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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Chicken Dance

Beer Can Chicken—For or Against?

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Adam Perry Lang

Courtesy 'Charred & Scruffed' / Grill Master Adam Perry Lang

Blogger and self-proclaimed “Barbecue Whisperer” Meathead has a bone to pick with beer can chicken. In a detailed attack on the Huffington Post, Meathead assails the popular summertime grilling method—in which a whole chicken is perched on top of an opened can of beer—as “a gimmick and a waste of good beer.” While Meathead makes a good case, arguing that the beer adds neither moisture nor flavor to the chicken, cooking a chicken on a can does have its advantages. In F&W's recipe, grilling guru Adam Perry Lang admits that beer vapors do little to the meat, but explains that propping the bird up vertically allows juices to flow over the breast, keeping the meat super-succulent—plus there's no special equipment required. And while it may be a waste of beer, the less you drink, the safer it will be to pull the whole thing off. See Meathead for a list of impending dangers.

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Recipes from Grilling Experts
Tasty BBQ Recipes

Chicken Dance

Umami-Packed Chicken Parmesan

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Chicken Parmesan

© Quentin Bacon / Chicken Parmesan

Umami—a Japanese word that means "the essence of deliciousness," a.k.a the fifth taste, is now equated with glutamate, an amino acid found in some foods, but an Art of Eating essay published online yesterday delves deeper into the history of the once-elusive taste and its importance. According to writer Rowan Jacobsen, many cultures loved umami even before it was identified: The Chinese have soy sauce, Koreans devour kimchi, Australians use vegemite and Americans adore ketchup. By recognizing umami as a separate taste with its own identity, Jacobsen believes we open the doors to more delicious food combinations. “We can perceive it, think about it, play with it, and realize when it’s needed,” Jacobsen writes. “We can understand what anchovies and soy sauce have in common, and by understanding that, can appreciate their differences.” This Chicken Parmesan with Pepperoni features a triptych of umami-packed ingredients—Parmesan, tomato and pepperoni—in a quick weeknight dish.

Related: Italian-American Classics
Chicken Breast Recipes
Gooey, Cheesy Recipes

Chicken Dance

Crunchy, Tangy, Star-Worthy Chicken Wings

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Ike's Chicken Wings

© Wendell T. Webber / Chicken Wings

Today, the New York Times awarded Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok NY a commendable two stars. The Southeast Asian restaurant is the latest offering from the bicoastal chef who owns three restaurants in Portland, OR and two in New York. In addition to serving Northern Thai specialties like minced pork salad and frog-leg soup, Pok Pok NY also features his signature dish: Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. Available at all of Ricker’s restaurants, they can also be made at home using the recipe Ricker shared with Food & Wine. The tangy, fish sauce-marinated wings get a double-dose of crunch from being fried until golden and then tossed with crispy fried garlic.

Related: More Tasty Chicken Wings
Great Southeast Asian Recipes
Amazing Fried Food

Chicken Dance

The Declaration of Ham Independence

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Chicken Saltimbocca

© Lucy Schaeffer / Chicken Saltimbocca

An artisanal meat company wants Americans to declare ham independence now. Iowa-based La Quercia asserts that domestic prosciutto rivals European products in terms of quality and will celebrate Ham Independence from June 28 to the Fourth of July. Quercia even wrote this, The Declaration of the disUnited Ham Eaters of the United States: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their creator with certain un-alienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Prosciutto of Happiness.” Festivities kick of tomorrow with a ham-filled party at the Des Moines Playhouse featuring La Quericia’s Acorn Edition Prosciutto. Additionally, stores across the country are participating with prosciutto sales, tasting events and cured meat classes. Terrific on its own, prosciutto is also fantastic when cooked as in Lidia Bastianich’s Chicken Saltimbocca. The recipe features chicken breasts covered with thin slices of prosciutto di Parma seared until crisp, but an high-quality American product would also be delicious.

Related: Great Ham Recipes
Amazing Italian Recipes
All-American Dishes

Chicken Dance

Cross-Cultural Chicken for Anthony Bourdain

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Chicken with Cashews

© John Kernick / Chicken with Cashews

It may seem like Anthony Bourdain simply appeared one day in the kitchens of New York City with a cleaver in one hand and a beer in the other, but the bad-boy chef has a birthday just like the rest of us—and it’s today. In the July issue of Food & Wine, Bourdain and his nice-guy chef buddy Eric Ripert spoke to Kate Krader about today's food trends. Asked about fusion cooking, Bourdain responded: “As long as chefs are combining cuisines that are actually having sex with each other, I think the cross-cultural cooking trend is appropriate. Some chefs can pull it off; most can’t. The guys at Torrisi [in New York City] do it well.” Wish Bourdain a happy birthday with Chicken with Candied Cashews. The Italian-leaning Torrisi chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi transform Chinese cashew chicken into a fancy appetizer featuring the chicken "oyster," an extremely tasty piece of meat that's prized by French chefs.

