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Thursday, June 14, 2012

“Famous Restaurant Recipes, Pt. LII: Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast with Dungeness Crabmeat and Havarti Dill Sauce—man, it doesn’t come any better than this!” by Chef Elvin C. McCardle



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COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR…


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 191 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2012



FATHER’S DAY 2012 WEEK!



Chef Elvin C. McCardle

END Commentary 06-15-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,738.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, June 15, 2012 by Chef Elvin C. McCardle

FAMOUS RESTAURANT RECIPES, PT. LII

 Famous Restaurant Recipes, Pt. LII: Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast with Dungeness Crabmeat and Havarti Dill Sauce—man, it doesn’t come any better than this!” by Chef Elvin C. McCardle



Bakersfield, CA, 06-15-2012 F: Ah, beautiful Friday has arrived at last and that means for us here at the Elemental News of the Day that business is slow but our real jobs will be picking up steam.  It’s always busy on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the industry, no matter if it’s a hotel dining room, a country club dining room, a coffee shop, a bar serving food, or an institution.  Like it or not, the holidays and the weekends are our bread and butter and that is when we pack them in.  If we’re fortunate to have business all-week-long, then that’s super but if we just have heavy-duty weekends, then we will be pleased with that.  It’s funny, however, to note that hardly anyone visits the blog on the weekends whereas on the weekdays, we’re packing them in.  The post office box is overflowing with cards and letters and the telephone line to the corporate offices here in Oildale—661-374-1430—is ringing off the hook.  Poor Moses Scharbug and Smokehouse, they’re the ones answering the phones, it’s a maddening business to say the least and we thank you for your constant attention! You are what make us successful!

Stinkbug has mentioned at a board meeting that this year on Thanksgiving might be our very last blog post as it will be our second anniversary here at the Google Blogger site and it’s because he feels that we have more to earn from doing a group cookbook then running the blog.  His concern is that if things don’t come to an end on December 21, 2012, that we will be a laughing stock like the other doomsday sages and prophets out there in the world and that it will make sense to end the week and go about our ways.  Many things are going on around here so if you enjoy the Elemental News of the Day and have no wish to see it END, please let dear Moses know that!

Our dish today is a fabulous dish, beautiful boneless breast of chicken pounded to tenderness and then pan-roasted, topped with sautéed Dungeness crabmeat and a lush Havarti-Dill Sour Cream Sauce.  It is mind-boggling in its grandeur and a dish that will enliven both your professional and your home menus should you choose to add it.  We are also going to teach you how to make a new garnish! Let’s do it:

(#1628) PAN-ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST WITH DUNGENESS CRAB AND HAVARTI DILL SAUCE


Ten years ago, this was one of the hottest specials on the menu at a place I was working as a sous chef.  The combination of chicken breasts with crabmeat and a creamy cheesy sauce is almost too difficult to pass up.  Use it when you have crabmeat and chicken you need to move and get out of the way and watch it go!

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 1-8 hours (at most) Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes.  




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
8-ounce
Boneless breasts of chicken, lightly pounded

Seasoned Flour II (Recipe #1592)

Vegetable oil

Kosher Salt and Pepper (Recipe #1324)

1
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

3-4
Cups
Sour Cream Dill Sauce with Havarti Cheese (Recipe #419-A)
2
Cups
Fresh Dungeness crabmeat (claws and legs)
Pressed of juice
.25
Cup
Drawn butter

.125
Cup
Minced yellow onions

1
Tablespoon
Minced celery

1
Tablespoon
Minced carrots

1
Tablespoon
Pimientos

1
Teaspoon
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
1
Teaspoon
Minced garlic

Kosher Salt and Pepper (see above)

.25
Cup
Chablis

The Finish:
Freshly minced parsley flakes

Spanish paprika

4
Each
Carrot curls (Recipe #1629)

4
Each
Sprigs fresh parsley
Rinsed
2-3
Cups
Rice of choice

2-3
Cups
Vegetable of choice




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! The first thing to do is to prepare the sauce:

(#419-A) SOUR CREAM-DILL SAUCE WITH HAVARTI CHEESE



This is a delicious variation on a standard sour cream sauce that has been marvelous with a wide variety of foods, particularly seafood such as salmon, halibut, and cod and also chicken, game hens, and even pheasant.  I think you’ll find it to be both versatile and tasty which should make a welcome addition to your repertoire of sauces.

