Monday, December 12, 2011

Eating Failure

A restaurant chef has the luxury of starting again when she fails.

It started off well enough, I had boneless chicken breasts and wanted rice, carrots and broccoli to go with it.  While I was getting the breasts out I spied the leftover ham.  Hmmmm a thin slice of ham stuffed inside the breast might be nice, so I grabbed that too.  I thought about making a slice in the breast and trying to stuff a piece of ham into it.  That won't work, I'll have to pound it flat.  I might as well get a thin slice of cheese and make it chicken cordon fontana.  I don't have any bread crumbs to coat it with so I'll try corn flour and meal that worked so well on the pork cutlet.  This is where I started to go wrong.

The pork cutlet has much more fat in it and was fried in a pan on the stove and the chicken is going straight in the oven. Never the less I coated the meat, put it on a baking sheet, sprayed it with oil so it would brown and put it in the oven. I set to work getting everything else ready.  We had a late lunch and I didn't want a huge meal so I was skipping the Hollandaise and was just going to shred a little parmesan over the meat.

Twenty five minutes later I took the chicken out of the oven and to my surprise, although fully cooked,  it was the same yellow speckled color it had going in.  I flipped on the broiler and shoved the breasts under direct heat while I got everything together. This was my second mistake.  I didn't realize heat wasn't the problem.  The problem was that there wasn't enough fat in and on the chicken to brown the corn meal.  I couldn't think of any other way to save the dish and at this point everything was ready so I had to serve what I had.

Needless to say my partner wasn't impressed with the yellow speckled turd. He ate it gingerly, trying not to look at the yellow pallor.  It tasted good but it looked so sorry it was not a pleasure to eat. Looking back later on I realized to save it I needed to put the breasts in a well oiled frying pan and sear all sides of it.  Then it would have had an attractive crispy exterior and be moist inside. I'll do better next time.

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