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Sep 22, 2010 07:00 AM
Discussion

trying to develop a recipe for chicken to be served at a restaruant

I need a killer chicken dish to add to a menu of a new restaurant. I want something made with a breast that is not over the top with fat, but over the top with flavor.I want something new an exciting not an old classic. I am asking all of you for help I am stuck.

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    1. I'm actually looking to use skinless boneless.

      1. re: Analisas mom

        Pound the chicken breast to an even thickness. Put on a tbsp or two of garden vegetable or chive/onion cream cheese, or herbed cheese (e.g. Boursin), spread it out a little, and roll up. Place in baking dish seam side down. Cut a strip of bacon in thirds and lay them over the top of the roll. Bake at 375 until the bacon is crisp and the drippings and running cheese have made a sauce.

        This probably isn't low fat enough for you. But if you use turkey bacon and low-fat cheese, maybe? In that case I'd lower the heat to 350.

        I have also done this with chicken breast tenders or strips, with the bacon in half-inch slices, browned first and removed while the chicken is cooked in the bacon fat, then returned to the pan along with the cheese until it all blends. Served this over mashed sweet potato, rice, or couscous.

        1. re: greygarious

          Love the idea of serving this over mashed sweets. What a delicious sounding combo. Or the couscous, with lots of nummy herbs mixed in.

        2. re: Analisas mom

          Well that won't work then :-)

          Interesting you should say boneless. I'm thinking of making the orange ginger sauce for a bookclub group coming over in a few weeks and was thinking of making some kind of chicken piccataesque dish with the sauce drizzled over. Good luck with it. Great post idea as there are so many delicious looking recipes and ideas coming forth.

          1. re: Analisas mom

            This is a sweet-and-sour chicken recipe that originated in the Jewish ghetto in either Venice or Rome, depending on who's describing it, hundreds of years ago. Originally it was made with firm-bodied fish, but this is an updated version, using dipped and breaded boneless/skinless chicken breasts instead of the fish.

            Ingredient list:

            The chicken:
            * 2-2.5 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breast halves, all skin and cartilage removed, including the tendon in the mignon/tender piece, then pounded flat between sheets of plastic wrap or in a Ziploc bag.
            * 2 eggs
            * 1 heaping teaspoon salt
            * 1/2 level teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            * between 1/2 c. and 1 c. of plain bread crumbs (enough for dredging chicken breasts)

            Wet marinade:
            * 1# red onions, diced
            * 1 c. red wine vinegar
            * 3/4 c. pure olive oil
            * 1/2 T. salt

            Dry marinade:
            * 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves stripped from stems
            * 7-8 cloves of garlic (just less than a whole regular-sized head), peeled
            * 1 c. raisins
            * 2 oz. toasted pine nuts

            To saute:
            more pure olive oil for sauteeing

            To prepare chicken breasts for sauteeing, mix eggs, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper together in a bowl that has some width. Put 1/2 c. of breadcrumbs on a large, flat plate. Dip pounded chicken breasts in egg mixture until completely coated, then dredge in breadcrumbs until coated. Transfer dredged chicken breasts to another large platter. Use more breadcrumbs as needed.

            Transfer dredged chicken breasts to refrigerator to firm them up before frying. If you don't have enough platters, or enough room in your refrigerator for multiple platters of chicken, you can stack the chicken breasts on one platter between sheets of wax paper or parchment.

            Make wet marinade: Heat up 3/4 c. of olive oil in a large, heavy, non-reactive pot. I use stainless steel. A 4- or 6-quart size is perfect. If you use cast iron, make sure it is enameled, as vinegar will react with plain cast iron. When oil is shimmering, add onions and cook until translucent. Add red wine vinegar and cook covered until onions are completely soft, 45 minutes to an hour.

            Meanwhile, make the dry marinade. Pulse garlic in food processor until it is rough-chopped, then add parsley leaves to food processor. Pulse until you have tiny pieces of garlic and the parsley is completely chopped. Remove to bowl and mix with raisins and pignoli.

            After I make the wet and dry marinades, I take the time to clean up my kitchen a bit. By the time I'm done, the chichen is chilled to the perfect degree of firmness.

            Heat up a stainless frypan. Add olive oil to your pre-heated pan, and when it starts to shimmer, add your first prepared chicken breast halves. Let it fry long enough to develop a nice crust. Flip to the other side and let that side fry to a golden brown. Slice into the chicken to make sure it's cooked through.

            Remove each cooked chicken breast to a non-reactive container about 2" tall that has room for two chicken breast halves laid flat. 8" square or 9" x 13" pyrex dishes will work, as will a 9" square dish. Stainless is good, too. Just don't use cast iron, aluminum, or plastic containers.

            Sprinkle some of the dry marinade and then the wet marinade on top of the cooked chicken. Take the pan off the stove while you're doing this -- you don't want it getting too hot when there's nothing in it. Then continue sauteeing your chicken. Let the pan come back up to heat, then add more oil as needed. Repeat the process until all your chicken breast halves are cooked and then marinating in the dry and wet marinades.

            Cover and refrigerate. Serve no sooner than six hours later. It's especially good the next day.

            If you're having this for a sit-down dinner, serve whole pieces of chicken with marinade piled on top. Serves four.

            For a buffet item, slice 1/2" pieces on the diagonal, cutting slices in half if too big for bite size. (This is a great party dish. It's easy to eat with just a fork, and you have to make it ahead of time.)

            --------------------

            In addition to sweet (raisins, onions) and sour (vinegar), bitter (parsley, garlic, onion) and salty (salt) flavors are incorporated in this dish. You may find you want to tweak these flavors a little bit to your own taste the next time you make it, adding a little more (or less) vinegar, garlic, or salt.

