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I have stood on my soapbox for many years talking about the power of Liquid Brines. Now I stand before you (electronically) about to show you an even easier way to Liquid Brine. That’s right folks, I’m taking away the excuse of you needing a recipe to create a brine.

But first let us review what a Liquid Brine is.

Liquid Brines typically are highly concentrated liquids based mostly around Salt and Water. They are used for preservation of food (like pickles, hint hint) or adding equalizing the salt level in your Meats. Why is this important?

Simple, basically it is increasing the liquid content in your Meats. While you cook the Meat, you are losing the same amount of moisture as you would without the brine, so in the end you’ll moisture left in the Meats. An example to help illustrate, say you have a steak with a moisture content of 20% and when you cook it you loose 15% of that moisture. That would leave you a dry steak with a moisture content of 5%. Now Liquid Brine that same steak and you bump its moisture content to 35%, so when you cook it you still loose the same 15%, ending with a cooked steak moisture level at 20%. See what I mean?

How to Start?

Liquid Brines typically start with a ratio of 1 Gallon of Water to 1 Cup Salt, then you add in Herbs, Spices, Juices, and Sugar. You can be as creative or as boring as you’d like when making them. Imagination is part of the fun here. Think about what you are making and go to town!

My favorite cheat…. Pickle Juice!

Think about it, Pickle Juice is a Liquid Brine, it just is. Not only does it work for Meats, but people use it for Gut Health, Lowering Blood Sugar Spikes, and Muscle Cramps to name a few options. Folks this is the Vics VapoRub of the Culinary World! So much so that you don’t have to empty all your pickle jars for brining only to dry out your pickle, just check out Amazon and Walmart (to name a few). They sell it by the Gallon!

So how does this new information help you?

Try my Fried Chicken Recipe Below and let me know.

Enjoy my friends.

Pickle Brined Fried Chicken:

Serving Size: 4 People

4 Ea Boneless Chicken Thighs

3 Cups Dill Pickle Juice

3 Cups Buttermilk

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

3 Tbs Corn Starch

1 Tbs Salt

½ Tbs Fresh Cracked Pepper

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Garlic Powder

½ tsp Onion Powder

3 Ea Gallon Sized Ziplock Bags

8 Cups Frying Oil – I like Avocado or Grapeseed Oil for this

Method:

  1. In one of the Ziplock Bags put the Chicken Thighs and Dill Pickle Juice. Seal and refrigerate for at least 6 to 48 hours. Make sure to remove the air so the chicken stays submerged.

  2. In the Next Ziplock add in the Buttermilk. Once the Thighs have Brined in the first bag, remove them, pat dry & put them into the Buttermilk Bag to Marinade for about 6 to 12 hours. Make sure to remove the air so the chicken stays submerged.

  3. In the Final Ziplock add the Flour, Corn Starch, Salt, Pepper, and Spices. Seal it a shake your money maker! We’re bringing Shake n Bake back!!!

  4. Remove chicken from the Buttermilk Bag and put into the Flour Ziplock. And shake it like a polaroid picture!

  5. In a heavy pot big enough to house the oil, chicken and still enough room to safely fry, heat the oil to about 350 degrees (work in batches if needed, stay safe). Cooler in temperature and it’ll be greasy and soggy (not crispy). Hotter and it’ll burn on the outside without cooking the inside properly.

  6. Fry the chicken thighs for about 6 to 9 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

  7. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  8. Serve on Toasted Brioche Buns with your favorite Slaw, Pickles, and whatever sauces you like.

  9. Enjoy!

Alrighty folks, this blog has been a long time coming.

Some People Like to talk:

We all know that fat people have some of the best diet advice. Don’t get defensive, I personally identify as fluffy, so I’m right there. My question becomes if they have some of the best diet advice, then why has it not worked for them? I mean they’ve read, studied, and tried things I cannot even begin to comprehend. From wife’s tales to straight up cellular science, and anything in between.

My answer is that they lacked 1 or more of the Mary K Image of Excellence Formula.

  1. Imagine yourself Successful.

  2. Reflect on your past Successes.

  3. Set Definite Goals.

  4. Respond Positively to Life.

Basically, you need to see yourself successful in order to become successful, especially when embarking on new roads. Once you envision yourself changed, you then need to use Consistent Action toward your Goals. I often say, “A thought without action is only a thought”.

