Chicken Fingers

Hello World or in this case hello Joe since I’m the only person reading this blog. I stayed home from work today, I was surprised that I had the day off actually. I looked at my calendar this morning before getting ready and noticed I didn’t need to go. My boss wasn’t happy, but what can you do. Vacation is Vacation.

So on to food, tonight I’m going to make both of my Step-Son’s favorite chicken recipe. It’s very simple actually, it’s Chicken Fingers. I’ve found the best and easiest way so far it to use boneless skinless chicken breast, cut them in half and pound them to an equal thickness. After that I’ve been using Italian breadcrumbs and a little egg wash. When I first started making them I would make my own breadcrumbs from some ciabatti, grind them up in the food processor and then dry them out in the oven. Now I’m using Italian bread crumbs from the store because it’s easier and faster. I then start them in the frying pan until the crust was a golden brown and crisp finishish them in the oven. Very tasty and very tender. I cook them to about 160 degrees and then take them out.

A few times ago it was quite a comedy of errors. It started when I was making the breadcrumbs. I was drying them in the oven and I went to grab them out and somehow I burnt the crap out of my hand. This caused me to drop the whole load of breadcrumbs into the oven. Somehow, I’m not sure how, I figured they would be fine and I left them there. I headed over to the blender to do another batch. They were not dropping to the bottom of the blender so I decided that I would just give them a tiny, just a small push with my wooden spoon, while it was going… yes, somehow the blender ate the spoon. Second batch of breadcrumbs down the drain.

I start one more time with a new batch and about that time my wife comes home from work and asks me what is burning. Oh I assume it’s just a bit of breadcrumbs… I look over at the stove and the whole mess of them are on fire. I mean out of control, the whole inside of the oven is going up in flames. I have no idea what to do I just look at it like a dummy while Nancy who is actually thinking grabs some baking powder and covers the flame with it.

Fire out, great, now what. I have this huge mess of crap in my oven and I still have to dry my breadcrumbs. What to do? I start on the chicken and figure something will come to me. After thinking about it for some time and letting everything cool down, yes I had every door and window open in the place as it there was smoke everywhere, I got the vaccum and just vaccumed the whole think out.

Anyway tonight I’m not making my own breadcrumbs and I’m not starting it in the frying pan, just going directly to the oven. They still take fine, but they are not crispy which I like but the kids could care less.

Wish me luck!

November 28, 2006 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

Chicken Stock and Pasta Sauce

Well this weekend I made my first batch of chicken stock. The adventure started by looking through at least 4 different recipes for stock. Each of them was different and each of them used different parts. Well what to do with that. I of course had no idea where to go, so I made a list of some of the items that I could use and headed off to the local butcher shop.

Now you have to realize that I live in Reno, Nevada which is a great place to live, but there are issues finding exactly what you want at the store. When I got to the butcher I asked for them what they had and they didn’t have much. My wife suggested I buy some misc parts and bones and just cook it up. So without knowing what the hell I was doing, I purchased some frozen chicken backs, about 4 pounds and then I purchased some thighs, wings and some drumsticks.

We came home put it all in the pot with some carrots and onions along with some various herbs and some peppercorns. I simmered it for 4 hours after bringing it to a boil skimming the fat, etc.  In the end after leaving it in the refrigerator over night and skimming off the fat it tasted pretty good.  Well actually I put it outside because we have too much stuff in our refrigerator and it was 20 degress outside with no worries of it getting hot.

In the morning I woke up and after pushing the dog away from the fat that hardend on the cement patio I skimmed the fat and took a look and taste.  It was good, but I didn’t have any chesse cloth so I took off to Williams Sonoma, purchases some and put the stock through the cloth.  I then put it away in the freezer for the next recipe.

Next time thought I’m going to follow a set recipe and probably start with a 3 or 4 pound whole chicken cut up into pieces.

I froze it and I will let you know how it works out when I use it.

My next adventure will be with some meat sauce for pasta.  I recently made some with much help from my wife with tomatoes, garlic, thyme, onions and then added italian sausage and some hamburger, with some wine and a bit of red pepper flakes.  It was great, but I’m going to do some with spare ribs based on a preparation I read in the Best New Recipe.

November 27, 2006 at 2:18 am Leave a comment

Hello world!

This is it. My first blog on my adventures as an Amatuer Cook.  My wife is a professional chef and owns her own cafe.  Check it out at http://www.dishcafecatering.com.  Stay tuned for my adventures.

November 24, 2006 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment


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