Thursday, November 19, 2009

TGRWT #20: pumpkin and cooked chicken, PART 2

Tonight I made another dish for TGRWT #20. This time I made a pumpkin curry with chicken. The curry was made up of onions, curry leaves, turmeric, fresh ginger, mustard seed, green chilies, cumin seed, coconut milk, pumpkin and chicken. Unfortunately the chilies that I used (grown by my girlfriends father) were somewhat overpowering - and while the coconut milk helped cut through them, they were still the predominant flavor. Everything still worked together nicely. The pumpkin and chicken went together perfectly fine but they didn't really jump out and scream 'we go really well together' Overall a nice dish, but not a knockout.

Monday, November 16, 2009

TGRWT #20: pumpkin and cooked chicken, PART 1?

Sorry for the poor quality. My camera battery turned out to be dead and I wanted to eat so I used my cell phone!

I have been thinking for about a week now what I might want to do for TGRWT #20. I spent a few days looking through many of my books and on various web sites to figure out common ingredients used in both chicken and pumpkin dishes. Drawing inspiration from all over the map - from Thailand to Southern India, the Caribbean and North Africa - I came up with several ideas.
#1: Grilled Moroccan Spiced Chicken Breast with Pumpkin Fritters and Pumpkin Demi-Glace.

Let me start by saying the pumpkin demi-glace was the highlight of the dish. The pumpkin added a depth of flavor that really made it shine. Also, it made the sauce velvety smooth. I will use it again as is. The chicken also turned out very nice. The marinade really tenderized the breast and added a great flavor that paired wonderfully with the demi-glace. When I ate the fritters and chicken together it was alright, but not something I would recommend. The sweetness of the fritters would overpower the chicken. That being said the chicken with the demi, and the fritters with the demi were both wonderful combinations. I think the fritters were too sweet for the dish, almost like little fried balls of pumpkin pie filling. They could benefit from reducing the sugar in the recipe - if not removing it completely.

Marinade for chicken:
0.5 CUP Plain Yogurt
0.5 CUP Chopped Cilantro
1 TBSP Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 TSP Paprika
0.5 TSP Smoked Paprika
1.5 TSP Cumin
0.5 TSP Salt
0.5 TSP Black Pepper

2 Airline Chicken Breast

1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Add the 2 airline chicken breasts to the marinade. Allow to marinate for 6-8 hours.

Pumpkin Demi-Glace
1 LB Chicken bones and parts
4 OZ Onion, small dice
2 OZ Carrot, small dice
2 OZ Celery, small dice
2 OZ Tomato paste
1 Sachet bag (bay leaf, cloves, cracked peppercorn, parsley stems, thyme)
0.5 CUP Dry white wine
1 PINT Chicken stock
TT Salt
TT Pepper
3 TBSP Pumpkin puree
2 OZ Butter, whole, chilled

1. Roast bones until browned
2. Add mirepoix, tomato paste, and sachet
3. Keep roasting until everything is golden brown
4. Deglaze the roasting pant with white wine and reduce
5. Add chicken stock and simmer for approximately 2 hours until mixture thickens
6. Strain
7. Add pumpkin puree and whisk. Adjust seasoning. Whisk in whole butter for gloss and thickening.

My yield of demi-glace BEFORE adding my pumpkin puree was a hair less than one cup. I recommend keeping the 3 T: 1 C ratio when adding your pumpkin - tasting as you go.

Pumpkin Fritters
1.5 CUP Pumpkin puree
2 TBSP Butter, melted
1 CUP Sugar, granulated
1 Egg, large
1 CUP AP flour
0.75 TSP Vanilla extract
0.25 TSP Cinnamon
0.25 TSP Nutmeg

1. Mix pumpkin puree, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla
2. Sift flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. Combine dry and wet ingredients.
4. Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. Cook until lightly browned and drain. Serve hot

My other, equally crappy plating & charred breast:

About this blog

After following Martin Lersch's blog for some time, I have decided to participate in his wonderful They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT) project. TGRWT was, "initiated in April 2007 to explore flavor pairings suggested by the hypothesis that if two foods have one or more key odorants in common it might very well be that go well together and perhaps even compliment each other." In order to participate you need to either have a blog, or e-mail each host your results. Hopefully this will become a regular thing for me so I have decided to start this blog.

A little about me..I am a Culinary Arts student at SUNY Schenectady Community College in Schenectady, NY. I am 23 years old and hopefully I wont embarrass myself too much here.