Irish Coffee Cupcakes

March 17, 2017

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Oh my gawd! It’s here, it’s here!! Today is St. Patrick’s Day!!! And as per usual, my last post of my St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon features cupcakes. And today I’ve got not just any old cupcake…no siree! What I’ve got here are Irish Coffee Cupcakes. Can’t get much more St. Patrick’s Day than that!

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So obviously, I’m giving you that classic Irish cocktail in cupcake form. It is surprising that the Irish Coffee is fairly young when one considers coffee cocktails. It was invented in 1943. Way back in 19th century France,  folks were already quaffing “Glorias” which were a mixture of “coffee & strong spirits”. And Viennese Coffee Houses had been serving Pharisäers, sweetened coffee, rum & whipped cream, for quite some time at that point. So fast forward to 1943, Joe Sheridan was the chef at Foynes Port in Limerick when he invented this warming drink and served it to a gaggle of cold and wet tourists. Eventually Stanton Delaplane, an american travel writer, encountered the drink at Shannon airport and brought it back to the US, writing about it extensively. And what do you know, it caught on. Folks loved it then, and still love it now.

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The classic Irish Coffee consists of hot coffee, Irish Whiskey and sugar and is topped with thick cream which is floated on top of the coffee/whiskey mixture. Soothing, warming and utterly decadent, you just can’t go wrong with this elixir. Serve it on a luxurious holiday morning or as a lovely nightcap – perfect every time. And these cupcakes…yeah, they’re worthy of their namesake.

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Tender, moist coffee flavored chocolate cake – filled with a creamy dark and decadent whiskey chocolate ganache and then frosted with a light and airy Irish Whiskey Whipped Cream and topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean…

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Dear Lawd! This is not only perfect on St. Patrick’s Day, but awesome year round. So what are you waiting for, you can have these ready for tonight’s shindig in two shakes of a lambs tail.

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Now me, I’ve gotta get going…my blogging is done for a while. I’ve got some Patrick’s Day festivities to attend to. So see you in a week or so, Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daiobh (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)!

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Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Recipe from: Wife in Progress

Ingredients:

For the Cakes:

  • 3/4 cups Guinness
  • 1/4 cup strong black coffee (or King Arthur Espresso Powder works well here)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon Jameson Whiskey

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 small carton of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Irish Whiskey

Espresso powder (I used King Arthur Espresso Powder, but you could also use cocoa powder or even freshly ground nutmeg in a pinch) and chocolate covered espresso beans to garnish

Directions:

For the Cakes:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)

Line 2 cupcake tins with liners.

In a large saucepan heat Guinness, coffee and butter together until it comes to a gentle simmer.

Add cocoa powder while whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Mix until smooth. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Place flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in bowl. Set aside

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs vanilla and sour cream.

Once the Guinness/cocoa mixture has cooled, add it to the egg/sour cream mixture. Mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, mixing on low speed until just combined.

Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup scoop, fill the lined cupcake tins.

Bake for 25 minutes

Cool completely on wire rack.

For the Whiskey Ganache:

Heat heavy cream until just shy of boiling.

Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Do not mix. Cover with lid and let sit for 5 minutes.

Stir the mixture starting from the inside and working to the edges. Add the whiskey and mix until incorporated

Let sit for 10 minutes or so at room temperature. The ganache should thicken a bit. You can pop it into the fridge for a bit to speed this process up.

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

Pour cream and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until Cream forms stiff peaks. Add Irish Whiskey to taste.

For Assembly: 

Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut out the center of each cake with an apple corer, knife or special cupcake corer tool, taking care not to cut all the way through the cake.

Place the whiskey ganache into a pastry bag and pipe into the cored cupcake to fill.

Spoon the whipped whiskey filling into a pastry bag and frost cupcakes.

Dust with espresso powder and top with chocolate covered bean.

Enjoy!
Irish Coffee Cupcakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Coffee Cupcakes:
Cuckoo Luckoo Gourmet Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans – This link is for a 1 pound box of these beans. To be honest, I got mine at my local Starbucks. They sell them in little 1/75 oz snack packs!

