Dinner By Dagny

Not just food, food with flavor

Archive for the category “Braising”

Chicken Scarpiello

I like the Food Network. I often get inspired by what those chefs are cooking, and continue to be amazed by how bad some people are at cooking. This season’s “Worst Cooks in America” introduced me to Chicken Scarpiello. I mostly followed the recipe on this and it was really good. It definitely hit the make again list, and the flavor to spice was perfectly balanced.

Ingredients

2-3 strips thick cut bacon

2-3 lbs chicken breasts

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

3/4 cup wine (I used leftover Mead – which carmelized the onions perfectly)

1 cup quartered cherry peppers (pepperadews)

1/2 cup hot pepper juice from the jar

1 cup chicken stock (1 used 1/2 cup pan drippings plus 1/2 cup water)

Adobo, Pepper & Oregano to taste

Directions

1. Chop bacon in to lardons (little pieces) and cook in large frying pan

2. After about 10 mins, bacon should be crispy. Remove from pan

3. Season chicken with Adobo and pepper

4. Brown chicken breasts on both sides in bacon fat (~5 mins/side)

5. Remove chicken from pan

6. Chop onion and garlic and saute in pan

7. Add wine to deglaze pan. Reduce by half.

8. Add chicken, bacon, cherry peppers, cherry pepper juice, stock and oregano to pot

9. Bring to boil

10. Put in preheated 300 degree oven for 40 minutes (You could simmer on stove for 15 mins per pound or put in oven for 15 mins per pound at 350 degrees. This allowed me to run out on an errand while it was cooking).

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Look how rich and delicious that sauce looks! I saved that too.

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Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas

Until 2012, I had never cooked braised short ribs.  It just seemed to be a lot of work, and my family hadn’t taken to pot roast very well, so I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t eat it.  I think it would have been pretty frustrating to me. However, a few months boneless short ribs caught my eye in the grocery store, so I purchased the ingredient and was determined to find a recipe.  I found the Pioneer Woman’s website with fantastic pictures and step by step instructions.  It seemed as good a place to start as anywhere else.

Originally I made this recipe with the creamy polenta recipe she provided.  Unfortunately I have never really like polenta, and this one wasn’t an exception.  It was definitely the best polenta I ever made (as it was the only time I made it) and probably ranked up there with some of the best polenta I’ve ever had.  It still didn’t beat a creamy side of mashed potatoes. I make pretty good mashed potatoes, but I’ve been experimenting with other mashed potato recipes because I’m searching for that fantastic bite you get in your favorite restaurant.  I decided I would try to make the mashed potatoes the Pioneer Woman’s way, especially after I looked up one from Rachael Ray and they were almost identical.

As for a vegetable, I bought the snap peas because I like them.  As you know from earlier posts, I’m kind of bored of steamed vegetables so I’m on the look out for tasty dishes.  I found this one on allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

12 – 15 boneless short ribs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

8 pieces center cut bacon

olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

5 carrots, diced

4 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 cups red wine

3 cups chicken stock (I used 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup water with a chicken boullion)

2-3 sprigs thyme

2-3 sprigs rosemary

5 pounds russet potatoes

3/4 cup butter

6-8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

2 packages frozen sugar snap peas

Adobo, fresh cracked pepper and thyme

Braised Short Ribs Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  In a large oven safe pot or dutch oven, cook bacon over medium – medium high heat until completely crispy

3.  Meanwhile chop all your vegetables

4.   Season the short ribs with Adobo and fresh cracked pepper

4.  Dredge short ribs in flour

5.  Remove cooked bacon from pot and start browning short ribs on each side (approx 45 -60 secs).  Brown all meat in batches so not to crowd the pan

6.  Remove ribs and set aside.  Turn heat down to medium

7.  Add onions, carrots, shallots to pot and cook for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for additional 1 minute

8.  Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan.  Add chicken stock, water, boullion cube

9.  Bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes

10.  Taste broth and add Adobo and fresh cracked pepper to the liquid

11.  Add ribs to the liquid.  They should be almost completely covered by the liquid.   Add bacon bits.  Add thyme and rosemary sprigs

12.  Cover and put in the oven.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees, then reduce heat to 325 for additional 30 to 45 minutes.  Ribs should be fork-tender

13.  Remove from oven and allow to site for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving.  At the last minute, skim off the top of the fat

Mashed Potatoes Directions

There are 2 keys to this recipe: 1) using cream cheese and 2) mashing and mixing ingredients over a low heat, letting the steam escape.

1.  Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces roughly the same size

2.  Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes

3.  Bring to a boil and cook for 30 – 35 minutes.  The fork should easily slide into the potato with no difficulty

4.  Drain the potatoes in a colander.  Put the potatoes back into the pot and put the pot on the stove over low heat

5.  Mast the potatoes, allowing the steam to escape

6.  Add the butter, cream cheese and milk and continue to mash

7.  Add Adobo and fresh cracked pepper to taste.  Stir well

Sugar Snap Peas

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2.  Spread sugar snap peas on single layer on large baking sheet

3.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Adobo, fresh cracked peper and thyme

4.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until tender

Results

The short ribs were tender, the gravy was rich, and the potatoes creamy.  What more could you ask for in dinner?  Baking the sugar snap peas at a high temperature brought out an unexpected nuttiness.  I enjoyed this preparation more and more as I continued to eat them.

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