Pan-Fried Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce

DSCF7491 (640x509)It’s that time of the year again when Turkeys are flooding the supermarket shelves selling for cheap.  I don’t have anything against Turkeys per se, but when I see them out for sale, I know the weekend ahead will be brutally painful and stressful. I’m already feeling the heat as early as last week and that, coupled with other factors affecting my already tattered lifestyle, I have no complaints at all. I enjoy having a busy and productive career (if you can even call it at that) and it makes me all the more challenged to improve myself in whatever targets I may have set by year’s end. I just wished I had more stamina and strength to do other things. Things that were dislodged between 2008- 2010 which I have lined-up several years before that. Surprisingly, 2013 is coming to a sudden, halting close, and another  new year beckons, hopefully and probably into straight, constant and undisturbed 52 weeks ahead.

This recipe came out of scrimmaging whatever I could find in my fridge.  It isn’t exactly my Thanksgiving Dinner, but I think it’s worth noting. It’s applicable to any kinds of cut, including a Turkey Breast.  It has a French Bistro Style  flair into it ,  which I myself, was immensely surprised after tasting it.  The pork broth I used was from my ‘Sliced Cold Pork’ dish  which I added for that extra interesting and intriguing flavour.  I haven’t posted this dish after abruptly ending my Szechuan Series, but I would a little later.  ‘Tis a season of celebration and the upcoming series would present such.  The Soy Sauces made the flavour taste into something unusual.

The broth was a substitute for a demi, which many French Bistros use for their sauces. I didn’t bother. I wanted to clear-up my fridge and I was craving for some sort of gravy-looking sauce that would match my rice (ala Fried Chicken).

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Thigh
  • Olive Oil
  • Oregano
  • Maple Syrup
  • French Brandy
  • Honey Dijon Mustard
  • Lemon Juice
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Butter (Optional)
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Truffle Salt (Optional)
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Flour & Cornstarch (for Dredging)

Pork Broth (Sliced Cold Pork Dish):

  • Porkloin, coated & marinated in Sweet Bean Sauce
  • Star Anise
  • Szechuan Pepper
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Dark Soy Sauce
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Shaoxing Cooking Wine

Season the Chicken thigh with olive oil, sea salt and oregano, and dredge in a cornstarch and flour combination.

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Heat enough oil in a saute pan until smoking point and pan-fry the chicken until golden on both sides. Transfer into a baking pan and finish off in a pre-heated 350’C oven. Tent with a tin foil when done.

Remove the sauté pan from heat, deglaze with brandy, add the garlic, maple syrup, honey-Dijon mustard, sea salt and ground black. Sprinkle with flour and add the pork broth. Continue stirring until a smooth roux is formed. Adjust the consistency with more broth or water. Pour the evaporated milk and finish off with lemon juice to shine. When an appropriate consistency has been achieved, sprinkle with Truffle Salt.

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Garnish with slivered green onions. Sprinkle with more oregano and pimenton (or paprika) before serving.

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Prime Rib Steak with Tarragon Butter

DSCF6848 (640x456)I never understood why Chinese food is considered a holiday dinner. Eventually, I believe, I would.  Like a doctor in an emergency room, I am ‘on-duty’ on the 24rth and the 25th; the eye of the holiday season. When everybody is busy preparing Turkeys and Hams, I am in the kitchen preparing Christmas Dinner for clients; answering to their every squeamish appetite for something Christmassy.    For the last couple of weeks, I’ve roasted about four Turkeys and carved two of those to feed a party of fifty. It was a small group, but the carving was tedious and on top of that, the regular lunch fare had to be served. Both were set at twelve and I was the only person ‘in-charge’ of ‘making it happen.’  I felt I was back in the line again; running around and keeping myself intact and on-time. It was indeed December. I have one more lined-up on Christmas Day, and hopefully, I won’t see another Turkey until the next Christmas.

I’ve been contemplating on what I would serve myself on the 24rth. I haven’t had a trip to the grocery for personal reasons and I haven’t really targeted any kind of game, meat, or poultry to work on on the night before Christmas itself.  I definitely won’t have Turkey or Ham. I know I’d be dead-tired and might just go for Chinese in Chinatown; a once in a lifetime experience and treat on Christmas Eve. The Pecking Duck is waiting (now I understand).

I’ve been a regular of the town for the last week or so feeding myself hearty and comfortable beef stir-fry meals.  I missed eating beef. I’ve held back on red meat for the last eleven months of the year and on the twelfth, I just went for it. Red meat will be off the list again as January steps in, eating healthier meals as usual to coincide to my once a week tai chi decompression chamber.  Best to go for it in full-circle rather than half-baked, although dimsum can never neglected.  That’s my life source. I need some quiet time after a very frenzied to crazy week before me (although the dimsum ladies can be loud and noisy). It’s the unusual culture I’m in for, and every week feels like a new visit to another gastronomic secret society. Lately, eating breakfast of eggs and bacon, food which I was succumbed to for the last six years, has slowly been creeping in as one of those meals I beckon to have in the mornings of my days-off.  Through this nightly visits, I’ve somehow also understood how Cantonese cooking work.  That would be my next assignment. I know I can’t forever feed myself stir-fry when I can cook it myself at home.

