Tag Archives: okra

Milk Braised Chicken

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

So I know.  That sounds weird.  And kind of gross.  And it will sound grosser (?) before this post is over.  But I promise the final result is delicious!

Jamie Oliver's Recipe for Milk Chicken | Oysters & Pearls

I don’t know if any of you follow The Kitchn.  I do, and sometimes it drives me CRAZY how many posts come up from them in my feed.  So usually I skim through them and only read them if they really pique my interest.  The other day, this one, proclaiming that “Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk is Probably the Best Chicken Recipe of All Time” did the trick.  I mean, it sounds gross, but with a review like that, did I really a choice?

No, I did not.

So Sunday afternoon, when we stopped at Whole Foods on our way home from Jacksonville, I decided to pick up some milk, sage, and lemons and give this a shot.  Although I wouldn’t call this the “Best Chicken Recipe of All Time,” it was really, really good, and was completely different than anything I’ve made before.  And I always love to roast/braise a whole chicken, because that means bones for chicken stock + leftover chicken for chicken salad.  And now that I’ve convinced Wheat that he loves chicken salad, we’re all happy campers.

Salt & Peppered Chicken being Browned for Milk Chicken | Oysters & Pearls

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
(seriously, I barely tweaked it)

ingredients

– one 2 to 3 pound chicken (we got a White Oak Pastures chicken so we could eat local)
– one stick salted butter
– Kosher salt
– freshly ground black pepper
– 2 lemons’ worth of zest
– one cinnamon stick
– one handful fresh sage leaves
– a handful of garlic cloves, peeled or still in jackets (I peeled, Jamie nor the Kitchn does)
– one pint whole milk

Browned Chicken for Milk Chicken | Oysters & Pearls

instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Salt and pepper the chicken all over.  Make sure you don’t forget to remove any innards from the cavity of the bird.  LOL.  It happens.  Heat the butter over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven that’s big enough to fit the bird and is oven safe.  Brown the bird on all sides until it’s nice and crisp and brown (duh) on as many sides as you can get.  A good pair of tongs come in handy for this part.  Once browned all over, remove the bird to a plate for a minute, and pour the butter into another skillet.  Jamie Oliver says to throw it away, but I can’t pour a stick of butter into the trash without a heavy heart, so I reused it to cook the potatoes.

Jamie Oliver's Milk Chicken | Oysters & Pearls

You’ll be left with browned butter stuck to the bottom of your Dutch oven.  That’s good stuff.  Put the bird back in there, and throw in the rest of the ingredients.  Pour the milk in.  Bake at 375 for an hour with the lid on, then 45 minutes with the lid off.

Jamie Oliver's Milk Chicken, Browned and Ready for the Oven | Oysters & Pearls

Now, be warned.  Your house is going to smell really good.  But when you take this thing out of the oven, you are going to be worried.  You are going to think you burned the chicken and you burned the sauce and the entire supper is ruined.  For real.

Scary Looking Braised Chicken in Milk | Oysters & Pearls

See?  Not pretty.  But I promise, it’s awesome.  Pull the chicken out onto a plate, and you won’t even need a knife to cut it up.  Just pull the legs and wings and breasts off the bone with your fingers.  Let it cool first though, because it is hot.  That’s not experience talking or anything.

The best part is the super crispy skin!  Not healthy, no.  But I promise one little piece won’t hurt you.

Milk Braised Chicken with Okra and Potatoes | Oysters & Pearls

And the sauce is awesome!  Pour it into a gravy boat, jar, bowl, whatever it is you can use to get it from the pot to the table.  The milk turns into these cheese-like curds, which sounds sick nasty, but I promise they’re good.  And the garlic is the best part!  If you’ve got bread handy, you should fish those bad boys out and schmear them all over it.  Unless you have potatoes.  If you have potatoes, put the sauce and garlic on them, too.

Purple Potatoes | Oysters & Pearls

We had purple potatoes with our Milk Chicken.  They tasted just like new potatoes, but were small.  And PURPLE.

Sauteed Purple Potatoes in Butter | Oysters & Pearls

Sauteed Purple Potatoes

I sautéed them in the butter I used to brown the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour over medium low heat.  Just stir them every now and then the last half of the time the chicken is in the oven.  Easy, peasy.  Salt, pepper, done.

