Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holiday Inn Chicken

Funny name, but amazing chicken dish.  This dish has a history in my family. It goes way back to the mid 1980’s and a trip to our nations capital, Washington, D.C. We stayed a Holiday Inn in Arlington, VA back when hotels still had good restaurants attached to them.The special of the day was this chicken dish.Im sure it had a real name, but over the years it was forgotten or discarded only to known as the infamous Holiday Inn Chicken.

This is a favorite meal of mine to make when I need comfort food that is not too full of fat. Its great on a cold day. Its like a stew so and its perfect with nice fluffy rice and a crusty roll.

Here are the ingredients you will need, this serves 3-4 depending on appetite!In my house it gets only 3 servings.

3 large or 4 small chicken thighs and one large breast, I skin and bone them, discarding the skin and keeping the bones.
1 medium yellow or white onion
3 carrots
1 green bell peper
8-10 Cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/8 to 1/4 cup of dark soy sauce
Dash of worcheshire sauce
2 cups water
1 tsp red pepper flakes, more or less depending on your taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil for searing

Prep chicken, reserve the bones and set aside. Heat oil in dutch oven or other large heavy pot. Season chicken with salt and pepper. I like to cut the chicken so that its smaller in size. So each thigh gets cut in half and breast gets cut into thirds or fourths depending on size. Sear on each side till brown. You could also dredge the chicken in flour, this will make your broth thicker as well.Remove chicken and set aside.

Prep veggies.Rough chop onion and carrot. I use about 1 inch chunks. Seed and de rib the green pepper and chop to one inch chunks. If your mushrooms are large half them , small ones are good whole. Smash the garlic and rough chop, no need to finely chop it as it will stew for a while an break up naturally.Lightly sauté in the pot you used for chicken, there should be enough oil left over to lightly sauté the veggies.

Add the chicken back to the pot and add the rest of the liquid ingredients.  Add your desired amount of red pepper flakes. Jalapeno would be good here to, just be sure to seed and rib it first.

Here is where the cheesecloth and the thigh bones and breast bones come in. I add wrap these up in cheese cloth and add to the pot at this time.This will make a nice broth along with the chicken pieces. You could use bone in chicken in the stew, but I don’t like this. As this will simmer for a few hours to develop the taste the bones fall apart and you end up with thigh bones and breast bones in the broth, which are no fun when you bite in them. This method allows you to use the bones for flavoring, but makes it easy to remove them at the end for ease of serving and eating.

You could also use chicken broth to add flavor if you don’t want to use the bones to make broth, but I find it makes the dish taste “tin canny” and to salty.

Simmer on the stove top on lowest setting for 1.5 to 2 hours. Near the end of cooking remove the lid and let the sauce reduce a bit. So be sure to go lighter on the salt, so when it reduces it will not be to salty. You can also place in a low oven 300 or so degrees in a dutch oven.

This is best served over rice. Hopefully this Holiday Inn chicken will bring you as many good memories as it brings me!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chipotle Steak Pizza

Chipotle Steak Pizza is my absolute favorite pizza at the best pizza place in Alaska, Mooses Tooth Pizza in Anchorage AK.  To bad Anchorage is over 6 hours away, so I cant just call in for take out.

I had this pizza for the first time abut 5 years ago, and it was awesome.  I remember the first time I had this, I woke up in the middle of the nite and snarfed down the leftover under the cover or darkness so I didnt have to share any :)  My two favorite food groups combined, Pizza and Steak.  Heaven on dough :)  Its the chipotle spiced sour cream on top that makes this pie stand out. Spicy and good. 

Here is my version of the classic.

Here are the ingredients you will need

Pizza dough (i use home made, its the easy recipe that came with my kitchen aid mixer)
Mozzerella Cheese and unsmoked Provolone (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 cups of sour cream (depending on the size of your crust)
chiptole in adobe, half or 1/4 a small can
green onions
thin slices of steak ( I like grilled tenderloin)
Roma tomato
Pizza Sauce
Parmesan cheese for serving

To make the chipotle sauce:

In a small food processor or blender puree your desired amount of chipotle and sour cream.  Blend/process until smooth. Set aside.  Remember the longer you let it set the hotter it will be :)

To make the pie:

Roll out the dough to desired shape and size.  I tend to make smaller personal sized pies. I use for my pizza sauce some of my red pasta sauce that has been pureed until smoth.  Any red sauce, jarred or homemade will work fine.  I use about 1/4 a cup for my 8-10 inch pizza.  Just enough that it wets the crust.  I dont like to much sauce.

Top with Cheese then steak, and then veggies.  When dealing with the tomatos, i like to seed them as I dont want all the juice, it makes the pizza soggy.  I like to use tenderloin that has been grilled or broiled to medium rare, cooled and sliced thinly.  You want the most tender meat you can have, since chewy meat on pizza is not good eats!  I use about 1/2 a very small tenderloin for my 10 inch pizza.

After your topping are on, sprinkle with parmesan.  Bake in preheated 425 oven for about 14-20 minuted depending on size and what you are cooking on.  I used to have a pizza stone, but it broke in half.  This time I cooked on foil lined sheet pan.  This worked out just fine.  Though  pizza stone will make a nicer bottom crust.

Remove pie when crust is desired color and cheese is all melted.  Now its time to top with the sauce.  I like to use a make shift piping bag.  Which is a zippy bag with the end cut off (very high tech and fancy).  This makes it easier to dress the top of the pie with out globs of sauce.  Drizzle sauce on top. As you can see from this photo, I was out of bags and ended up with clumpy sauce, but it was still super tastey. You can also top with finely chopped cilantro (this is how they do it at Mooses Tooth) but I leave it out, as my husband doesnt particularly like the taste.  I give this pie a two thumbs up!!!!