Yield: about one quart of sauce / Mis-en-place: about 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Quart 
Superior chicken stock

3
Cups
Whole milk

1
Cup
Sour cream

.25
Cup
Melted butter

3/8
Cup
All-purpose flour

2
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

1.5
Tablespoons
Minced fresh dill

2
Cups
Grated Havarti Cheese



Method:

2.      Have stock, milk, and sour cream on the stove in a heavy-bottomed saucepot at a high simmer. Reduce by half.

3.      Combine remaining ingredients in bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until well-blended. Pour then into a 1 gallon saucepot and place over low flame.

4.      Cook this roux slowly until it begins to tan. Then, gradually begin whisking in the combined liquids a pint or two at a time so that the roux can absorb it without getting lumps.

5.       As you do this, turn the heat up almost all the way as you continue to add the remaining stock. At first, it should appear to be thin which is okay—it’ll thicken but as for now, make sure that there are no lumps.

6.       Allow sauce to simmer after reducing heat to low which will gradually thicken it more. If not thick enough for your needs, make slurry of flour and oil and whisk it in or use your lie. Add the fresh dill and the Havarti cheese and allow it be incorporated.  When thick enough, let it cook just a little bit longer in order to incorporate the final additions. Check also for taste and modify as needed. Keep sauce warm in the top of a Bain Marie or a double-boiler until called for.


This is the classic white sour cream sauce made with stock, milk, and sour cream which does two things: it keeps it from scorching during the cooking process due to the presence of the stock and adds additional flavor because of it. This is a standard sauce that one needs in their repertoire of sauces and when flavored with the addition of fresh dill and Havarti cheese becomes an excellent topping for everything from seafood to chicken!

The next thing that’s important to do is to make our seasoned flour as this is the basis of the finished product:

(#1592) SEASONED FLOUR II


            It’s always important to have a variety of different methods for imparting additional flavor to our foods and this is one way to do that.  It’s especially important during the breading and/or dusting process(es) to be able to instill a tasty sub-flavoring base that will make our ultimate product even more palatable than it might normally be.  The best way to generate repeat business is to have the most delicious foods out there because people do notice these things and sure do tell their friends, family, and co-workers about the quality of your dishes.  Never overlook even the most basic and inexpensive ways to accomplish this very important foodservice task.

1. About 2.5 cups:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2.5
Cups
All-purpose flour

1
Teaspoon
Cayenne pepper

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

1.5
Teaspoons
Hungarian paprika

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated garlic

1
Tablespoon
Kosher salt

2
Teaspoons
Parsley flakes




Method:

7.      Combine all ingredients together and store in an airtight jar, baggie, or whatever else and either keep at room temperature or in your freezer until needed.

It’s important to have a seasoned flour recipe for breading different foods and this is a good one.  You will use this recipe many times. The next thing to make is our principal seasoning, the Kosher Salt and Pepper Seasoning aka “KSP”:

(#1324) KOSHER SALT AND PEPPER SEASONING



1. Yield: One cup of seasoning:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Kosher salt

1.5
Tablespoon
Coarse black pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Hungarian paprika

.5
Teaspoon
Dry parsley flakes




Method:

8.      Combine together and store in an airtight container.

This is a good basic, salt-and-pepper seasoning that you will find many uses for. The last thing before we make the final dish is the garnish, the carrot curls; here’s how to do it:

(#1629) HOW TO MAKE CARROT CURLS


Never deny the importance of garnishing a completed lunch or dinner plate or entrée salad as diners almost always notice the beauty, even if only in a subliminal way.  Garnishes are important to professional and home chefs alike and this is one of the easiest—provided you have an electric slicer—and cheapest garnishes there is to make.

Yield:  10-16  / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Large
Carrot, peeled

Ice water


Method:

9.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! To make carrot curls, you will need an electric slicer which is common to every professional and semi-professional foodservice operation in the nation and probably the world. 

10. Set the dial to the minimum level possible that will allow you to push the carrot through with each slice.  Place the thickest end towards the blade and then push through as quickly as possible generating as close to a paper-thin slice as possible. 

11. Gather up the slices and deposit into a bowl of ice water and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but overnight is generally better.

12. When time’s up or the next day, you will see that the razor-thin slices have created some beautiful curls that must be kept in cold water at all times lest they lose their curls. Use as a plate garnish by shaking off excess liquid and then plating in the company of a beautiful parsley sprig.

This is one of the easiest, most-beautiful and simplest garnishes available.  Now that home-models of electric slicers are available at relatively low cost, the home chef can duplicate the skills that once only the professionals could do.

