Real Life Foghorn Leghorn

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Mar 272017
 

Behold: Foghorn Leghorn in real life!

The Brahma Chicken

Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry,” the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. By 1901 some individual birds were documented to have reached the incredible weights of 13-14 pounds for hens and 17 to 18.25 pounds for cocks – though 10 pound hens and 12 pounds cocks were the rule. This breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as “Hen Fever” – a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850.

Brahmas are large chickens with feathers on shanks and toes, pea comb, smooth fitting plumage with dense down in all sections, and broad, wide head with skull projecting over the eyes – termed “beetle brow.” They come in three color varieties – the Light, the Dark, and the Buff. Both the Light and the Dark Brahma were accepted to the American Standard of Perfection in its first printing in 1874. Though from the beginning some buff specimens were produced periodically, it was not until 1924 that the Buff Brahma was accepted as standardized as well.

Few breeds have as much controversy as to their origins as does the Brahma chicken. While many varied claims were originally accepted as fact by early authors, the truth of the matter is that this breed was developed in America from very large fowls imported from China via the port of Shanghai. It also seems clear that Chittigong fowls from India (now Bangladesh) were used to a very small degree and stamped head and comb characteristics onto the breed – differentiating it from the Shanghai breed (now known as the Cochin). In those early days it should be remembered there were no written standards, no poultry associations, and no registries. Since what became known as the Brahma chicken was being presented under at least twelve names, there was much confusion. The credit for shortening the name to Brahma goes to T.B. Miner, publisher of The Northern Farmer, who in 1853 or 1854 did so for very practical reasons – saving space on the printed page!

In December 1852, to promote his stock, Mr. George Burnham shipped nine of his finest as a gift to H.M.G. Majesty Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150. Burnham’s stock proved of quality and formed the basis for the Dark Brahma variety – which was developed in England and later shipped back to America. Dark Brahmas tended to be about one pound lighter in weight than the Light Brahma.

From the beginning Brahmas have been recognized not only for their unusual appearance and size, but also for their practical qualities. First and foremost Brahmas are found to be extremely hardy chickens. They are also good egg-layers for their size. Considered a superior winter-layer, they produce the bulk of their eggs from October to May. The eggs of the Brahma are large and uniformly medium brown in color. The hens tend to go broody in early summer and will sit devotedly on their nests. But because of the size of the hen, trampling of the chicks must be guarded against for the first few days after hatch.

The Brahma was generally considered the leading meat breed for the period of time from the mid-1850’s through about 1930 – some 70 plus years. As broilers, Brahma chicks were killed quite young, about 8-10 weeks of age. They made a most profitable roaster at 8 months, later than many breeds, but it was found that virgin cockerels were still tender as roasters at 12-13 months – making them competitive against capons. As a family fowl they were unequaled, and a large Brahma could feed a moderate-sized family. Brahmas thrive best on dry, well-drained soils and moist, cool climates. The feathering of their shanks and toes is a negative where the ground is damp and muddy – the mud clinging to the feathers and frostbite then being possible for their toes. The breed is easy to contain, not being able to fly low fences very easily. They also stand confinement extremely well – having calm and docile personalities. Like the Cochins, Brahmas are not wide ranging fowl or as active in scratching as the Mediterranean breeds. The Brahma is an ideal fowl for northern climates. It was popularly known as the least susceptible chicken to cold and exposure – owing this strength to its pea comb and tight feathering with down through all sections. It is not an ideal fowl for southern climates.

 

 
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How To Of The Day: How To Truss A Chicken Without String

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Dec 292015
 

FOOD & WINE’s Justin Chapple demonstrates how to truss a chicken without string.

Enjoy!

Trussing, or tying up the wings and legs of a chicken, is an important step in roasting a whole bird evenly; it ensures evenly-cooked, moist meat, and prevents anything stuffed inside from falling out. But even if you don’t have kitchen twine on hand, you can still truss a chicken using its own skin.

Food & Wine test kitchen editor Justin Chapple demonstrates the method in the video above. Basically, you’ll want to make an incision into the skin that surrounds the cavity of the chicken, tucking the opposite drumstick into the slit; you’ll then repeat the same technique on the opposite side.

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How To Truss A Chicken Without String

Cornish Game Hen On The Grill

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Sep 172015
 

Cornish Game Hen On The Grill

This simple recipe produces chicken that is extremely juicy with crispy skin.
Absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 2 Cornish game hens, about 1 1/4 pounds each
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and crushed red pepper. Mix to combine and set aside.
  2. Spatchcock the Chicken
  3. Place the hens on a cutting board. With a boning knife, cut along the backbone and remove. Place the hens breast-side down and using the heel of your hand, push down to break the breastbone and flatten. Tuck the wing tips behind the joint of the wing that meets the breast.
  4. Place in a 9 by 13-inch, non-reactive baking dish and add the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours, turning occasionally to evenly coat.
  5. Preheat the grill to about medium (about 350°F to 400°F). Optional: You can add wood chunks or chips to the coals after the grill is heated.
  6. When the grill is ready place the butterflied birds directly over the heat skin-side-down and cook for about ten minutes with the lid closed. After the first five minutes, use grilling tongs to rotate each bird 45 or 90 degrees.
  7. After the full ten minutes, turn the birds over so the skin side is up. Brush very lightly with olive oil and continue grilling with the lid closed for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the birds from the grill when the internal temperature (measured away from the bone) is 160 to 165 degrees. The skin should be browned, and the meat moist and tender.
  9. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

By Gags

 

