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For the Best Crushed Ice, Grab a Skillet

By Lan Lam Published

In minutes, you'll have the perfect foundation for a Moscow mule or frosty bed for raw oysters.

Refrigerators with crushed ice makers often have limited capacities, so we sought out other ways to break up cubes. We started off with a blender and a food processor, but both produced overly fine shards that melted too quickly. The best approach was the old-fashioned way: by hand.

Here's how:

  • Fill a heavy-duty 1-gallon zipper-lock freezer bag about three-quarters full with ice cubes and press out as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Wrap the bag tightly with a large dish towel. Then simply strike the wrapped bag with a mallet, skillet, or rolling pin to break the ice to the desired size. (Note: Don't use a pin made of softwood or one with ball bearings, as it could be damaged by the ice.)

 

How much ice and how to store it:

  • If you are crushing ice for serving oysters on the half shell, you will need about 5 pounds to create a 1½-inch-thick layer of ice in a rimmed baking sheet. This will keep about twenty-four 2½- to 3-inch oysters cold for about 30 minutes. If you're using a smaller platter, store extra ice in a colander set in a bowl in the fridge. Use this stash to refresh your oyster platter as needed.

Recipe Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters are diverse, sustainable, increasingly accessible, and festive—and preparing them in your own kitchen is eminently doable.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.