Chicken in Wine & Dijon Reduction

On July 28, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

I’ve been hotel living now for over two weeks and this recipe is my most adventurous to date. It also presented me with a bit of a dilemma in the middle of cooking when I suddenly realized I didn’t have a wine bottle opener. Fortunately, the hotel provided serrated knife which I then used to not pop the cork, but rather to plunge the cork into the bottle.  Oh well, I did get the cup of wine I needed plus enjoyed a nice Riesling with my meal.

I have also found that my $6 purchase of Ziploc plastic containers was a brilliant decision.  They work well as mixing bowls or in this case when I needed a small bowl to hold some dijon mustard I needed to “brush” on the chicken pieces.  Brush is sort of what I did, but with no brush I improvised using a the back of a spoon to spread the mustard over the chicken pieces.

This was the first time I used the Extend Stay’s pan since it had sides that worked well for a liquid reduction instead of using my sauté pan or 4 quart pot.

A little about the ingredients…

I bought some pasture raised chicken from the Studio City Farmers’ Market a couple weeks back at the Dey Dey’s Best Ever Chicken stand. They sell half chickens which is a good choice for this recipe, since there is not a lot of room in the cooking pan.  Cooking times are a bit longer at the hotel with an electric stove top and the thin pan, but the results are great as you can see in the photo with the browned skin and meat falling off the bone.

In the end, this was a great success that didn’t really take any special tools other than a wine bottle opener.  My spoon “brushing” method worked well too.

Chicken in Wine & Dijon Reduction
Serves 2

1/2 whole chicken, bone-in split
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 shallots, finely diced
1/3 cup dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

If your breast is thick be sure to add 3 or 4 slices with a knife into the thickest area to help reduce cooking time. Brush the chicken pieces with the dijon mustard. Heat olive oil in pan at medium-high heat adding chicken pieces when hot.  Cook each side for about 15 minutes turning often being careful not to burn.  When flipping the chicken brush some more dijon mustard on to coat fully before turning. Meanwhile dice the shallots.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and add the shallots cooking for 1 minute then deglazing the pan with the wine.  Add the chicken stock and return the chicken to the pan.  Let this cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat letting the liquid reduce by half.  Turn the chicken throughout to coat the sauce over the chicken pieces.

Finally remove the chicken from the pan and finish the sauce by adding the butter and some salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with a side dish or two.

Orzo with Walnut Pesto, Olives and Feta

On July 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
1

I’m only a week away now from ending my time cooking at the hotel.  The house is ready August 1st and while I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making meals with a limited kitchen I am excited about having a full kitchen soon.

If you haven’t figured it out, it’s fairly easy making pasta in a small kitchen.  All I needed for this recipe was a 4 quarter stock pot that I had brought with me; though, Extended Stay America does have a small pan you can use to boil pasta.

The thing I constantly find I miss as I cook in a hotel kitchenette are bowls – mixing bowls to be precise. To get around this I’ll cook my pasta then drain it and use the pot I just made the pasta in as a mixing bowl.  For this recipe I combined the drained pasta, pesto, feta, olives and lemon juice.

I really like this recipe, for hotel cooking, because it takes only 10 minutes to make. I recommend buying some pre-made pesto. I found some Walnut Pesto at the Studio City Farmers Market last Sunday which was a nice substitution.

One pound of pasta makes enough for three meals so you can easily use this for a couple dinners and a lunch or a couple lunches and a dinner. Enjoy.

Full Recipe: Orzo Salad with Spinach Pesto, Olives & Feta.

Tagged with:
 

Linguini with Pancetta and Golden Beets

On July 26, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
1

Pasta dishes are a great option for hotel cooking. They require only a couple pans and Extended Stay America’s kitchen came with a rather large strainer, showing someone thought a simple pasta makes sense for small kitchen cooking.

Last night I modified a recipe I usually make with Pancetta and Parsnips and Taglietti noodles. I had picked up some beautiful golden beets at the La Canada Farmers’ Market and needed to use them before they went bad.  A quick stop at Gelson’s Market in Pasadena for some Pancetta the day before completed what I need for this simple recipe.

Linguini with Pancetta and Golden Beets
Serves 2

1/2 lb linguini noodles
2 small golden beets, diced into small cubes
1/4 lb Pancetta, diced into small cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta noodles in boiling water per package directions or for 3 minutes if fresh.

While the water for the noodles is getting to a boil, sauté the Pancetta for 10 minutes turning frequently to brown but not burn the meat.  Add the beets and butter and continue cooking with the Pancetta for another 6 minutes adding some salt and pepper.

When the noodles are done, add them to the pan with the chopped parsley. Toss the noodles with the butter, Pancetta, and beets then serve on plates shaving some Parmesan cheese on top and a little more parsley, if desired.

 

Hotel Burger with Goat Cheese

On July 21, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0


I am still at in my Extended Stay America hotel room with its quaint kitchenette. Tonight I came home after a long but enjoyable week of work, now only two weeks away from reuniting with my wife and kids.

This morning, before leaving to work, I thawed out some grass-fed ground beef I purchased at the Studio City Farmers’ Market last Sunday from Best Beef Ever. It was my first local grass-fed meat purchase since arriving in Southern California and sure enough it was pretty damn good. The only negative was due to my lack of options having to cook the hamburger patties in a sauté pan over an electric burner instead of on a grill, since my grill is currently in storage.

I also used some of the excellent goat cheese I bought from Soledad Goats at the La Canada market last Saturday.

