Monday, June 15, 2015

Chicken Marango

Chicken Marango is one of those old school French dishes that you don't see much anymore, which is a shame, because it's a tasty French dish that departs from the norm by using some predominately Italian ingredients.

The story goes that the dish was invented by Napoleon's chef after the battle of Marango,  Being as the army was in Italy, and were light on provisions, local ingredients were sourced and thus, Chicken Marango was born.  Napoleon was said to have loved it and ate it before (or was it after) every subsequent battle.

Whether this story is true or not is lost in the mists of time, but one thing that is certain is that this recipe has changed over the years, with more modern recipes omitting certain ingredients like eggs and crayfish, and adding mushrooms and red wine.  My version does this as well.  Also, cutting up a whole chicken and using all the various pieces would be more traditional (and perhaps provide a richer, more flavorful dish, with the addition of the dark meat) but tonight it is just the two of us, so I've just done a couple of breasts Marango style.  Sub whatever chicken parts you like.

Chicken Marango

2 Chicken Breasts (or Chicken Parts of your Choice)
3-4  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Flour
Salt and Pepper
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Cups Chicken Stock
5-6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Cup (or so) White Wine
1 Can (14 Oz) Beef Consommé
1 Can (28 Oz) Crushed Tomatoes
6 Oz Mushrooms (White, Cremini or Similar) Sliced
3-4 Oz Large Green Olives
1 Bouquet Garni (Herb Bouquet of Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Bay Leaves)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Dredge the chicken pieces and flour and then season them with salt and pepper.  Sauté the chicken until golden brown but note all the way cooked through.

Set aside and keep warm.

Add more olive oil if necessary and then sauté the diced onion until it begins to turn translucent and slightly golden.

Add the minced garlic at this point and sauté another minute or two.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan at this point.

Allow to simmer a few minutes and then add the chicken stock.  When this is warmed through add the beef consommé

and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the sliced mushrooms and allow these to cook through.  Add the bouquet garni at this point.

Add the crushed tomatoes

and bring the liquid back to a simmer.  Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook through. Sauce should thicken as the chicken cooks, but if it is not to your liking when the chicken is done, remove them and allow the sauce to continue to cook until thickened.  Remove bouquet garni and discard it.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and the addition of the olives.

Bon Appitit!



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Salmon with Orange Sauce

This dish comes from The Netherlands, which is not surprising.  Orange is their national color, after all.  We got it from the lovely Dutch Cooking cookbook that my wife bought me when we were touring Holland a few years back.  We've made several dishes from the book, at least one of which has made it previously onto the blog.  There will no doubt be more.

We liked this one because it was simple yet tasty, features one of our favorite fish, and its a bit different.  Give it a try for a change of pace.

Salmon in Orange Sauce

1 Cup White Rhine Wine
1 Cup Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
Pinch Ground Ginger
2-4 Salmon Fillets, around 6 oz each
2 Tablespoons Butter
Several Thinly-Sliced Orange Halves

You don't need a fancy wine for this, but the recipe calls for a German Rhine wine, so why not go with a nice Riesling or Gewurztraminer.

You could probably get away with just about any white wine in a pinch.

As to the orange juice, make sure you make some fresh-squeezed.  This little guy--A citrus reamer, comes in handy:

You can really juice out the liquid with one of these babies.

 Juice enough oranges to get a full cup of juice.

Then measure out a cup of the wine.  Since there is plenty left in the bottle--don't waste it.  Pour yourself a glass.

Add the juice and the wine to a skillet.

Heat through to a gentle simmer.  Dice your onion:

And add it to the juice.

Add the cinnamon and ginger.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Next, you are ready for the salmon fillets.

Place them in the skillet and cover.

Gently poach them for ten minutes.  At this point, remove them and keep warm.

Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce until a thick sauce is formed.  Season with salt and add the butter and let melt.  Stir and then serve over the salmon.  Garnish the fish with some of the thin orange slices and serve immediately.

Until next time,

Nothing wrong with going Dutch now and then.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

North Shore Shrimp Truck Shrimp

For several years some friends of mine lived on the Island of Oahu, and I was fortunate to get to visit them several times.  They introduced me to some great beaches, great hikes, great bars, but perhaps the most wonderful thing they introduced me to were the North Shore Shrimp Trucks.

