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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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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.

Related: Chicken Recipes and Cooking Tips
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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Grilled Radicchio with Goat Cheese and Herbed Tomato Dressing

Grilled Radicchio with Goat Cheese and Herbed Tomato Dressing

This end-of-summer salad takes care of the biggest problem in my kitchen as August turns to September: what to do with all of my tomatoes. I serve lamb chops or grilled chicken right on top of this all the time so the elements here are all multipurpose. I often use the grilled lettuce technique elsewhere, and the tomato vinaigrette is perfect with shellfish or as a kind of sauce for just about anything that benefits from the bright acidity. The trio of grilled radicchio (I prefer the long-leaf varietal for this recipe), goat cheese and tomato is about as essential as it gets, focusing heavily on sour-salty-bitter-sweet. The first time I saw this dish was during a press tour, I am guessing about 25 years ago, by Sir Terence Conran in support of one of his books or stores. I was part of the team in New York City, making the food for a massive dinner celebrating his incredible influence on the culinary world and I was assigned to prepare one of his chefs to make this dish as a small course. I have been cooking it ever since. Paired with crusty bread it stands on its own, thanks to the cheese pairing, but it's also killer with something off the grill as part of a meal. SEE RECIPE »

See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures

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Kitchen Trash

Why Salad is for Lovers and Toast is for Artists

Bacon Car

The Internet is a black hole for strange, weird and wonderful things—especially when it comes to food. Rather than dive in yourself, let F&W do it for you. Here, five of the most absurd food items we saw this week.

Megaburgerpizza: Move over, ramen burger. There’s a new hybrid food in town and it’s a college kid’s dream. The Megaburgerpizza is exactly what it sounds like: an enormous sandwich made up of burger patties sandwiched between two 11-inch cheese pizzas, dressed with ketchup, onions, pickles and mustard, weighing in at nearly 3 lbs. Japan’s Pizza Little Party chain will be selling the gut-busting dish through November 22.

Salad Dating App: Long walks on the beach and piña coladas are overrated. What you really need to know when you’re looking for a mate is if they share your taste in salad toppings. At least, that’s what Just Salad, a salad restaurant franchise, is counting on with their new SaladMatch app, which matches you and your salad eating habits with others of the same ilk.

Bacon Car: We keep thinking that bacon has jumped the shark once and for all. But then some one else finds a new and more ridiculous way to repurpose the crispy, meaty, obsessed-over breakfast meat. Ford recently announced the availability of giant vinyl bacon strips to decorate the new 2014 Ford Fiesta. Those who want the full bacon treatment should be willing to shell out some serious cash. It costs $3,347 plus installation fees for ten strips.

Toast Art: The perfect activity for insomniacs: Creating intricate anime portraits on toast using cocoa, green tea powder and clear plastic sheets for stenciling. Start your toast art at 3 a.m. and by the time you’re done, it’s breakfast!

Pizza Button: We can all agree that room service is one of the best things about staying in a hotel. But one hotel has figured out something better: pizza service. Every room at the Country Inn & Suites in Niagara Falls, NY includes a phone equipped with a pizza button, which connects guests to a local pizza parlor. If only all phones came with such a button.

Related: Over-the-Top Burgers
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Supermarket Sleuth

Whole-Wheat Pasta That You Can Cook Perfectly

F&W food editors apply their incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I love the flavor of whole-wheat pasta, and I have the patience to stand over the pot while pasta is cooking to get the texture just right. Unfortunately, I’ve been largely unsuccessful with most of the brands of dried whole-wheat pasta I’ve tried. It’s not that the flavor is bad, but I just can’t find that perfect al dente window, when the pasta offers just the slightest bit of elastic resistance when you eat it, but it no longer has a true crunchy bite. I finally found the magic al dente window in the hard red winter wheat linguine from the San Francisco Bay Area company Community Grains. I don’t know whether it is the wheat itself (California grown and milled), the fact that the whole grain is milled together (rather than separated and then recombined, as is often the case in commercial whole-wheat milling) or that the pasta is cut and dried in the traditional (old-fashioned) manner, but the texture is at once hearty, slippery smooth and chewy, and the wheat flavor is super-prominent. We had it with a sauce of spicy sausage, broccoli rabe and pecorino, which stood up to the almost nutty flavor of the wheat.

Related Links: F&W's Favorite Pasta Recipes
Fast Weekday Pasta
Best Healthy Pasta

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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.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.