cooking: chicken marsala


I never recall having chicken marsala. Last week since I had some chicken breasts and leftover Marsala wine, I figured, “why not? let’s make some chicken marsala tonight.”

Since I’ve never made it before I did some googling and found two recipes which I kinda combined together…

Chicken Marsala
Adapted from Allrecipes and Epicurious

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded until 1/4″ thick
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 stick butter (approx. 4 tablespoons)
1 cup flour (might have used more, don’t remember)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup Sherry wine
1/3 – 2/3 cup half and half
1 lb. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

First, I mixed together the flour, oregano, salt & pepper (eyeball the salt and pepper). Dry the breasts and then dredge them in the flour until well coated and shake off excess.

Next, I heated a dutch oven (a large skillet should work fine too) over medium heat with the butter and oil. Once hot, I placed the chicken in and browned for about 3-4 minutes on each side. You may have to do this in portions (depending on your pan size). Add the mushrooms. Next, I poured in the Sherry and Marsala, deglazing the pan and making sure all the stuck browned goodness gets scraped off the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce until about 1/4 of the liquid is gone. Place your half and half in next and stir until well incorporated.

Adjust heat to medium/medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked to 165­°. Make sure you add salt and pepper during the simmering. Tasting the sauce to your liking.

Once cooked, I served it over linguine.

Verdict: It came out well (I think). Since I don’t have any previous experiences with chicken marsala, it’s hard to compare what I made to how it should be. The only con was the sauce. It tasted just right in the pan, and once I poured it out over the noodles, the noodles took away a lot thus making the sauce seemed a tad on the bland side. I also think that the sauce should have been a little thicker than it was.

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katz’s delicatessen

A couple months ago I finally made my way out for lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen, a famous Jewish deli in New York City to get sandwiches…to be more specific, corned beef/pastrami on rye sandwiches. Over the years, Katz’s has sort of become a tourist trap, since (1), they’re arguably one of the best sandwich places in the city and (2) there was a famous “orgasm” scene shot here in the movie When Harry Met Sally…, which I actually have yet to see. So if you come here on the weekends, it’s really crowded.

When I walked in, I was handed a ticket. What was this ticket for? Ordering I would guess…the guy handing them out just told me that I shouldn’t lose it, or I have to pay some crazy amount…like $50 bucks or something! Crazy right? Just for a lost ticket. I made sure I stuffed that guy into my deep jeans pocket. To this day I still don’t quite understand the significance of that ticket…

We were a party of 3, so we decided to sit for table service (there was actually a vacant table against the wall). I’ve always heard about the corned beef or pastrami sandwiches and I couldn’t decide between either so I ordered a sandwich with a mix of both.

The sandwich came out and wow. …I guess it seemed small because it was served on a saucer, but the amount of meat in between the rye was a lot! I added some deli mustard they had on the table and took my first bite. It was delicious. Juicy, tender pieces of meat, mixed in with the mustard and rye…I’m pretty sure none of us spoke to each other while we ate. We were kinda in our own worlds. I definitely struggled to finish that sandwich too, but I somehow managed. This was easily one of the messiest sandwiches I have ever eaten.


Verdict: Our waiter was friendly and served us quickly. The sandwich lived up to the expectations and the hype. It was fantastic and worth it, even though the price tag was fairly high..I’d like to say $15? I’d definitely come back again, but it’s no place to make a habit out of. Check it out if you’re in the Lower East Side and really hungry!

Katz’s Delicatessen
205 E. Houston Street
New York, NY 10002

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cooking: mayonnaise (w/ photo) & buffalo chicken salad

Ahh, it’s good to be back (blogging that is). I apologize for my absence and I’ll try harder to post more. So tonight I decided to prepare lunch for tomorrow. Since I made some chicken caesar wraps for dinner, I had leftover poached chicken breasts. Ultimately, I decided buffalo chicken salad would be perfect.

I started out making some mayonnaise. It’s the same recipe I used last time. It’s nice and simple. Definitely try making this on your own before reaching out for that container of Hellman’s. Trust me…it’s so much better tasting…and “kinda” fun. Here’s a link to Aida Mollenkamp’s mayo recipe, which is very helpful in giving you a starting point. The neat thing about making mayo is that you can really add whatever flavors you want to it. Ex. Sesame oil instead of veg/canola to give it a nutty flavor, roasted garlic, wasabi, and the list goes on. I have yet to try anything that interesting, but I definitely see myself giving a new flavor a shot in the future.


After the mayo was set, I created the buffalo chicken salad kinda off the top of my head…the estimated recipe is as follows.

Just wanted to say that I eyeballed pretty much everything in the following recipe. Don’t take the measurements to heart and use your best judgement…I’m sure you guys will do fine.

Buffalo Chicken Salad (yields about 4-5 cups…I think…haha)


-about 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (poached, diced into cubes/shredded, etc.)
-1/2 – 1 cup mayo
-1/4 cup or less of ranch dressing
-1 celery rib (chopped)
-1/4 cup gorgonzola cubes
-hot sauce (to taste, I used Frank’s Red Hot)
-kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Start by placing the chicken cubes/shreds in a fairly large mixing bowl. Next, toss the mayo in and work the chicken/mayo mixture around so the mayo gets incorporated well as the chicken breaks apart from it’s cube form (if you want to get rid of the cubes). Proceed by adding the ranch dressing followed by the chopped celery and gorgonzola. Once well mixed, add enough hot sauce to turn the salad a light tinge of orange/red. Obviously, based on your preferences, you may opt to add a lot, or maybe just a couple drops. I definitely used close to maybe an 1/8 of a cup? Lastly, toss in a small pinch of kosher salt and grind some black pepper. Stir till well mixed. Give it a final taste test, and adjust seasonings as required. Serve on toasted bread, crackers, or just eat it on it’s own!

It tasted good, but I’m sure I could do better. I’m pretty happy with the turnout. We’ll find out tomorrow how good it really is! I’m going to serve it on toasted whole wheat bread.

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cooking: mayonnaise

I made some homemade mayo tonight for my BLT lunch tomorrow. Shoulda taken a photo for you guys…oh well, there’s always next time.

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cooking: turkey stock

I’ve never made a stock in fear of messing up and wasting the long hours used to make one. It has definitely started to get on my nerves buying boxes/cans of “broth” at the supermarket for my culinary use. How can I not do something so simple (just time consuming)?

pre-mirepoix

Having a fresh turkey carcass and wings, I took out the stock pot, put the turkey parts in, diced my mirepoix, and put together a bouquet garni. I started at approximately 1:30pm…and finished around 8:30pm.

mirepoix & bouquet garni

I must say it took a while, but it was totally worth it. The stock looks great, and I definitely have about 20 cups worth of stock now!

simmering


ice bath in cooler to bring it down past “danger zone”


tons of stock for future use


These are the two references which have helped me in making my stock…

Good Eats – Season 7, Episode 5 – True Brew IV: Take Stock
The Professional Chef, 8th Edition – Culinary Institute of America

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