I originally wanted to cook steak for the holidays. I bought this AA Prime Rib steak to test it on my grill pan and was happy with the results.  The cut was not as expensive; just about $10.00, and it made my night. Although I had wished, I had another cut. It turned out insufficient to ebb for my growing appetite, and I can’t cook nor look at another potato for the next several years or so.  This was before all the Turkeys and the Hams and the parties were set and I still had that little extra time to decide. Right now, I can’t even decide what to feed myself after seeing all the food on an almost daily basis and being creative recycling what’s leftover in the walk-in fridges a few days later.

Ingredients:

  • Prime Rib Steak
  • Beef Stock
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tarragon, finely chopped
  • Salted Butter

Leave the butter and the steak at room temperature, and season the steak on both sides.  Clean and season the grill pan with oil and pre-heat it for ten minutes or so.

DSCF6844 (640x459) DSCF6846 (640x509)Chop the tarragon and mix it with the butter to make a compound butter. Shape the butter into a shell using two spoons. Wrap it using a plastic wrap or tin foil and return it the fridge.

Set the steak on the pan on a 90’ angle for several minutes. Flip it to 180’ to complete the grill marks. Do the same on the other side. Check the thickest part of the meat for desired doneness.  Remove from the grill and let it rest, covered with a tin foil.

DSCF6847 (640x455)DSCF6852 (640x426)Deglaze the grill-pan with beef stock to make some jus.  Set the butter shells atop the steak and dip each cut into the jus.

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Chicken Fried Steak

I do miss having quiet mornings with family and friends over breakfast. The last time this has happened was about three months ago when my schedule was not as frenetic as now. I’ve never experienced having a very quiet Sunday morning ever since I joined the kitchen brigade.  I have been working Sundays and holidays most of the time, probably since 2006, and I hardly had any weekend off for the last how many years now. I only realized lately how I missed having a weekend and have decided fall of last year to work as required and needed only. When I did finally have a more or less ‘regular’ weekend, I was with my friends in the suburbs every weekend thereafter drinking and enjoying myself. It really felt queer, but an off on a weekend was totally different from having an off on a weekday. The air, the atmosphere, even the entire aura of a slow Sunday afternoon was very gratifying within. I knew I missed ‘having a life’ while my friends were still in bed or having their morning coffee somewhere, and I toiled and sweat in extreme heat on a very busy holiday weekend.  I’ve promised to enjoy the summer next year, and I am hoping to make it happen as well.

Anyway, when I had finally made this weekend opportunity happen, my friends and I decided to have breakfast at Denny’s. It was long time coming. We had planned these ages ago and somehow it had had to occur soon after despite several years of delay and waiting.  I think there’s only one Denny’s here in Toronto and it’s located at the west end of the city where all my friends are located, and that I really find very strange. I ordered Denny’s famous Chicken Fried Steak for breakfast; no eggs, for personal reason, and modified my order with two sides instead. Honestly, I didn’t quite like it. The portion size was small. It was dry, and the gravy was insipid to bland, but I really didn’t expect much. I just wanted my bottomless, refillable coffee to wake me up after a night of drinking.

Actually, my friends have been urging me to move at their neck of the woods for a verylong time, but due to proximity of the downtown core from my apartment to work and everything else, I stayed in Toronto. I challenged them to find me work there though, and I would gladly move back or return  to suburban lifestyle like how I started. So far, they haven’t been lucky in finding one.

I’ve always wanted to make Chicken Fried Steak. I really never knew what it was until I saw how it was made on TV and from then on, it has been on my list to make.  When I saw a bargain tenderized Hip Steak at less than a Toonie each, I proceeded in making the recipe. I also had all ingredients at hand which really hardly occur. My pantry became almost complete due to blogging, I guess. And like I said beforehand, I  really don’t have enough space in my fridge to pack it with more food stuff as much as I wanted to.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Pcs. Tenderized Hip Steak
  • Flour, Beaten Eggs, & Panko Bread for Dredging
  • Canola Oil for Pan-frying
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Before starting the dredging process, season the Hip Steaks, the flour and the egg wash with salt & pepper.

Pan-fry until golden & set aside.

Homemade Gravy

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • White Onions
  • Compound Butter (Garlic, Onion Powder, Wine)
  • Flour
  • White Wine
  • Beef Stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley

Set the stovetop to low-medium and heat the Olive oil & compound butter.

Add the flour and make a roux. Mix in the chopped onions & continue stirring until the flour is completely cooked.

Pour the white wine and beef stock and stir constantly until the right consistency is achieved.

Spread evenly over the Chicken Fried Steak and garnish with Parsley.

I know Gravy & Rice are perfect match to any fried or pan-fried dishes. I think only Filipinos mix Gravy & Rice together much like Mayo to bread for North Americans.  If you’re into that type of comfort, I reckon this recipe is for you.

Let the egg ooze into the meat & the rice and I’m sure the meal will feel like  eating tapsilog.

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