 

 


Yorkshire Pudding Stuffed with Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

March 16, 2017

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You ever have those “oh my god, worlds are colliding” moments? I definitely experienced one when I saw a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding Stuffed with Guinness Shepherd’s Pie. I think I literally said “shut up”, in my outside voice and everything!

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I mean I love Yorkshire Pudding and I love Shepherd’s Pie but the thought of putting them together has somehow eluded me. Well I couldn’t wait to give it whirl and boy oh boy was I glad I did. It certainly did not disappoint.

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I was inspired by the folks at Cooks with Cocktails, but being very set in my ways, I already had strong opinions about making both the pudding as well as the Shepherd’s Pie. So I did take their concept and then applied it to my own time tested recipes. My Shepherd’s Pie is an adaptation of Chef Gordon Ramsay’s version. (Please don’t tell him I changed one of his recipes – I must admit I am a bit scared of the Chef…). And I don’t remember where I originally found this Yorkshire Pudding recipe. The marriage of the two was just amazing.

IMG_6119 Let me tell you I was over the moon with this dish. Not only did I get to experience the golden puffed goodness of the Yorkshire Puddings but I also got to savor that rich Guinness spiked Shepherds Pie topped high with lashings of creamy mashed potatoes and gooey melted Irish Cheddar. Comfort food at its finest!

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With out a doubt, this is the dish to serve at your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. And it is so easy because everything can be prepped ahead of time, which gets you out of the kitchen and on to celebrating! You can make the Shepherd’s Pie filling and mashed potatoes earlier in the day or even the day before. The Yorkshire Pudding batter should be made and refrigerated for at least and hour before cooking, but can be made up to 24 hours ahead. After your guests have arrived, preheat the greased yorkshire pudding tins, make the puddings, stuff them with the pre-made Guinness filling and top them with the potato and cheddar. Then just pop them back into the oven until the filling is bubbling and the cheese has melted and there you have it. Dinner is served. Folks will surely swoon!

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Yorkshire Pudding Stuffed with Guinness Shepherd's Pie

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe inspired by: Cooks with Cocktails

Ingredients: 

For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 3 -4 large potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 -4 Tablespoons cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Shepherd’s Pie Filling:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pound (500g) minced lean lamb-or ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely grated
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato puree
  • Handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 sprig of Rosemary, needles chopped
  • 1 small can of le sueur very young small early peas
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon (250ml) Guinness
  • 1 1/4 Cup (300ml) chicken stock

For the Yorkshire Puddings:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cup flour

Grated Irish Cheddar & chives for sprinkling over top

Directions:

Make the mashed potatoes. Peel the potatoes and place them in a pot of water salted with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes. Put the cooked potatoes through a ricer into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the butter milk and salt & pepper to taste. Mix until light and creamy.

Next make the Shepherd’s Pie Filling. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan until hot. Season the meat and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 2-3 minutes. If the meat has released a lot of grease, drain off at this point. Return pan to heat. Stir the onions and carrot into the meat and then grate the garlic in as well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, herbs and peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly. Pour in the Guinness and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Now make the Yorkshire Puddings. Heat the oven to 425°F. Place one teaspoon of oil ( I used bacon grease, but a vegetable oil is fine) in each of the wells of a yorkshire pudding or popover pan. Place the baking tin into the oven once it reaches temperature. In a blender combine the eggs, milk, salt and flour. Blend well. Once the oil in the baking tin is very hot, pour the Yorkshire Pudding batter into each well, filling it 1/2 way full. Place the baking tin back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. I know you are going to want to open that oven door to check on the process of the puddings, but DON’T! You absolutely can not open that oven door until 20 minutes have passed! I’m serious!!! Check after 20 minutes, the puddings should be puffed up and brown. Let go for 5 more minutes if you would like it to be set a bit firmer. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Assemble the puddings. Slice into the Yorkshire Puddings along the length, taking care not to cut all the way through. Place Puddings into oven proof dishes. Stuff with Shepherd’s Pie Filling and top with a good hearty dollop of mashed potatoes. I used a pastry bag to pipe the potatoes on because I was being fancy, but that is not necessary. Sprinkle each pudding with a handful of shredded Irish Cheddar Cheese. Place back in the oven until the cheese has melted and the filling is bubbling. Sprinkle with fresh cut chives. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Yorkshire Pudding Stuffed with Guinness Shepherd’s Pie brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding Stuffed with Guinness Shepherd’s Pie:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Ricer

