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My Recipes-of-the-Week are featured here on my Home page. You can find 2000 of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch over 125 Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. "We are all in this food world together." ~Melanie

11/26/2020

~ Be Safe, Think Small, Turkey Day Charcuterie Tray ~

IMG_7355"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)

11/24/2020

~ Simple Tips for Entertaining for Breakfast or Brunch ~

6a0120a8551282970b01a73d692750970d-800wi-1Entertaining guests for breakfast or brunch is decidedly different than entertaining guests for cocktails and/or dinner.  For starters, we breakfast chefs don't have the luxury of several hours prep time leading up to the get-together, which means, all of the shopping and as much of the fare (as is humanly possible) needs to be prepped or semi-prepared the night before.  An early call to the kitchen means "all the boxes" need to be checked, and double-checked, prior to showtime.

Do NOT bite-off more than you can chew.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c76dd85e970bDon't break your budget (just don't do it), resist the urge to be over-the-top fancy-schmancy (just don't do it), and, don't invite any more guests than you have ample space for, and you can cook for, with complete ease (just don't do it).  Better advice I cannot give, and, underestimating the value of it, can, and will be, the difference between success and failure.  Trust me on this point.

Do NOT be afraid to mix store-bought with homemade.

6a0120a8551282970b026bdea4c46d200cDon't learn your AM-entertaining lessons the hard way.  Things like store-bought biscuits and crescent dough are great bases for an hors d'oeuvres or two.  Focus on the one or two or things you’d like to fuss over, and buy or outsource the rest.  Just do it.  If quiche is your specialty, make two or three.  If you've got two or three killer breakfast casseroles in your repertoire, make 'em. Rely on your local bakeries and/or donut shops for the rest -- and never look back.  Relax.

DO set up a breakfast or brunch buffet.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d1870f13970cWhen it comes to cock-a-doodle-do entertaining, buffet-style, is, in my opinion, every home cooks best friend.  Start by choosing three or four designated spaces (aka "stations") -- on a kitchen countertop, a center island, a kitchen table and/or a dining room table, or, even three-four folding tables.  Designate each "station" with a vase of seasonal flowers, and, assign each a purpose.

A breakfast buffet in my kitchen always includes at least three stations: a station with a few pitchers of pour-your-own fruit-juice and fruit-juice cocktails, plus, coffee or tea; a station with baskets brimming with choose-your-own (store-bought) pastries, bagels and muffins (along with store-bought whipped butter, jams and cream-cheese spreads), and; a station with enough (matched, mismated or high-quality disposable) luncheon-sized plates, napkins and flatware to outlast the entire length of the get-together.  My fourth station, my main-course station, goes in one of two directions, as follows.  For smaller groups, it's at my stovetop where I cook for each person -- either a made-to-order omelette, a stack of pancakes, or a couple of waffles.  For larger groups, it's two-three, made-ahead, hot-out-of-the-oven, breakfast or brunch casseroles.

Cock-a-doodle do NOT stress over AM entertaining:  

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09626d7c970d-800wi"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipes, commentary and photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)

11/22/2020

~Broiled KC-Style Sticky Barbecued Chicken Quarters~

IMG_7008Smack my drippy lips and lick my sticky fingers.  Skin-on barbecued chicken is one of my favorite things -- the stickier the end result, the better.  Oh-my-sigh.  There is just something about what happens when crispy chicken skin meets a few slathers of barbecue sauce at the end of the cooking process.  When executed correctly, three-four bastes with a copious amount of sauce, each given a few moments to caramelize in between each application, the two become one sticky casing for the tender, juicy meat below.  It sends my soul to the moon and back to earth.

Three on-hand ingredients + 50 minutes = dinner:

6a0120a8551282970b026be40718f6200dFor the Barbecued-style chicken leg-thigh quarters:

4  chicken leg-thigh quarters, about 4-4 1/2 pounds

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend, or, your favorite barbecue seasoning blend

2  cups K.C.-style barbecue sauce, your favorite brand or favorite homemade K.C.-style recipe, about 1 cup for basting chicken quarters 3 times while it's under the broiler, plus enough to be served for dipping or drizzling at the table

IMG_6940IMG_6940IMG_6940~ Step 1.  Place a scant 1/4" water in the bottom of a large 20" x 12" x 4" disposable aluminum roasting pan.  The water in the bottom of the pan will prevent the dripping fat from the broiling chicken quarters from spattering and burning.  Insert a rack in the pan, and place a piece of parchment atop the rack.

IMG_6948 IMG_6948 IMG_6948 IMG_6948~Step 2.  Arrange chicken quarters atop the parchment.  Season generously with a grinding of sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Place pan on an oven rack that has been positioned 8 1/2"-9" underneath the preheated broiler (lower third of the oven).  Broil chicken quarters for 45 minutes.

6a0120a8551282970b026bde885bc9200c6a0120a8551282970b026bde885bc9200c IMG_6962 IMG_6966 IMG_6972 IMG_6975 IMG_6980 IMG_6986 2 IMG_6982 IMG_6992~Step 3.  Remove the chicken from the oven -- do not turn the broiler off or reposition the oven rack.  Using a pastry brush, generously slather each chicken quarter with barbecue sauce.  Return the pan to the oven for 2-2 1/2 minutes.  Watch carefully as the sugar in the barbecue sauce can and will go from golden brown to burned quickly.  Remove chicken from oven.  Slather with sauce a second time.  Return to oven for another 2-2 1/2 minutes.  Remove chicken from oven.  Slather with sauce a third, and last, time.  Return pan of chicken to the oven for the last time for another 2-2 1/2 minutes.  Watch carefully.

Platter 'em up nice 'n purty & call the family to the table:

IMG_7033I serve 'em w/my better than store-bought mac & cheese:

6a0120a8551282970b026bde88638f200cBroiled KC-Style Sticky Barbecued Chicken Quarters:  Recipe yields 4 servings.

Special Equipment List: 2-cup measuring container; wire cooling rack; 20" x 12" x 4" disposable aluminum roasting pan disposable aluminum roasting pan, or, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; wire rack; parchment paper; pastry brush 

IMG_4669Cook's Note:  Chicken quarters can be roasted too.  It's a different process (roasting and broiling are very different from each other), and, it takes almost twice as long, but, the results are just as delicious.  Try my ~ Easy Oven-Roasted Barbecued Chicken Quarters ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)