After a whirlwind few days of packing, moving, and unpacking most of our things, cleaning up the old house, and trying to organize the new one, then refocusing and leaving for a work conference, celebrating a family birthday, I’m ready for a refocus in writing for the blog. It’s time for a spa day! At least for the chicken. Forget the facials, saunas, and pedicures: I’m the wrong woman for that kind of thing. I’m happy with the massage I finally scheduled for my upper and middle trapezius trigger points that have me walking around with limited neck motion. I could feel the masseuse crunch through my knots, poaching me in sweetly-scented oils and hot towels, loosening muscles up enough to help me breathe and move again.
Aromas of lavender and spearmint work for my massage time; a nice warm bath works to poach (and relax) a chicken. Think of it like a chicken sauna. Low and slow keeps the meat tender and juicy. Stay away from the shrill or petulant boiling water. No fears that the chicken will look pale and tasteless after the soothing bath. The salty miso sauce and sprinkle of chopped green onions dresses it up nicely. Serving with a bitter and peppery arugula is a good contrast to the saltiness, though rice is a fair accompaniment. The original recipe suggest using watercress; less assertive than arugula and sweeter tasting, it also works well to balance the saltiness of the miso.
Another reason to make this chicken: this dish gives you the latitude of flexibility (how I felt after that crunchy massage) in preparation. You can cook the chicken the night before, chill, and dress with sauce and garnishes in minutes for quick meal. A massage for your stomach, relaxing and satisfying.
One year ago: green apple basil fizz
Two years ago: seriously awesome black bean burgers
Since I was absent from the blog much of September this year, I’m including some recipes from Septembers past to not miss (especially the peach whiskey sours):
Early month: mango-strawberry coconut balls :::: oatmeal brown sugar cookies :::: iced tea with plums and thyme recipe :::: watermelon-feta salad recipe :::: vegan curried pumpkin soup :::: persian-style iced tea with rosewater :::: watermelon granita
Mid-month: peach whiskey sours :::: bluebarb pie :::: accordion potatoes :::: watermelon-feta salad :::: lemon syrup :::: fermented grape soda :::: peach sauce (or baby food) :::: strawberry balsamic smash :::: apricot-earl grey tea pâte de fruit :::: watermelon soda floats :::: pasta with fresh tomatoes, dill, and feta :::: honey-tamarind pork ribs and watermelon granita :::: whole-wheat chocolate “PB&J” brownies :::: syrian baklava
Coming into autumn: coconut dulce de leche ice cream :::: tomato-sunflower seed pâté :::: ninjago frosting redux (Grub’s fourth birthday) :::: turtle cupcakes (Grub’s third birthday) :::: turbinado sugar cookies (Grub’s second birthday) :::: no-knead bread and croutons :::: plum kuchen and pimento cheese :::: pear galette (Grub’s first birthday)
- 2 quarts (2 liters) room-temperature water
- 1½ tablespoons (15g) kosher salt
- 2 medium skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1½ pounds; 680g) [This is what the original recipe says to use -- I'm not a fan of the breast meat. I use boneless, skinless OR bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs. Both work great.]
- 1 whole green onion, plus more thinly sliced for garnish
- 1 (2-inch) knob peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) white miso (a mix of red and white is ok too)
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon (6ml) toasted sesame oil
- 7 ounces watercress (200g; about 2 quarts, loosely packed -- the original recipe's recommendation. I actually have served with arugula which is wonderful or just rice)
- Warm cooked rice, for serving
- Combine water and salt in a large saucepan, stirring to dissolve salt.
- Add chicken, scallion, and ginger and set over medium-high heat until water temperature reaches between 150 and 160 degrees F. Maintain this water temperature in this range. (This was a little tricky for me. You may need to monitor the stove heat frequently to keep it from rising too much.)
- Cook until thickest part of chicken registers 150 degrees F, about 1 hour.
- Remove chicken from broth and let rest. Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer and save for another use (add it to my Taiwanese sesame chicken).
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, miso, soy sauce, and sesame oil until smooth.
- If using watercress: toss watercress/arugula in a bowl to lightly coat with a couple of tablespoons of miso dressing.
- If using bone-in chicken, remove and discard chicken skin and cut chicken meat from bones; discard bones. Slice chicken across the grain into ½-inch pieces.
- Drizzle miso vinaigrette onto chicken and garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with rice and watercress/arugula