Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Blues Brothers Funky Chicken

Who doesn't remember that 1980's flick, The Blues Brothers with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. They just perform a little Jailhouse Rock. They sing with soul.

The Very Best of The Blues Brothers
The Very Best of The Blues Brothers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
And according to TBS Dinner and a Movie, they can't do without soul, even at the dinner table. 
You can see there is plenty for everyone!
Here is the recipe...and you can also find it at TBS

Blues Brothers Funky Chicken 
Even servants of God have to eat from time to time. We bet that when Jake and Elwood get hungry, they tear into this tasty chicken. It's genuine soul food!
10 chicken thighs, boned
8 garlic cloves, chopped
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 tbl tabasco sauce
3 cups buttermilk
2 cups ice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
canola oil, for frying
1 large scoop soul (or soul substitute)
1. If the thighs aren't already boned, remove the thigh bone or cook them with the bone in. (Feel free to substitute white meat if desired, you can always pretend that it's dark.)
2. Mix the garlic, thyme, tabasco, buttermilk and ice cubes in a bowl.
3. Cover the chicken with the buttermilk mixture and set aside.
4. Mix the flour, corn meal, salt, pepper and paprika.
5. In a large, cast-iron skillet heat canola oil (about 1 1/2 inches deep) to 360 - F - 370 - F (you can check the temperature by dropping a small piece of bread in the hot oil; it should take just under half a minute to brown.)
6. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shake off excess flour, dip into the buttermilk again, then again into the flour. Repeat two more times until well-coated.
7. Lay the chicken in the hot oil without crowding or touching (frying too many pieces at one time will cause the oil to cool down and you'll end up with greasy chicken). Fry for about 10 minutes, turning until all sides are golden brown.
8. If frying more than one batch, keep the cooked chicken warm on a baking sheet in a 250 - F oven.
Fun tip: You can be the Godfather of Soul Food! After wowing your guests with one funky dish after another, drape your apron over your shoulders like a cape and have someone lead you dramatically out of the kitchen. (For added effect, mop your forehead while declaring, "I can't cook no mo.") Do this between each course until it's time to do the dishes, then disappear completely. Whoa!
If you are looking for a bit of soul, this is a meal to dip into.

Tonight I am off to the theater. I am going to see Oliver! at the Ivoryton Playhouse. R. Bruce Connolly directed the play. 

Consider yourself at home!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crispy Chicken from the Longhouse at Mohegan Sun

This meal took some time to prepare. There was a couple of hours of pre-preparation plus I let the chicken sit overnight before cooking. If you are expecting guests this is the meal to make. This meal has lots of flavor,. It has Julia Child's one ingredient no meal should be without ingredient - butter.  And if you have chicken eaters who won't touch the dark meat - this is an ideal dish.
Here is a picture of the restaurant at Mohegan Sun where this meal would have been served.
I have eaten at a number of restaurants at the Mohegan Sun, including this one -  but this restaurant is no longer at Mohegan Sun.
This meal comes from Under the Mohegan Sun Cookbook which I purchased while at the casino in Connecticut..
Here is the recipe.
What is really tasty is what is inside the chicken.
The buttery sauce lent so much flavor to the meal. You should make sure you have some of the butter you prepared for the meal set aside to serve on other side dishes you have prepared.  The meal is worth the work.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

General Tsao's Chicken

I don't remember where I found this recipe but I made it the other night. This is one of my boyfriend's favorite takeout meals. I made this recipe with chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts. 

Prep Time | 20 min Cook Time | 10 min Level of Difficulty | Moderate
You can enjoy this Asian classic once again by sauting instead of deep-frying it. Serve it over rice to sop up every drop of the sauce.
¾ cup canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
2 medium scallion(s), chopped
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp red pepper flakes, or 1 dried chili pepper, minced
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 pound uncooked chicken breast, boneless and skinless,  cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp ground ginger
2 cup cooked white rice, kept hot
2 tsp peanut oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
Add reserved sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken and sauce and ½ cup of rice per serving.
Chef Tips
We renovated General Tsao's Chicken by:
Cooking the chicken in a small amount of oil, instead of deep-frying it. Eliminating the egg that would have been used in batter-fried chicken. Using reduced-sodium chicken broth and soy sauce.

This recipe was good, but we loved the Kung Pao Chicken I made with sherry. It is still worth a try for anyone who doesn't care to cook with alcohol. 

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