CSA Share August 31st

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

So I was looking into what I could make for hubby that he’d really enjoy.  I’m trying this “housewife” thing, and it’s more difficult than I knew.  I always thought that I’d be able to have a hot dinner on the table if only I had more time.  But that was before I knew that Netflix has Veronica Mars, Season Two & Season Three on Instant View.  Here’s what I came up with for tonight: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (based on the original turkey recipe found at Epicurious).  Because (if you’re new to reading this, you’ll soon find out) I have chicken.  I do not have pork.  I made some sandwich rolls recently too, and I’m hoping that I get extra dinner points to overcome the fact that I have no laundry points for this week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco plus additional to taste
  • ½ tablespoon (1½ teaspoons) salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast (2 halves)
  • Accompaniment: soft sandwich rolls, toasted lightly if desired

Preparation:

  1. Finely chop onions and mince garlic.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine onions, garlic, vinegar, butter, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons Tabasco, salt, pepper, and brown sugar and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add chicken breast, and cook at a bare simmer, covered, 2½  hours, flipping occasionally. After the first 2½ hours, begin to shred meat by smushing and crushing the breast apart (I didn’t actually take it out & pull it apart at all.  That probably makes me a bad southerner, but since I’ve only been south of the Mason-Dixon once, I don’t think that’s a surprise). Simmer barbecue, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, 1½ hours more and season with salt, pepper, and additional Tabasco.
  3. Serve barbecue on rolls.

Notes:

This version of the recipe is written with the “substitutions for boneless, skinless breasts” I found listed in the comments over at Epicurious.  If you look at recipes there, I highly recommend reading the comments.

The Verdict:

The sandwich rolls are lovely.  Hubby said that he liked the pulled chicken.  It was a little vinegar-y for me, but that might be mostly because of how I forgot to check on it a couple of times, and then the sauce was all cooked to goo and I used vinegar and ketchup and chicken stock (but a lot of vinegar) to create more liquid.  He said that he likes a vinegar-y barbecue, so maybe that’s what he liked about it.  Anyway, it’s worth keeping in the recipe file.  We had a small container of leftovers that worked well for lunches during the week, so if I scale back the vinegar (and remember to check on it between everyepisode of Veronica Mars, not just some of the time), it will probably become a good go-to recipe.

Another Visit to Flour Tortillas

Little update on the flatbread project: there’s likely to be a lot more about flatbreads here. I’m working on perfecting the process of making every flatbread from every culture. As long as I can use my Cuisinart or KitchenAid, of course. I’m feeling really good about pizza crust and pita breads, and I’m on the verge of getting tortillas just how I want them. Next up will be corn tortillas, but then likely naan, just because I love it. My father mentioned lavash, and Ethiopian flatbread (whatever that’s called), and apparently there’s a sweet version from Norway… But I’m not moving on until I have a flour tortilla I can count on.

Which is why I re-tried that flour tortilla recipe from The Weekend Gourmande.  I (of course) converted it to the Cuisinart and tried cooking it with the newfound knowledge I gained from Pioneer Woman.  This time, the tortillas came out just the right color.  They had a lacing of golden brown on one side and spots of dark brown on the other.  These are a bit thicker than the lard-version, and I don’t know how well they’ll hold up as burritos because of that factor.  However, they cooked up beautifully and I’m considering how they would work with an extra step of rolling them out just before cooking.  Yes, that would mean that I’m resting the tortillas 3 different times, in 3 different shapes in the recipe.  But the alternative is driving to BONNEY LAKEfor one ingredient.  I’m only really lazy when it involves going out in public.  And mixing things by hand.  And housework.  Other than that, I have dogged determination that will see me through this flatbread experiment.  I’m quite looking forward to it.

Update: I now have my ultimate tortilla recipe, which is what I recommend using if you decide you want to make your own homemade tortillas!

Pita Bread

I found the original for this recipe at greekfood.about.com, and I like how it turns out. It took some experimentation to find the pita recipe we were really interested in eating.  We love pita bread as a flat bread, not as a pocket bread so much (although sometimes these will inflate and create pockets as well).  Our breads are a little thicker than the pocket breads usually are (1/4″ – 3/8″ or so) and are perfect to use for dipping in hummus or heating up with feta on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Dissolve in the yeast and sugar in ½ cup of warm water and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Dissolve salt in the remaining 1 cup of warm water.
  2. Put flour in the bowl of an 11-Cup Food Processor.  Pulse briefly to settle the flour.  Continue pulsing while adding yeast mixure and salt water in a steady stream.  Continue pulsing until dough forms, then turn food processor on for 30 seconds or so.  Add olive oil and continue to process until all oil is absorbed.
  3. Shape into a ball, place in 8-cup measure, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in volume, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough and knead briefly.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), and tear commercial-sized parchment paper in half.
  5. Take pieces of dough slightly larger than an egg and roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of 3/8 to 1/4 inch. (For larger or smaller pita bread pieces, take more or less dough). Prick the bread with a fork in several places and brush lightly with olive oil.
  6. Place on parchment paper and bake at 350°F (175°C) on the lowest oven rack for 2-3 minutes, then turn the pitas over and bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and place on another sheet of parchment paper , with a clean towel on top. When thoroughly cooled, pitas can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or frozen.
  7. Before using, brown in a lightly oiled skillet for a few minutes until browned on both sides or re-heat briefly in the oven.

The Verdict:

We love these pitas.  I made a whole mess of them (I think it was three recipes or more) recently to take on family vacation with us.  They’re absolutely wonderful.  They’re good used to make pita sandwiches, used as thick wraps, or cut into wedges to eat with dip.  You may have noticed that the technique I use for these pitas is pretty much the same as the technique I use for pizza crust.  That’s just because I’m really lazy.  And I don’t enjoy mixing any kind of dough by hand.  If it can’t be made in a Cuisinart or KitchenAid, I’m not likely to cook it.  Luckily, most recipes can be adapted to one contraption or another.