Posted in Recipes

Baked Celery Chicken

Way back last summer, I found myself the only guest at the Tujormovik Hotel in Igloolik and, on the weekend, I ended up cooking for myself. I had some chicken pieces but, lacking a wire rack to bake them on, I improvised using celery stalks I found in the fridge. I only meant to use the celery to keep the pieces from sticking to the pan but, as it happened, the result of the stalks baking in the chicken juices was delicious and I made a note to experiment with the idea in the future.

Yesterday, I finally got around to playing around with the basic theme again, this time using chicken drumettes, which are the end part of the wing that looks like a little leg. Instead of using whole celery stalks, I cut the celery into short batons and spread them over the bottom of a baking dish. I was aiming for a vaguely Asian end result here and to keep the celery moist an add a little flavor, I sprinkled these with a tablespoon or two of dry sherry (having no rice wine at the time). Next, I tossed the drumettes with a little salt, garlic puree and Hoisin Sauce, and arranged them in a circle on top of the celery and sprinkled everything with just a little finely diced red pepper. This last step was more for appearance than anything else but you could easily substitute fresh red chili for an additional flavor boost.

Anyway, I baked the dish in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes and the result was delicious. I ate every piece of chicken and every bit of celery all by myself with just a little bread to mop up the juice. Once again, the celery baked in chicken juices really turned out nicely. I think a little more could be done to make the final dish a little more visually appealing, maybe, but the idea is worth working with and you could easily adapt the general idea with a whole host of other flavorings…

Posted in Herbs and Spices

Spice: Celery Seed

Celery is one of those ubiquitous grocery products that can usually be found in the crisper drawers of most refrigerators in western kitchens but celery seed, for some reason, is far less popular or well known. For most people, the seed (actually the tiny fruit of a particular wild variety of celery rather than the thick-stemmed sort usually eaten in the west) is encountered most commonly in some Bloody Mary recipes, or else in the Old Bay Seasoning used for seafood in the North-eastern United States. This is unfortunate, however, as the spice, being not only cheap and easy to find, is very versatile and well-worth having on hand… Continue reading “Spice: Celery Seed”