Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Southern Meal, Deconstructed

It should really be no secret that although I live in Chicago and I’m a city kinda guy that I absolutely love the flavors of the south! I’m really nothing more than a big southern guy living in a northern city. Typically on a Sunday, after church of course, we’d indulge in a menu that included two southern classics, smothered chicken and green beans and white potatoes. The chicken would be deep fried and smothered to perfection while the green beans would start with hamhocks and continue with fresh green beans. I’ve taken the concept and well, let’s say I’ve change it around a bit.

I present to you Pan Fried Chicken Escallops with a Basil infused pan reduction, roasted potatoes with a glaze of Cajun butter, and braised haricot verts with bacon and shallots. So simple – it was done in less than 30 minutes.

Let’s go!

Pan Fried Chicken Escallops

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
½ cup of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons of canola oil

With a rolling pin or meat mallet, pound out the chicken breasts until ½ inch thick. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Dredge in flour and shake off excess. In a heavy bottom skillet (preferably cast iron) heat canola oil. When hot, pan fry chicken escallops until golden brown on each side. When done drain and put aside. DO NOT clean out the skillet.

Basil Infused Pan Reduction

2 tablespoons of chopped basil
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of flour
¼ cup of minced onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup of chicken stock

In the same skillet, drain off all the oil but keep the little bits in the bottom of the pan. Add the olive oil and once hot, add garlic and onions. Sauté for about a minute, then stir in flour. Continue to stir for one more minute. Add basil and chicken stock – be sure to stir to avoid lumps. Continue to cook until mixture becomes a thick sauce. Check for seasoning and if necessary, add salt and pepper.

Roasted Potatoes with Cajun Butter

2 large Idaho potatoes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ stick of butter
1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning

Peel and cut potatoes into wedges. Season with salt and pepper and toss in olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven until crispy around the edges. In a separate saucepan melt butter and add in Cajun seasoning. When potatoes are fork tender brush with Cajun butter.

Haricot Verts with Bacon & Shallots

1 pound of haricot verts
4 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup of chicken stock
Salt and pepper

Cook bacon and shallots together until the bacon is almost done. Add in the haricot verts and chicken stock. Cover the pan and let the steam cook through and soften the haricot verts. When majority of the liquid has evaporated, add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 4 minutes.

Enjoy the pics!

The's reducing.

The potato wedges...parchment paper is your friend!

The cajun butter! It's good on so many things...

Glazing the taters!

One of the final plates!

Bacon & shallots - starting the layers of flavor for the haricot verts!

Pounded out the chicken breasts!

Adding the haricot verts!

This is pure heaven - the bits on the bottom of the pan.

Adding the garlic and onion for the basil reduction.

Two Idaho potatoes - ready for peeling and wedging.

Getting the spuds ready for the oven.

Bacon - man's best friend!

Chopped bacon - Man's second best friend.

This is how it all started.


Sexxy Luv said...

where do you come up with all these delicious ideas from?....yummy and simple as usual!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your dishe makes me drool! Everything you make is always soooo flavorful and appetizing!

Cheers and have a nice week,


Anonymous said...

Bacon- a women's best friend too? haha ;)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

That's my kind of meal! Love the redution!

doggybloggy said...

I DO like how you de-construct...

Dana McCauley said...

mmm! Bacon! It does add such a great depth to dishes like this, doesn't it?

Cheryl said...

That looks incredible, you are one talented chef!

Dawn said...

cajun butter! I'm with you and I'm listening. Great meal with tons of flavors going on.

Nikki said...

Your potatoes remind me of Bojangles french fries. Yummy.

And whenever you come down South, next time, we'll cook up a real Sunday feast :)

Maria said...

I want a big plate of your potato wedges! YUM!

Katrina said...

Man, you cook up some good looking food! I might bake a mean cookie, but you do the real stuff! Yum.

Gloria said...

Look wonderful Darius! Gloria

Anonymous said...

Yum! You know I love the southern foods! Give me this meal and big ole glass of sweet tea.

BGF said...

I'll take some of those Cajun 'taters right now, please! Yum.

Bridgett said...

Cajun butter sounds fantastic! Looking good, Darius!

Marjie said...

Love the steak fries, and the only thing that might be a better friend than bacon is sausage! Looks like an outstanding chicken dinner!

Dee said...

That's it! I'm moving in.
Man, you can cook!

mikky said...

everything looks so good... :)

Complaint Department Manager said...

What??? No peas???

*kicks in the shin and runs away*

Erika said...

Mmm. Smothered. That just can never turn out badly, can it?

WhozHe said...

You know you really need to sudition for one of those Great Chefs TV shows.

TavoLini said...

yes, please! That looks fantastic! Southern food is pure decadence :)

Gretchen Noelle said...

MMMmm, I would definitely love some of those fries! Your meal looks delicious!

We Are Not Martha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
We Are Not Martha said...

it's official. i love you. you had me at the bacon!!! You are ALWAYS welcome to come to Boston for some dinner. We will actually be in Chicago this weekend and there has been some serious discussion between Susie and myself to try to find you! ;) I'm starving and this meal looks delicious!


Nicole said...

Nice! Love the pic of the sauce reducing. I am a saucy saucy gal. Love the sauce.

Prudy said...

I love the simplicity of the ingredients with such a wow effect in the end!

Kevin said...

What a tasty looking meal!

Núria said...

He, he... I loved your comments on the pictures Darius!

Yes, bacon is human's best friend ;D. Your dish looks fantastic and so flavourful and tasty... that sauce is amazing. Mmmmm

OhioMom said...

Yummy! My always asks for "smashed chicken breasts". I love the green beans!

VeggieGirl said...

You live in Chicago??? GREAT city!!!

Nazarina A said...

Darius you did it again!
May I come to dinner? Formal dress is only good enough for your meal!!!



StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

What a feast! Everything looks amazing and goes so well together!

Jeanne said...

Oh, those potatoes sounds amazing! Definitely bookmarking them :)

Anonymous said...

Oh this looks sooooo good, I'm trying this out over the weekend!

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!


Anonymous said...

Restaurants in the United States. Search or browse list of restaurants.