Chicken Curry SousVide

On December 8, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I’ve made quite a few recipes using my Sous Vide Supreme. The thing I really like most about it how I can cook meat to a perfect doneness by leaving it in the water bath all day while I go out enjoy whatever else needs to get done.

Today I prepared a couple bone-in chicken breasts with some Jamaican yellow curry powder and placed them in the Sous Vide at 175 degrees before leaving the house.  We spent the early part of the day at a coworker’s house. She and her husband do a yearly help a family out during the holidays. This year it was a mother with four kids and coincidently two of the kids were twin 7 year olds. So it was great shopping with our twin boys Saturday to find something for the twin girls and the rest of the family.

Meanwhile at home the chicken cooked for a good 5 hours before we arrived back after wrapping gifts and getting some other Christmas shopping done.

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This recipe is pretty simple and you can keep it really simple  by cooking the chicken and serving it with rice and vegetables. The chicken came out ready to serve done, but I wanted to make more of a curry soup.

Chicken Curry
Serves 4

2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned removed
4 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small onion, half moon slices
4 large brown mushrooms, rough chop
1/2 head cauliflower, rough chop
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4″ rounds
3 cups chicken stock

Cook the chicken in the SousVide Supreme for 4-5 hours at 175 degrees. Seal the chicken in the vacuum sealer first and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of curry powder. Drop into water bath and cook.

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Remove the chicken when done. It will easily separate from the bone and then rough chop.  Meanwhile heat the peanut oil in a pan with the onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Then add the cauliflower, carrot and chicken also add the rest of the curry powder.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the soy sauce and chicken stock.  Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes to combine adding the mushrooms in the last minute.

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Serve in a bowl with a small bowl of Jasmine or brown rice on the side.

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Chicken Artichoke Piccata for #SundaySupper

On July 6, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Honest, quality, home cooked meals is what chef Sara Moulton has embodied throughout her work on PBS, FoodNetwork, and her many cookbooks.  I personally haven’t followed Sara’s work as well as some other TV chefs; though, I’m not a big fan of the craziness surrounding the cook celebrity fandom that has become quite a spectacle in food circles. I like Sara’s work though because its not celebrity driven. She seems more genuine than some of the others out there plus she uses real ingredients and focuses on meals as family gathering and for that I’m happy this week’s Sunday Supper meal is a celebration of Sara’s cookbook Everyday Family Dinners.

This recipe is not in the cookbook, it is “inspired” by it though.  I wanted to make a dish that really could work everyday in the home kitchen. It takes around 20 minutes to make and tastes like you spent a lot more time on it. I suppose that’s the magic of garlic, wine and lemon juice.

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If you’re interested in some of Sara’s recipes several of the other Sunday Supper bloggers made dishes and drinks from the cookbook.

Chicken Artichoke Piccata
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 jar of artichokes quarters, drained and rinsed
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
salt and pepper

Pound the chicken breasts with a mallet to flatten. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-high saute pan.  In a shallow dish add bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste.  Coat chicken breasts in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then dip and coat in dish of bread crumbs. Add bread crumb covered chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side to brown, being sure to not burn.

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Remove chicken from pan. Add garlic cloves and cook for a minute. Add white wine, lemon juice, capers, artichokes and return chicken to pan. Reduce liquid by half for about 3 minutes.

Remove and serve with a side dish or side salad.


Here is a list of what the group did either from the book or “inspired” as I am sharing here. 

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www.foodandwineconference.com 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

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Summertime grilling is one of my favorite times of the season.  When we used to live in Michigan, it felt extra special after long periods of bad weather.  Though I was one of the crazy people who would clear a path in the snow to the grill, dust off the layer of snow and fire it up in 20-degree evenings.

Now that we are in the land of no seasons – only summer – grilling outside in the summer sun feels just like any other day of the year. Trust me, I’m not complaining. Perhaps just bragging a bit.

For those still in places with seasons, a summer day grilling is a day filled with joy. Grilling is so easy. Heat. Place some food on it. Close the lid. Open a beer. Drink beer. Flip the food. Repeat. Serve.

Life is good with a grill.

Life is also really good if you get a chance to try jamón ibérico de bellota. It’s a Spanish version of Prosciutto that has the most amazing flavor, as it should. This delicacy ran $149/lb at my local market. I should note you don’t need this. A good imported prosciutto works just fine for this recipe.

The only reason I ended up buying a couple slices of jamón ibérico de bellota (2 thin slices came to $7) was due to a conversation with the deli guy.  He ask which Prosciutto do you want? I looked at a couple as he rattled off several common types and then added or you can go with the $149/lb one. What makes this particular meat special is that it comes from free-range pigs that roam the oak forest border of Spain and Portugal eating a diet of acorns then the meat is cured for 3 years.

