Unter Shake’N’Bake versteht man in Amerika das Panieren von Geflügelteilen mit einer Mischung aus Mehl und Semmelbröseln und Gewürzen im Plastikbeutel. Anfänglich hat Kraftfoods diese Mischung unter dem Namen vermarktet.

Irgendwann gab es für viele Haushalte eigene Versionen und Varianten, weil sie (wie ich hoffe) irgendwann gemerkt haben, daß das eigene Rezept vielleicht noch besser ist und man weiß, was man hineingetan hat.

Der Name hat sich nicht nur gehalten, sondern fand Eingang in die Umgangssprache.

Ich selbst habe beim kochen wieder ein Lied aus den 80er Jahren im Ohr gehabt  in der die Zeile vorkommt: ‚Doris,you can take my shake’n’bake‘ , und zwar Kid Creole and the Coconuts im song ‚Don’t take my Coconuts‚.

Überhaupt ist der Song voll von kulinarischen Anspielungen, wobei die Bemerkung über die Kokosnüsse nicht dazugehören dürfte.

Jedenfalls kamen mir längst vergangene Zeiten in den Sinn in denen herrlich ungesundes paniertes Hähnchen gegessen wurde, und ich dachte ch könnte vielleicht den Geschmack zurückholen, ohne die ganzen Sünden mitzunehmen.

Ich hab dann eine Weile bei verschiedenen amerikanischen Foodforen geschaut. Am Ende hab ich es auf meine Art zusammengebaut.

Es gab etwa eine Tasse (Cup) frische Semmelbrösel, weil ich keine abgepackten mehr hatte, dazu etwa 2/3 der Menge Mehl, 2 El Salz, Pfeffer, 2 El Rosenpaprika, 1 Tl Cayenne, frische Thymian, Majoran und Rosmarinzweige, fein gehackt, und einen El Pimenton de la Vera, den man aber auch weglassen kann. Ich mag aber das rauchige in diesem Pulver.

Danach muß man die Zutaten nur gut vermengen, die Hähnchen befeuchten (Puristen nehmen Buttermilch, mir hat Olivenöl gereicht), und die Hähnchenteile nach und nach in den Beutel geben und schütteln.

Ich hab sie komplett im Ofen gegart, in etwa 40 Minuten bei 180 Grad.

Frau B. hatte die erste Paarung, ich nahm den Rest mit zur Arbeit und genoss die Teile mit einem selbstgemachten Krautsalat (wegen der Vitamine…)

Ernsthaft, es war eine relativ geringe Menge Mehl und Brösel für 8 Stück Hähnchen (4 Ober- und 4 Unterschenkel), insofern hat sich der Kalorienzuwachs in Grenzen gehalten, und die Kräuter machten die Teile echt lecker.




Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of the dishes I remember from my childhood and teenage years. If memory serves we were buying the frozen Swanson pot pies, both the chicken and the beef. I remember they took about 45 minutes starting in a cold oven, because they were frozen solid.
People call it comfort food nowadays, but it is actually a convenience food adapted from an earlier convenience food. I believe this dish was invented to 1.) portion a meal, and 2.) make it easy to take along. Back in the day, these would have been casseroles of different sizes, which gave way to aluminum pie pans. To freeze it just constitutes the next step in convenience. To be clear: I don’t see convenience as an end, on the contrary, I don’t have much use for the „fast“ in food. But if I’m making something to eat for work, I will sometimes cut a few (convenient) corners.
This pot pie, however, was cooked because I wanted to try to improve the flavors etched on my hard drive.
I think it was a hands down win.For the dough:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 eggs

Combine flour, salt and butter to make pea-sized pellets. Make a bowl, add the 2 eggs and the water. Stir, then knead, until dough is smooth. Refrigerate several hours. Quarter the dough. Flour the board and roll the dough so it will fit into your bowl. Line the bowl, prick the dough with a fork, prebake.

Separate an egg, brush baked dough with egg white (keeps the dough from getting soggy).
Fill the bowl, roll a second piece of dough to make a lid. Adorn with dough ornaments, bake.