Scanpan Evolution Sunday Pan with Lid

Nordic Ware Grand Popover Pan – what I use for my Yorkshire Puddings

Oval Au Gratin Baking Dishes

 


Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

March 15, 2017

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Oh my goodness, St. Patrick’s Day is nearly here! Today I’ve got a great little treat to share with you – Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies! Yes siree, now we’re cooking with gas! Absolutely scrumptious buttery shortbread cookies, shot through with Pistachios and lashings of Baileys Irish Creme and then dipped in  Bailey’s laced Chocolate and dusted with more pistachios.

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Be still my heart! How could anyone resist these tempters?

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These boozy little devils will be welcome at any Patrick’s Day celebration and they’re portable so you can take ’em on the road with you – down to the local parade and then out to the afters parties.

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You definitely want to make sure you keep up your strength throughout the day’s festivities. These decadent little dickens are just the thing to keep you going. And if you’re in a sharing mood, no doubt you’ll be quite popular. Bake up a batch today.

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Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: 46 - 2 1/2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe slightly adapted from: Recipes From a Pantry

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 gram (3.5 oz) caster sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 4 Tablespoons Baileys
  • 250 grams (8.8 oz) all purpose flour
  • 125 grams (4.40z) rice flour
  • 5 Tablespoons pistachios, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

For the chocolate/pistachio glaze:

  • 150 grams chocolate (your choice – dark, milk or a blend)
  • 2 Tablespoons Baileys
  • 5 Tablespoons Pistachios (finely chopped)

Directions:

Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream them together until light and fluffy. Mix in the orange juice and Baileys. Add the flours, chopped pistachios, salt and spices and continue to mix until a soft dough forms. If the mixture is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl and seems too sticky to handle, slowly add flour by the scant Tablespoon just until it comes together.

Divide the dough in two and flatten each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C/Gas 3)

Remove one of the dough discs from the fridge and roll int out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4″ thick. Cut cookies with sharp cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reshape, roll and cut any excess dough until it is all used. Place cut trays of cookies in fridge to keep cool until you are ready to bake them.

Bake shortbread for 12 -15 minutes, or until they are light golden brown.

Let the cookies cool on the tray from 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cookies are cool, combine the Baileys and Chocolate and slowly melt over a double boiler. Dip half of each shortbread cookie into the chocolate mixture. Shake the excess chocolate off and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios. Set cookies aside until chocolate hardens. (Too speed this process, you can place cookies in the fridge.)

Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Chocolate Dipped Baileys Pistachio Shortbread Cookies:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Norpro Silicone Pastry Mat

Norpro Nut Chopper

Norpro Scalloped Cookie/biscuit cutters

Bob’s Red Mill White Rice Flour

 


Drunken Pig in an Orchard

March 14, 2017

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Drunken Pig in an Orchard! Yes!!! What a great recipe title! Now it may surprise you that this does not actually refer to a drunken local lad, who after having one too many pints celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, stumbles into your orchard and can’t seem to find his way out… No, what I’m actually talking about here are cider cooked pork chops nestled into a savory sweet bed of apples and sauerkraut and covered in creamy Irish cheddar and nutty breadcrumbs. A dish which certainly evokes thoughts of Autumn, bonfires and the yearly apple harvest, but it also well suited for your St. Patrick’s Day feasting.

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All of the ingredients used in this dish are abundant in Ireland and have been part of the cuisine there for thousands of years. Indeed there is archaeological evidence which indicates that apples have been grown there for over 5000 years and cider making stretches back at least 2000 years if not more. We also know that wild boar was being consumed in Ireland as far back as 7000 BC. Now I will admit, I don’t know how Irish sauerkraut is. Certainly cabbage abounds there, so it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine it bunch of it getting pickled, or rather fermented – you know…kind of like those drunken St. Patrick’s Day revelers wandering about your orchard! Any hoo…sauerkraut is good for you, full of antioxidants and probiotics, not to mention vitamins B,C and K. So eat up!

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This wonderful sweet/sour/savory dish comes from my friend Theresa’s debut cookbook: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen.

