Thai Chicken Stew
Today in NPR’s Kitchen Window series, food writer Michele Kayal describes how wonderful it can be to come home to a warm, fragrant kitchen where a slow cooker has been working all day. Her ode to the versatile kitchen appliance includes a brief history of slow-cooking in other cultures, from Hawaii’s underground ovens, known as imus, to Moroccan tagines. An all-American slow cooker works beautifully for ethnic dishes as well, like this Thai-Inspired Chicken Stew, which develops a richly complex curry flavor despite only 20 minutes of active cooking.
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Great Thai Dishes