1 leek, in rolls
2 carrots, in rolls
15 snap peas
mushrooms (good with this, I didn’t have any)
2 potatoes, diced
veal stock or chicken stock a little cream

I diced the potatoes and cooked them in a little salt water. Sliced the carrots 3mm, added butter and a pinch of sugar to the pan and sauted the carrots and the snap peas for 10 minutes. Then I added a 1/4 cup water and let cook until dry and tender. In a third pan, I sauted the leek rolls.
In a sauce pan I took a chunk of butter sauted a diced shallot, added a tablespoon of flour and cooked a medium brown roux, about 4 minutes, then added some Noilly Prat and some veal stock and also some cream.
Should I be irritating you with the maddening „some“- „some“ is just a swig of cream, about 250 ml of veal stock and just a jigger of Noilly Prat. I cooked this mixture to about 2/3 of its volume and added two diced chicken breasts and cooked them about 10 minute. Then I let it cool off. The vegetables were done, so I added them to the sauce.
This mixture was placed in the bowl and the top crust was added and baked.

The result? Much better than my memory.
And for added elegance, add fresh french tarragon at the last minute.

A Classic, Revisited

I had bought an Alsatian free-range chicken Saturday, which I turned into a lemon chicken a la ‚Arthur’s Tochter‘, a blogger I like to follow. She says she first became aware of the recipe in a book bei Alfred Biolek, one of Germany’s cooking show pioneers, but says it could have originated with Marcella Hazan. The discussion is pointless, since the process of stuffing juicy lemons into a chicken cavity is not so out-of-this-world as not to have been thought up by regular folks preparing something with a twist. The question is merely who first recorded the recipe.
Anyway, even this text is pointless, because as I readied my camera, it first whirred, then whined and then died. No picture.
This Sunday night dinner is an attempt to salvage what was left of the weekend’s delicious foods.I had a pound each of white and green asparagus.
Peel the white and cut off 1/2 an inch of the ends. The green only need it’s last third peeled. I then cut the stalks into thirds and put them in a pot with 1 inch water, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook the asparagus until tender with a little bite.

1/2 pound of mushrooms (Champignons)
2 shallots
1 leftover breast of chicken in different sized pieces.
leftover chicken gravy .25l

Basmati rice
cook the rice in the usual way (2x water, 1x rice, salt simmer 20 minutes)

for the gravy dice the shallots, fry in butter, deglaze the pan with Noilly Prat, add the leftover chicken stock and cream. I used about 100 ml of cream of 32%. After that I added the mushrooms and the chicken pieces/shreds to warm them.

To put the dish together, I made a ring of rice (I own a wooden shaper). I added the separately cooked asparagus, then topped it with the chicken mushroom gravy mixture. To thicken the sauce a little bit, I used a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a little cold water.
This was quite good, with the base of course being the chicken stock. I had cooked chicken stock from scratch a few weeks ago and had portioned it in freezebags. I used the last of these bags today. To make the stock from scratch is completely worth it, I can only recommend it.

The quantities described here would have fed four, but we are two. So I get it tomorrow as lunch-pretty fancy!


Holy Mole!

Over the last year or so, I’ve become more interested in chiles and their role in flavoring south-of-the-border dishes. On the one hand, I like the heat, but, on the other hand, there are interesting flavors out there, such as the citrus taste in habanero chiles. I found two internet stores that sell dried chiles imported from Mexico here in Germany, and ordered a mess of them. While ordering, I noticed the store had a prepackaged mole poblano powder for sale. I’ve had mole sauce only once more than 20 years ago and wanted to try it again. I figured it would be a lot easier to try the prefab stuff, as I had read that constructing the sauce yourself is an ambitious program. Anyway yesterday was the day. 4 chicken legs went into a pot of water deep enough to cover the meat. I brought the pot to a boil, then reduced it to simmering and let it go for 30 minutes. Then I put the chicken in a frying pan with some oil and browned and seasoned it with salt and pepper. For the sauce I put 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot, added the mole powder and stirred, according to instructions, until the powder turned sticky. Then I added 1/2 liter of the reduced chicken broth. It made a thick sauce. This sauce was draped over the chicken and was placed in the oven for 20 minutes. I served it with Spanish rice.

It was good, with different flavors competing for attention (Cinnamon, Cocoa, a little heat, a little sweet, but not much). All in all, a good meal for someone who wants assertive flavors. And filling, too!