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May 16, 2018 1:25 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Top Chicken Or Dessert With Rhubarb

Juicy Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberries JANEEN SARLIN
May 22, 2018 12:10 PM

Rhubarb, glorious rhubarb! Botanically speaking, rhubarb is a vegetable; however, it’s generally eaten as a fruit. Choose crisp stalks that are brightly hued with fresh looking and blemish-free leaves. It is highly perishable; wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate it for up to three days. Remove the leaves (they are toxic) and wash the stalks, which are good sources of vitamins C and K with a potent portion of potassium.

Buy rhubarb now, remove the leaves, wash the stalks and then create your favorite recipe, or cut the stalks into 1-inch lengths, label the bag and store it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.

Meanwhile, cook up a sweet juicy rhubarb sauce scented with cinnamon and orange zest to spoon over vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

This coming weekend, make spicy rhubarb compote to accompany grilled chicken breasts and thighs. Serve oven baked potato chips with the chicken.

Bon appétit!Juicy Rhubarb Sauce(About 2-3 cups)2 and 1/2 cups water

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

Zest of 1 orange, orange part only (no bitter white pith) removed with a vegetable peeler

4-inch cinnamon stick

3 and 1/2 to 4 cups tender young rhubarb stalks cut into 1-inch pieces

Optional: about 1 teaspoon pure almond extract

2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and slicedTo prepare:In a non-reactive saucepan over moderate high heat, add water, sugar, orange peel, and cinnamon stick.

Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let the syrup slowly simmer for five to 10 minutes.

Taste and adjust the flavor.

Meanwhile, cut rhubarb into 1-inch pieces, add to the syrup, raise the heat to moderately high, and bring to a simmer. Immediately reduce the heat until the liquid is barely moving.

Partially cover the pan and poach the rhubarb for six to 10 minutes. Do not overcook it or it becomes stringy and mushy.

Stir strawberries into the sauce, remove from heat, and serve warm over vanilla ice cream or topped with whipped cream.Grilled Chicken With 
Spicy Rhubarb Compote(Serves 4, with leftovers for lunch)4 chicken breasts with skin and bones or 4 chicken thighs/legs with skin and bones

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoon fresh thyme

About 8 leaves lemon balm, chopped, or more to taste

2 lemons, juiced

About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oilSpicy Rhubarb Compote:1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup raisins, preferably golden

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 pinch red pepper flakes, or more to taste,

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper or more to taste

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slicesTo prepare:Wash chicken under cold running water, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels.

Trim off excess fat.

Place chicken in non-reactive shallow dish, season with salt and pepper, rub garlic and herbs over both sides of the chicken, drizzle with half of the lemon juice and olive oil.

Cover chicken and marinate at least 30 minutes before grilling or roasting. Or marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over moderate high heat, combine sugar, raisins, vinegar, ginger and capers together, add red pepper flakes and black pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about five minutes.

Add rhubarb and cook until it is tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings/sweetness. Can be done ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.To grill: Preheat the grill until the coals are white hot.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Place the chicken pieces skin-side down on the hot grill and cook until the skin is brown and crisp. Turn and brown the other side.

Once the chicken is browned, slide them to a section of the grill with medium heat.

Cover the grill and cook chicken until the juices run clear when pierced with a two-pronged meat fork, or the internal temperature reads 170 degrees F on an instant read meat thermometer.To bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up on a rimmed parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Place the pan in hot oven and bake until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Transfer to a large platter, garnish with fresh sprigs of lemon balm and pass the spicy rhubarb compote at the table.Oven Baked Potato Chips(Serves 4)4 large potatoes (preferably baking potatoes or Yukon Gold) scrubbed

Avocado or olive oil for brushing

Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepperTo prepare:Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle it with oil.

Scrub the potatoes with a stiff vegetable brush and rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels.

Working with a benriner or very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into even-sized slices.

As you cut the potatoes, dip both sides of each slice in the oil on the baking sheet (to prevent discoloration) and arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. If necessary, use two sheet pans.

Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 15 minutes, turn each slice over and continue baking until they are crisp, tender, and the color of potato chips, regulating the oven temperature to prevent burning about 40 minutes. The baking time depends on the thickness of the potatoes.

Remove potatoes from the oven, place on paper towels to remove excess oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serve hot or room temperature.

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