Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Boring ol chicken breasts


JennyUptown
 Share

Recommended Posts

In typical single girl who can't cook...

don't be so modest! :smile:

and omg, Jenny: you're using the 'pasta and peas' avatar i made you! :biggrin:

but about the chicken: usually i whirl up some 'garam masala' every 3-4 days in a coffee grinder i just use for spices. and store it in a glass jar.

in it is:

2 TB coriander seed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp mustard seed

3-4 cardamom pods

1 star anise

1/2 stick cinnamon

1 TB black pepper

1 TB red chile flakes

if you have, 1 tsp each sesame seeds and poppy seeds

in the morning before you leave for work you juice 2 lemons into a bowl, add about 2-3 TB of the 'garam masala' and the chicken, stir, and go. when you get home, voila! pan-fried or broiled, delightful!

hope this helps,

gus

edit to add: you can chuck in 2-3 TB of plain yogurt too if you want... yeah, i know the lemon will curdle it, but whatever...

Edited by gus_tatory (log)

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm printing this topic for my binder of recipes, for sure. Thanks for all of your suggestions. In the end, I stuck with the sweet & sour chicken recipe from Marlene and it was great! Based on ingredients on-hand and a desire to whip is up quickly, I cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then sauteed them in EVOO. Baked it all up for about 30 minutes and voila! I liked the recipe a lot and think it would be great with pork as well.

For dessert (much, much easier for me!), I made Banana Upside Down cake from a recipe I found on Epicurious. It's very, very rich, but it went over well with PLM (I like it too, but think I prefer the flavor of pineapple to banana with this type of cake).

Confession: it was my first time cooking with shortening and I had a doozy of a time measuring it out. In the end, I completely estimated and was lucky, but... is there a trick I'm missing here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The key to measuring shortening is displacement. So, if you need 3/4 cup, take your measuring cup (let's assume it's a 1 cup measuring cup), fill it with 1/4 cup of water. Then add the shortening until the total contents equals 1 cup. Spill the water out and use shortening.

(this is the one thing I remember from high school home ec.)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or use something like this plunger measuring cup. Very handy for stuff like shortening, peanut butter or honey.

That's the one I have. Works like a charm.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about chicken curry? This Martha Stewart recipe is very easy and pretty good.

Or pesto sauce?

I'm thinking of making Martha's chicken curry according to the recipe Cleo posted. One question though: is Indian curry yellow curry? I have that. And shockingly enough, I have everything else the recipe calls for.

This is unheard of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<sound of crickets chirping>

It's kinda quiet out there tonight! Made the curry. I was excited as I did the prep, feeling like I might be getting more comfortable in the kitchen...but the end result was just ok. As the chicken simmered, I tasted the curry and was like "bleeech!!!" It was more bitter than any curry dish I've ever eaten in a restaurant, that's for sure. I added more chicken stock to try to dilute it a little and that helped, but it still wasn't a dish I'd be dying to make again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sucks! How great that you had all the ingredients though.

If I knew anything about curry I'd try to help you out but I am afraid that I'm not a curry kind of woman

By the way, in the summer the stuffed chicken breast are great on the grill

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No kidding. It's the only thing I miss about my last house.

I don't understand having a backyard and not a grill. I'd grill right now during our heat wave. Hahaha

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barbara Kafka would say to roast them in your oven at 500 F. Since there is probably no bone, you don't need to roast them for the full 55 minutes she recommends. I would say you ought to check them after 35 min. But, 500 F with salt and pepper ought to be tasty and tender.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<sound of crickets chirping>

It's kinda quiet out there tonight! Made the curry. I was excited as I did the prep, feeling like I might be getting more comfortable in the kitchen...but the end result was just ok. As the chicken simmered, I tasted the curry and was like "bleeech!!!" It was more bitter than any curry dish I've ever eaten in a restaurant, that's for sure. I added more chicken stock to try to dilute it a little and that helped, but it still wasn't a dish I'd be dying to make again.

Jenny,

My initial thought was that your chicken stock had turned. Almost got fired from a kitchen job for not checking the stock before putting it on the line for sauces. Many years since my last restaurant job, I still taste EVERY liquid in the kitchen before using. Since the bitterness died down when you added more, not that.

My next culprit would be the curry powder. How old is it and what are its storage conditions?

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<sound of crickets chirping>

It's kinda quiet out there tonight!  Made the curry.  I was excited as I did the prep, feeling like I might be getting more comfortable in the kitchen...but the end result was just ok.  As the chicken simmered, I tasted the curry and was like "bleeech!!!"  It was more bitter than any curry dish I've ever eaten in a restaurant, that's for sure.  I added more chicken stock to try to dilute it a little and that helped, but it still wasn't a dish I'd be dying to make again.

