Don’t fear the fryer. Poached chicken is a revelation.
This week at MyRecipes, we were gearing up for the many food-centric holidays and events coming up this month—Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, awards shows—and of course, the big one, the Super Bowl. As someone who’s not too keen on football, Super Bowl Sunday was basically a nationally sanctioned excuse to start this week by eating all the cheese. Some may say too much cheese. They’re wrong. With all of those cheesy, creamy dips, appetizers, and game day sides, we had a lot of leftovers. Thankfully, we learned how to address all of those leftover wings and chili. And that half-full container of sour cream now hanging out in the back of your fridge? You can put that to good use, too.
We got into the Mardi Gras spirit by frying up a New Orleans favorite: classic beignets. If you’re at all intimidated by deep-frying, or are debating whether it’s worth it to make a yeasted dough from scratch, trust us on this—it definitely is. While there's no shortcut to warm, sugary, pillowy doughnuts coming out of you own kitchen, it's definitely easier than you think. With a few brilliant tips from Briana Riddock, covering why room temperature ingredients are so important, how to care of your yeast, and which pot is the right pot for frying, you’ll be able to master this kitchen feat in no time. Trust me, it’s pretty hard to mess something up when this much powdered sugar is involved.
Our assistant editor, Sara Tane went on the Cooking Light Diet for the week and discovered all kinds of important life lessons about healthy eating and cooking—turns out calorie counting doesn’t have to be awful, and writing in a food journal isn't a complete and utter waste of time! But what we were most excited about were these mind-boggling Crunchy-Chewy Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies that fit seamlessly into the diet (It’s called the #Undiet for a reason). Thanks to Sara, we now have a bag of them stashed away at the office because they’re healthy (for a cookie) and they really are that good.
For delicious meal planning made easy, join the Cooking Light Diet today. More information available here.
Beyond beignets and cookies, the other shining star of our week was a deceptively humble poultry cooking technique: poaching. Not only is it more flavorful and easier than you might think, it just may take the place of the token rotisserie chicken purchase in your weekly meal prep routine. All you need in order to ensure poaching success is a thermometer to make sure you’re cooking at the right temperature (you don’t want to get into rubbery territory here) and some aromatics; you can customize the flavor of your poaching liquid with whatever you have on hand. We used garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and cilantro to enhance the poaching liquid for this simple, yet stunning Poached Chicken Noodle Bowl, and fresh oregano for these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce. P.S. This may very likely become your new favorite enchilada recipe. The meat stays succulently tender while baking in the enchiladas, rather than drying out the way shredded rotisserie chicken can on its second round of cooking.
Also, a friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is next Wednesday (2/14 folks, mark it on your calendars)! Be sure to share what sweet treats or date-night meals you’re making for your loved ones (or yourself—we’re not here to judge) with #TryMyRecipes on Instagram. We’d love to see what you’re cooking in the name of lurve this week.