Grilled Chicken Legs And Thighs

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Sep 172015
 

Grilled Chicken Legs And Thighs

Grilled Chicken Legs And Thighs

There’s nothing quite like the dark, juicy meat of a chicken leg or thigh. The extra fat found in these parts keep the meat moist, making it a forgiving cut to throw on a grill.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Season chicken pieces with oil and All-Purpose Rub.
  2. Preheat grill to medium (About 50 charcoal briquettes) using a two-zone fire. You can add wood chunks or chips to the coals after the grill is heated.
  3. When the grill is ready place the chicken pieces directly over the coals skin side down.
  4. After 5-8 minutes move the chicken to the coal-free side of the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes with the lid closed. The internal temperature of the chicken should be about 180 degrees when ready.
  5. If still not done after 20 minutes place the pieces that still need the skin crisp over direct heat and cook all pieces for an extra 5 minutes.
  6. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

By Gags

 

Grilled Chicken Breasts

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Sep 172015
 

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Grilled Chicken Breasts

If your looking for a grilled chicken dish that is packed full of flavor, quick, easy and healthy look no further.

Ingredients

  • 4 bricks, each wrapped in aluminum foil; oak chunks for building the fire, or 2 cups wood chips (preferably oak), soaked for 1 hour in cold water to cover, then drained
  • 2 large, whole, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (12 to 16 ounces each) or 4 half breasts (each half 6 to 8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. If using whole breasts, cut each in half. Trim any sinews or excess fat off the chicken breasts and discard. Rinse the breasts under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the breasts on both sides with the salt, cracked black pepper, and hot red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the breasts with the garlic and rosemary, patting them on with your fingers. Arrange the breasts in a non-reactive baking dish. Pour the lemon juice and oil over them and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning several times.
  2. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. In the best of all worlds, you’d build your fire with oak chunks. Alternatively, use gas or charcoal, plus soaked wood chips for smoke. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat until you see smoke.
  3. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. If using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips on the coals. Arrange the chicken breasts on the hot grate, all facing the same direction, at a 45 degree angle to the bars of the grate. Place a brick on top of each. Grill the breasts until cooked, 4 to 6 minutes per side, rotating the breasts 90 degrees after 2 minutes on each side to create an attractive cross-hatch of the grill marks. To test for doneness, poke a breast in the thickest part with your finger. It should feel firm to the touch. Transfer the breasts to plates or a platter and serve at once.

Notes

Bricks are optional.

Photo: Scott Phillips

By Gags

 

Rotisserie Chicken On The Grill

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Sep 162015
 

Rotisserie Chicken On The Grill

Rotisserie Chicken On The Grill

Roasting a whole chicken with a rotisserie on your grill is a good way to cook the chicken evenly, giving it a golden color as it turns. With a grill (charcoal or gas), a rotisserie kit, and a chicken, you can achieve a much tastier meal at home than available at most grocery stores.

Ingredients

  • Whole Chicken (4 to 6 pounds)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Brine the chicken. This step isn’t mandatory but will add additional moisture.
  2. Truss the bird. Alton Brown demonstrates how to truss in this video is here.
  3. Rub the Chicken with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic. Coat the entire Chicken and work the seasonings well into the meat.
  4. Set the grill up for indirect cooking at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Place a drip pan on the grill with about 1/2 inch of water to add moisture.
  5. When ready to cook, skewer the Chicken lengthwise on the rotisserie spit and let it rotate on the grill over the drip pan, covered, until an instant-read thermometer registers 180 degrees F (83 degrees C) in the thickest part of the leg, about 15 minutes per pound.
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes

By Gags

 

How To Of The Day: How To Fry Chicken Like A Pro

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Aug 312015
 

Learn how to fry chicken at home like a pro from the cooks at America’s Test Kitchen.

Enjoy!

Frying at home gets a bad rap. It’s easy to see why—the fear of sputtering hot oil or undercooking food is enough to make even the most confident home cook opt for baked instead of fried. We’re here to allay your fears by teaching you the ins and outs of safe and successful frying.

 

 

Rubber Chicken Bearing Test

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Apr 132015
 

A member of the Honor Guard of the United States Air Force must, at all times, maintain a somber and professional bearing. Airmen who wish to join must pass many tests to qualify to join the Honor Guard. Among them is the feared Rubber Chicken Test.

Enjoy!

To be a Ceremonial Guardsman in the United States Air Force you have to maintain bearing at all times, even if you have a rubber chicken in front of your face. The instructors at the USAF Honor Guard Tech School constantly challenge the newcoming Airmen’s bearing, and the students pay the penalty if they cannot maintain it.

 
 
 

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How To Of The Day: How to Grill PERFECT Chicken Every Time

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Jul 132014
 

A totally foolproof way to grill chicken.

Enjoy!

Learn how to grill the perfect chicken every time WITHOUT any fancy tools, thermometers, or stress. You’ll never need to cut into a piece of chicken to make sure it’s done again. Which means you’ll never end up serving yourself or anyone you love another piece of overcooked dried-out poultry. Now that’s reason alone to light a sparkler and spell out, “Heaven!” Amen.

California-inspired cuisine (fresh-seasonal-local), with a nutrient-dense twist, aimed at foodies and folks who love real food.

Ariyele Ressler is not a trained dietician, nutritionist, chef, or medical professional. All filming and production of the show was done when Ariyele’s health allowed, and required the relevant amount of rest and recovery afterwards. Thanks for supporting this channel.

 

How To Of The Day: How To Eat Chicken Wings Like A Lady

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May 202014
 

Foodbeast shows us the proper way to eat a chicken wing.

Enjoy!

There IS a way to get 100% of that meat off those tricky non-drumstick bones. Our friend @BrandiMilloy of Popsugar came by to show us!

Make sure to check out @BrandiMilloy over on the @PopsugarFood channel!