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Theresa’s company, The Green Apron, is an award winning artisan preserve company which she runs from her family’s orchards at Derryclough located near Ballingarry, County Limerick in Ireland.

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This year, I’ve been delighted to share her recipes for Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts, Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktails, Batley Cake and now her Drunken Pig in an Orchard. All of these gems, plus so many more can be found in Fruit on the Table. Certainly you must be convinced of how much you absolutely NEED a copy of her cookbook by now. T’would be an awesome St. Patrick’s Day gift for your favorite cook…just saying. And remember if you find yourself anywhere near Limerick Ireland on a Saturday, make sure you stop into the Milk Market and visit The Green Apron shop which is always chock full of Theresa’s award winning jams and preserves.

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That being said, I’ve gotta go now and shoo those tipsy hooligans out of the orchard!

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Drunken Pig in an Orchard

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen” by Theresa Storey

Ingredients:

  • 4 large cooking apples ( peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons slight melted apple jelly or honey
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 oz.) walnuts (chopped and toasted)
  • 200 grams (7 oz) Irish cheddar (grated)
  • 110 grams ( 4 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 900 ml (30 fl. oz) sauerkraut
  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 – 6 pork chops
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) cider
  • 1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard or sweet yellow mustard

Directions:

Butter a large casserole dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5)

Put the apples, spices, salt, flour and jelly (or honey) in a bowl and mix together. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the walnuts, half of the grated cheese and the breadcrumbs together. Set aside.

Drain the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse it in water to ensure that all the vinegary liquid is gone. Set this aside too.

In a large frying pan, cook the chopped onions in the butter over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Add the pork chops and cook for about 5 minutes, until they are starting to brown.

Now add the cider and the mustard and cook until the chops are cooked through, which should take about another 5 minutes.

Add the sauerkraut to the frying pan and mix everything together, making sure the chops don’t fall apart.

Cook the whole lot until the cider has all reduced down and there is no liquid left in the pan.

Put half the apple mixture on the bottom of the casserole. Cover this with the pork chops and half the sauerkraut. Sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese. Put the rest of the apples on the cheese, then the rest of the sauerkraut, then top with the nutty breadcrumb mixture.

Bake covered (I use tinfoil) for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Drunken Pig in an Orchard brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools and Ingredients for Drunken Pig in an Orchard:

Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey

Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Casserole 9X12″

ScanPan Evolution Sunday Pan with Lid


Boozy Irish Brownie Bites

March 13, 2017

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Boozy Irish Brownie Bites?!! Now we’re talking! These rich, decadent little gems are chock full of Irish Whiskey and frosted with a white chocolate, Baileys and Whiskey Ganache! I’m telling you, there is no way you could go wrong here. And just a warning, these guys are indeed boozy. I took care to add those spirits after the ganache was removed from heat, so there is no “oh the alcohol cooked off” with these darling treats. It is all there. Another thing that is absolutely great about these little guys is their diminutive size. You can literally just grab one and pop the whole thing right into your mouth.

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You know, just a small bite, a wee taste if you will, just in case you don’t really want to commit to eating a whole big honking brownie.

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Now, I’m sure that sounds good in theory and I know there are folks out there that have that kind of “I’ll just take a taste” self-restraint. I’m not really one of them. I just end up eating a plate of these irresistible little devils over the span of the evening. But hey, no regrets. St. Patrick’s Day only comes once a year. You should definitely enjoy it!

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Boozy Irish Brownie Bites

  • Servings: 32- 34 Brownie Bites or 16 Regular sized Brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe slightly adapted from: Vintage Kitty

Ingredients:

For the brownies:

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 9 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour

For the Ganache:

  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey

Directions:

For the Brownies:

Preheat oven to 325° F and line a 8″ square pan with parchment paper.

Slice the vanilla bean and scrape the seed outs.

Place the seeds and the pod in a medium sized dutch oven.

Add the butter and sugar to the pan and melt over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Once sugar has melted, remove vanilla bean pod.

Sift cocoa into the butter mixture and stir to combine.

Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool a minute or two. Add whiskey and stir to combine.

Add the flour and stir just until it is incorporated.

Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.

Set brownies to cool on a metal rack.