Hotel Burger with Goat Cheese
Serves 2

1 lb ground beef
2 hamburger buns
handful of arugula or lettuce
4 half-moon slices of onion cut thin
4 tablespoons of goat cheese
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
salt & pepper

Form the ground beef into two patties being sure to salt and pepper them as you get them shaped. Add the beef patties to a medium-high heat sauté pan, preferably non-stick and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side to get a nice burn on each burger’s side.  Cooking time will vary depending how thick you make your patties and how hot your burner gets.

Drain the fat from the pan halfway through before turning the patties over and continue to cook the other side.  This will help the burgers brown instead of boil in grease.

Prepare some thin half-moon slices of onion and wash your lettuce.  Place the dijon mustard on one of the buns using 1 tablespoon per burger.

Place the burger onto the bun and spread half the goat cheese on each patty and top with lettuce and onions.

Note: I only made one burger tonight and put the other fully cooked burger in a small container to save for tomorrow’s lunch. 

Tip: While staying in a hotel room it is definitely worth $3 to buy some plastic containers to store some food in for leftovers. This way you don’t need saran-wrap or aluminum foil. 

Root Vegetables and Lentils in Mustard Sauce

On July 20, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

This is an adaptation of a recipe I posted before: Lentils with Turnip, Leeks and Carrots.

I made a few edits since I’m still doing my series on “Hotel Home Cooking.” Much of the original recipe was followed; however, I lacked cloves and red wine vinegar plus I had some yellow zucchini that I added to the carrots, leeks, and garlic.

The final result isn’t that attractive. Fortunately, the flavors are rich with the Dijon mustard vinaigrette that’s added at the end.

This is a good recipe too since it is affordable and makes enough for a couple evenings.

 

Tagged with:
 

Chanterelle Mushroom Cream Linguini

On July 16, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

I had a great early afternoon at the Studio City Farmer’s Market today.  Our family had stopped here about a year ago when we were in town visiting family and taking the boys to Disneyland on that trip for their 5th Birthday.  It was one of the things I was most excited about when I thought about living again in Los Angeles.

The Studio City Farmers’ Market is full of wonderful vendors with everything from the usual bounties of fresh fruits and vegetables, many of them organic and all of them locally farmed.  Plus there are some standout prepared food vendors including a guy who makes the best meat and vegetable arabic pies that are a bargain at 6 for $5.  I also found an Indian family selling their homemade sauces and bought the masala to try later with some locally raised chicken also bought at the market.

This is the second meal I’m cooking at the Extended Stay America where I now have a nicely stocked fridge.  The pasta dish was a back up decision as I was going to make a lentil vegetarian meal tonight until I realized I need some measuring cups.  Tomorrow off to the market for some measuring cups and spoons.

For tonight’s dinner, I used some from fresh linguini and chanterelle mushrooms I picked up. A stop at the Glendale Whole Foods rounded up a couple additional things needed for this meal.

Chanterelle Mushroom Cream Linguini
Serves 2

1/2 lb fresh linguini
2 oz fresh Chanterelle mushrooms, rough chop
1 cup heavy cream
3 springs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon of dried
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
olive oil

Boil water for the pasta. While water is waiting to boil, add a little bit of olive oil to a sauté pan and cook the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes on medium-high until lightly brown.  Add the Chanterelles and the thyme and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and reduce heat to medium-high. Let the fresh pasta cook for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Pour the heavy cream into the sauté pan and let it boil a little bit and then reduce heat to low to medium-low stirring when it begins to bubble. You want to let it thicken but not burn over boil.  The sauce should thicken in about 2-3 minutes.

Top with your favorite grated parmesan reggiano cheese

 

Hotel “Home” Cooking: The Beginning

On July 14, 2012, in Family, Food, by Chris Baccus
0

Some of you know I’m in the process of moving from Dallas to Los Angeles after leaving my role as the Executive Director of Digital & Social Media at AT&T. I have since started a new job at the PR agency GolinHarris where I am currently leading Digital for the Western Region.

This new change brings back some memories for me as I graduated high school in South Pasadena and attended my first couple years of college at Pasadena City College before transferring to Hillsdale College in southern Michigan where I met my beautiful wife Stephanie and spent nearly 16 years living in Michigan before our family’s two years in Texas. So in some ways this is a homecoming for me.

In all the logistical “fun” of a cross country relocation, our home in Dallas was packed up last week and we are awaiting our new home to be ready to move into in August.  Until then I am currently living in LA while my family enjoys a much needed summer vacation in Michigan.

With nearly three weeks of living without a home, I decided to stay at a hotel with a kitchenette. Leaving me with just a few options – mostly Marriott Residence Inn or Extended Stay America hotels.  I opted for Extended Stay because of availability for the time I needed and a far better price per night.

Over the following weeks I thought I’d do a series on Hotel Cooking. I personally get tired quickly of dining out with too much butter, sugar, salt, let alone the expense.  So I’ll be cooking using a fairly limited kitchen with only a few items I brought with me: chef knife, pairing knife, stock pot, wooden spoon, and some tongs.  I also bought a nonstick sauté pan since our nonstick was getting a bit old.

The kitchens at Extended Stay America are more than adequate for what you need to do some cooking while temporarily living away from home.  There is no oven, but there are two stove burners, a full-size refrigerator, kitchen sink and microwave.  The rooms also come with a set for two of dishes, cups, some pans, a cutting board, toaster, coffeemaker and silverware.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy my adventures of cooking in a limited hotel room kitchen for one.  If you have any tips please share them in the comments. Now I’m off to a Farmer’s Market to get some ingredients!

 

Tagged with: