Chicken-Rub Laboratory, Mark I

The elusive perfect chicken rub.

The elusive perfect chicken rub.

We hear it all the time, “what's good with chicken?” Some workers at the Spice House fear this question, and for good reason. The difficulty here is not that it is difficult to find a seasoning that pairs well with chicken, quite the opposite. As most folks already know chicken's legendary culinary tagline: “good with everything”.  We have a great variety of seasonings we make in house that are wonderful with chicken. We have done the work for you, each blend may have as many as 33 ingredients, you just need to shake on or rub in. For those who like to experiment,  making your own rubs and seasonings from scratch  is both rewarding and a lot of fun. Mad scientist type of fun.  I have thereby taken it upon myself to test out my own personal spice mixtures and recipes, posting updates along the way. Continue reading

Not Cooking for Summer

Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, and great relaxers. At the end of a long day nothing feels better to me than getting in the kitchen and throwing together some food. However, after Chicago’s long stretch of hundred degree plus weather, I discovered a new favorite for summer: not cooking. Instead I turned to fresh and tasty summer staples that almost never required me to turn on the stove. These dishes are some of my summer favorites, that really pop with a couple of small additions.  Continue reading

Cook's Illustrated names Spice House paprika their favorite.

Whenever a certain spice seems to move to the top of the charts in our internet business, there is some driving force putting it there. It often becomes an entertaining puzzle that we piece together. Sometimes it is as simple as a few phone calls with folks saying "I am making that great turkey recipe that was in the Tribune today and I need that brining spice they mentioned." Other times we have to sleuth out the culprit!

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Grades of Paprika

Paprika Family

The old grading system for paprikas has evolved into a much simpler one. Just 15 years ago, Hungary used 8 different names to classify the heat, color, and flavor of it's famed chiles.

  • Special Quality (Különleges): The mildest and brightest red of all Hungarian paprikas, with excellent aroma.
  • Delicate (Csípősmentes csemege): Ranging from light to dark red, a mild paprika with a rich flavor.
  • Exquisite Delicate (Csemegepaprika): Similar to Delicate, but more pungent.
  • Pungent Exquisite Delicate (Csípős csemege, Pikant): A yet more pungent Delicate.
  • Rose (Rózsa): Pale Red in color with strong aroma and mild pungency..
  • Noble Sweet (Édesnemes): The most commonly exported paprika; bright red and slightly pungent.
  • Half-Sweet (Félédes): A blend of mild and pungent paprikas; medium pungency.
  • Hot (Erős): Light brown in color, this is the hottest of all the paprikas

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