Friday, January 27, 2012

Stupid Blog

I had almost a full blog posted, and it disappeared.  It was very thoughtful and deep and SO well written that it probably would have gotten me my own show on cooking channel.  And now it's gone and I am bitter.  Boo.  There goes my chance of fame and fortune.

Guess I am stuck being your plain, boring food blogger... for now.

I don't have the time or energy to re-craft the whole thing.  It's like when you leave a really ranty drunk-dial voicemail message, and when you're almost done you get the "If you are satisfied with your message, press one.  If you would like to re-record, press two."  No, computerized phone bitch, I am neither done nor do I want to re-record.  I want to finish my drunken rant uninterrupted, and then go back to being amused with how clever I am!

Anyway, the point was that food mistakes are good.  Even if a meal is completely inedible, you can learn something from it.  Also, if a meal is inedible, you should order up some sushi, because you earned it. It was also about learning from your successes, and building new recipes off of those successes, and excluding based on the failures. 

Having to find interesting things to post every other day (it's my goal, even if it doesn't really happen) has made stray from my regular, go-to, top 10 recipes.  One way that I have stretched myself is by combining recipes I know into weird Frankenstein recipes.  Usually this works.  Sometimes it doesn't.

Taste wise, this recipe worked really well in my opinion.  Looks wise, it's pretty brown.  So I've got to work on that...  The recipe itself is a combination of two recipes from my regular repertoire: pork chops braised in apples and onions, and Coq a Vin.  The thought process goes like this: Chicken is good braised (Coq a Vin); things can be braised in apples and onions (pork chops), so lets braise chicken in apples and onions.

The failure here is in the color.  This chicken was delicious, but I ended up throwing some of it away.  I really believe that is because it wasn't a pretty color.  If I did this again, I think I might substitute red wine for the apple cider.  This would make the sauce darker, and the whole thing not mud colored.  Also, this could have used some potatoes or past or something to soak up some of that sauce.  But, otherwise, really good.

But, not as good as the awesome post that stupid blogger deleted. 

I used my stand by Coq a Vin recipe as the base, mostly to figure out how much liquid to use, and how long to cook the chicken.  Even though this recipe is more like my pork chop recipe, I didn't use that as the base, because I'm not cooking pork chops... if that makes sense.  Chicken needs a certain amount of liquid and a certain amount of time to braise properly, regardless of what the liquid is and what else you put in it.

 This is also a good use for apples that have gotten a little old and you don't really want to just eat anymore.  You could also just make them into a pie.  If you weren't completely stocked up with apple pie filling, that is.

Chicken Braised in Apples and Onions:
Served with roasted beets, wilted spinach, and goat cheese

  • 1 3 1/2 to 4 lb chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or (if you're feeling frisky) bacon fat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 firm apples, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups chicken cider, red wine, or a combination of the two.  (I think, next time, I will use 1 cup wine and 1 cup cider.  Hard, if you've got it and you're willing to put it into food as opposed to straight into your belly.)
  • 1 bayleaf

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.   Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat (or bacon fat.  Have I mentioned that I keep a jar of bacon fat in my fridge.  Every time I make bacon, I pour leftover fat from the pan into the jar and stick it back in the fridge.  Then, I scoop it out and cook with it.  Economical and DELICIOUS.)  Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken in batches and brown on all sides.  Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions to the pan.  Saute until lightly browned and soft.  Add the apples and continue to cook until the apples are just tender, about 5 more minutes.  Increase heat to medium high, add the garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant - about two minutes.  Please, for the love of god, do not burn the garlic or I will come to your house and slap you.

Add the stock and (hard) apple cider/red wine and deglaze the pan.  Add the bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer.  Carefully place the chicken back into the pan, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the thickest part shows no pink when cut into.

Serve over some sort of starch so the sauce doesn't pool all over the plate like mine did!

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