Jenny,

My initial thought was that your chicken stock had turned. Almost got fired from a kitchen job for not checking the stock before putting it on the line for sauces. Many years since my last restaurant job, I still taste EVERY liquid in the kitchen before using. Since the bitterness died down when you added more, not that.

My next culprit would be the curry powder. How old is it and what are its storage conditions?

The stock (although not old) IS a possibility - I used two different sources. Neither are older than two or three weeks. Is that reasonable?

The curry was bought a day before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside of unreasonable conditions the stock should have been fine.

The only thing left in my mind is maybe some soap residue in the pan.

Beyond that, I'm clueless. (which is not really surprising) :biggrin:

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<sound of crickets chirping>

It's kinda quiet out there tonight!  Made the curry.  I was excited as I did the prep, feeling like I might be getting more comfortable in the kitchen...but the end result was just ok.  As the chicken simmered, I tasted the curry and was like "bleeech!!!"  It was more bitter than any curry dish I've ever eaten in a restaurant, that's for sure.  I added more chicken stock to try to dilute it a little and that helped, but it still wasn't a dish I'd be dying to make again.

Jenny,

My initial thought was that your chicken stock had turned. Almost got fired from a kitchen job for not checking the stock before putting it on the line for sauces. Many years since my last restaurant job, I still taste EVERY liquid in the kitchen before using. Since the bitterness died down when you added more, not that.

My next culprit would be the curry powder. How old is it and what are its storage conditions?

The stock (although not old) IS a possibility - I used two different sources. Neither are older than two or three weeks. Is that reasonable?

The curry was bought a day before.

Your stock was two or three weeks old? That's too old for safety, let alone quality cooking. From now on, store it in the freezer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Katherine,

For home-made stock I am entirely in agreement.

But for unopened canned/cardboard-boxed stock they generally have pretty clear use by dates that show a pretty good shelf life. I'll have to check my pantry at home.

For opened, but sealed store-bought stocks, I'm not sure how much time I would give it. THose things generally have so much salt in them, that I imagine 2 weeks is not completely out of line. I may be wrong, but it hasn't killed me yet. :smile:

Any thoughts out there?

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are talking about store-bought here. I have Whole Foods brand (in a box) and some of the canned variety (which I dumped after the curry incident). Although I'm enjoying learning to cook a little, I don't [yet] have any interest in making my own stock.

Sacreligious around these parts probably, I know, but too bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah, I just started a few months ago. Let us know when you are ready!

The boxed stuff at Whole Foods is surprisingly good. I wouldn't necessarily use it as soup, but for cooking it works.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quick easy dinner. Take skinless boneless chicken breasts out of freezer in the morning. Marinate in mojo - perhaps an hour out of the refrigerator so the breasts will defrost. Then in the refrigerator. Mojo is a Spanish marinade found in ethnic food sections. If you have a large Spanish speaking population - you'll find several types. Just about every market has Goya - and Goya is fine. At dinner time - drain off the marinade - and saute the breasts in a 50/50 mix of olive oil and butter. Breasts should take about 10 minutes to cook depending on stove heat and size. The outside will blacken a little as you cook.

This goes nice with white rice and black beans. For the beans - take a can of Progresso black beans. Add a few shakes of red wine vinegar - about 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin - and a bay leaf. Heat to the simmer - let the vinegar simmer off for maybe 10 minutes - and serve. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife, at the moment, is pregnant. She eats well but has become interested in blander foods. Sometimes that means breast of chicken. I never bothered to cook them before remembering what mom my did with them--cook til dead then season with water, serve later. So the gauntlet was thrown. Here's what I've been doing.

Put a heavy pan over heat with some grape seed oil. Dredge skinless breasts in flour. Season with salt and pepper. When the oil is not quite smoking, lay the breasts in the pan. Brown on both sides. This should take about five minutes. Don't let anything burn, neither the pan nor the breats. As my father-in-law likes to say, "Black is beautiful except in cooking." Add butter, a tablespoon or so. Less if you must. When the butter starts to brown, turn the breasts and drop the heat. Here's the important part: Don't overcook the chicken. When breasts are done, reserve to a plate. Add a minced shallot to the pan. 30 seconds later, squeeze half a lemon and add some capers . Bring the heat back up. Scrape anything stuck to the bottom of the pan and stir it in. Cook for a while, maybe a minute, check for taste and return the breasts to the pan, roll them in the sauce and serve.

(This is also a fabulous way to make sweetbreads)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...