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Thursday, July 5, 2012

“Old-Fashioned Home Cooking, Pt. XIX: Sauteed Chicken Breasts ala Corinthian—Classic Greek-inspired Creamy Chicken and Currant Dish is absolutely Amazing” by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti



Jay Ferguson’s fourth solo album, “Terms and Conditions” came out in 1980 on the Capitol Records label and continued the saga of Jay Ferguson.  Jay, as you know came from both SPIRIT and Jo Jo Gunne and was a great rock-and-roll voice.  We love this family of musicians and highly recommend that you purchase this album by taking the convenient link to Amazon.com, and buy it NOW! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.  



COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR…


Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 171 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2012



FOURTH OF JULY WEEK!



Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

END Commentary 07-06-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,160.



AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, July 06, 2012 by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

OLD-FASHIONED HOME COOKING, PT. XIX

 Old-Fashioned Home Cooking, Pt. XIX: Sauteed Chicken Breasts ala Corinthian—Classic Greek-inspired Creamy Chicken and Currant Dish is absolutely Amazing” by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti



Bakersfield, CA, 07-06-2012 F: We have survived the potential pitfall of HUMP DAY and are now entering the weekend, the time when readership practically disappears and we can do or say whatever we want about any subject in the world.  I know that Stinkbug advertises the BLOG each day at his Facebook site and good for him; he is dedicated to bring everyone he can find in the virtual and the real worlds to us so they can become fans.  I don’t worry about that sort of thing; all I worry about is making it through my week and then being off for 3-4 months.  What I cannot wait for is the election in November; that is, unless, of course, President Barack Obama does NOT cancel it!  That is a fear in my neighborhood and many people around me are fearful of the same thing.  Of course, the government can shut us down if it has not been already and that is something we live with each day here at the END.  Like many of you, I am fearful of the idea that we might lose our freedoms in the stroke of a pen as executive orders—signed every day—eradicate this freedom and that with impunity.  I know it is our policy NOT to discuss politics but now, I am considering moving to some place safe like New Zealand or Australia because I believe the country is in worse danger than it has been in its entire history.  Pay attention to the news, friends, and the “sub-news,” the news beneath the news so to speak.  There is a lot going on and none of it is for us, the people.   

Okay, enough of that let us enter into the weekend with a taste of Greek cuisine.  The Greeks are a lively and historical people being on earth since about the same time as the Jews and the Egyptians.  It is hard for me, a resident of a nation with little more than two centuries of life to comprehend a nation that has been on earth for more than ten-thousand years!  All I can say is that I am glad I did NOT have to take that history!  I barely made it through American history! That is life, friends, that is life.  Anyhow, our dish for today is a cream-based chicken breast sauté dish featuring currant jelly and spices and herbs for a flavorful concoction.  Granted, some consider it an “old-timey” dish but to me, there is value in every recipe and that means, we have to find the precise time when we can run it as a special and fire up our servers to go out there and SELL IT! 

That is what it is all about in professional foodservice: inspiring the staff to accomplish the goals the house wants.  That means, each day prior to the start of business, I take the entire floor staff and the managers aside and tell them what I want them to tell the customers.  I explain the history and any significance attached to the dish, and then I send them out there with a prize in mind: “the one who sells the most will get an eight-ounce filet mignon cooked to their preference and a pair of tickets for them and their loved one to come in for a half-price dinner on a weeknight.  You would be surprised at how well this fires up the floor staff! Let us make the dish:

(#1141) CHICKEN BREAST SAUTÉ CORINTHIAN



Chicken Breast Sauté Corinthian is a classic dish from an earlier time in our culinary history coming to us from the Greeks.  In the 1980s, we ran it occasionally at the fine-dining establishment in where I worked and always received rave reviews.  It is a cream-based dish flavored with red currant jelly, thyme, and Marsala wine.  This one dish is as good today as it was in the not-too-distant culinary past of the nation.  Try it out!

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 12-15 minutes:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
5-6-ounce
Boneless breasts of chicken, lightly pounded

Seasoned Flour II (Recipe #1592)

.5
Cup
Olive oil

Kosher Salt and Pepper (Recipe #1324)

.25
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

.5
Cup
Melted butter

1
Cup
Sliced button mushrooms

.25
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.125
Teaspoon
White pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

2
Cups
Chicken stock
Hot
.5
Cup
Smucker’s red currant jelly

.5
Cup
Marsala wine

2
Cups
Heavy cream
Warm
1
Teaspoon
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
3-4
Cups
Rice du jour

2-3
Cups
Vegetables du jour

4
Each
Sprigs fresh parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Lightly pound the chicken breasts by placing them between two sheets of plastic wrap and then pounding them—GENTLY!—with a food hammer (masticator).  Pound them on BOTH sides and if any breastbones remain, remove them with a boning knife.  Set them aside on a pie pan when done in the refrigerator. 

