Just over a week ago, I decided to roast a turkey. In traditional Mike D over exuberance, I refused to settle for a normal recipe and instead tried a deconstructed turkey. The problem with conventionally roasted turkeys is that you have to time the cooking to the thickest part of the bird; this results in the white meat being drier than it needs to be. By deboning the beast and homogenizing the width, you can better time the cooking so it comes out perfect! That’s the theory anyway.
Result: Complete failure. I did everything wrong.
And thus I begin my training. Since I floundered with the Turkey, I needed to start small. I picked up a chicken last weekend and got to work.
Watch the first 2m30s of that video to be wowed by Jacque Pepin. He debones a Chicken in about 40 seconds. For those of you who are interested, watch the rest – they do a turkey as well as all sorts of other impressive dishes.
What Jacque did in 40 seconds, easily took me 30 minutes. It was slow and painstaking. I had a hard time finding the joints and Jacque moves soooo quickly that I found myself rewinding again and again and again. I could blame my less than sharp knives, but I’m fairly certain it would have taken me just as long with a lightsaber.
Once deboned, I spread out the meat into a mostly uniform layer
Jen and I then added a pad of sausage stuffing (onions, sausage, pork, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings)
I then rolled it up, and tied it up with twine. I was a little worried because mine didn’t look as snazzy as Jacque’s. It turns out climbing knots do not help for roasting.
Despite my weak-sauce rope-work, the chicken came out great!
With the stuffing:
Overall this was an extremely rewarding experience. I’m going to try doing one chicken every two weeks like this until I can complete the deboning in less than a minute. Then I’ll upgrade to a turkey and ultimately try it with my sword for a new kung fu party trick.
I’d really like to see a cereal company provide a cereal box back with some challenging questions. This morning LIFE cereal challenged me to find the number 7 and recognize that Boat rhymes with Goat. I think some of the less sugary cereals should focus on challenging word games or deep logic puzzles for an adult audience.
I’d buy that cereal.
Unless it was Grape Nuts.
Don’t be fooled: Definitely not grapes. Definitely not nuts.
Thanksgiving at the House of DiDonato is such a pleasure. It’s like a 96 hour marathon of sleeping and binging on foodstuffs. The highlight of the weekend’s eating was a new Mac & Cheese recipe that Mom D made for us. It’s called:
Smack Yo Mamma Mac and Cheese
This recipe was a finalist on ABC’s Good Morning America for best Mac and Cheese. It was claimed to be so delicious that you would go home and smack yo mamma and demand an answer to why her Mac and Cheese wasn’t as good as this Mac and Cheese.
The dish lived up to its reputation. Thankfully, I did not have to Smack Mom D because she did, in fact, make this mac and cheese for us. Thanks Mom D!
Here’s a link to the recipe!
I have been driving the exact same commute every weekday for the past eight and a half years.
With 50 work weeks (less 2w vacation) subtract about 7 weeks per year for business travel… that’s 43 weeks. At 5 days a week that 215 days per year. That’s about 1,800 trips to work.
And I just noticed that there’s a cheese shop one street over called “The Cheese Shop”
Whattt?! How did I miss this?!
Jen: “Orzo is really great. It has all the great qualities of pasta, and you don’t have to chew it.”
Of all the foods I’ve tried, it is Korean cuisine that I can’t yet appreciate.
I am currently working on the South East end of the Korean peninsula about a four hour drive from Seoul. A typical lunch for the workers here consists of a pile of white sticky rice, various vegetables covered in brine and hot chili peppers, kimchi, a meat and a soup. It’s that brine-esque, pickled vegetable stuff that I haven’t yet learned to love. and it is EVERYWHERE. 50% of most meal options are sprinkled with hot&spicy ocean flavor spices.
Yesterday, the Koreans that I’m working with requested a pizza party. So we bought them Pizzas from their favorite locale: Dominoes.
Korean Dominoes should be classified as local cuisine. Two of the pizzas had mayonaise on them, another had shrimp and unidentified yellow cubes. Squash? I’m not sure. You’d think I would be all over that mayo pizza, but I couldn’t move myself to try it.
I will be here until the 28th.
I woke up this morning craving Holiday Inn cinnamon buns.
Not a good sign by any means.
On my return flight from Buffalo this week I sat next to a food scientist. This seat assignment rates right up there with the time I sat next to the Mayonnaise Salesman and let’s not forget the Sargento Cheese guy. This woman had an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Food Science. At her current job she specializes in dough.
Dough. Like… Pizza dough? How convenient!
Obviously, I asked her for comments on pizza making. The first recommendation she made to me was that I transition to 00 Flour (referred to in the industry as “Double Oh Flour”). This is a dough that is ground extra thin, retains more water, and improves the silky smoothness of the dough pre-baking. But with new water retention levels, how do I know how much flour to add? My new food scientist friend reports that I should be able to read a newspaper through the dough when it’s stretched thin – Daaaang! That is Glutenrific!
I got this food scientist’s business card and may introduce her to MikeDiDonato.com. I think it’s safe to say that we would welcome the knowledge base of a food scientists amongst our ranks.
As a final note, it’s probably worthwhile to pause to reflect on food industry business cards. Kristin the food scientist was telling me that she knows a butter developer. Butter Developer? Best title ever.