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View Full Version : Trouble in the Kitchen - Making new recipes



Stew21
07-21-2008, 02:33 AM
No fires, thank goodness, but I do have a mess on my hands. I'm an experimental cook. I make up recipes all the time.
I thought I'd try something different today. Boy did I.

Here's what I did, and what I'm going to try to do (and I hope you join me). I'm going to post what I did, what worked, what didn't and see if I can figure out how to improve on it.

Suggestions welcome, but post you're own too.

What I did:
I took some sausage, browned it with one small onion, and then diced up a granny smith apple and threw that in. I added salt pepper and a dash of cinnamon.
I took it out of the skillet - drained it, then added I egg (scrambled with fork) and a bit of milk.
I flayed some chicken breast halves(to make them flat and open). Stuffed them with the mixture, used toothpicks to close them and threw them back in the skillet to brown them.

What went wrong:
I'm thinking, nice chicken breast with a sausage apple stuffing...except:

the mixture is too runny.
The mixture is too lumpy.
The chicken breast halves just don't hold very much and no amount of toothpicks is going to hold in egg and milk.
I thought the skillet was a good fix for this that's why I browned them.
I made entirely too much stuffing and have nothing to cook the chicken in (seems it would need a bit of a sauce or gravy to cook well without drying out.)
My solution was to put the browned chicken breast sans toothpicks directly into the pan with the extra mixture, to cover it with foil and to bake it.

This has the potential to REALLY SUCK.

next time:

When I brown the sausage I'm going to crumble it as finely as possible.
Instead of milk to hold it together, since that will only work once baked, I'm going to put in some breadcrumbs and go for a dryer mixture.
And I'm going to make less stuffing and bake with a tiny bit of chicken broth in the bottom of the pan.

And...now that I have it all typed out, I think it sounds kind of icky.

Any other suggestions?
I might decide I don't like the taste and never try it again. (it's still in the oven) and I have no idea what I'm going to serve with it.

Sometimes I think I really should not be let loose in a kitchen.

Stew21
07-21-2008, 04:50 AM
Well, it turned out better than I thought. After the chicken was done, I took it from the pan, poured the mix into a skillet and simmered it down all the way, made some bowtie pasta, put some butter, garlic salt and pepper on it, poured the left over sausage over it.
Served the chicken on top of the pasta.
The chicken wasn't seasoned quite enough, while the stuffing was well seasoned. I'll have to work on that, too.

I stayed with the apple theme, cored and sliced apple rings, baked them with butter, sugar and cinnamon, pulled them out, carmelized the butter and sugar and poured it over. Sprinkled some powdered sugar on them - dessert!

I'm still going to tweak this quite a bit, and would love suggestions - honestly, I think next time, I'll leave the apples out, and put the mixture in bell peppers. I think it would be good with cheese on top if it was in a pepper.

L M Ashton
07-21-2008, 03:52 PM
I had troubles of a different kind in the kitchen.

Yesterday, I picked up a pan by its handle. And I knew it was hot. But, no, I pick it up. After much time soaking my hand in ice water and dousing liberally with aloe, parts of the red burn marks are started to disappear and don't sting as much. At least it didn't blister.

And today, while making a chocolate sourdough cake for my mother in law's birthday tomorrow, we ran out of gas. We get ours in cylinders - like propane tanks that y'all use for barbecues, only double the size. There's no such thing as either a. electric stoves or b. gas lines to houses here, and the other cooking options are kerosene stoves, wood fires, and, well, that sort of thing. So we use gas. We normally have a backup, but that was out, too. Which confirms that we have a gas leak since the tank I was using should have lasted another month. So Fahim had to call up our trishaw driver and get a tank delivered, but by that time, the cake had already fallen, and even after baking, refused to unstick itself from the pan with any degree of finesse that could lead to icing and/or ganache. So off to make a second cake...

As for your stuffing, I have no ideas. But I think right now, I hate chocolate cake.