Still $149 a pound?! Well I only need 2 thins slices so I said let’s do that. That sounds insane. He laughed and cut me a thin slice to try it first.  Bonus! Free crazy expensive jamón ibérico de bellota!

It was great like when you drink a high-quality pinot noir.  Sure the $20 bottle is great, but a $60 bottle shows off by being brilliant from the first sip to the end.  That’s kind of what this “prosciutto” reminded me of. It was brilliant from the first to last bite.

I doubt I’ll buy it regularly, but I might again for a pasta dish that uses a little to make the dish extra special.

The best moment with the jamón ibérico de bellota is when my wife tried it and said, “it tastes like bacon. I like it.”

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 paper-thin slices Prosciutto
4 slices Fontina cheese
1 medium sized tomato
Salt and pepper to taste

Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting each one almost in half. Fold the chicken breast out covering with cellophane and pound with a meat mallet to make flat.  Salt and pepper the chicken and then add a slice of Fontina cheese and thinly sliced tomato.  Fold over and secure with toothpicks.

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Place each wrapped breast on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes per side to get a nice brown sear.  Remove from grill and then wrap each breast with two slices of prosciutto. Return to grill and heat for about 2 minutes then turn over to cook the other side another 2 minutes to make the prosciutto crispy being careful not to burn.

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Remove from heat and serve with your favorite sides.


For more recipes, the #SundaySupper crew has everything you’ll need to throw a delicious summer barbecue party this season. Join us this Sunday, June 30th, to celebrate summer.

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Hot Off the Grill:

On the Side:

Sweet Tooth:

In the Cooler:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, June 30th to celebrate Summer. We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Balsamic Strawberry Chicken using a SousVide Supreme

On June 8, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Making a juicy grilled chicken is not an easy undertaking, even by someone with some serious grilling skills. It’s not difficult getting some great grill marks, but keeping the inside tender while the grill marks are forming often makes for a fairly dry chicken breast. This is where sous-vide cooking can add a guaranteed juiciness to your chicken grilling.

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Sous-vide cooking is a French method that slowly cooks vacuum sealed meat or vegetables in a water bath. It keeps meat nice and tender plus it allows for a wide range of cooking time to so the food can cook while you carryon about your day.  This worked really well for me this weekend as I spent most of the day at work. To come home to most of my meal already done was a nice way to enjoy the rest of my Saturday.

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The chicken and strawberries came from the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market. The strawberries are perfect right now full of rich redness and  I found an organic Fragaria Virginiana variety. These sweet, smaller species of strawberries have a much better flavor than what you find at most grocery stores.

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This is my second dish using the SousVide Supreme and I really do like how tender everything is that comes of out of it. The slow cooking water bath technique is simple. Cutting into tonight’s chicken, even after putting it on the grill to get some nice grill marks, I could see the juices run down the chicken after slicing each bite.  Combined with the rich flavors of the balsamic strawberry sauce the meal was easy to make after a long unusual Saturday at work.

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It only took about 20 minutes to sear the chicken and prepare the sauce. It looked like I spent a lot of time on the dish, but it didn’t take away time I want to spend with my wife and boys.

Later this month, I’m competing with several other BBQ bloggers at http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/sousvidebbq.htm. Check back after June 25 to see what recipe I decide to enter and send me a vote if you want. As a bonus, each person who casts a vote for their fan favorite will be entered to win a $200 gift certificate to www.sousvidesupreme.com.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the SousVide Supreme to try as part of a blogger outreach program from the company.  The opinions are my own.

Balsamic Strawberry Chicken

Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 6 Hours 30 Mins Total Time: 4 Hours 50 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts, skinless
  • 2 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, mined
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine, Chianti or Cabernet work best
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Seal chicken breasts in vacuum bag. Heat the vacuumed chicken in a SousVide Supreme at 146 degrees for 4-6 hours. 
  2. Heat the grill on high.
  3. In a small sauce pan on medium-high heat add olive oil, garlic and shallot and cook for about 4 minutes, careful not to burn. Add 1 cup of strawberries, thyme, bay leaf and balsamic vinegar for about 3 minutes reducing vinegar by half. Add red wine and chicken stock and reduce by half for about 7 minutes. Smash the strawberries in the pan using a potato masher or fork to crush strawberries while leaving some small chunks. Reduce pan heat to low.
  4. Remove chicken from SousVide Supreme and pour a small amount of balsamic strawberry sauce over breasts to coat before placing on grill.
  5. Grill chicken on each side for about 7 minutes each side to get some nice grill marks.
  6. While on grill, add the rest of the strawberries to the sauce and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes before serving.
  7. Plate the chicken adding the rest of the sauce to the chickens.

