Vagabond Cookbook

The best you ate on vacation? Make it at home tonight.

Image of Zuni Cafe roast chicken adobo, with crisp rice salad

Zuni Café Roast Chicken Adobo

Few dishes fill a room like a roast chicken. It’s an ultimate comfort — a homestyle dinner that conjures a sense of warmth, togetherness, family. It’s crisp fall afternoons raking leaves in the yard. It’s a fuzzy sweater in a well-worn armchair. It’s Hannah and Her Sisters or an early Belle and Sebastian record. It also sucks butts nine times out of ten. Seriously, how many dry, flavourless chickens have you suffered through? Breast meat hammered so bad, it’s basically straw. Or, the alternative — a greasy, flabby bird wagging unrendered fat beneath its pale, clammy skin. There’s not enough gravy in the world to cover up these disasters. If only most chickens were this joyous. But when it’s done right, a roast chicken is a thing of marvel. There’s a reason one of the most storied restaurant dishes in American history is the chicken for two from the Zuni […]

Kou shui ji, ready to eat

Kou shui ji (or, ‘are you a breast man or a leg man?’)

Call me a creepoid, but Russ Meyer never gets the love he deserves. The King of the Nudies himself. He’s dismissed, jeered, chided as a peddler of mindless smut (as if that’s such a bad thing). Say what you will, but this visionary director of ‘60s B movies made a stack of classics. Vixen! Supervixens. Beyond the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens. You name the flick, he was behind it (at least if it had “vixen” in the title). Not only that, Meyer performed one especially tricky feat. He made chicken seem interesting. Be honest – you know chicken is boring. It’s up there with sitting in traffic and discussing last night’s dreams as a regular ol’ snoozefest. Fry it, grill it, turn it into nuggets – there’s not much you can do to a chicken that hasn’t been done (just ask Subservient Chicken). It’s usually fine, but it’s rarely a […]