America's Test Chicken consists of two separate chickens, each with her own take on this cooking thing. Check out Chicken One's related blog, A Travel for Taste where she shares travel stories and recipes collected whenever she ventures abroad. And give Chicken Two's new, also-related blog, Poop from the Coop a read. There you can find stories about her personal adventure re-experiencing the kitchen after many years away. Please join our Facebook group to share your own recipes, kitchen practices and know-how. We are also on Pinterest and Instagram.
Complete recipes appear at the end of this post.
|From Chicken One:
Perhaps you'd better read the other column first, for Chicken Two is giving you her take on the first time making egg nog from scratch. My column this time is a variation on that theme, and a completely different taste.
I love egg nog in all its forms, including this one which tastes like a creamy, tropical cocktail, complete with coconut and rum. A recent trip to a tropical-themed restaurant taught me this drink is also known as coquito.
As you can see in this photo, the ingredients are common and you have to open a few cans. But it's all worth it.
First break apart cinnamon sticks and boil them in water for a great-smelling reduction. It certainly gives your house a holiday scent.
I'll explain. You have to dip the spoon into the mixture, raise it and swipe through the back of it with your finger. When you start out, the thin mixure looks like this:
When thick, it will look like this:
If you go a little too long (like I did when I couldn't get the pan off the double boiler fast enough), it looks like this:
This last one is arguably a tad over the line for thickness. Cook it any longer and everything will become scrambled eggs. If you should happen to do this, and as long as it isn't TOO terribly scrambled-eggy, you can blend the finished product with a stick blender to smooth it out. This ONLY works in a small margin of cases, though, so keep an eye on that double boiler!
Now combine the cinnamon milk, thickened egg mixture and the rest into a wonderful concoction:
A word of warning: the coconut milk will partially solidify when chilled, so give the whole thing a shake or whisk before serving. Happy Holidays to you all!
Here's an impeck-able Chicken Two working egg-stra hard in the kitchen for you!
|From Chicken Two:
To say my husband loves egg nog is an understatement! He impatiently awaits the arrival of the first container of egg nog at the grocery store and for the entire holiday season, there is at least a half gallon of it in the fridge. Lord help the store that runs out! Me, I can take it or leave it. Until, that is, I experienced the pure taste of home made!
Even if you're not fond of it, give this a try…it could change your entire perspective. It did mine, for sure, and you're bound to have family members and friends who will love it, too!
My husband, the doctor, (yes, really) was somewhat skeptical of my making this and his first question was, "Are you cooking the eggs???" In a panic, I texted Chicken One. "Are we cooking the egg nog?" Thankfully, her reply was yes. (According to Alton Brown, you can do it both ways.)
Combine the first four ingredients over medium heat and cook to about 160 degrees, or until the spoon is coated. (See pic in column 1.)
We used freshly grated nutmeg. Click here for a review of nutmeg graters on my Poop from the Coop blog.
Add the remainder of the ingredients.
Chill at least overnight - two days brings out the full flavor.
This basic recipe is so simple, and, apart from grating our own nutmeg, doesn't take very long to do. I like the idea of being able to add bourbon or rum or what ever you want in the amounts you prefer, or nothing at all. To each his/her own!
Don't tell Chicken One, but personally I prefer the
Puerto Rican version…it's got a little kick to it. My husband and family liked it, but we ran out of the basic egg nog first. I think that says something!
And not to be outdone (who's competitive???) here's a picture of Chicken One, stirring up a pot of trouble!
Have a safe and Happy Holiday!
Traditional Egg Nog
- 10 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
- Combine eggs, sugar, milk and salt in top of double boiler. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon, which will be about 160 F.
- Remove from heat immediately. Stir in cream, vanilla and nutmeg.
- Chill til very cold. It's best to chill for two days for full flavor.
- Serve cold with brandy, whiskey or other spirits mixed in to taste. Garnish with more grated nutmeg.
Puerto Rican Egg Nog
- 2 cups water
- 8 whole cinnamon sticks
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 twelve-ounce cans evaporated milk
- 2 twelve-ounce cans coconut milk
- 3 fourteen-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3 cups white rum
- Break up cinnamon sticks into pieces and combine with water in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil until reduced by half. Strain and set liquid aside. Let cool completely.
- Whisk together egg yolks and evaporated milk. Cook over double boiler until mixture coats spoon, about 160 F. Remove from heat immediately and allow to cool completely.
- Mix cinnamon liquid and coconut milk well. Stir in thickened egg mixture and sweetened, condensed milk. Add rum to taste.
- Chill overnight. Makes about 1 gallon.