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Fast Chinese Recipes
Delicious, Better Than Takeout Recipes

Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

How to Explode the Myth That Cheese Can't Go With Fish

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Broiled Salmon with Blue Cheese, Lemon and Dill

© Stephanie Meyer

My buddy Karl Benson has cooked this recipe for 15 years, but it took me 10 years to even taste it. Once I did, I was sold. I hope you don’t wait as long as I did to found out how stubborn and how wrong you can be. I think he got this recipe from his Swedish family, or from cooking one night at home with his friend Marcus Samuelsson, the famous chef, and experimenting a little bit.

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Chicken Dance

NYC’s First Bacon Bash

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Chicken Salad

© John Kernick / Chicken Salad

Tomorrow, New York City will experience its first annual Bacon Bash. The event will unite restaurants and bars like microbrew specialist Little Town NYC to serve bacony bites like pork meatball sliders with pancetta, while confectionaries will emphasize the sweeter side of America's meat obsession via bacon chocolates and boozy bacon cupcakes covered in candied bacon. Proving that bacon love endures at its most insane levels, the $50 event at the Arena Event Space in Times Square is sold out except for a final 6:30 p.m. session. For a lower-key bash at home, we suggest these Baby Brioches with Chicken Salad and Bacon. The two-bite snacks come together in just 25 minutes.

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Healthy Bacon Recipes
Sweet and Savory Bacon Recipes

Chicken Dance

The Science of Food Pairings

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Grilled Chicken Sandwich

© Quentin Bacon / Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Ever tried eating almonds, bananas and chocolate with ketchup ice cream? According Sense of Taste, a Belgium-based culinary consulting firm, it should taste great. The company bases its research on a theory first developed by chef Heston Blumenthal of London's The Fat Duck and flavor chemist François Benzi. The duo argues that the key to a perfect pairing rests with matching volatile flavor compounds. For example, white chocolate and caviar have amines in common, so they should inherently taste good together. Not everyone agrees with such science. “That whole flavor-pairing crap is just a gimmick by a chef who is practicing biology without a license,” says University of Florida horticultural science professor Harry J. Klee in a recent interview with Chemical & Engineering News. Most great food pairings admittedly don't need complex research, like the long-admired combination of tomato and basil. These Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil turn the tried-and-true Caprese salad into a delicious summer sandwich.

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Delicious Grilled Chicken
Terrific Basil Dishes

Chicken Dance

Tortillas Discovered in Space

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Chicken Tacos

© Raymond Hom / Chicken Tacos

Space food has evolved way beyond freeze-dried ice cream and Tang. Since the 1980s, tortillas have been a large part of an astronaut's diet. “Sure they taste great,” former NASA pilot Charlie Justiz told Culturemap.com, “but that's not the reason tortillas are in space. It's because bread has crumbs and tortillas don't. You can't have crumbs floating around and clogging up the air vents. We've been sending them up for decades to the ISS (International Space Station) and on the shuttles. We used to get them from a little tortilla place near El Paso.” Down on Earth, tortillas are just as useful as they are in space and equally delicious, especially when filled with juicy rotisserie chicken—as they are in these Chicken and Cabbage Tacos with Cilantro Cream.

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Terrific Taco Spots
Great Mexican Dishes

Chicken Dance

Honeybee Buzz Arrives Early in NYC

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Chicken Drumsticks

© Tina Rupp / Chicken Drumsticks

Thanks to a warm winter and a mild, early spring, pre-season honeybees are catching urban beekeepers—and pedestrians—by surprise. Rather than fear the swarms of (friendly when unprovoked) bees, New Yorkers should use the abundant honey in recipes like this Honey-Soy Sauce Chicken with Mâche-and-Citrus Salad. As Chase Emmons, a managing partner of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, told the New York Times: “City folk should be happy that we’re getting early-season honey.” Of course, non-New York residents can also make the sticky, salty-sweet drumsticks with their own local honey.

Related: Chicken Drumstick Recipes
Great Honey Recipes
Delicious Chicken Dishes

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