My Meat Prayers have been Answered

On May 4, 2013, in Featured, Food, by Chris Baccus
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Thank you Meat God.

When we moved out of Texas last year to come back to my home state California, one thing I knew I’d miss was Burgundy Pasture Beef.  The ranch in Grandview, Texas was a gem in where I sourced my meats. We would drive to the ranch about every 6 weeks (it was a hour drive south of Dallas) and get $300-$400 of meat while enjoying some of the best burgers in my life. Life was good. I had found an amazing small ranch, grass-fed beef place I loved going to visit and support with my dollars.

Los Angeles is not Dallas. Or is it California is not Texas?

LA is not full of ranches within a hour drive and the area is known more for vegetarian, raw food which I love too, but it just isn’t a mecca for beef like Texas.  So I went around the local Farmers’ Markets and bought from a couple good grass-fed vendors.  Nothing was that impressive and at least I found some sources outside of the supermarkets or mail order.

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That’s when fate intervened.  We were interviewing some interns for a open position we had where I work and one of the interns mentioned she was doing social media for an organic, grass-fed butcher in Los Angeles called Lindy and Grundy. My ears perked up and I asked her to tell us more about the place, where it was and what she was learning about grass-fed meat. I noted the place and went to it that Saturday when the weekend arrived. I’ve been back since about four times.

Lindy & Grundy sells local, pastured raised, organic meats including beef, pork, chicken and a few other options. I had the pleasure this week of finally meeting one of the two owners Amelia Posada. She was great sharing how she spent some of her time growing up in Pasadena just like myself. I bought some beautiful baby back ribs, chicken, and Amelia’s family recipe pork carnitas.

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We had the carnitas tonight. Oh. My. God. They were delicious. The lard, oranges, garlic and spices brought out so much wonderful flavor I couldn’t stop eating. The shop was also selling fresh tortillas today from the Boyle Heights location of Guisados Tacos. Writing about this I’m now thinking of raiding the refrigerator to make another taco.

So while I love doing vegetarian/vegan meals every 3 to 4 times a week, having a great place to get high quality, sustainable, grass-fed meats is a blessing to my meat quest. Amen.

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

On November 11, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love participating in the group #SundaySupper where over 50 fellow food bloggers get together every weekend to share our recipes with each other and anyone else on the web.

Last week’s Soul Warming theme netted a handful of recipes I couldn’t wait to try.  On top of that list was Hezzi-D’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.  The combination of jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon, and chicken sounded so good.

The recipe is quite simple and only takes about a hour to make start to finish.  My wife who wasn’t all too happy when she heard the title of the recipe ended up praising the meal once we sat down to eat.  It’s not as hot as it sounds, so feel free to up the chili powder another tablespoon if you prefer a spicy bowl of chili.

I served the dish with some oven cooked biscuits from Trader Joe’s. For dessert we had some individual pies – pecan and salted caramel apple – from the Studio City Farmers’ Market vendor Pi Bake Shop.

For the Recipe: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

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Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Casserole

On October 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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My wife and I were sitting around Saturday morning with her looking through the January 2009 Martha Stewart Living. She pointed out two recipes that looked good for me to try. Hint, hint… The one that really caught my eye was a Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Casserole (pg. 45) that just looked like some amazing comfort food on a Michigan day in the mid-teens outside.

It was a very nice surprise. Just a couple notes really improve the original recipe. One add about a 1/4 teaspoon of Rosemary to help enhance the flavor. Be careful not to over salt too. This dish can get fairly salty with the chicken stock. Speaking of stock, make sure you use a good quality chicken stock. I use Better than Bouillon stock that can be found at most markets these days. And lastly, use a good quality whole grain bread. I bought some Sprouted Multi-Grain bread at Trader Joe’s.

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Casserole
Serves 4-6

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 if making it for 6 people)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, coarsely chopped and rinsed well
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch dice
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if large
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup whole milk
1 dried bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon Rosemary
8 slices dense multigrain bread, crusts removed and cut once into triangles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan Reggiano
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook until golden brown on 1 side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, reduce heat to medium and cook until cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate, and return pan, with drippings, to medium heat.

2. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in pan. Add leek, celery, mushrooms and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Reduce heat if vegetables brown to quickly.) Stir in flour, and ccook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add Sherry, stock, milk, rosemary, and bay leaf, and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper. Discard bay leaf.

