No Color, No Flavor. Man, I love browning meat!

Say it again with me, “Maaaan, I looove browning meat!”
It’s got everything in there I like. You get really heavy pans (if you don’t have to use 2 hands to set the fry pan on the stove, your equipment is too small), fresh meat, tons of searing heat and aromatic aromas. Browning meat has it all, right there.
Come have a short look at Tuesday’s little supper.

Okay, so I got ya’ll ramped up and now? See? Those vegetables are browning. How do you feel now? Let down, that’s how. Let’s flash back to the browning meat, mmmkay?

Woot woot !!! Whoa momma ! Oh baby, do me. Give Uncle Daddy a big ol’ kiss with those juicy chicken lips of yours.
See, a few months ago or so JLee and I were at the farmer’s market looking for Fatted Calf. They weren’t there. We stood there gawking at the empty space, wondering. We walked up and down the market talking and wondering as to their whereabouts. It was just after the holidays and they were on vacation, we missed the notification in their newsletter. Can you picture a sadder sight? I can’t. Picture a little boy at the fair who’s just lost his balloon or dumped a triple scoop directly down.
I don’t remember Ted being there either, so the only guy selling meat was The Egg and Tater Guy. He had these fancy stewing chickens, frozen. He smiled and said they were extra good. I was sure they were and in a meloncholy dig, found my bird and put it on the scale. I paid my 24 dollars and was on my way. I meandered down the isle repeating to myself I’d just spent over 20 dollars on a frozen chicken. Idjet. Since it was already frozen, I left it as such. Until the other day when I defrosted it.
What to do with a large bird such as this?

Note: That knife’s blade is at least 10″ long. That, was one large bird.
Okay, what is a stewing chicken? It’s an old chicken. What do old chickens have? Richer flavor, thicker skin with more fat, and a tougher meaty texture. Sounds like it’s time for a chicken stew to me.
This is where the real fun is, browning that thick skinned bird takes some serious heat. Up and out came my largest rig, 2 hands worth. Pang! Oh yeah, baby. Jack the heat up and leave it there. The cast iron will begin to smoke, leave it. Turn on the exhuast fan, leave it. Pretty soon you should have a torrent of smoke, leave it. Away goes your seasoning, leave it.
HAHAHHA, OH YEAH !!! Carefully swirl in 2 or 3 rounds of cooking oil. It’s so hot you’re sure it’s going to ignite right there. Salt your bird pieces and lay down, carefully laying away from you. This way the oil is less likely to jump back in your face & body. And leave it.
Only turn when checked, it looks like the above images. The last few minutes are some of the best cooking you’ll ever do. Rarely do you get such a huge blast of smoke, heat & flavor with a hefty dose of those aromas. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that beautiful 4 foot arc of grease splatters around your skillet.
It’s after the meat is brown, I usually do a quick mopping of the floor in front of the stove so I don’t track the grease all over.
While all that was transpiring, brown a few carrots, celeries, garlics and an onion. Plenty of fresh ground pepper & fresh thyme if you have it.
Pour in good chicken stock, more than to cover. Add any demi glace or 4 hours simmered beef and mushrooms a friend would have gifted you. Add 2 large dollups of good mustard. Bring to a simmer and add the browned chicken.

375 preheated oven on bottom shelf for 1.5 hours, lid on. Serve with mashed taters.
Yeah, okay so we just made good ol’ chicken stew. I admit I’m not breaking any new ground here. But the pictures came out nice and I had such a great time browning meat. I just couldn’t let this one slip by. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope yer doing just fine.
xo, Biggles

13 thoughts on “No Color, No Flavor. Man, I love browning meat!

  1. You ‘member that chicken you cooked whole, part submerged and part roasted nekkid? I never did try that one, but still might.
    Food’s fun.

  2. that looks so yummy! each time i try to cook my meat this way, the fire alarm in my apartment goes off 🙁

  3. Awwww.
    Thanks for the mention Biggles, and nice use of the braised beef and porcini reduction glop, er uh, I mean demi glace. You must have intuited that it is usually used with at least one other meat product for full enjoyment.
    Question: If you’ve cleaned the kitchen floor recently, do you do the mopping of that grease arc with a big ol’ piece of sourdough? (Then feed it to the dog, I should make clear)
    Catch ya’ soon, I’m off to writing about my 4 day run of bacon goodness from the legend Chilebrown. Mmmmm…….smokey pork products. YEEEOWWWW!

  4. Hey Lisa,
    Ya know, I’ve tried that and tried photographing smoke in the past. Unless I have my tripod set up with some fancy lights, I cain’t get it all lit up sose you can see it. This meal was really a spur of the moment situation and not planned in the least. It’ll give me something to shoot for.
    Hey Cookie,
    Oh yeah! That’s some rich eatin’, go now. Oh, you may want to cut the back out before you do that. While the back meat and fat lends good flavors, it adds millions of little bones. Kinda takes the fun out of eating.
    Hey Rums,
    Head out to your local store and find one of those springy shower caps. Fit it over the alarm and see if that helps.
    Hey D-man,
    No, no I don’t.

  5. Smoke alarms! The bane of my existence! Why didn’t you tell me the shower cap trick before I stood on an unsteady stepstool and whacked mine off the wall in desperation? It not only beeped, it had a voice just like my gym teacher’s, repeating, “Warning! Low batteries!”…..Now that I know your solution I may put it back up before frying chicken or searing a steak or, or. The chicken is beautiful. I want to gnaw it, right now, down to the knuckles.

  6. Hey Kud,
    Smoke alarms are dumb. But they save lives, I suppose.
    Here’s a funny smoke alarm story.
    Years ago we had moved and I packed our smoke alarm. Since we downsized from a 4 bedrooom to a tiny 2 bedroom, most of the boxes, even today are still unpacked in the garage.
    Well, our smoke alarm didn’t talk, it just emitted a high pitched tone for a few seconds, then stopped for 20 minutes. This sound went on in the garage for over 5 years before I found the offending box and removed the old battery. Man, that sucked.

  7. Why do I feel so much better about my own unpacked boxes, six months after moving??
    I remember visiting my elderly parents in Georgia who thought it was so charming that a cricket had taken up residence in the house they had just restored. Of course it was a smoke alarm. I almost hated to tell them.