These little rickety trucks are all over the Oahu North Shore, and there seem to be more and more every time I go back.  But the original truck was Giovanni's White Truck, which first went to shrimping in 1993, predating the recent food truck phenomenon by a decade or two.

Giovanni's serves their shrimp three ways--an original Scampi style, a Hot and Spicy, and a lemon-butter, which is basically the scampi minus garlic.  My fav has always been the hot and spicy, which is so hot and so spicy that they practically make you sign a waiver before they'll let you purchase them.  But their original scampi style is pretty darned awesome as well, so that's the one we'll feature today.

North Shore (Kahuku) Shrimp

1 Lb Large Shrimp (20-30 per Lb),
15-20 Garlic Cloves, Coarsely Diced
Juice of 1 Large Lemon
1 Stick Butter, Halved
Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

This one starts with garlic.  Lots of it.

Dice the 15-20 cloves coarsely and place in a large Ziplock bag with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the red pepper flakes.  De-vein the shrimp and, if you want to be authentic, leave the shell on.  That's how they do in on the North Shore.  Here, I've gone ahead and shelled them as well.  Either way, take the shrimp and add them to the Ziplock.  Toss to coat the shrimp well.  Let sit a few minutes.

Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a small saucepan.

Melt the other half in a large skillet.

When the skillet butter starts to foam, toss in as many shrimp as will fit without crowding.  Cook about 2 minutes and then flip the shrimp.

Maybe a little longer if you went with shell on, but just let them start to get pink.  Nothing worse than overcooked shrimp.

Once the butter in the saucepan his melted, add the rest of the garlic to it,

as well as the lemon juice.

Cook your shrimp in batches until finished.

Drizzle shrimp with the garlic/butter/lemon sauce and serve immediately, preferably with some steamed rice and a bit of extra lemon for garnish.

A simple dish, yes, but sometimes it's good to keep things simple.  Particularly if you're running on island time.

Until next time,

Hang Loose,


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

I have a secret to confess--I've had a lifelong love affair with mustard.  It all started innocently enough.  A little Cheap Yeller Mustard on a hot dog as a kid.  Next thing you know, I'm jonesin' every time the Grey Poupon commercial comes on.  I've got it bad, friends.  There's nigh on fifteen different mustards stashed away in my fridge and cupboard.  Maybe more.

I've even visited Dijon, France, surely the Mecca of the mustard world if there ever was one.  It's a place so wonderful the mustard truly flows from taps instead of beer.

I'm not kidding.  Mustard on tap in Dijon, France

The Eat'n Man loves him some Mustard on tap!

So, if you're into the 'yellow fairy' as much as I am, the best thing to do is just embrace your inner mustard-aholic and use it with wild abandon.  And mustard is not just something to slather on your burger or corn dog, It's a viable ingredient in its own right, and it veritably sings in this savory chicken dish here.

Mustard Chicken

2-4 Chicken Breasts, Sliced in Half Crosswise into Cutlets
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Oz White or Crimini Mushrooms
1 Large Shallot, Chopped
2/3 Cup White Wine
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3 Tablespoons Traditional (Smooth) Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Fresh Tarragon

Melt butter with the olive oil in a large skillet.

While it's melting, slice your chicken breasts in half crosswise, along the flat,

so that you have two thin cutlets from each breast.  Sauté the breasts until they are golden brown and just cooked through.

Don't overcook 'em.  In fact, you might undercook 'em a bit, since you will be holding them in a warm oven while we make the sauce.  You can check to make sure they are done before you serve.

Transfer the breasts to a casserole dish and hold in a 225˚F oven until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make your sauce.

Slice your mushrooms in half

and sauté them until they are golden brown and soft.

Reserve.  Add the white wine to the skillet and deglaze.

Chop the shallot...

...and add it to the skillet.

Add the garlic.  If you have a fancy garlic press like we do, it can make short work of mincing.

Now, the mustard.

Ah, I can't help admiring the freshly opened jars of yellow goodness.  We're using two types of Dijon mustard today to really ramp up the flavor.  You could of course try other sorts and you'd probably come up some something nice as well.

Add the mustards to the skillet and stir to combine.

Add the cream.

Add the chicken stock and the tarragon.

Stir while you simmer the sauce for a few minutes.

Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.

Serve immediately over the chicken.  You can reintroduce the mushrooms to the sauce before hand, or just some 'em on the side, as we've done here.

Until Next Time,

Bon Appetit!