Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Highlander meets the Godfather meets Pulp Fiction on a train! A review.

Baccano is about...something complicated. There's three different mob factions, a pair of eccentric thieves, an explosive crazy crew, a political faction, a newspaper reporter, a sociopathic train conductor, and these guys who don't die. and they're all on an express train from Chicago to New York. Shit goes down there's shooting, stabbing, train-top fight sequences, lots of running around, the whole show is just chaotic mess. It's amazing.

The story-telling is fantastic. Not story-telling in that cinema-snob sense, I mean the way people tell stories, jumbled around going back to feel details as they come up with all the thread slowly weaving together into cohesive tapestry (the word tapestry gets over-used for this sort of thing but the weaving metaphor is solid and rug doesn't sounds as good). The animation is fluid in fight scenes and detailed in character moments and does a great job of capturing the prohibition era setting.

The characters are all unique, well-drawn and engaging although the big standouts for me a Isaac and Miria thieves ditzy enough to steal gold from the earth itself (yeah, mining) and not notice they haven't aged a day for seventy years. And Jacuzzi Splot (don't worry a lot of the names are stupid, you get used to it) a man who can stand onscreen crying like a baby (IT'S A NERVOUS CONDITION!!!!!!!), wailing like a little girl and still be the biggest badass in the whole show (which includes a slasher movie villain, an assassin, and a Joker-esque mob hitman). The acting on the dub is astoundingly good, a group of relative newcomers to the texas dub scene doing new york, chicago, and eastern european accent work that not only rings true but is vivid and expressive.

and to cap it all of it has a great big band jazz soundtrack.

you can watch it all here, for free, without breaking any laws right here

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Frat-boy gourmet presents: Manhattan chicken

The idea came to me in a dream,combine Bourbon Chicken and Orange Chicken into a single dish in the model of the Manhattan cocktail; and then I spent about a month dicking around trying to get the sauce right. but here it is

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 oz soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar (manliest of vinegars!)
  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • combine soy sauce, bourbon, half of the orange juice, brown sugar, onions, bitters and garlic in a large baking dish
  • place chicken in dish and cover for 4-12hrs (longer is better [that's what she said])
  • preheat oven to 325 degrees (Celsius my backwards non-metric friends)
  • uncover and place chicken in oven, baste every ten minutes or so
  • after an hour place marmalde, vinegar, oil, sage, pepper, and the other half of the oj in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until smooth and thick (~2minutes).
  • cover chicken in orange sauce leaving some 1/3 of it aside for after everything is done baking and cook for another 20-30 minutes
  • remove pan from oven and coat with the remaining sauce
If you're the sort that cares for presentation (pansy!) i'd suggest a slice of orange and maraschino cherry on top of each breast.

Does it taste much like a Manhattan? not really. Is it fucking delicious? hells yeah.