Ketchup-Glazed Dog Biscuits

What sort of a dog biscuit recipe would the owner of the French Laundry in Napa Valley make for his dog? I couldn't resist finding out. In Thomas Keller's new book - Bouchon Bakery - we have the opportunity to find out. And I was happy to oblige my dogs, Soul (above) and Oscar (below). I'm sure if they could talk they would be gushing over these treats!

I tweaked the original recipe a little bit to accommodate what I actually had on hand. At the Bouchon Bakery, they originally made these treats with leftover fois gras.... I couldn't even find chicken livers at my local grocery store so I made do with beef liver. And you'll notice that there are some odd measurements like "3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp cornmeal". That happens because at the bakery they measure by weight rather than volume and these measurements reflect the conversion.

Ketchup-Glazed Dog Biscuits
Makes approximately 4 dozen.

1 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
13 ounces chicken or beef livers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp fine cornmeal
3 cups + 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp egg whites

Preheat the oven to 250F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has been cooked out and the bacon is a rich golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.

Pour off all but a generous film of bacon fat. Add the livers to the pan and saute, turning them frequently and smashing them slightly for about 5 minutes, until broken down to a paste. Remove from the heat.

Place the bacon in a food processor and pulse a few times to grind it. Add the livers and process to combine, then add the cornmeal and process until you have a coarse mixture.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the flour and mix to combine. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mix until the dough begins to gather around the paddle and feels moist to the touch. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it just enough to combine.
Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it out to a 3/8-inch thick sheet. Using the dog bone cutter (approximately 2 1/2 inches long), cut out the treats and arrange them on the prepared sheet pans. Knead the trimmings together, roll out, and cut out additional biscuits.
Bake until the treats are completely dry, about 3 hours. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 200F.
Combine the ketchup and egg whites; the glaze will be very thick. Brush it over the top of the warm treats. Return the pans to the oven and bake for 20-30 minute, then transfer the treats to the rack to cool completely.
The biscuits can be stored in a covered container for up to 1 month.


Roast Chicken - Seriously Delicious

I was looking through some old posts on The Good Egg blog a few days ago and I read something that tweaked my interest. It was a post written after I had spent a weekend with my friend Elaine in Newfoundland. I wrote about how she had roasted a chicken for 3 hours and how good it was. Then that reminded me of the books she had put me onto while I was there - Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, both wonderful little books that I have recommended to tons of people. In one of those books, Laurie Colwin talks about how she roasts a chicken - for at least three hours on a temperature of 250-300F. The catch is that she would baste the chicken "constantly" during those three hours.

Basting a chicken is no big deal - if you are indeed home to do it. I realized my biggest stumbling block would be remembering. So, I set the timer for for every 10 to 15 minutes and last night we had one of the tastiest birds I've ever made.

There is one other part of this story. Laurie Colwin suggested sprinkling the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. But I wanted to try a recipe from one of my scrapbooks. Melt 1/2 cup butter and combine that with 1/2 cup soy sauce. Just those two ingredients created something very close to magic. I also stuffed the chicken cavity with a bunch of fresh thyme (well, not so fresh anymore) and 4 or 5 garlic cloves. After the three hour wait on the chicken, we were rewarded with a falling-off-the-bone, juicy-beyond-belief, taste sensation. It was an epic chicken dinner.