Final Preparation:

13. Take the lightly-masticated chicken breasts and dust them in the seasoned flour, front and back, and shake off the excess.  Place a large Sautoir over a medium flame and spray it with PAM or with some such other food release spray.  Add the vegetable oil and heat it up.  When it’s sizzling, add the chicken breasts and season to taste with the KSP and the thyme.  Brown on both sides.  Meanwhile, heat your standard oven to 400°F or your convection oven—fan “on”—to 350°F.

14. When the chicken breasts are browned, transfer them to a sheet pan sprayed with PAM.  Place them onto the pan and place inside your preheated oven.  Meanwhile, add the drawn butter to the pan juices in the Sautoir and add the vegetables, parsley, garlic, and KSP.  Quickly sauté them until tender and then add the crabmeat and heat it up.  When hot and plenty of liquid has been rendered, add the wine and raise the heat, allowing it to flare up.  Quickly reduce the liquid and then pull the pan from the stovetop. 

15. Place equal mounds of sautéed crabmeat atop each chicken breast when they’re close to 165°F.  Use a quick-temp thermometer and pierce the breasts only once in the thickest place.  When close to being done, ladle some of the sauce over the chicken breasts to give them an attractive sheen and finish cooking.  When they’re done, pull them out and prepare to serve.

16. Place one breast on each of four plates.  Ladle additional sauce over each one and then dust with parsley flakes and a few shakes of paprika for color.  Place the rice at 10 o’clock and the vegetables at 2 o’clock and then finish with a carrot curl and a sprig of parsley; then, they’re ready to serve.

17. Should there be leftovers, ALWAYS cool to below 45°F as quickly as possible and then plastic-wrap and refrigerate.  With the crabmeat atop them and the juices intermeshed with theirs, they should be eaten in ONE day, two at the most.  Always heat to 165°F or higher to be on the safe side.  They can also be frozen and reheated at a later time but usually, sauced dishes such as this one usually don’t have the attractiveness that they did when they were first served so always strive to consume as quickly as possible. 

18. Leftover sauce can be poured into a shallow baking dish and placed on a wire rack to cool—also to below 45°F as quickly as possible.  Place a sheet of wax paper, sprayed with PAM—sprayed-side-DOWN—atop the sauce to prevent the formation of an unappealing skin.  Refrigerate and since it’s milk-based and has cheese in it, use it, too, as quickly as possible.

This is a twist on a classic dish of old, Chicken Oskar, but is a worthy upgrade and delicious to boot.  Use this one as a special or as a fine-dining dish for guests at home.  A tasty and beautiful dish, it’s a hard one to pass by so keep the recipe handy.  If you have access to fresh and not frozen crabmeat, it’s unbeatable!

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

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Well, we are in the downhill slide now to the end of the week and that’s swell because after today, no one does anything on the Internet as far as blogs go.  Only chefs and cooks in search of ideas or menus come to us and that’s fine, that’s what we’re here for.  It is important to be available to the foodservice community and we want you to know that we have been hiring ourselves out as foodservice advisors to help those in need of turning their businesses around.  You don’t have to be a foul-mouthed television chef like Gordon Ramsay, a real prick if ever there was one, to be yelling at people in the guise of helping them.  We charge $75.00 an hour for advice offsite and $150.00 an hour if we have to go to your business if it’s relatively close to wherever it is we work.  We feel that by offering this service, we can help the foodservice industry increase its professionalism and its revenues and that’s what it’s all about.  Please keep in touch with each of us for help should you need it!                                   

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by STEPPENWOLF and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Elvin C. McCardle

Elvin C. McCardle

American Culinary Federation, Inc., CWC

_____________________________________________________________________

This is a picture of me as a young chef back in the 1970's when I was working as a sous chef at a resort hotel over on the coast around Ventura Beach, California. I began my career working as a busboy in 1963, move to washing pots in 1965, became a chef's apprentice in 1969 and have been a career professional ever since. I am still involved in professional foodservice as a consultant for food and beverage professionals.

Chef Elvin C. McCardle writes from Ventura, CA.
---30---

The END Commentary for Friday, June 15, 2012 by Chef Elvin C. McCardle

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef Elvin C. McCardle



Recipe created by Chef Elvin C. McCardle on August 23, 1998 in Ventura Beach, CA.

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The Chef’s Culinary Nightmare: the end is indeed coming soon so beware of BOTH November 06 AND December 21, 2012!

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