Sauteed Purple Potatoes | Oysters & Pearls

Have I mentioned they were PURPLE?

Purple Potatoes - Really! They're Purple! | Oysters & Pearls

We also had some home grown roasted okra that I tossed into the oven while the chicken was cooling and I was pulling it apart.  Just tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Also easy peasy.

Roasted Okra and Sauteed Potatoes with Milk-Braised Chicken | Oysters & Pearls

This would be a great meal for company, because it’s EASY.  Really, it takes minimal effort.  And as long as nobody is grossed out by curdled milk, everyone will love it.

Just kidding!  Don’t tell them how you made it or what that gravy is until everyone is done eating. :)

And because it’s Halloween, and here is a picture of Harold in costume.  Dressed up just for you!

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Hot dog!

Seriously, I dressed him up in this old costume and he refused to even look at me, he was so ashamed.

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I hope everyone has a safe and candy-littered evening/all day.  We plan to stop by Maggie and Greg’s house for a cocktail and to hand out some candy.  And so I have somewhere to drink out of my Halloweek/Birthday crunk cup.  Obviously.

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Happy Halloween, y’all!

Until Next Time

Fall Garden Update

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s been ages since I updated you on our little victory garden!  We started almost everything from plants this time (purchased last minute at Home Depot) back in early September.  A few things we did start ourselves from seed, and those seem to be doing the best, with the exception of our butter and red lettuces.  Anyway, let’s hop to the pictures.

Our purple flash pepper from Home Depot is doing pretty well, and adds some pretty purple color to the front raised bed.  It’s an ornamental pepper, and is edible, but we haven’t tasted it to determine if it’s delicious or not.  It’s just really pretty!

Purple Flash Pepper Plant | Oysters & Pearls

On the other corner of the front bed, we planted another pepper.  I can’t even remember what kind it was (also from Home Depot) but I’m just going to label it firmly within the Epic Pepper Fail variety.

Epic Pepper Fail | Oysters & Pearls

In this same front bed, we also have some cabbage that is absolutely nothing to write home about.

October Cabbage | Oysters & Pearls

But hey, at least it’s not dead or ridden with critters.

Also in this bed is our little corner of lettuce Heaven.

October Butter Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

We have butter lettuce (above) and red lettuce (below).  Both are doing really well, and we are thoroughly enjoying our salads.

October Red Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

In raised bed number two, we have a few tomato plants we started from seed what seems like AGES ago.

Romas:

October Roma Tomato | Oysters & Pearls

Cherries:

October Cherry Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

And a brave little Cherokee Purple Tomato (yep, just the one):

October Cherokee Purple Tomato | Oysters & Pearls

It’s definitely no summer crop. :(  And I’m worried that a frost is going to get them before they ripen, so these may get fried as-is.

Also in Bed 2: very colorful bell peppers!  We have green, yellow (really more of a white), and PURPLE!  These are actually ones we started from seed back in the Spring that are really just now getting going.

October Yellow Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls October Purple Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls

Also in Bed 2 are our jalapeño peppers we planted from seed back in mid-Summer.  They are really started to take off this month.

October Jalapenos | Oysters & Pearls

And rounding out Bed 2 is our lovely crop of spinach.

October Spinach | Oysters & Pearls

#gardenjokes

Actually, we have been using Sevin Dust on them periodically, because something thinks our spinach is really, really tasty.  I wouldn’t know.  But a couple of the plants give me a glimmer of hope.

October Spinach |  Oysters & Pearls

In back Bed number 3, we have a steady crop of okra that we harvest daily!

Below are okra pods of varying stages of development on a single stalk.

Okra Pods At Various Stages of Development | Oysters & Pearls

Here’s one that’s just about to turn into an okra pod:

Okra Blossom Turning Into Okra Pod | Oysters & Pearls

The ants and other bugs LOVE the okra blossoms.  They must have some serious sweets inside.  I got to thinking this summer that the okra blossoms really looked like cotton blossoms, and they both looked a whole lot like hibiscus blooms.  After some thorough Wikipedia-ing, I discovered it’s because they’re all related!

Okra Blossom | Oysters & Pearls

Anyway, okra blooms are really, really pretty, and I love having them in the yard.  And then having okra.

Finishing up the raised beds, we have some very, very sad collard greens.  Looks like I’ll still be buying those this winter.