Free Advice will leave you broke:

I have taken my fair share of bad advice from hobo’s to Industry Experts and everyone in between. I was taught to listen to my elders and folks that think they know, but after many setbacks I have boiled it down to 1 test when someone is spouting like a Gray Whale. Basically, calculate what it will cost to put their advice into action, and ask them to front that amount of money. If they believe in what they are saying, then it shouldn’t be an issue. You will see a lot of Subject Matter Experts and Consultants try to out talk you on this, so you forget the ask.

Here are my rules for following the Free Advice:

  1. What is the cost either way (to follow or not to follow)?

  2. Will the advice giver stand behind their words?

  3. Is the advice giver a talker or a doer?

  4. Remember your time is part of the cost and must be calculated.

At the end of the day I still say we have 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason, to listen more. I know that in the beginning of the year advice runs rampant and figured this guide may help someone.

People to listen to:

If you feel that you need some advice from a quality source, then here are a few folks that I know who might help:

  1. Caprice Pickett – Spark Something Coaching - Transformational Coaching

  2. Claire Jones – Clarification Coaching – Entrepreneur Coaching

  3. Tami Bensen – Intuitive Art Seattle – Inner Child, Inner Self and Intuition Coach

** Click on their company name to magically be transported to their site**

Here is some fun advice I’ve heard throughout the years:

  1. Squeaky wheel gets the oil – truthfully terrible advice, if you have to tell people how great you are, then are you?

  2. Dress for the day – I love this one, however I’m not always a snazzy dresser but appreciate when I see someone put together.

  3. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open – Yes!

  4. Pull my finger – Never!!!

  5. Listen to your Elders – sure but realize that some of them are insane.

  6. Don’t take the Brown Acid – always good advice.

  7. If you see a Bear and don’t have time to run away, hug it. Bears can’t scratch their stomach. – Someone please try this.

  8. To avoid embarrassment start beatboxing after you fart.

So I’ve shared some of my favorite advice given over the years. Please leave a comment on the FB & IG Page leave a comment of your favorite bad advice.

Happy February Folks!

Chef Joe

Every year I see the Markets and Home Stores packed with well meaning ‘Urban Farmers’. They’re going to get in touch

with Pacha Mama, work the soil, understand the ingredients they put in their bodies, and enjoy their bounty. So they flock, squawk, and hover to find the perfect plants for their garden.

Sounds great and I commend anyone for at least attempting to get more involved in their diets. However about this time of year the reality of life comes back with a deafening screech. Most have kids to get ready for the impending school year, and all the running around that entails. Also this is generally the start of the End of Year pushes, so work takes more of a front seat role, and your pour once loved tomatoes are left to fall into the soil and never be enjoyed (or you bought way too many plants and your neighbors are sick of your tomatoes as well).

Never fear my non-winged friends, I have you covered. Use the recipe that follows to not only give thanks to the plants by using their fruits, but also try out that Food Dehydrator that you bought while fueled by NyQuil one early morning fight that gnarly cold.

Enjoy ~ SCJ

Sun Dried Tomatoes…. In a Food Dehydrator!

Serving Size: The world may never know.

Ingredients:

2-3 Lbs Fresh Tomatoes

1 Tbs Salt

½ Tbs Fresh Ground Pepper

2 tsp Dried Basil

4 Ea Cloves of Garlic Gently Smashed

2 C Olive Oil

1 C White Distilled Vinegar

1 Ea Rosemary Sprig

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl large enough to comfortably fit the tomatoes, add the tomatoes, Vinegar and Cold Water. Should completely cover the tomatoes. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, then rinse them with Fresh Cold Water.

2. While Tomatoes are taking a bath, mix together the Salt, Pepper and Dried Basil.

3. Dry off Tomatoes and Core Tomatoes.

4. Cut Tomatoes into ½ or Thirds depending on thickness. You want them to be about ¼ “ thick. I place mine on a sheet pan lined with paper towel, cut side up.

5. Sprinkle on the seasoning mixture and let sit for about 5 minutes.

6. Transfer the Tomatoes to your Food Dehydrator making sure they are not stacked or touching. You want the best airflow possible.

7. My Dehydrator only has an On/Off – so I put it On for about 8-10 Hours. I don’t want chips, but sogginess it bad news. *if your Dehydrator has a Temp Setting, then try 200 degrees for about 6 hours.

8. Once the tomatoes are done, add them to a mason jar with the Garlic and Rosemary, adding in the Oil as the last ingredient.

9. Seal tightly and store in the fridge (unless you ate them all before they made it to the jar). ** You could also vacuum seal them and store in the freezer to last even longer**

 

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