Southern Fried Chicken Breast with Wild Mushroom Gravy
Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon
Dry Jack Polenta
September 18th, 2008 Liz: This week was by far our best yet. Fried chicken, braised red cabbage with bacon, creamy polenta with cheese, and wild mushroom gravy, and chocolate truffles. Now my grandmother taught me how to fry chicken when I was barely tall enough to reach the top of the stove, and since her fried chicken was, hands down, the best chicken that has ever been fried, I tend not to mess with that. Nonetheless, we decided, in the spirit of trying new things, to try a chicken recipe out of a cookbook. The recipe called for soaking the chicken in buttermilk, then breading it in flour with salt and pepper. Try as we do to keep to the recipe, this just seemed blander than even Texas Pete might be able to fix. So, I added a healthy dose of cayenne to the flour. Now that might have been fine, if Scott had not also, without mentioning it, done the same. We did not realize this until we were eating, and Laura started drinking a lot of water and AJ's eyes started watering. I will say though, that the chicken was GOOD. Not my grandmother's, but GOOD. But the real story from last week was the mushroom sauce. The mushroom sauce didn't sound like much- mushrooms, sherry, cream, shallots, and some other stuff that I don't remember because I have had a Magic Hat while I am writing this. Probably we shouldn't ponder the mushroom sauce too much, since most things are better if they retain a certain degree of mystery. Suffice it to say that the sauce ended up velvety (after some not-called-for in the recipe cornstarch), earthy (wild mushrooms), and tasting vaguely of the inside of a barrel of really good liquor (the sherry, improbably). It was amazing and we suggest you go make a batch of it and pour it over top of whatever you have handy. Chicken, grits, cardboard, whatever. Lastly, just a few words about the truffles- made first, eaten last. The truffles consisted of bittersweet chocolate, cream, and cognac. It is impossible to go wrong with an ingredient list like that. Like the key lime pie of a few weeks ago, the truffles can be consumed at any stage in their preparation. We decided to buy cheap sherry and expensive cognac. I don't know how much of a difference this made, but AJ ended up drinking everyone's cognac 'cause it was a little on the strong side and when Scott and I drink things like that we tend to fall down. Of course, if we didn't drink shots out of votive candle holders we might have less trouble with that...
HELL OF A GOOD TIME!
The Devils are in the kitchen making mischief! The Devils in this case are Scott and Liz…and every so often a special guest chef! (we use the term ‘chef’ liberally). The Devils wanted to take a stab at expending our knowledge and you now get to be a part of the mischief making! Each week we will attempt to prepare a menu of items we have never made before, using equipment we never used before (or equipment we would never have thought of using in the kitchen)…all in an attempt to provide you with a world of comic relief! There will be commentary on everything…from food to politics, reviews of our favorite cookbooks to our favorite restaurants and maybe even some gossip! But mostly it will be just about The Devils in the kitchen…because mainly we just like the attention.