Very Sad October Collards | Oysters & Pearls

That’s it for the raised beds.  For more info on how we built ’em, {click here} and {here}.

We still pick a loner strawberry every now and then, too.  They are in pots, but maybe at some point they will get transplanted into the ground.  They berries never get very big though, so I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Tiny October Strawberry | Oysters & Pearls

And moving on over to the herb garden around the patio, I planted some Faulkenberry-Beaver wedding favor mint in the herb garden a couple evenings ago!

Wedding Favor Mint | Oysters & Pearls

The wedding favors were little burlap bags containing a tiny mint plant and a little bottle of Jim Beam, along with an adorable recipe for a pitcher of mint juleps.  It was precious!  I ended up with a couple of leftovers the wedding planner handed to me at the end of the night (we shutter down).  So I planted three in my little herb garden.  Hopefully we’ll be drinking lots of mint juleps and remembering what a good time we had at the Beaver’s wedding for a long time to come. :)

You’ll note the moss surrounding the plants.  This area is where the water ends up settling when it runs off our patio, so I figured it would be the perfect spot for water-loving mint.  Only time will tell, though.  I’m excellent at murdering mint, which is supposedly practically invincible.  I call it the Titanic of the herb garden.

Side note: HOW DO YOU GET CATS TO STAY OUT OF FLOWER BEDS AND/OR HERB GARDENS?

How Do You Keep Cats Out Of Flower Beds? | Oysters & Pearls

Wallace seriously won’t leave a flower bed alone.  Sometimes he uses them as his litter box… sometimes he just rolls around and plays with stuff and a lot of the time he just lays in them, like he’s doing in this picture.  It’s so weird.  And annoying.  Any tips? Help!

Here’s a tip for you: wash your homegrown lettuce really well.  I recommend dumping all your freshly picked lettuce in the sink and washing it one leaf at a time, then drying in a salad spinner.  Because no matter how carefully you pick your lettuce, you still might bring one of these into your kitchen.

Snail Snuck In With The Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

Yup, that bad boy crawled out of my sink from some lettuce I picked a couple nights ago.  Pretty sure this is where George Lucas got Jabba the Hutt (Jabadahut?) from.

I’ve been making a delicious salad with these greens (besides the Shrimp salad I posted about earlier this week.

Fresh homegrown lettuce (sans snail), homegrown bell pepper, and whatever other veggies we have in the house at the time, topped with Canned Sand Pears, shaved Thomasville Tomme from Sweet Grass Dairy, and Maggie’s honey mustard vinaigrette.

Homegrown Salad with Pears and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette | Oysters & Pearls

Another side note: Sweet Grass Dairy’s new online store just opened a few days ago!  Now you can order their cheese, condiments, and all sorts of local foodie treats online at The Larder.  I die over their homepage.

Anyway, Maggie’s honey mustard vinaigrette is delicious, and is the same one she used on her brussel sprout slaw we had a couple weeks ago.

Maggie’s Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Copied and pasted from thesmintzes.wordpress.com

1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt

Whisk ’em together.  Top things with it.  Delicious.

Fall Salad with Canned Sand Pears and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette | Oysters & Pearls

Sorry for that insanely long post!

If you’re a Bainbridge local, the Bainbridge Country Club is having a Fall Carnival tonight from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  It’s $10 for adults and $5 for kids (non-members) and I’d love to see you there!

Happy almost Friday!

And watch out for those snails.

Until Next Time

Charleston Okra Soup

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Wheat was playing in a golf tournament out of town, so the boys and I had a nice little weekend to ourselves. I watched football on Saturday at Maggie & Greg’s house, ate some amazing homemade pizzas they made for gourmet game day fare, as well as some killer browned butter & sea salt rice crispy treats she made. I’ll be talking game day food all week this week (after today) as I prepare to go to Gainesville (and drag my Dawg-loving husband along with me) for the Tennessee game! I also canned pears (I’ll post on it later, unless anyone is really antsy about it), put up pumpkin, and made Maggie’s pumpkin pasta recipe! You may have already seen it on Instagram. I made a couple changes, and I will do a post on it at some point as part of my Operation Eat All The Pumpkin campaign. I picked 15 more last week, and have more coming! It was a nice, productive weekend, but we were all ready for Wheat to get home!

