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French chicken stew, Peking chicken...fresh ways with poultry from a new Sunset book.

French chicken stew, Peking chicken . . . fresh ways with poultry from a new Sunset book

Company coming? Or is it only family tonight? In either case, one food stands out as a ready, reliable, economical, well-liked, and easy-to-cook choice for dinner: chicken.

Sunset's just-released Fresh Ways with Chicken (Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, Calif., 1986; $5.95) brings you a helpful variety of ways to present this menu standby--familiar to inventive, down-home to international. As a sampler, three very achievable recipes follow that are inspired by Chinese, French, and Italian classics.

The 96-page book also offers suggestions on cooking turkey and other birds--including chukar, Cornish game hens, ducks, geese, pheasant, quail, and squab. Its 16 color illustrations, plus line drawings and charts, present the basics clearly: you learn how to stuff and carve a bird, how to cut up a whole chicken or bone a chicken breast, how long to roast and at what temperature, how to arrange coals to get the right heat on the barbecue, and special techniques for the microwave.

Leaf through for inspiration, if you like. This is a book designed for busy people, and the recipes are deliberately direct and uncomplicated; you're sure to alight on one you'd like to try.

Or decide what cooking method you'd prefer, and look up recipes that way. About half the chapters emphasize the method or cooking utensil used: there are sections on oven cookery (roasting, broiling, and baking), frying techniques (panfrying, stir-frying, and deep-frying), barbecuing (direct and indirect heat), and kettle cookery (simmering, poaching, and steaming to make soups, stews, and other good mixtures).

Other recipes suggest how to make firstclass meals using leftover cooked poultry in salads, casseroles, and pastries.

The book concludes with poultry basics that will help both beginners and old hands, giving buying information, storage directions, instructions for thawing frozen poultry, advice on food safety, and tips on how to determine doneness.

Crisp Peking chicken is a simple variation on the complex dish the Chinese make with duck. You might like to serve it for Chinese New Year--February 9 this year--to usher in the Year of the Tiger.

Peking-style Chicken

2 whole broiler-fryer chickens (2 1/2 lb. each)

4 quarts water

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground ginger

1 tablespoon each firmly packed brown sugar and vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

12 flour tortillas, about 8 inches in diameter

Hoisin or Chinese plum sauce (in supermarkets or Asian markets)

12 to 16 green onions (ends trimmed), including tops, cut into 2-inch-long slivers

Fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs

Remove chicken necks and giblets; reserve for other uses, if desired. Discard lumps of fat. Using poultry shears or a knife, cut each chicken in half lengthwise; then rinse halves and pat dry.

In a large pan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat and plunge chicken into water. Let stand for 1 minute; lift out and pat very dry.

In a small bowl, combine pepper, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and soy; brush over skin sides of chicken halves. Place chicken in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

Lift chicken from bowl and place, skin side up, on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, in a 400| oven until skin is richly browned and crisp and meat at thigh bone is no longer pink when cut, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half and divide into 2 equal stacks; wrap each stack in foil. Place in oven 15 minutes before chicken is done.

When chicken is done, turn oven off. Place one chicken half on each of 4 dinner plates. Unwrap one stack of tortillas, rewrap in a napkin, and bring to the table, leaving second stack in the oven until needed. To eat, top a tortilla with hoisin sauce, green onions, and cilantro. Carve off pieces of chicken, then wrap in the tortilla and eat out of hand. Makes 4 servings.

This is a particularly succulent version of the French country classic; add a green salad and crusty bread, and you have a fine meal.

Coq au Vin

1 broiler-fryer chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lb.), cut up

1/3 pound pork shoulder steak (blade steak), boned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

8 small (about 1 1/2-in.-diameter) white boiling onions

1/2 pound small (about 1-in.-diameter) mushrooms

1 3/4 cups regular-strength chicken broth, homemade or purchased (1 can, 14 1/2-oz. size)

1 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon each cornstarch and water

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Remove chicken neck and giblets and reserve for other uses, if desired. Rinse chicken and pat dry; set aside.

In a wide frying pan over medium-high heat, cook pork, stirring, until crisp and well browned. Lift meat out and set aside; leave drippings in pan.

Add chicken to pan, a portion at a time, without crowding; cook, turning, until browned on all sides. Lift out and set aside. Add onions to pan; cook, stirring, until browned on all sides. Add the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated. Set onions and mushrooms aside.

Pour broth into pan, turn heat to high, and boil until reduced to 1 cup, stirring to scrape browned bits free. Stir in wine and mustard. Return chicken, onions, and mushrooms to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat at thigh bone is no longer pink when cut, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in pork and return to a simmer. Skim and discard fat.

Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving dish. Combine cornstarch and water, then stir into pan juices. Bring to a boil, stirring; pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes about 4 servings.

Turkey cooked scalopine-style is a popular alternative to the more costly veal; it's especially easy when you start with boned turkey breast.

Turkey Scaloppine with Prosciutto, Gruyere, and Peas

1 pound boned turkey breast, skinned All-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1/4 Ib.) butter or margarine

1/2 pound medium-size mushrooms

1/2 cup marsala Salt and pepper

1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded gruyere or Swiss cheese

Hot cooked peas

Rinse turkey, pat dry, and cut across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the turkey slices, 1 at a time, between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a flatsurfaced mallet until the meat is about 1/8 inch thick. Dip pieces in flour to coat; shake off excess.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey, a portion at a time, without crowding; cook, turning once, until meat is lightly browned on both sides, about 1 minute total. Add more butter, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. As turkey is cooked, arrange slices on an ovenproof platter, slightly overlapping; keep warm.

Add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Pour in marsala and stir to scrape browned bits free. With a slotted spoon, lift mushrooms from pan; arrange next to turkey.

Boil pan juices over high heat, stirring, until large, shiny bubbles form. Add remaining butter and stir constantly until completely blended. Remove pan from heat; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

top turkey enenly with prosciutto and cheese. Broil about 6 inches from heat just until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour sauce around edge of platter, allowing it to run beneath turkey; spoon peas around the turkey. Makes 4 servings.

Photo: French version of stewed chicken is braised in red wine with vegetables

Photo: Family-pleasing recipes that are special enough for company fill useful new book

Photo: Extra-crisp skin distinguishes this easy chicken variation on Peking duck; try it on Chinese New Year, February 9. Eat with warm flour tortillas, hoisin sauce, and fresh cilantro
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1986
Words:1325
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