Chicken and Waffles — Sous Vide Edition

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and waffles apparently is a thing that goes way back, although I came across it only recently. I still haven’t figured out whether it’s a big breakfast or an interesting dinner. Either way, I guess it combines wonderful fried chicken, waffles and in my case, a very tasty bourbon-maple syrup topping. Oh yeah — it’s also done sous vide — which makes it just superb, in my opinion.

So for those who aren’t familiar with sous vide (are there people like that still?) we start out with the chicken, cooked sous vide at about 150 degrees for about two hours. For this recipe, I boned the chicken (except for the legs) before cooking with just a little oil and garlic. When that’s done, I used some flour, eggs and breadcrumbs, then fried the chicken until the breadcrumbs were just the right color. Because all the chicken is cooked to 150 degrees and left long enough to kill off any bacteria, it’s fresh and very juicy. 

While the recipe is cooking, I made the waffles, which are just the way the manufacturer says they should be, including a little buttermilk, then got to work on the bourbon and maple syrup mix, which is very easy but very flavorful. 

While I made this for dinner, chicken and waffles could easily cut down the chicken and make it into a quick breakfast.

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Crispy Lemon Eggs with Avocado Dressing

crispy lemon eggs

Fried eggs are familiar and satisfying. They’re also a bit boring. So here’s a way to dress them up for  a nice Sunday brunch. Crispy fried eggs have an interesting mix of crunchy and soft textures, and the infusion of lemon and garlic give them a subtle, delicious flavor. Paired with the creamy texture of the avocado, set off with the slightly floral scent and flavor of lime, they’re nothing short of fantastic.

The technique for making the crispy fried eggs actually opened a whole new world of egg-making for me. The eggs are first fried in very hot oil, which crisps up the underside. Then comes a small amount of liquid and something aromatic, like garlic or fresh herbs. When the lid is put on the pan, the tops of the eggs are gently steamed, achieving a soft, almost creamy texture.

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Biscuits and Bacon Eggs Benedict

eggs benedict

OK, that’s an awkward title for a blog post, but hey, its descriptive. It’s a little bit of spin on the classic eggs Benedict, using some of my favorite things — homemade buttermilk biscuits, bacon smoked over cherry wood, an egg poached to perfection and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce.

Lets start with the biscuits: They’re done southern style, which means they rise up tall enough to slice and thus take the place of the traditional English muffin. One of the keys to great biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible and keep it cool (or even cold) throughout the process. Mixing the dough is a job for a food processor or a Ninja type blender with multiple large blades. I’ve tried a hand mixer and I’ve tried a stand mixer. Neither gets the result I want. I’ve also used a simple pastry cutter, and that works pretty well, actually.

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A Basic Frittata

frittata

The frittata is the Italian equivalent of an omelette, or maybe a Quiche without crust. It’s eggs, cheese and whatever appropriate ingredients you have on hand, started on the stove top and finished in the oven. It’s like a fresh clean canvas where you can paint whatever picture suits your mood and your appetite.

The basics are easy. Use an oven proof skillet. I find that my cast iron skillet is perfect for a frittata. Cook your ingredients in the pan first, adds the eggs to the pan and cook them until the edges are set, put some cheese on top and then pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the center of the frittata is set. Give it a few minutes to cool and cut into wedges for serving.

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Road Trip Sourdough Flapjacks

Sourdough Flapjacks

It may be genetic (or certainly a cultural inheritance) but whatever the reason, when just about anyone in my family starts off on a road trip, the first thing that happens is that everyone in the vehicle gets hungry. Sometimes before we’re out of the driveway. Certainly by the time we’re a few miles down the road.

It took awhile, but I concluded that this malady is at least aggravated by the fact that we tend to eat lightly or not at all in the hectic and exciting runup to the start of a road trip. And this recipe is one of my solutions. Eat a stack of these sourdough flapjacks and you’re not likely to think about food for a couple of hours, probably longer. They’re light and fluffy, but very satisfying and nonetheless filling, especially with a hearty hickory syrup or fresh fruit to accompany them.

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Individual Baked Eggs

baked eggs

Here in the good ‘ol USA, when you talk about eggs for breakfast, they’re almost certainly fried or scrambled, so when I saw them on a restaurant menu at a country inn, I greeted the idea of baked eggs with a hearty “why would you do that?” The answer was “this is how they make eggs in France.” Figures.

I ordered them, of course, and gee, wow, they’re terrific. They’re creamy and delicate and they’re also perfect for those mornings when you have several people to make breakfast for and don’t want to spend a morning frying eggs one or two at a time.

The base baked eggs recipe is very simple. Use an individual buttered ramekin, add an egg, a teaspoon of heavy cream, and a small pat of butter and bake at 350F until the egg whites are opaque and the yellow is done to your liking. Generally, the baking time is about 15 minutes.

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