chicken chili

It’s no secret that I love cooking recipes from Serious Eats, particularly those from Kenji and his Food Lab. I constantly file them away in Evernote (so I can tag them) and search for them based on my mood or the season. Recently Kenji posted a creamy chicken chili recipe and I made it nearly immediately.

It’s very easy, especially if you use canned beans, which you should not. Cooking beans from dry and using the bean liquor will always, always make your dish better than if you use canned beans. The pot liquor is packed with flavor and texture and future farts. I use my pressure cooker to partially cook the beans for recipes like this, speeding things up greatly. I did use a rotisserie chicken instead of regular chicken breasts, because it’s easy and has little impact on the result, and I could snack on the wings while cooking. I chopped the carcass into three pieces and threw it in the simmering chili for extra flavor. I also added habanero because I love the heat and fruity flavor of those. Don’t skimp on the cheese when finishing the dish.

The next dish at hand I made last night – Crispy Braised Chicken with White Beans and Chile Verde. Again, dry beans are key. This dish is nearly a lesson on braise and other cooking processes. Sear the meat while charring the peppers. Deglaze the frond and cook the aromatics. Add spice and cook quickly. Add liquid and simmer down until the sauce is created. Cook the beans properly. Return everything to the oven and braise until it all comes together. Garnish with acid and creaminess and crunchy herbs. If you do it right it does take a little time, but you are building flavor and that takes time and will ultimately taste better.

OK, off to eat some delicious leftovers for lunch.

This is definitely not my photo. Stolen, but my heart is in the right place. Also, linking to the source. 

20130816-hatch-green-chili-31-thumb-632x475-351098

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Green Man

Just a quick post after a recent trip to Asheville for a work retreat. Our management team had some discussion of potential synergies, thought out of the box about our vision, and had some required “team-building” aka drinking and eating.

I’ve spent little time in Asheville, and was stoked to try some spots that have been on my list for a while. Good food and beer abound in this bohemian mountain town, which has the highest brewery per capita ratio of any city in the US. In addition to the dozens of local breweries, many of the largest craft brewers in the country are installing East Coast operations in the Asheville area, such as Oscar Blue’s, New Belgium, and Sierra Nevada. We took a brewery tour (highly recommended) where I was informed that most companies get along quite well, with the larger players often lending a helping hand to the local microbreweries.

I’m looking forward to getting back up there – I would love to do a weekend trip with friends and spouses. Hiking, drinking, good eating, fun bars, and just a few hour drive from Atlanta. Here are some of my shots from the weekend.

Catfish at Chestnut. Quite good.

Chestnut

Cocktails and a dashi soup with noodles at The Admiral. Very fun, funky little place.

The Admiral  The Admiral

Our tour vehicle for the day.

ABT

First stop, a little restaurant called Oyster House that brews their own beer – they are well known for their oyster stout, which yes, is actually brewed with oysters.

Oyster House

Stop #2 – Green Man. Really nice beers. Pro-tip – they are right next door to the French Broad Chocolate factory store. Their chocolate is fantastic.

Green Man

Stop #3 – Wicked Weed. This place is relatively new and coming on super strong. A couple of young brothers are brewing and running the show, with some strong financial backing, I’m told. Right now they are building a second brewing facility called  “The Funkatoreum” where they are going to brew their sours and wilds, so as to avoid cross contamination with their other beers.

Wicked Weed

The place is super nice, a full service restaurant with dozens of beers on draft, and everything I tried was very, very good. Stupid good in some cases.

Wicked Weed

If you like flavor,  interesting beers, or funky sours, it’s a must visit. It’s a beer geek mecca.

Wicked Weed

We were actually filmed for The Today Show segment about craft beer – you can see me in the blue striped shirt at 1:10 and that’s my father speaking. The words have a way of flowing when you are on your third brewery stop.

Wicked Weed     Kerry Sanders - Today Show

One last beer the next day. Plotting my return. Let me know where else to go.

Hi-Wire

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general muir

The sandwiches at The General Muir are what I’m currently craving, so here are photos so you may endure the hunger torture I’m dealing with at the moment.

I love a breakfast sandwich. The General Muir’s pastrami and egg sandwich is just so frickin’ satisfying – it’s the tops for me. Thick, spicy pastrami, a dripping soft egg, and oozing excess of American cheese make for a simple but unmatched meaty breakfast.

Then last week I finally had the chicken club sandwich, which had been taunting me on social media for months. It’s a mountain of a sandwich, perhaps a poor choice for a business lunch (mayo, meet face), but oh yeah oh yes oh yuh. A healthy pile of creamy chicken salad, finely shredded lettuce (it’s the little touches that Chef Todd Ginsberg knows to apply), tomato, POTATO CHIPS, and pastrami. C’mon man.

General Muir is the stuff any meal, any day of the week. Impressive.

This may not be news or cutting edge for you. But for those who do not know, now you know. You deserve it.

general muir

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Smoked Brisket Packer

October 23, 2014

I MADE THE ABOVE Lately I’ve been on a BBQ brisket tear – can’t get enough of it. I can’t recall the last time I ordered pork shoulder at a BBQ temple. Ribs and brisket – those are the two pillars of my smoked meat dreams. I’ve been reading a lot about brisket, as I leave for […]

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Lusca Lunch

October 4, 2014

Lusca has been open for lunch for a month or so now in South Buckhead, and was my recent pick for a guy-guy date lunch. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though it’s too expensive for regular lunch visits. With a glass of wine, splitting three dishes and a vegetable side, it was about $45 for my share of it. […]

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Shake Shack

September 30, 2014

Having never been to a Shake Shack, yes, I was that guy that visited a restaurant within a few hours of opening. It’s a poor move for those expecting to find a restaurant in their groove, but this is fast food we’re talking about. Besides, I’ve been reading about Shake Shack for as long as […]

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Octopus Bar Shoyu Ramen (aka Do You Really Want to Know About Some Gangsta Shit?)

September 29, 2014

This post doesn’t have any food photos I took, but it’s about shoyu ramen and let’s just say it looks something like this. I ate it at Octopus Bar after the Outkast concert Saturday night which looked like this (I did take this photo.) The show was everything I wanted it to be, and they played […]

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China Village Restaurant

September 26, 2014

Let me start – I was sad. I tried to visit Gu’s Bistro for lunch last week and they are on vacation for a few weeks. I really wanted fish and tofu in hot oil or something else fiery and comforting. I thought about going to Chong Qing but noticed there was another place even […]

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