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Chicken Nation

Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart on Raising Chickens

Emeril Lagasse Interviews Martha Stewart on Raising Chickens

For F&W's September issue dedicated to all things chicken, TV star, philanthropist and New Orleans booster Emeril Lagasse interviews Martha Stewart about her famous birds.

Emeril Lagasse: My foundation helps support the Edible Schoolyard Project at an elementary school in New Orleans. What could my students there learn from raising chickens?
Martha Stewart: Every garden can benefit from a chicken coop and a flock of healthy birds. A little ecosystem can be developed that enables the chickens to eat all the vegetable scraps from the garden, and the owner to eat the eggs from the chickens. There's much to learn about backyard animal husbandry, and raising chickens is an excellent way to teach children the importance of good animal caregiving.

EL: If I were going to raise chickens, what breed would match my personality?
MS: I've always raised a variety of birds, finding that they are extremely interesting to look at and have different personalities. And the old saying that birds of a feather flock together is absolutely true. I think you should raise the big birds, like the Jersey Giants, the Buff Cochins, the Partridge Cochin and the Araucana.

EL: In New Orleans, we have some great chicken dishes. Do you have a favorite?
MS: One dish that I really enjoy is chicken-and-andouille gumbo, which happens to be the signature stew of New Orleans. It bears the imprint of nearly every ethnic group to have settled in the Crescent City. The gumbo includes the "holy trinity" of Cajun and Creole cooking: celery, onion and bell pepper. It must always be served over rice.

EL: What have you learned from raising chickens for so many years?
MS: That I can't possibly buy a store-bought egg. I can't bake or cook or eat anything but my own eggs. They are so good, so rich, so delicious and so nutritious when the chickens they come from are raised carefully and organically in your own backyard.

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Cooking with Eggs

Chicken Nation

Michael Symon's Top 5 Spice Rubs

Michael Symon's Spice Mixes

For F&W's September issue dedicated to all things chicken, superstar chef Michael Symon shared his favorite spice mixes.

To make each dry rub, toast 2 tablespoons of each ingredient in a small skillet over moderate heat until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and let cool, then coarsely crush.

No. #1
Coriander seeds, dried lemon peel and ground ginger.

No. #2
Cumin seeds, smoked paprika and chipotle chile powder.

No. #3
Dried oregano, dried orange peel and granulated garlic.

No. #4
Fennel seeds, dried orange peel and onion powder.

No. #5
Pink peppercorns, dried rosemary and granulated garlic.

TO USE: Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then rub and chill for 4 to 8 hours before roasting or grilling.

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Chicken Nation

Andrew Zimmern's Global Chicken Guide

Andrew Zimmern's Global Chicken Guide

The TV star and F&W contributing editor shares the best places around the world to try every single part of the chicken—from the head to the feet.

HEARTS
Bird Land, Tokyo
Chef Toshihiro Wada's Bird Land tops my list for yakitori in Tokyo. Every part of the bird is served here, including the heart, a lean, tender organ that only takes a minute to cook over the superhot binchotan charcoal. Most people think of offal as too funky, but the heart is a great introduction to the odd bits: It's slightly chewy and takes on a nice char. ginza-birdland.sakura.ne.jp.

HEADS + NECKS
Va Villa, Mexico City
At this stall in the Barrio Tepito district, heads and necks are fried in lard and then swaddled in salsa verde, queso blanco, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Laid on top of crispy fried tortillas, they almost look like little chicks sleeping. Fray Bartolome de las Casas (West Of Aztecas), Barrio Tepito.

BUTTS (POPE'S NOSES)
Shilin Night Market; Taipei, Taiwan
Walking through this market, you will bump into vendors grilling skewers of unusual chicken parts: unlaid eggs, feet and chicken butts, the flappy bit at the end of the animal where a huge nugget of fat holds the massive plume of feathers. Try any vendor; grilled hard, these chewy nuggets become a crispy, delicious bite and are my single favorite part of the chicken. Jihe Rd, Shilin District.

LIVER
Chez Georges, Paris

My grandmother's chopped chicken liver has no equal, but Chez Georges's chicken liver terrine is close. Smooth, rich, fatty, minerally and dense, it has all the qualities I love in liver. Get extra bread. 1 Rue du Mail; 33-1-42-60-07-11.

WINGS
New Lane; Penang, Malaysia

New Lane is the greatest street-food stroll in the world, partly because it's the only place to get these chicken wings—glazed with a sticky sauce of sugar, soy, rice wine, cinnamon and star anise. Look for a stall with the longest line of locals. Lorong Baru, Georgetown.

KEEL BONES
Kokekokko, Los Angeles
The chefs at Little Tokyo's Kokekokko have yakitori down to a science. They also nail the art. Try skewers of non-traditional parts, like keel bones, the rubbery wedge between the chicken breasts. It has great smoky flavor and the perfect crunchy, yielding feel. 203 S. Central Ave.; 213-687-0690.

THIGHS
Bukhara, New Delhi
One of the best restaurants in India, Bukhara serves richly seasoned, tandoor-cooked red-gold chicken thighs that are buttery, spicy and crisp in all the right places. Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Margs; 91-11-26112233.

BREASTS
Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans
Located in the Treme neighborhood, the restaurant is run by Willie Mae's granddaughter, who serves some of the best fried chicken. It's the only place where I ever order breasts, because frankly, it's one of the few spots that knows how to cook them. 2401 Saint Ann St.; 504-822-9503.

SKIN
Husk; Charleston, SC
Southern chefs aren't afraid of fat, so it makes sense that chicken skin shows up in a few different incarnations at Sean Brock's Husk (as a salad garnish or with pimento cheese). The absolute best use of the skin, however, is as an appetizer, where it's buttermilk-marinated and deep-fried. huskrestaurant.com

LEGS
Scotchies Restaurant; St. Ann, Jamaica
The chicken is bathed in a flaming-hot seasoning of Scotch bonnet peppers and spices. After a day in the rub, the birds are smoke-roasted on stacks of pimento wood. I ask for piles of legs and a coconut water. N. Coast Hwy., Drax Hall.

FEET
M. Wells Dinette; Long Island City, NY
Inside the Museum of Modern Art's PS 1 outpost, this spot is renowned for Hugue Dufour's fat-on-fat Quebecois food. I always order the crispy and chewy buffalo-style chicken feet—drenched in hot sauce and, of course, maple syrup. momaps1.org

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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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