            1. re: Jay F

              Is this chicken served cold? I don't see anything about re-heating it after the six-+ hours in the fridge - if it's re-heated would the chicken overcook easily? How do you do it, and what would you serve it with?
              Thanks Jay F.

              1. re: Lotti

                Yes, it's meant to be served cold; however, it is also quite delicious at room temperature, so if you were to finish the recipe within two hours of your eating time, you wouldn't have to refrigerate it. But you don't reheat it, ever.

                I like serving it with a bright green veg, such as green beans or broccoli, cooked plain or with just some butter, s&p. Also, orange is a nice color here, so carrots or squash wouldn't be bad.

                You could serve some kind of creamy pasta as a first course. There's no cheese in the dinner I've described above, so just a small bit of bite-sized pasta with butter and parmigiano-reggiano makes a nice starter. It's really my favorite thing to start with, as none of its ingredients gets duplicated in the main course.

                If you want to just serve a single course, you could substitute the pasta for one of the veg.

                I think in terms of color with this because the onions in the chicken become nearly purple as they absorb the RWV. It's very nice to look at.

                Saffron would provide another good color.

                Hope this helps.

        3. Start with skin on, bone-in chicken breasts.

          Brine them (mixture of salt, rosemary, ginger and crushed garlic).

          Mix together instant espresso, instant hot chocolate mix, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Place mixture into a shallow plate.

          Remove breasts from brine, dry completely, then place the chicken skin side down on the espresso-chocolate powder mixture.

          Heat up a cast iron pan has hot as you can get it by putting it under your broiler.

          Remove pan and place on stove, with the heat turned on high.

          Now, preheat your oven to 375 F.

          Place the chicken, skin side down, on your cast iron pan and let the skin crisp up to a nice golden brown. Do not flip the chicken at all. Just let it rest there.

          Finish off the chicken in your preheated oven.

          Serve and plate with a sauce of your choosing -- I prefer a chocolate vinagrette, but that's just me.

          Good luck.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Question, Ipse: proportion of water to brine ingredients? Sounds divine. Also wouldn't mind hearing more about that choco vinaigrette.

            1. re: mamachef

              For the brine:
              - 1.5 cups of kosher salt for each gallon of water (2 cups of salt if using table salt)
              - 5 large cloves of garlic, peel and crushed (not diced or chopped)
              - 1 medium ginger root (~3 inches), roughly chopped

              As to the chocolate vinagrette:
              - 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, pref. well aged
              - 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
              - 1 ounce dark chocolate, melted (the darker the better, usu. I use 90% cocoa)
              - 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
              - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
              - Fresh ground pepper to taste
              Combine all ingredients and blend in food processor.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                "For the brine:
                - 1.5 cups of kosher salt for each gallon of water (2 cups of salt if using table salt)"

                Whoaa. You sure about that? Kosher salt is typically lighter and flakier than table salt, less dense, so you need less table salt vs kosher salt in a brine, not more.

                Per Cook's Illustrated, the usual formula is : "If using kosher salt, our rule of thumb is to use twice as much Diamond Crystal kosher salt as table salt and 1 1/2 times Morton's kosher salt as table salt." In addition, they say "We usually list both kosher and regular table salt in recipes that call for brining. Because of the difference in the size of the crystals, cup for cup, table salt is about twice as concentrated as kosher salt."

                Increasing the volume of salt going from kosher to regular salt would dramatically increase the total salt level of the brine. 1.5 cups of table salt in a brine vs the same amount of Diamond Crystal would be double the saltiness. 2 cups of table salt would be equal to 4 cups of Diamond Crystal, or 2.66 times the level of saltiness!

                1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                  You're absolutely right.

                  Brain fart on my part. The measurements for table and kosher salt should be reversed.

                  So, it shoud be 1.5 cups of table salt and 2 cups of kosher.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    grazie for correction. and, I'm such a sodiumhead that I'm going to make this for Sunday dinner, just the way you described, and I don't care if my eyes swell shut, that's how good it sounds. I have a question, though: am trying to think of appropriate sides for this since the choco and espresso make for an interesting mix and I don't want to over-or-underpower or clash. What do you usually serve with this fabulousness? And what would you consider an appropriate and appealing dessert?

          2. This Panko-Crusted Chicken With Mustard-Maple Pan Sauce from Bon App├ętit is really, really good.
            http://www.food.com/395012

            I also really like Nigella's Za'atar Chicken which you could probably adjust to boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
            http://www.food.com/378600

            And one more to play with.
            David Lieberman's Apricot-Glazed Sweet & Sour Chicken With Sage
            http://www.food.com/368289

            1. With boneless skinless breasts, pound into large, thin cutlets and trim square. Use the scraps for something else. Begin a velvet by marinating them in egg white, salt and cornstarch. Remove from egg/cornstarch mix, drain and fry until beautifully golden. Make finely pureed tomato sauce with peeled tomato, carrot, onion, and juice of the small citrus of your choice. Yuzu or meyer lemon is a good choice. Cut chicken into even, rectangular planks and stack. Pool sauce on plate and pour evenly over chicken stack. Top with deep fried, paper thin rings of the citrus used for the sauce. Optionally tempura batter the slices.

              The chicken will be extremely tender and the sauce should be bright and acidic. Clean tasting summery dish.

              1. I agree with a couple of the other commenters that, if boneless skinless is the plan, you should pound it thin. I think that just a simple breading of seasoned flour and then a simple pan sauce of wine, stock, lemon juice/zest and capers is dynamite. Fab served over pasta or rice pilaf or garlicky mashed potatoes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LauraGrace

                  LG, ever add a touch of anchovy paste to it? that little extra "something" totally rounds out the flavor.