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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Rare Bird

Meet the $2,500 Chicken

Meet the $2,500 Chicken

The Indonesian Ayam Cemani is "my most requested bird, ever," says Paul Bradshaw of Florida's Greenfire Farms. Why is the chicken so special? It's partly aesthetic: The Ayam Cemani is black inside and out, from its feathers to its comb to its internal organs. "They're stunningly beautiful, like staring into a black hole," says Bradshaw. The bird is also incredibly rare: Bradshaw, the first US breeder, won't have chicks to sell until early 2014. He's pricing them to meet demand: $5,000 a pair. greenfirefarms.com

Read more from F&W's September issue on travel and America's best chicken.

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Grace in the Kitchen

Wine Braised Chicken with Parsnips

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© Lucy Schaeffer

In this easy one-pot braise, you get the best possible combination:
crisp-skinned chicken and a luscious wine sauce.
© Lucy Schaeffer

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

One of the great perks of working at Food & Wine is that my kitchen is conveniently located about 15 feet from the wine tasting room. When Ray Isle and Megan Krigbaum, our wine gurus, have finished tasting a few wines, they often give us the nearly full bottles to cook with (uh, yeah, cook).

In true quid pro quo fashion, they eat what we produce and we drink what they discard (which is fine by me). Everybody’s happy! This quickly braised chicken dish calls for a bold, fruity white wine with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity, which is why a California Chardonnay, not too oaky, works extremely well. The acidity mellows the buttery richness of the chicken while toning down some of the sweetness of the parsnips. The recipe serves 4—in my case, my husband and I and our two kids, which works out nicely since it calls for an entire cup of wine, leaving just enough for my husband and I to enjoy with the meal. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

One-Pot Wonder

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Chilaquiles-Style Roasted Chicken Legs

Chilaquiles is a baked Mexican dish that's often made with leftover shredded chicken, tortilla strips and cheese. This version bakes whole chicken legs with tomatoes, hominy, jalapeños and tortilla chips.

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

One-pot suppers are kind of amazing—especially if you don't dirty too many bowls in the prep. My favorites are ones where a bready/noodly/potatoey base soaks up all the delicious fat and juices from what's roasted above. Case in point is this muy delicioso Mexican-style casserole that combines tortilla chips with diced tomatoes, hominy, pickled jalapeños and spices and tops it with spicy chicken legs. Some of the chips get soggy, while others get supercrispy—but they get infused with all those flavorful chicken drippings. Which reminds me of Sunday suppers when I was a kid—my mom made the most delicious roasted lemon chicken legs. The juices were crazy delicious and rarely made it to the table because we were practically fighting each other off just to dip hunks of bread into the pan. "Bagna!" as my mom would say. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Getting Saucey

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Sticky Grilled Drumsticks with Plum Sauce // © Cedric Angeles

Use hot red pepper jelly to make the glaze for these chicken wings spicier; sweet red pepper jelly provides a milder kick. / © Cedric Angeles

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Who says eating with your hands has to be a messy affair? Uh, me…and my kids, who, at times, have abysmal table manners—napkins and (not so gentle) reminders notwithstanding. But these saucy drumsticks are totally worth the sticky fingers and the extra load of laundry-bound gunked-up pants. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Chicken Satay on a Bun

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Chicken Burgers with Spicy Peanut Sauce // © David De Vleeschauwer

Chicken satay gets turned into a fast, weeknight meal-ready burger with spicy Thai peanut sauce. / © David De Vleeschauwer

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Always on a quest to limit my family's consumption of red meat (and use chicken in sneaky ways), I created this burger with spicy Thai peanut sauce as a sort of sandwichy riff on chicken satay. It's superfun, superlean and superdelicious! When I want a lower-carb dinner, I form the meat mixture into smaller patties and skewer them onto sugar cane or lemongrass stalks, grill them like kebabs and serve them with lettuce leaves. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Hot Tamales in a Hot Minute

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Quick Chicken-and-Cheese Tamales // © Tina Rupp

Make tamales superfast by using store-bought rotisserie chicken and wrapping them in plastic to shorten steaming time. // © Tina Rupp

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

It seems like a common thread is developing here that could be read as laziness. I like to think of it as efficiency and distillation. That and being able to get dinner on my table (and those of my working readers) at a reasonable hour. Tamales traditionally take a long time to prepare: The meat for the filling needs slow braising, the masa needs time to develop, the corn husks need time to soak, the tamales require time to assemble, and they take a surprisingly long time to steam.

Of course it's worth it, but not at 5:45 p.m. on a Tuesday evening after a full day at the office—or in my case, the kitchen. So, I've come up with a few shortcuts. First, I shred rotisserie chicken and fold it into the masa along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Then after forming the tamales, I wrap them in plastic to reduce steaming time to about 25 minutes (enough time to put together a salad and side vegetables). SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Elegant and Simple One-Pot Supper

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Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Leeks and Peas // © Jonny Valiant

This vinegar-braised chicken dish is elegant enough for entertaining and easy enough for a simple weeknight dinner. / © Jonny Valiant

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

I love using contrasting flavors and textures in dishes. Sweet and tangy leeks and peas and soft and crispy chicken and skin are all so lovely together. One of my favorite things is to toast thick slabs of country bread and serve this on top, letting all the gorgeous juices soak into the bread. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

One Juicy Bird

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Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Brining is—hands down—the best way to infuse poultry with loads of flavor. Especially something like Cornish hens, which can be pretty tasteless. I've given these bland little babies a huge boost with Asian flavors like ginger, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and dried chiles and left them to brine for 24 hours. So tender, so flavorful and so much fun to tear apart with your fingers and eat with sticky rice, lettuce leaves and sliced chiles. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Dress It Up

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Grilled Chicken, Tomato and Onion Sandwiches

Grace Parisi's Grilled Chicken, Tomato and Onion Sandwiches / © Tina Rupp

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

The simple olive relish that accompanies this chicken sandwich has so much flavor for such few ingredients. It's the perfect condiment for plain grilled chicken breasts, juicy tomatoes and sweet grilled onions. I sometimes make a double batch and fold some into mayonnaise and canned tuna for a fantastic Italian tuna sandwich. SEE RECIPE »

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Chicken Dance

A Roadside Foraging Guide

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Chicken-and-Avocado Soup

© Susan Spungen / Chicken-and-Avocado Soup

Instead of packing snacks for a road trip, The Smithsonian’s blog suggests roadside foraging. For many drivers and bikers, the idea conjures distressful images of The Beverly Hillbillies, but the fun guide reveals that travelers in places like Europe and Southern California can find luscious figs and fallen avocados that are not on private property. Most of us have to forage at supermarkets for the buttery fruit, but no matter where you find them, make sure to snag a couple extra. Two pureed avocados add silky richness to this fast Chicken-and-Avocado Soup with Fried Tortillas.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.