Remember that one time, when I was in this INTENSE competition that made me rethink every single thing I was doing in the kitchen? Made me push myself to do things that I never thought I would or could do, and made me exhausted? I do, it’s happening right now. I feel overwhelmed with excitement and exhaustion all at the same time. You probably all think I am crazy, working full time, cooking, blogging, planning a wedding, getting up and doing it all over again but honestly. I drink red wine. That is how it all gets done. I use the parental sticker system, but with booze. You know, like if you clean your room you get a sticker, when you get 10 stickers you get to see a movie, or an ice cream cone or a pony, depending on your family. My sticker, is red wine. And my 10 sticker reward, is a case of red wine.
When I get tired, I know that there is a pinot noir at the end of the tunnel just waiting for me. And surprisingly, the combination of life’s greatest juices (wine and coffee, duh) keep me moving without missing too much of a step.
So the other night, last fancy Thursday, I started to make what I thought would be my next entry for Project Food Blog. Except that I had this worry in my stomach. I just knew it wasn’t my best. It tasted fine, I had actually made this dish a few times and I felt good with the process, but something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I took counsel with my board of advisors, (Secret Agent Sarah, Jen North Sighting, and Dad.) They all told me what I expected. It looks great, I can see your worries, I think you’ll be fine, but do what you need to do.
And I just could not, (even with the help of Mr. Noir) enter this post without having tried another round, just to be sure. I will never doubt myself again, as soon as I started cooking round 2 on Friday night, I knew I had made the right choice. And here we are with the dish that didn’t make the cut. The 2 buck chuck.
Well, it’s still a good dish, and I still think you should make it at home. I just don’t think you should enter a contest with it, that’s all.
Creole Chicken en Croute, with a Creole Mustard Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 sheet prepared puff pastry, defrosted
1 large egg
1/4 cup Creole mustard or any whole-grain mustard
1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 pinch of salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease the center with the butter.
Season the chicken on all sides with the spice mix. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear evenly on both sides and cook until the chicken is almost Remove from the pan and cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile take the following and:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup diced onion
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 red pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour
In a large skillet or saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon with the above spice mixture, and add the wine stirring to deglaze the pan and until the liquid has all evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest while assembling the other ingredients. Reserve half for the pastry, and half for the sauce.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry. To make an egg wash, beat the egg with 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl.
Layer a thin coat of parmesan cheese and bread crumbs along the bottom of one side of the puff pastry sheet.
Pack the cooled vegetable mixture around the chicken breast, and fold the pastry over the top to make a pocket. With a small knife cut away the excess pastry to make an even border and crimp the pastry edges with a fork dipped in flour, or simply roll the sides.
Carefully transfer the chicken onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the pastry evenly with egg wash. With a small knife cut a slit for steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes.
While the pockets are in the oven, add 1 tablespoon of flour to the remaining vegetables and cook for 1 minute, until the flour has cooked out. Then add 1 tablespoon of grained mustard, and ½ cup cup of chicken stock. Cook until this is thick and reduced. Pour the sauce over finished en croute. The end.
So basically, I think you should applaud my ability to use judgement by voting for my far superior post than the one that it could have been.