3. Arrange bread on bottom of a 2-quart oval baking dish, overlapping slices slightly. Spoon half of the vegetables an sauce over bread. Slice chicken crosswise, 1/2-inch thick, and arrange on bread. Top with any accumulated juices from chicken. Spread remaining vegetables and sauce over chicken, sprinkle with parsley and Parmessan Reggiano, and bake until golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Taquitos

On October 24, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love tacos, but I also love taquitos. My favorite Mexican food growing up was basically a deep fried taco. Our family did a lot of restaurant dining when I was in my early teens and a popular favorite spot was Chi-Chi’s. Though the thought of eating chain restaurant Mexican food today sounds like an awful proposition, it was fantastic then since I had never experienced real Mexican food.

 

The recipe I went with is from a cookbook I have recommended before and will highly recommend again, Rosa’s New Mexican Table.

I also finally found some decent made that day tortillas from the Super A Foods Mexican grocery store chain here in California. Their corn tortillas are the perfect size and integrity for taquitos.

Recipe is from the cookbook: Rosa’s New Mexican Table.

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Blacked Cajun Chicken with Wild Rice & Asparagus

On September 29, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This weekend’s #SundaySupper challenge is making a dish limited to 5 ingredients.  Being a fan of food author Michael Pollan I am very familiar with the 5 ingredient mantra.  See Pollan did a book called In Defense of Food that looked to provide some guidance for today’s conscience eater.  With so many foods, especially processed foods, having more ingredients than the Space Shuttle has parts, Pollan added a Rule that said to not eat anything with more than 5 ingredients as a way to avoid all the chemicals, added sugars, etc that affect our food choices more often than not.

Funny thing is Pollan backed off the 5 ingredient rule after he found Big Food pushing processed foods they made with 5 ingredients or less as healthy choices, even if they were not.  The best example of retarding this rule is Haagen Daz Five ice cream which repackaged their product as “Five” even though they didn’t change the anything and used it as a way to position their product against other ice cream as a smarter food choice.

Another great example is a TV commercial for Tostidos tortilla chips touting it as better chip decision over Pringels even though both chips are high-fat, high-calorie choices.  The ad confuses the issue and Pollan himself backed off the 5 Ingredient rule since the marketers found a way to pervert it.

So Pollan created a replacement rule, Don’t Eat What You See on TV:

The good news is no matter how many ingredients you use at home you can choose items that are healthy and considerate for your family.  Simply use real foods, not processed, and you’ll be fine no matter if there are 5 or 20 ingredients in your recipe.

If you want simple though here is a whole meal that requires only 5 ingredients

 

Blackened Cajun Chicken with Wild Rice & Asparagus
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tablespoons Cajun spice blend
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cups wild rice
1 bunch asparagus

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Coat the chicken breasts in a bowl with the Cajun spice blend.  Heat a saute pan over medium high heat using 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add the chicken breasts letting them “blacken” in the pan for about 5 minutes on each side.  Place the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven…

Boil 2 1/2 cups of water and add 1 cup of wild rice once the water is boiling.  After adding the rice, reduce the heat to a simmer and heat uncovered for 15 minutes. It’s done when the water is all evaporated.

Heat some water in a small pan and add the asparagus once boiling and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and toss the cooked asparagus with 1 tablespoon of butter.

Remove the chicken from the oven and plate with the rice and asparagus.

 


For more 5 ingredient recipes from other #SundaySupper bloggers:

If you would like to CHAT with us personally….Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Beverages:

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Sour Cream Enchiladas

On August 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Sour Cream Enchilada served with Corn Chowder

I don’t make a lot of recipes that call for three cans of anything, but I decided to make an exception since these looked so good.  I did go with some different brands using some Pacific Natural Foods for the Cream of Chicken and Muir Glen Organics for the tomato and chilies.

The sauce in this recipe can be reduced by half since you really don’t need such a thick layer of it as it is presented in the source recipe.  Also, note the author’s comment, to stir the sour cream, cream of chicken and cilantro mixture regularly to keep a smooth texture.

You need about half the amount of shredded cheese too. Making these minor changes will make it slightly lighter, but this is sour cream enchiladas. No one is pretending this is a healthy choice.

The chicken mixture can also skip canned green chilies and substitute fresh chilies, preferably 1 serrano or 1 hatch chile, seeded and washed then finely diced.

Preparation is easy. Look for some decent locally made tortillas from a Mexican market, taqueria, or Farmers’ Market if available in your area.

The lesser amount of sour cream sauce and cheese will look something like this. I had ran out of tortillas, only making 5 enchiladas due to the boys and I eating a couple tortillas the day before I finally got around to making this dish.

This is definitely a dish worth trying with or without my edits. I don’t even particularly care for enchiladas but these were quite delicious and simple to make.

For the full recipe: Skinny Sour Cream Enchiladas.

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