Monday, June 8, 2009

Rosie Finds Chicken Bosoms For A Steal And Bastardizes An Alinea Recipe For Marinade.

Whoot! Two pounds of boneless chicken breast for $2.79. We bought maybe 5 or 6 packages on sale. I always check for the marked down meats and usually I find great deals, like this chicken.
You know us. We're always on the lookout for a deal. I wanted a marinade for the chicken so I went back to my half-assed shot at the Alinea cookbook when I refused to make their Sushi-grade tuna jerky, and instead used lovely tuna fillets with Alinea's kick-ass marinade.
Now, if you check out Alinea's recipe, the ingredients are measured in 10th's of an ounce. For a marinade. OK, you need to make a reduction out of it too. But 10th's of an ounce??? Is that really necessary? I was determined to do that marinade by the book. And it took me over an hour to measure everything. But, as you can see on the link above, I did it. However, I balked at making tuna jerky. Just.Could.Not.Do It. As it turned out, my sauteed medium rare tuna fillets were wonderful and the flavor of the marinade was an exceptional enhancement to the tuna. I wanted to marinate this chicken with the basic flavors in the Alinea marinade, but just dumb it down - as in cups, and ounces, and tablespoons. For a regular cook. Pffffft!!!!! Freakin' 10th's of an ounce. But then I don't own the Numero Uno Restaurant in America. Hell, I couldn't even get a rezzie at the Best Restaurant in America. So what the hell do I know? I'm just a home cook who dares to "push the envelope" and "think outside of the box" (I hate phrases like that. Are you on the same page with me?) and try to make foods, meals, cuisines, and recipes accessible and tryable, non-intimidating, and do-able for my readers. Please. A show of hands for those of you who own digital scales. I finally got mine this year for my birthday, but I've done very well without it all these many years. And mine shows ounces, not 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 ounces as some recipes call for. I ask you again: Is that really necessary?
Here are the dumbed-down ingredients for my marinade: 
(I wanted to keep to the spirit of the Alinea recipe if not to the letter.) 
1 cup water 
1 1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup soy sauce
 1/3 cup fish sauce 
2 TB Thai chili sauce
 2 TB mirin 
2 TB fresh coriander seeds (As in off my blooming cilantro plants. What? You don't have cilantro blooming now? Le sigh ... Substitute coriander seeds from the grocery store.)
 2 TB pickled ginger juice
zest of 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 orange 
3 TB ginger juice and pulp of a 1 x 3-inch piece of ginger
Add the sugar to the water.
Add in the soy.
Add in the fish sauce.
Add in the Thai chili.
The mirin.
The pickled ginger.
These are fresh coriander seeds right off my cilantro plants. I bit into one and just got a big fresh, green, juicy burst of citrusy/cilantro flavor. Fresh coriander runs circles around the hard seeds you buy in the grocery store in the spice section. Just a whole different animal altogether.
Here are the coriander seeds going into the mix.
Stir mixture and bring to a boil. Cut off heat and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Zest one orange, one lemon, and one lime.
Juice the lemon, orange, and lime. Don't you like the picture of me in the juicer?
Here, I have the zest, the juice, a 1 x 3 inch piece of frozen ginger root, and about 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
Lemon, lime, and orange juice got added to the mixture.
Cilantro went in.
Rosie's Tip #106: Freeze your ginger root so it's always available for you. When you take it out, you can nuke a piece for about 20 seconds, then squeeze it by hand to extract lots of juice.
After extracting as much juice as I could by hand, I used a garlic press to ferret out the rest.
I added in the ginger juice and pulp. Don't you like those little pearls of coriander going around the side of the pan?
And I do believe my marinade is ready.
Chicken is thawed out and awaiting the marinade.
I poured the marinade over the chicken in a storage bag. squeezed the air out, sealed, and massaged every now and then for the next four hours.
After the four hours of marinating, I poured the marinade into a pan, brought it to a simmer, and cooked on very low, reducing the marinade until it coated my spoon. (Maybe two hours.)
Here's little Bo Bo being cute, wanting to get in Mr. Hawthorne's lap.
Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil and some Land o' Lakes Unsalted Butter went into a hot pan. Then the chicken bosoms.
About seven minutes on each side.
Doncha just love the cross-hatchings?
Mr. Hawthorne sauteed some asparagus.
I steamed carrots and celery and added some buttah.
Marinated, seared chicken bosoms with the cooked marinade drizzled over top, with rice and asparagus, and carrots and celery. I love this marinade and its complexity. So many flavors.
Here's a close up of the chicken.
Mr. Hawthorne and both boys ate this meal,
and all three said this was "the best pork" they'd ever had.


Rocquie said...

"That's the way I roll".
"What is up with that?"
Rosie, I once served BBQ tofu to a group of people. I was tickled when I heard one say to another that she thought it was pork!

Hairball T. Hairball said...

The chicken looks most tasty!

Congrats on scoring such a good deal.

Kathy said...

I'm going to pretend I didn't see that WHITE RICE!

Rose II said...

Rosie thank godness you were clothed in the reflection of you in the juicer. Ever see this?