For the Ganache:

While the brownies are cooling, combine sugar, butter, heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Let the mixture boil for 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly add the white chocolate, stirring until it is completely melted and smooth.

Slowly add the Baileys and Irish Whiskey, stirring until combined.

Pour the ganache over the warm brownies and spread with a spatula.

Allow ganache to harden over an hour or so.

If you wish to serve regular brownies, go ahead and slice them and enjoy. If you wish to make smaller brownie bites as I did here, use whatever shaped small cookie cutter to cut the brownies. I used a 1 1/2″ circle cutter.

Enjoy!

Boozy Irish Brownie Bites brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Chef Armstrong’s Chicken Casserole (aka President Obama Stew)

March 12, 2017

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So I know I’ve been all about my mate Theresa’s gorgeous debut cookbook: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen. And a lovely book it is. However, that is not to say that there aren’t other lovely cookbooks out there…and another one I’m all about is: My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn.

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I have not had the pleasure of meeting Chef Armstrong, but I am certainly a big fan. Chef Cathal Armstrong, originally from Dublin Ireland, has a culinary empire here in Northern Virginia  which includes Restaurant Eve, the Majestic Cafe, two branches of Eamonn’s – A Dublin Chipper, PX cocktail lounge and Society Fair a gourmet emporium and wine bar. He is an internationally recognized four-star chef and leader in the sustainable food movement which he attributes firmly to his Irish upbringing. Chef Armstrong has brought forth this cookbook which contains a collection of family recipes and Irish inspired dishes from Restaurant Eve. It is from this cookbook that I take this recipe for Chicken Casserole, which he fondly calls “President Obama Stew”. According to Chef Armstrong, it seems that on Saturday October 9th of 2011, while taking a little time off of work and preparing his mother’s chicken casserole for a family dinner, he received an unexpected call from his restaurant manager at Restaurant Eve. The Obamas were coming for dinner. And it wasn’t just any old dinner for them, that night they would be celebrating their nineteenth wedding anniversary. Well, needless to say, the family chicken casserole was forgotten as he rushed back in to the restaurant. The recipe I give you today is that casserole. Now I would definitely be a bit remiss if I told you that i wasn’t a little bit sorry that the Obamas didn’t dine on this casserole. Nevertheless, this is an amazing dish!

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Cooked low and slow, this chicken is so savory, so succulent and so all around spectacular it is definitely elevated from a mere casserole rating. Now I will admit, I did make a couple of wee changes. The Chef does call for the use of an entire cut up chicken. I did decide to go with solely chicken thighs – less choice but better for consistency in cooking. That being said, when I cook this again- oh and I will – I will use skinless boneless thighs and will remove the bones and shred the chicken once the casserole is cooked through. But to each his own. I hope the Chef will forgive my adaptations. I will tell you this casserole, or stew even, is brilliant all on its own – so savory, thick and hearty with just the right amount of spice (who would’ve known 20 cloves of garlic was just the right amount…) but it is absolutely amazing when served over mashed potatoes.

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A feast worthy of St. Patrick himself I tell you! I assure you folks will be over the moon if you serve up this feast on St. Patrick’s Day. Heck with the 20 cloves of garlic in this baby, you wouldn’t go wrong serving this up on Halloween – t’would definitely keep the vampires at bay! Though seriously, if you want to treat yourself to some amazing Irish recipes, beautiful photography and various cooking tips in general, invest in a copy of Chef Armstrong’s My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve.

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Chef Armstrong's Chicken Casserole (aka President Obama Stew)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland & Restaurant Eve” by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 1/2 pound ) chicken – cut into 14 pieces – (or….I just used 3 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, very coarsely chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch coins
  • 6 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 – inch dice
  • 20 cloves garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped (yup…not a misprint….20!)
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), coarsely chopped, and their juices
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large fresh bay leaves
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped, with seeds
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch fresh bails (1 cup loosely packed) coarsely chopped.

Directions:

If the chicken you purchase is not already cut up into pieces, then cut your chicken in 14 pieces, making 6 breast pieces, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs and 4 wing joints. (Or just use a big old package of thighs – this is per me-not Chef Armstrong). Season them well with salt.

