Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken Sputnik

By Paul Briand

This is a recipe that I’d have to rank as looking better than it actually turned out.

I came across the recipe in Sunday’s Parade magazine.

The dish comes from Dash Recipes.

It gets its name, according to the story behind it, from having an out-of-the-world taste, as in Sputnik, the first satellite ever launched into space, courtesy of the Russians in 1957.

By the time all the potatoes here cooked through, the broth of chicken stock and sherry had been reduced to, basically, mashed potatoes.

I don’t think that’s the intent. It’s tasty, maybe not out-of-this-world tasty, but a little too mushy.

1 large chicken, cut into serving pieces
Salt and pepper
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoon butter (1/4 stick)
2 large onions, sliced ½ inch thick
5 large potatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
¾ cup dry sherry
1½ cups homemade chicken broth

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat it with flour;
2. In a Dutch oven, sauté the chicken in butter until it is golden;
3. Layer the onions and potatoes on top of the chicken;
4. Top with the cheese, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste;
5. Add the sherry and chicken stock;
6. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

The recipe included a couple of cooking tips:
“Slice the onions and potatoes nice and thin so they soften during cooking.”
“If you substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts, use half a cup (or one stick) of butter.”
“Sauté the chicken on medium-low to keep it from burning.”
“This dish requires a lot of stirring and attention. Stir it often so it doesn’t stick.”

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple & Sage Pork Chops

By Paul Briand

I normally shop for groceries on Monday, so Monday morning I organizemy shopping list around the meals I plan to cook for the week.

Some weeks, however, I’m completely unprepared. I go to the store, literally, with a blank slate (in this case an empty shopping list).

So I get to the store hoping that something will inspire me.

This week it was one of the aptly named “Recipe Inspirations” from McCormick Spices.

I’ve written about these before:

The packet includes a step-by-step recipe for a particular dish -- in this case Apple & Sage Pork Chops -- and provides the right dosage of each spice to accompany the dish.

Of course, if you have the spices already in your pantry you don’t need to buy the product, but I was grateful for the idea so I bought it as a way to say thanks.

1 package McCormick Recipe Inspirations Apple and Sage Pork Chops, which includes:
1 ½ teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 boneless pork chops, 1-inch thick (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 red apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Mix flour, all of the spices and salt in small bowl;
2. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned flour;
3. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork chops; brown on both sides. Remove from skillet;
4. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add apples; cook and stir 2 minutes.
5. Stir in juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour until well mixed;
6. Return pork chops to skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until desired doneness.

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