Chicken A La King

Chicken A La King

When I think of classic Diner dishes I think of Meatloaf, Burgers, French Fries, Onion Rings and of course the oft ill thought of “Blue Plate Special” but there is another very simple recipe that has seen a bit of a resurgence lately and the one I am referring to is Chicken A L King.

The little bit of culinary history that I know about this dish is that it started as a way for restaurants to use up left over chicken and thus (did I really use the word THUS?) lower the wastage of food and to add more dollars to their bottom line. It doesn’t hurt that this dish is also easy to make and oh so good.

The other thing I like about this particular recipe is it is inexpensive to make. If you use generic ingredients, except for the chicken, then you can feed a family of four for around $20.00 and in today’s economy that’s not half bad. Oh and although this looks “prep heavy” it’s not really.

So here’s my take on a classic Diner dish……..

Ingredients:

         Two medium sized boneless skinless chicken breasts or six boneless skinless chicken thighs – diced

          One package extra broad egg noodles

         One package frozen peas and carrots

         2 Tins mushroom pieces

         1 ½ cups Chicken stock

         ¼ cup All Purpose flour

         3 Tablespoons butter

         1 Teaspoon granulated garlic or two chopped garlic cloves

         1 Teaspoon White pepper

         1 ½ Tablespoons Tarragon

         Pinch of salt

         3 Tablespoons Olive oil

         ¼ Cup heavy cream (35% whipping cream)

 

Method:

         Bring a large pot of water to a rolling simmer

         In a large mixing bowl place the chicken and the herbs and spices and mix well

         Add the oil to a large fry pan and add the chicken in batches removing with a slotted spoon when done

         Add the butter and when melted whisk in the flour and make a blonde roux

         Add in the Chicken stock and whisk until you get the consistency you like

         Add the frozen peas and carrots and the mushrooms and simmer for approximately four minutes

         Add the chicken and the heavy cream and bring to a boil

         Cover and turn the heat down to low

         Bring the pasta water to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions

         Drain the pasta, plate and top with the Chicken mixture

 

You can serve this dish with pasta, as I like to, or with rice and if you get really ambitious you can use fresh baked biscuits.

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time…….

Bon Appetit

Biscuits and gravy

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I’m not a morning guy which by extension means I’m not a breakfast person either or let’s say not a traditional breakfast type of guy. My breakfast may be anything from peanut butter toast to a fried egg and cheese sandwich however when the mood strikes me or we have brunch quests I will put out quite the spread and one of my favorites is Biscuits and Gravy.

This is the quintessential Southern breakfast dish which is right up there with Grits and one that I trot out when I have a lot of hungry people to feed.

Gravy Ingredients:

–         1 pound sausage meat

–         1 medium White onion – diced

–         2 Garlic cloves minced

–         1 Tsp salt

–         1 Tsp fresh ground pepper

–         4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

–         3 Cups milk

Biscuits Ingredients:

–        2 cups flour

–        1/4 cup sugar

–        1 teaspoon vanilla

–        4 teaspoons baking powder

–        1/4 teaspoon baking soda

–        1 pinch salt

–        3 ounces cold butter, diced

–       8 ounces buttermilk

Method:

–         Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

–         For the biscuits combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined

–         Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter

–         Slowly add the buttermilk and begin to mix all the ingredients trying not to overwork the dough

–         Turn out your dough on a table dusted with flour and knead for approximately 4 minutes (dust your hands with some flour so the dough will not stick)

–         Flatten the dough with the heal of your hand until it is about ¼ inch thick

–         Using a standard water glass cut out your dough and put it on a baking pan

–         Put the biscuits in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown

–         While the biscuits are baking heat a large frying pan and brown the sausage meat

–         When the sausage is browned remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon while RESERVING the grease in the pan

–         Add the onion and garlic to the grease and sauté until the onion is translucent, about three minutes.

–         Add the flour and whisk until blended— this is a Roux

–         Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking and you will see the gravy start to thicken

–         Add back in the sausage and salt and pepper to taste

–         Split a biscuit and pour the gravy over top.

Now I never claimed this was a healthy recipe in fact a friend of mine calls it a heart attack on a plate but this is just so darn good and when you add scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and toast you just may die. The other thing I wish to point out is that this is not just a breakfast dish but one that can be used for dinner all on it’s own.

I hope you enjoy this one and if you try it be prepared to loosen your belt.

        Bon Appetit

Shrimp creole

Shrimp Creole

Growing up as a kid I loved to go fishing with my older brother or my friends and it didn’t hurt that our “fishin” hole was a short hour’s walk from home and we could have a blast catching all the pan fish, and the odd Bass, that we wanted.

The funny thing is when people asked what we did with the fish we caught we usually answered “threw them back” and when they said “why don’t you eat them” I was like “are you serious?” The mere thought  of eating fish was enough to put my appetite on hold for a few days. I mean who could actually enjoy eating something that smelled and tasted so, well, FISHY ?

Well time goes by, tastes change and health concerns come to the for front and now fish and seafood has become one of my favorite dishes to make whether it is Nut Crusted Tilapia or pan fried Catfish or some kind of Shell Fish.

Thissimple but tasty dish combines two of my loves. Shrimp and Southern cooking.

Creole sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

dash ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup chicken broth

15 35-40 count peeled and tail off shrimp

Directions:

In a saucepan, with a lid, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, and green peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables start to wilt. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. Continue to saute for 1 minute. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Stir in the shrimp and cook until shrimp has turned pink. Serve over rice.

I hope you enjoy this dish and thanks for visiting.

Bon apetite

Curried Chicken Burgers

Curried chicken burger

 

So I was at my doctors one day and she says to me “We should do some blood work since it has not been done in a while”.

“Okay says I” (why do I sound like Captain Jack Sparrow here?)

She calls me a short time later and says “You have Hemochromatosis and you can’t eat red meat”. “OOOOKKKAAAYYY……… what’s that?”  Well it seems it is a build up of Iron in major organs and as such I need to lay off the red meat if not cut it out entirely (yeah like thatps going to happen).

Well needless to say my heart stopped, my jaw dropped into my shoes and I envisioned my world at an end. NO RED MEAT? I’m a carnivore I eat red meat. Imagine a world without Beef burgers, rack of Lamb or Steak? What am I supposed to do I asked her?

Her answer was simple—- Adapt!!!

Well this recipe is my adaptation to not being able to eat red meat as often as I would like and I hope you like it as well. If you are not a lover of Curry or Garam Masala then simply leave it out and still create a killer burger.

Curried Chicken Burgers

–         2 Pounds lean ground chicken

–         2 Eggs

–         1/2 Cup bread crumbs

–         1 Teaspoon salt

–         1 Teaspoon ground pepper

–         2 Tablespoons Garum Masala

–         1 ½ Teaspoons granulated garlic

–         1 ½ Teaspoons granulated onion

–         Mix all ingredients in a large bowl being careful not to overwork the mixture

–         Form 6 ounce patties

–         Refrigerate for approx. one hour to allow the patties to set

–         BBQ and serve on a toasted bun with lettuce and tomato.

–         These go very well with a Chipotle mayo.

Bon Appetit