When I was in Greenville a couple weeks ago, I had the chance to pop into Charleston Cooks! It’s a great little (or not so little, rather) kitchen store. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to pull the trigger on The Lee Brothers’ Charleston Kitchen cookbook. So I did. And now it’s my new, possibly all-time-favorite cookbook. I like to read my cookbooks like a novel, and this one did not disappoint. Each recipe is accompanied by a story about the person or place they got it or adapted it from, and there is a plethora of Charleston history intertwined with the recipes on its pages. I enjoyed reading every bit of it, and so far, I’m really enjoying the recipes, too.

I started off making the Okra Soup, because our okra plants are actually making enough okra for us to legitimately eat it. That, and the Low Country holds a little special place in my heart. My dad’s family is from Beaufort, South Carolina, which is just a hop and a skip down the coast from Charleston, and I grew up eating deviled crab and she-crab soup due to my dad’s roots there. When I read about this soup, between our little garden and family connection, there was no way I wasn’t making this soup.

Okra Soup | Oysters & Pearls

It was delicious, and thanks to our prolific okra garden, the only thing I had to purchase was the meat. I have a strong suspicion I will be making this again before the frost gets the okra.

I mean, I almost can’t believe we grew this beautiful veggie!

Home Grown Okra for Okra Soup | Oysters & Pearls

A bowl full of perfect fresh okra hand picked from my backyard is a beautiful thing to me, anyway.

The commentary from the Lee Brothers on this recipe was really interesting to me. Apparently Charleston Okra Soup is just as traditional as She-Crab Soup in the low country (as is the beef-okra combo), and is often paired with pimiento cheese sandwiches. That is a combination I can SO get down with, but Wheat claims he doesn’t like pimiento cheese, so I served it with Baked Cornbread instead, which was awesome.

A cook’s note: I went to Jones Meats, our wonderful local butcher shop, for beef shank, and they didn’t have any. Apparently, it’s the kind of thing that you have to let your butcher know you want ahead of time. This is something you’d probably want to consider, but in a pinch, I used “soup ribs” which are beef ribs cut into large chunks, and the soup was really, really good.

Charleston Okra Soup
(via The Lee Brothers’ Charleston Kitchen)
made 6 main course servings for me

ingredients

– 1.5 pounds of beef shank or “soup ribs,” cut into 1 inch cubes, marrow bone reserved
– Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
– 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more if needed
– 2 cups chopped yellow (I used Vidalia) onion – about 2 medium onions
– 3 bay leaves
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
– 1 pound okra, trimmed, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch thick ovals
– Fresh parsley for garnish (option)

instructions

Season the beef (bone included) with salt and pepper. Bring to room temperature, about an hour. Pat the pieces dry with a paper towel.

Pour the oil into a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, and when it shimmers, brown the beef in batches, if necessary. Don’t crowd the pan or you won’t get a good sear on them. Add oil by teaspoonfuls if the pan gets too dry. Remove the browned beef to a bowl with tongs and set aside.

Turn the heat to medium and add the onion, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, paprika, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and add a teaspoon of water or oil if the pan gets too dry (I didn’t have this problem at all). Cook until the onion is soft and transparent – about 6 minutes. You don’t want the onion to char.

Add 1 quart (aka 4 cups) of water and the tomatoes, return the beef to the pan, and cover. When the soup simmers gently, uncover and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender – about an hour. Add the okra and continue cooking until the okra is just tender – about 25 minutes.

The Lee Brothers suggest removing the bay leaves and salting and peppering to taste, but I just let us salt & pepper at the table and left the bay leaves in there. I figured we could eat around them just as easily as I could dig around in that big pot to find them. I also wanted them to stay in to continue to season the leftovers.

The soup ribs were probably a little too fatty, and I wish I had trimmed them up a bit before using them.

Soup Ribs for Okra Soup | Oysters & Pearls

The soup was still somehow not really greasy, and was SO good.

Home Grown Okra for Okra Soup  | Oysters & Pearls

Okra may be my favorite vegetable.

And this soup may be my new favorite soup! It was hearty and felt very fall-ish without weighing you down like a chili or other wintry soups. It was somehow light but hearty at the same time.

Okra Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

A few more shots of my new favorite soup.

The Lee Brothers' Okra Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Makes me want some right this minute!

Charleston Okra Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

What’s your favorite soup?