Wednesday, May 24, 2023

ChezCindy: Butterflied Grilled Chicken with Herb Butter


Fresh herbs from the garden mixed with sweet creamy butter is a wonderful addition to grilled chicken to enjoy dining outside on a warm Spring Day.  

Here I used a whole chicken that I "butterflied" to open it up to expose the cavity and lay flat on the grill grates.  Individual pieces of bone-in chicken would work great too.  Basting with the herbed butter at the last minute before removing from the grill will create a lovely sauce to compliment the natural chicken juices.  

Butterflied Grilled Chicken with Herb Butter

1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds, butterflied
    or bone-in pieces, leg quarters and/or breast 
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened 
4-5 large sprigs of various herbs
    tarragon, rosemary, basil, and/or thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Light the grill to preheat to a temperature of 400-425 degrees using the indirect heat method for either gas or charcoal.   

Make the herb butter:  Place the softened butter into a small bowl.  Remove the leaves of the herbs from the stems, chopping the leaves into small pieces.  Add the chopped leaves to the bowl with the butter, along with the teaspoon of salt.  Mix to combine.  

Prepare the chicken for grilling:  Using paper towels, pat dry the chicken on the top skin and bottom cavity.  Brush or rub the skin of the chicken with the oil.  Sprinkle the tablespoon of salt over the entire chicken.  Transfer to a large sheet tray to transition to the grill.  Once the grill is hot, place the chicken cavity side down over indirect heat onto the grill grate.  Close the lid and grill undisturbed without turning, moving, or opening the lid for 25-30 minutes.  Watch for flair ups so that the chicken doesn't burn.  Cooking over indirect heat should minimize flair ups.  We are grilling the chicken on one side, not flipping over, remaining skin-side up for the entire cooking time. 

At 25-30 minutes, begin checking the internal temperature.  Once the chicken reaches 150 degrees at the thickest part, the skin should be nicely browned at this point.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of the herb butter to the top of the chicken.  With the lid open, continue cooking until the chicken reaches 160 degrees.  Remove the chicken to a clean sheet tray or serving platter.  Carry-over cooking while resting the chicken for 5-7 minutes will continue bringing the chicken to 165 degrees.  Serve with additional herb butter dolloped on the chicken.  

Friday, May 12, 2023

ChezCindy: Spinach and Green Onion Quiche Tart


This recipe for Spinach and Green Onion Quiche is nearly foolproof.  Additionally, the ingredients can be switched up to meet your preference substituting kale, collards, or Swiss chard for the spinach and diced red onions or caramelized yellow onions for the chopped green onions.  I used freshly grated gruyere cheese, but white cheddar or Swiss cheese would be delicious too.  

The homemade crust is made in a food processor using a blend of butter flavored Crisco and unsalted butter.  Or you could easily use a store-bought crust to save time.  This dish is definitely a make it your own and make it ahead for any upcoming springtime events such as Mother's Day, a graduation gathering, or wedding shower.  

Spinach and Green Onion Quiche Tart
    Makes one 9-inch tart

For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour, extra as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco shortening
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
scant 1/2 cup ice-cold water

For the Filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large bunch green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups raw spinach leaves, loosely packed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
2 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Begin by making the dough: 
Working with a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine.  Place the shortening and the cubed butter in with the flour mixture.  Pulse until the butter is the size of pearls.  Open up the liquid feed tube on the processor top to begin drizzling in half of the cold water, pulsing to combine.  Add more water a small amount at a time, pulsing to combine until the dough comes together.  You don't need a full half cup, just slightly less than.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Press it together to form a disk about 4-5 inches wide.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.  

Butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Working with the now chilled dough, remove it from the plastic wrap placing the disk onto a lightly floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin 13-inch circle.  Drape the dough circle over the tart pan pressing it into the bottom and sides.  Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut off the excess dough.  You will have extra dough for another use.  Use a fork to poke evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the dough.  Place the tart pan in the freezer to chill for 15-20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  

Place the chilled tart onto a baking sheet.  Line the tart pan with crumpled foil to cover the bottom of the pan with some foil hanging over the sides.  Fill the foil-lined pan with pie weights (I use dried beans that I store for repeated use).  Bake the dough for 15 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven, carefully remove the foil containing the pie weights.  Return the tart to the oven to continue baking for about 5 minutes until the tart dough is lightly browned.  Remove from the oven to cool while you make the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

While the tart dough is cooling, make the filling:
Working with a large 11-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil.  Add in the chopped green onions, stirring to combine.  When the onions are beginning to soften, add the spinach, tossing all together.  Continue stirring until the spinach is wilted and the onions are soft.  Stir in the tablespoon of flour.  Set aside to cool.  Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into 6 tiny pieces, set aside.  

In a large bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, cream, salt and nutmeg if using.  Fold in the cooled spinach and green onion mixture along with half of the grated cheese.  Transfer the egg mixture to the cooled tart shell, smoothing the top to evenly distribute the spinach and green onions.  Scatter the remaining cheese evenly over the top.  Scatter the 6 tiny pieces of butter over the cheese.  Bake the tart placing it on the lowest oven rack at 375-degrees for 25-30 minutes until the tart is puffed and lightly browned.  Place the baked tart onto a wire rack to cool.  Remove the tart ring.  

Serve warm or at room temperature.