2.      Make the Seasoned Flour:

(#1592) SEASONED FLOUR II



            It is 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 is 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:

3.      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 is important to have a seasoned flour recipe for breading different foods and this is a good one.  You will use this recipe many times. Make the Kosher Salt and Pepper seasoning next:

(#1324) KOSHER SALT AND PEPPER SEASONING


Every chef has his or her favorite blends of spices and assorted seasonings and this is a simple salt and pepper-PLUS seasoning perfect for all your seasoning needs.  Keep plenty of it on-hand, as it will become indispensable in all your cooking endeavors!

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:

4.      Combine and store in an airtight container.

You will find many uses for this good basic, salt-and-pepper seasoning so keep plenty of made up ahead of time.

5.      Place a large Sautoir or sauté pan atop a medium flame and add the olive oil: heat it up.  Dust the pounded chicken breasts with flour and shake off the excess.  When the oil is hot, add the breasts and press them into the oil with your fingertips.  Season the meat to taste with the Kosher Salt and Pepper and add the thyme.  Brown the breasts on both sides and then remove from the pan.  Wipe the pan clean and return it to the flame.

6.      Add the butter and heat to a sizzle and when it is, add the mushrooms and sauté quickly just until blanched.  Return the chicken meat to the pan and commence the second sauté.  Add the salt, pepper, and thyme and continue cooking the chicken breasts. 

7.      Add the chicken stock and allow it to boil up, taking care NOT to let it boil over the rim of the pan.  Lower the flame to medium-low and partly reduce the stock; then, add the currant jelly and continue cooking for several minutes longer.

8.      Add the Marsala wine to the skillet and allow it to reduce, too, and finally add the cream.  The cream will rise in volume the more it heats so be sure to keep a close eye upon it less it boil over the sides of the pan.  You DO NOT want this to happen so always maintain vigilance on cream-based dishes. 

9.      After a few minutes, the cream will reduce in volume and will transform into a pan sauce.  Allow it to perk along over medium-low flame until the sauce is medium-consistency and the chicken meat is cooked.  Test it with a quick-temp thermometer: if it reads 165°F or higher, the meat is safe to eat and if not, continue cooking.  You can always speed it up by popping the meat alone into the microwave oven and giving it a minute or two. 
Parsley Knot: “always make sure you press as much excess green color out of fresh parsley as otherwise, it turns white sauces and cream soups “green,” an unprofessional and undesirable attribute.”
10. When done, add the parsley to the sauté and prepare to serve.  Place the rice at the ten o’clock position and the vegetables at two o’clock on each of four plates.  Place the chicken breasts, one on each plate, at the six o’clock position with plenty of pan sauce ladled over each with mushrooms.  Sprinkle with additional freshly minced and rinsed parsley and place a sprig of fresh parsley in the center of each plate; they are now ready to serve.

11. Separate the sauce from the meat if you have leftovers and cool both to below 45°F as quickly as possible.  Label, date, and refrigerate and reheat to 165°F or higher to serve again.  The sooner you use it, the better and if not used within 1-2 days, I recommend you use meat for something else (like soup) or freeze it later uses.  You can always make new sauce.

Chicken Corinthian is a classic dish considered somewhat tame nowadays what with the emphasis on lighter sauces and flavors.  Still, it is a past classic and one that is great when served on an occasional basis.

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

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 is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that we hear the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession—join us. We urge our readership to write to us, 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 do not pay anything but we give you full byline and that is 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 will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so Stinky says.

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

Thanks for the wonderful cards, letters, and emails you have sent me this week complimenting me on my recipes, I am always pleased to hear from joyful readers who want to thank me for my culinary brilliance!  Foodservice is a way of life, it is something most of us enter at an early age, to which we lose our virginity and become lifelong employees.  I have never considered any other profession and I am sure that most of my cohorts here at the END feel the same way.  Please join us on our lifelong journey from the beginning to the end and to see who will be the last chef standing!                                                     

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 SPIRIT/ Jo Jo Gunne and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

V. Vicky Mazarotti

V. “Vicky” Mazarotti
ACF, CWC, CPC, International Association of Culinary Professionals IACP.
This is a photo of me as a young chef back in the 1970's when I was working at a hotel in San Francisco. I had the opportunity to work in many different parts of the country and worked my way up the culinary ladder to become a top chef. I am both a Certified Working Chef and a Certified Pastry Chef and am a member of the American Culinary Federation, the world's top authority on everything connected to cooking.

Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti writes from Taft, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Friday, July 06, 2012 by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

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:

The one-and-only Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti writes this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti on July 14, 1986 in Fresno, CA.

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