Brown the chicken in a large pan over high heat. Arrange all of the chicken evenly in the pan skin-side down and cook for 5 minutes, until golden brown. The pieces should release easily from the bottom of the pan; if they don’t , let them brown longer until they don Transfer the pieces to a flameproof casserole, arranging them skin side up. ( I used my largest Le Creuset dutch oven.)

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the sauté pan, stirring to combine them. Sweat the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes until they are translucent but still bit firm. As they cook and water releases from them, use a flat edged wooden spatula to deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the garlic (seriously…don’t be scared- use all 20 cloves – the stew will taste amazing and somehow not over garlic-y) and then the tomatoes and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, serrano chile, chicken stock, thyme and rosemary.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to the casserole. Bring to a boil then decrease the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer slowly for 45 to 60 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are very tender. Remove the stew from he heat. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if you like. (Truth be told – here is where I would recommend removing the chicken pieces from the stew. Shred the chicken meat from the bones and stir the meat back into the stew mixture.) Stir in the basil leaves at the last second before driving. The stew can be made a day before and gently reheated on the stove or in a 300°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

I have served this chicken casserole all on its own or over mashed potatoes and I gotta say – Mashed Potatoes are the way to go. I am sure it would also be good over rice, but again go with the Mashed Potatoes for the win!

Enjoy!

Chef Armstrong’s Chicken Casserole brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Chef Armstrong’s Chicken Casserole (aka President Obama Stew):

My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Oval Dutch oven – 8 quart

Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Ricer – The key to perfect unbelievably creamy – dare I say dreamy – mashed potatoes every single time. Well, this and a good amount of butter and cream…

 


Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktail

March 7, 2017

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Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktail – how’s that for a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day offering. Now I know a bunch of folks are going to be guzzling big honking pints of Guinness or even more scary pints of that suspicious looking lager with a green hue. I don’t know about you, but as much as I like the taste of Guinness, I can’t manage more than one pint of the stuff. Not because I’m a light weight…give me some credit please! It’s because Guinness is so filling I feel as though I’ve eaten an entire loaf of bread. I’m ready to roll on home after one measly pint. Where’s the fun in that?!! So this Irish Whiskey Marmalade sounds pretty dang refreshing to me!

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Jammy cocktails have been all the rage now for a couple of years. Adding a quality artisan jam to your favorite liquor is a really easy way to achieve a drink with wonderfully complex fruit flavors. The recipe for this particular tipple can be found in my friend Theresa’s debut cookbook: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen.

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I told you all about her and her award winning artisan preserve company, The Green Apron, in my last blog about Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts. And yes, you guessed it….that batch of Irish Whiskey Marmalade that I made up for the tarts…I’m also using it in these cocktails. See, I told you The Green Apron jams were very versatile!  Theresa’s Blas na hEireann (Taste of Ireland) award winning Irish Whiskey Marmalade is a perfect choice for this libation.

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As far as which Irish Whiskey you should use…well I think that is definitely a personal preference. There is always Jameson, though I have a few friends that swear by Black Bush. The husband is a fan of Red Breast. I’ll leave the choice up to you, but I should say you’ve gotta like Irish Whiskey to drink this creation. In fact, it could be called an Irish Whiskey Marmalade Whiskey Cocktail, come to think of it. Double Whiskey?!! Yup…perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

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Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktail

  • Servings: 1 cocktail
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons marmalade
  • 2 – 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 60 ml (2 fl. oz.) Irish whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • sparkling water

Directions:

Muddle the marmalade, bitters and whiskey together until the marmalade starts to dissolve. (I know I have a spoon of the jam sitting by the cocktails in the pictures above, so it looks like I’m just going to stir it into the cocktail when I’m ready to imbibe. However, you really should either muddle it with the whiskey and bitters or shake them in shaker ahead of time though, otherwise it is difficult to incorporate into the already mixed cocktail.)

Add the simple syrup. (To make simple syrup, mix equal amounts of water and sugar and heat until he sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely and keep in the fridge. Use within a few weeks.)

Drink neat over ice or add sparkling water.

Sláinte!

Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktail brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to helpful kitchen tools and ingredients for Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktail:

Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey

Angostura Orange bitters


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