Bubastes
07-21-2008, 05:03 PM
Pasta can save most kitchen disasters (at least for me!).

If you still have leftover sausage and apple stuffing, I would try baking it into a frittata or breakfast strata and add some shredded cheddar cheese on top. Does that sound like it might work?

Kitrianna
07-21-2008, 05:14 PM
I take my inspiration and use recipes that I already have (I have A LOT!) as guidelines, especially for baked goods. It helps me out, at least when it comes to the measurement aspect as I have a tendency to do the 'dash of this and a pinch of that' when I'm cooking. Baking on the other hand, well that can be disastrous, especially when trying to recreate a recipe! Now I just have to start writing things down and Kthrok will be a happier man...

CheriVixen
07-21-2008, 05:22 PM
Stew, I think your on the right track with your changes. It does sound really good actually-except the milk and egg part.

Instead of flaying the chicken all the way butterfly style---definatly not technical terms here-- try making a pocket in the chicken and filling like a pita bread pocket.

I would also suggest leaving the bread crumbs out of the stuffing and coating the chicken with them instead. then searing the chicken in the skillet only turning once. that will get it crisp on the out side without drying it out on the inside...if you want gravey from the pan juices add chicken broth after you take out the chicken ---Yum!

Good luck.

Sorry if this was more info than you wanted. :o I warmed to the subject and (if you ask the kids) enjoy lecturing;).

Stew21
07-21-2008, 05:28 PM
Stew, I think your on the right track with your changes. It does sound really good actually-except the milk and egg part.

Instead of flaying the chicken all the way butterfly style---definatly not technical terms here-- try making a pocket in the chicken and filling like a pita bread pocket.

I would also suggest leaving the bread crumbs out of the stuffing and coating the chicken with them instead. then searing the chicken in the skillet only turning once. that will get it crisp on the out side without drying it out on the inside...if you want gravey from the pan juices add chicken broth after you take out the chicken ---Yum!

Good luck.

Sorry if this was more info than you wanted. :o I warmed to the subject and (if you ask the kids) enjoy lecturing;).

Great suggestions. Thanks!

brianm
07-21-2008, 08:46 PM
I'm still going to tweak this quite a bit, and would love suggestions -

IMO, you need to go one step further with the chicken in order to stuff it properly. After you butterfly the breasts, pound them to approximately 1/4 inch thick with a meat mallet to produce a paillard. This will allow the chicken to cook evenly without the outside portion of the chicken drying out and will give you a larger surface for the stuffing. This is a standard technique for making roulades, which is what you are doing in your recipe.

Additionally, instead of using bread crumbs as a binding ingredient for your stuffing, trim the chicken breasts to make them uniform after you have pounded them into paillards. Take the trimmings and run them through a food processor or blender until they form a paste. Omit the scrambled egg and milk from your recipe and use the paste to bind the crumbled sausage and apple mixture.

Don't place a small amount of the mixture in the center of each breast, rather spread it evenly over each breast. Then roll each one up, secure with toothpicks, and then brown them in a sauté pan or Dutch oven. Once browned, pour some chicken stock, apple juice, or a combination of both over the breasts and finish them in the oven.

I make a similar dish to yours but my mixture contains sausage, apples, raisins, chopped walnuts, thyme, salt, and pepper. I use a mixture of apple juice and chicken stock as the braising liquid when it goes in the oven.

Stew21
07-21-2008, 08:48 PM
excellent brian. thank you!
i was just talking to a lady i work with about the experiment, and i told her next time i was finishing in the oven with broth. thanks for the tips on how to make the chicken breast easier to work with too.

i've stuffed venson backstraps before and cooked them in beef broth. i should have remember that and done this chicken the same way.

great suggestions.

threedogpeople
07-21-2008, 11:04 PM
Something I've found in stuffing chicken breasts is that it is important to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour. The compression of the plastic wrap, combined with the chilling, helps the stuffing & chicken stay together.