Thursday, January 9, 2014

Don't Be Chicken...

We have a saying in our home......

It amazes me that even though I have a very expensive culinary degree that says 'call me Chef'', my kids STILL will beg for McDonald's, Captain D's or Taco Bell all.the.time!  It's so annoying.  I say the same thing every time, 'YOUR MOTHER HAS A VERY EXPENSIVE CULINARY DEGREE AND YOU WANT FREAKY MEAT FROM MCDONALDS"???? What?!

It doesn't happen often.  In fact, part of our 'lifestyle' change in the Silloway house has been to eliminate eating out.  Its just so convenient during sporting seasons...but just so bad for you!  We have eaten out once in the past couple weeks and that was because I was feeling like crap-ola and its my job to do the cooking so I sprung for chicken sandwiches instead.  You would have thought the kids won the lottery.

Since Wednesday night is our only free night, I have decided to start making it a theme theme is Gourmet Wednesday.  Exciting isn't it?  Okay, so it is exciting for me.  Last night was the first Gourmet Wednesday night meal and we had Sauteed Chicken Breast with Fresh Veggie Risotto over a bed of Caramelized Onions topped with a Hollandaise sauce.  One word for you: nomnomnomnomnom.  It was so good.  Payton, my sweet child was fired up; she was so very excited.  Haleigh said 'I want that yella sauce mama and just the chicken'.  I immediately said, 'it doesn't work that way'.  Tanner said 'oh gahhhhhh I'm eating cereal'.  He is NOT so much on the fancy.  I told him that surely he was not going to be eating cereal and he could go ahead and sit his rear down in his seat.  He pouted but he got over it rather quickly.   I plated the dish and served it.  Doug, the hubby licked his bowl clean (actually just ate the leftovers tonight), my Mom even enjoyed it and for those of you that know her, you know that is a sheer miracle in itself.  Payton was excited about her fancy dinner and ate it 'all gone gone', Haleigh pitched a holy fit because she didn't like the Hollandaise. We stirred it up and she was fine.  Tanner.....well, he was hungry when he went to bed.  He at the chicken but decided against the rice because of the asparagus, it was foreign to him.  

We do have the rule that you can eat what mom is serving or you can not eat.  It is a pretty simple rule.  I'm not going to MAKE my kids eat but they aren't going to tell me something is gross when they haven't even put a spoonful in their mouths.  They threaten to 'not eat' and then I threaten to 'not care' and I constantly remind them that breakfast is just around the corner from dinner.  

So, I wanted to share my recipe with y'all because it was so good and easy to do.

The chicken breast were purchased on sale at Publix during their fantastic buy one get one free sale.  So seven breast were right at six dollars.  

Saute Chicken Breast:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

This is just a standard saute.  I cleaned the chicken breast and trimmed the skin and fat, patted them dry and sprinkled the salt and pepper over the one side.  In the heated saute pan (medium heat) I added a little olive oil, one circle around the pan and put the breast in (you should have a snap, crackle, pop going on).  Remember, do not overcrowd the pan because it will steam your chicken not saute it.  Get a good sear on it and turn it over. Towards the end of cooking I add a pat of butter.  I don't add it earlier because butter burns a lot quicker than oil.  If you add it at the end then it will just flavor the meat.  Cook remainder of chicken. Put into a dish and cover with tinfoil for holding, this is also known as 'resting'.  Chicken should temp at 160 degrees. If not, the next day chances are you will be in a Salmonella induced puke fest.  Enjoy.

While your chicken is cooking you can go ahead and start the Caramelized Onions:

1 Onion, thinly sliced
3 Garlic Cloves
2 T. Butter
1 T. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Slice the onions not paper thin but still thin.  Mince garlic.  Heat olive oil and butter over a medium heat.  Once butter has melted toss in onions and saute for two minutes, add in raw garlic.  Once garlic has been added cook until it turns golden.  Garlic burns easily.  Burnt garlic will ruin the entire pans contents.  Once garlic has been cooked sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Evenly disperse in the bottom of your bowls or serving dishes.

Start your Risotto. 

Olive Oil
1 Onion, Diced
14 Asparagus Stalks (Snap where the stalk bends), Diced in 1" pieces
2 Cups of Aborio Rice
6 Cups of Stock (Veggie or Chicken)
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Saute the onion and asparagus for two minutes in the olive oil.  Add in the Aborio rice and continue sauteing for three minutes.  Add in two cups of the stock.  YOU MUST CONTINUALLY STIR THE RICE ONCE YOU ADD IT INTO THE PAN! DO not STOP STIRRING!!!  Once the rice has absorbed the stock begin adding in the remainder of stock one cup at a time.  Once all stock has been absorbed add in as much or as little Parmesan that you want but remember Parmesan cheese is VERY salty.  After the cheese has melted, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  The texture should be al dente but creamy and

Hollandaise Sauce

Do this last, its quick.

1 Stick of Butter, Melted COMPLETELY
1 T. Lemon Juice, Fresh
4 Shakes of Tabasco or Favorite Hot Sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste

This will 'break' easily so be sure to follow the instructions exactly and do not attempt to improvise.  

Simmer water in a pot (that will be holding your stainless steel bowl), making a double boiler kind of scenario.  Just have it ready.  In a stainless steel bowl whisk your separated eggs and lemon juice together until doubled.  WHISK it girl WHISK IT!  Once doubled, hold the stainless steel bowl over the heat and continue to whisk.  The best thing to do at this point is have someone drizzle the melted butter in and you continuously whisk.  If not possible then pour in a little butter and whisk, repeat until butter is done.  This is the point where most hollandaise break.  If you pour all the butter in at once then there isn't any hope, I can guarantee that.  Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle!!! Its a must.  Keep whisking till sauce has thickened.  Once it has thickened remove it from the heat and add it the salt and pepper to taste and a few shakes of Tabasco.  Whisk till combined.


Bottom:::Onions on bottom,
Next::::::::Veggie Risotto
Next::::::::Chicken Breast, Sliced or Whole
Bottom:::Drizzle of Hollandaise

Please forgive the terribleness of my iPhone camera.  It sucks.  I'm aware.

Your Welcome.

I encourage you to try different things at home.  It doesn't have to be Gourmet Wednesday but could be as simple as Taco Tuesday.  A family that eats together.......gets fat.  Ha! I kid.

                                                                                           Chef Traci Lyn

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