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Pie Talk #3: Hoisin Chicken

Pie Talk #3: Hoisin Chicken

Plus: This week's literati flame wars (Dahl, Rowling, NYT dust-up #whoknows) and what to feed the people who show up at your door

We are talking feeding people this week, and Portland, and who counts as family. Yes that’s the little one in the pic, and me in the ‘stache. What a weird party that was! We wound up in a long conversation with an editor from another city, a visitor who tried to laser-beam you with his charm. “Don’t you know the effect you have on men?” he later said, to one of us, a line I found kind of hilarious, like something from a book called, “Ninety Things To Say To A Woman That Might Get You in Her Pants.” The guy’s life later went up in flames, and pretty publicly. I’m not throwing a log on that fire but will say, I was less than surprised.

We are also talking this week’s literati flare-ups (the stealth editing of Roald Dahl, the never-ending crusade against of J.K. Rowling, dust-up #609 at the Times) and their opposite, the people who come to your aid. Why not also feed them some chicken?

Pie Talks drop Sundays at 9am at Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, for paid subscribers only. Since this one is free, I’m cross-posting here!

Episode notes:

Taking My Ex Back In (for His Own Good),” by Nancy Rommelmann (NYT Modern Love)

Tafv and Tim in 2012, when he was filming an episode of “Grimm.” The series shot in Portland and was great fun for us to watch and try to name the locations

I misspoke when I said You Must Remember This is Kat Rosenfield’s second book. It’s her fifth! But the second I’ve read, and which I love love love love love.

Paloma-cam during Kat Rosenfield’s party for No One Will Miss Her

My Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em partner, Sarah Hepola, went on record saying “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” will be the Podcast of the Year

I think we are all coming to realize that late 2020/early 2021 was a time when certain segments of the media and the public-at-large became absolutely possessed with a desire for the blood of their colleagues. I’ve written and talked about Donald G. [I accidentally said “J.”] McNeil Jr. a dozen times. He and Andy Mills, an original creator of the NYT’s “The Daily” as well as its once-crown jewel podcast “Caliphate,” were both ushered out of the Times in February 2021. McNeil now writes on Medium, and Andy is working with Bari Weiss’s The Free Press, including on “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling.” Good work will out.

And speaking of not canceling people…

Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal update the NYT flame-wars on the most recent episode of Blocked & Reported, “Times Wars, Episode IX: The Normies Strike Back.”

Signs of the tide shifting? Penguin Random House to publish 'classic' Roald Dahl books after censorship criticism, by Theara Coleman (The Week)

NPR to Cut 10% of Its Staff,” by Katie Roberson (NYT)


preferred kitchen counter view #1 and yes, you can make them

Hoisin Chicken

This recipe is very easy to double or triple. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken thighs and how many you have in the pan.

  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on

  • Salt and pepper

  • 3/4 cup hoisin sauce, Lee Kum Kee brand preferred, thinned out with 3 - 4 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375F.

Salt and pepper the chicken thighs on both sides and place them, skin side up, on a rack inside your baking pan or sheet. The rack will prevent the thighs from sitting in the cooking juices and becoming less crisp. No problem if you don’t have a rack!

Bake until chicken skin starts to brown, about 25 minutes. Pour and brush on hoisin-soy mixture. Make about another 20 - 25 minutes, until thighs are nicely shellacked.

The drippings from the pan can be poured as-is over rice or, better, heat them in a small saucepan until somewhat reduced and yummier, about 5 minutes.

Serve chicken with sticky rice and a cucumber salad: peeled and seeded cucumbers, sliced and mixed with rice wine vinegar and a large pinch of sugar and a smaller pinch of salt. Add some chopped fresh basil, mint or cilantro if you’re feeling fancy.

Three ways to make sticky rice! (Also called glutinous rice, sushi rice, and sweet rice.) I have not had great luck making sticky rice in the rice cooker, and have never tried the microwave method. Let me know if you do!

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preferred kitchen counter view #2


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Make More Pie
Make More Pie
Posts on Portland, New York, media, murder, culture - conflict and the fun stuff - and pie, both literal and figurative. Come on in