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 / Food & Wine
Cook's Illustrated

Cook's Illustrated September/October 2019

At Cook's Illustrated, our test cooks are dedicated to testing and retesting recipes 20, 30, sometimes 50 times until we come up with a recipe that will come out right the first time -- and every time -- you make it. And each issue of Cook's Illustrated is 100% ADVERTISING FREE, so you get unbiased and objective information on every page. As we like to say at Cook's Illustrated, "We make the mistakes so you don't have to."

United States
Boston Common Press, LP
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6 Issues


1 min.
cook's illustrated

EDITORIAL STAFF Chief Executive Officer David Nussbaum Chief Creative Officer Jack Bishop Editor in Chief Dan Souza Editorial Director Amanda Agee Deputy Editor Rebecca Hays Executive Managing Editor Todd Meier Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser Managing Editor Elizabeth Bomze Deputy Food Editor Andrea Geary Senior Editors Andrew Janjigian, Lan Lam Senior Content Editor Kristina DeMichele Associate Editors Steve Dunn, Annie Petito Photo Team/Special Events Manager Tim McQuinn Assistant Test Cooks, Photo Team Sarah Ewald, Hannah Fenton, Jacqueline Gochenouer, Eric Haessler Copy Editors Christine Campbell, Rachel Schowalter Senior Science Research Editor Paul Adams Executive Editors, Tastings & Testings Hannah Crowley, Lisa McManus Senior Editors, Tastings & Testings Lauren Savoie, Kate Shannon Associate Editor, Tastings & Testings Miye Bromberg Assistant Editors, Tastings & Testings Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, Carolyn Grillo, Emily Phares Creative Director John Torres Design Director Greg Galvan Photography Director Julie Cote Associate Art Director Maggie Edgar Senior Staff Photographer Daniel J. van Ackere Staff Photographers Steve Klise,…

2 min.
frank and the fire truck

When I was a kid, my parents installed one of those fancy smoke alarm systems in our house. It was the kind where if you accidentally forgot you were roasting a chicken and filled the kitchen with smoke, the fire department would magically appear at your front door. One cold September morning after the system was installed, my dad started up his car in the garage and then ran back into the house to grab his coffee. A wisp of exhaust clung to his coat and set off the alarms, and before we knew it a fire truck was tearing up the front lawn. After the alarm system was reset and the cats reemerged from their hiding spots, my uncle Frank happened to stop by for a visit on his…

3 min.
quick tips

Nonstick Steamer Basket Sue Kelman of Waltham, Mass., prevents food from sticking to her bamboo steamer basket by lining it with a small coffee filter. The porous paper lets steam through and makes cleanup easy. How to Evenly Divide Cake Batter When making a two-layer cake, Pat Wood of Broomfield, Colo., uses a toothpick to ensure that she’s divided the batter evenly between the pans. She pours approximately half the batter into each pan, sticks a toothpick in the middle of one pan to mark the batter’s height, uses the other end of the toothpick to mark the height of the batter in the second pan, and spoons batter into the emptier pan as necessary. A Tool for Making Thumbprint Cookies Margaret Lynch of Sebastopol, Calif., uses a wine stopper to make uniform indentations in…

8 min.
the easiest fried chicken

I’ve never met a bite of fried chicken that I didn’t like, but my favorite is the first bite of a fried chicken thigh. The crunch is big because thighs are thin and tapered, so there’s a high ratio of crispy crust to chicken. And when you bite through that crust, you’re met with juicy, rich dark meat. Happily for me, a Japanese style of fried chicken called karaage not only traditionally uses chicken thighs but also happens to be very easy to prepare. To make it, you debone bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs; cut the meat into small chunks; marinate them in a soy-and-sake-based mixture that’s seasoned with garlic, ginger, and sometimes salt or sugar; dredge them in potato starch; and fry them until they’re brown and crispy. Because the pieces…

7 min.
pork chile verde

Before I delve into the specifics of my recipe for chile verde con cerdo, the classic Mexican stew of pork simmered in a tangy tomatillo and green chile sauce, I have a secret to share: When it comes to braising meat, all recipes work more or less the same way. Of course, I’m not talking about specific ingredients. American pot roast, daube Provençal, and pork vindaloo are made with completely different seasonings and taste nothing alike. But if you look closely at how each dish is put together, the processes have the same basic approach: Brown the meat to build a flavorful fond, add a modest amount of liquid, cover the pot, and simmer it all gently until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced to a concentrated, deeply…

1 min.
a smarter way to braise

Braising meat in a stew such as our Green Chili with Pork (Chile Verde con Cerdo) is simple: You build up flavorful browning and then slowly simmer the meat in a covered pot until it’s tender and the modest amount of braising liquid reduces to a flavorful sauce. Our updated approach still incorporates those key elements, but we’ve rethought every step to maximize flavor and efficiency. SALT MEAT Salting for 1 hour seasons the meat and keeps it moist during cooking. BROWN TRIMMINGS, NOT MEAT Searing the trimmings creates savory flavor while allowing the unbrowned stew meat (added later) to stay juicy. ADD MINIMAL LIQUID, THEN MEAT Less liquid makes for a tighter, more concentrated sauce, which takes on the meat’s savory depth during braising. BRAISE IN OVEN, NOT ON STOVE The oven’s ambient heat cooks the stew…