Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pretzel Crusted Chicken + Creamy Cheddar Mustard Sauce

Who doesn't love a good pretzel with cheese sauce.  I was at a work outing last week at World of Beer and they had the most delicious hot pretzels with a warm cheese sauce.  Hot pretzels have always been on my list of things to make at home, but I just haven't gotten around to it.  Plus, you all know I am a little timid when it comes to making homemade breads! 

Enter this dish.  It was my easy way out to get the pretzels with cheese at home.  This chicken is insanely crunchy and the sauce was soooooo cheesy with a hint of mustard.  Lovely I tell you.. just lovely! 

Well, I am exhausted right now and as much as I want to write more, I think you get the point.  Pretzels and cheese are so good together.  Plus, a friend taught me how to knit this weekend and I have 2 knitting needles and some yarn that are just begging to be looped together :)  

Pretzel Crusted Chicken
4 cups pretzels, crushed
1 cup flour + 1/2 t. salt + 1/2 t. pepper + 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs + 1/4 t. salt + 1/4 t. pepper + 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder + 1 T. Dijon Mustard
3 chicken breasts, pounded very thin and cut into 2
vegetable oil and butter for browning

Prepare the breading stations.  Crush the pretzels.  Add spices to the flour.  Add spices and mustard to the eggs and beat.   Pound out each chicken breast until each piece is a uniform thickness and then cut into two.  You will have 6 cutlets. 

Cover a sheet pan in foil so you can place the cutlets on it when finished breading.  To bread, coat the chicken first in flour, then egg, then pretzels.  You will have to press the pretzels down on the chicken in order to stick.  Place pan in fridge for at least 10 minutes so the breading can set and dry out a bit. 

Cover the bottom of a large non-stick skillet with oil and drop 2 tablespoons of butter in with it.  You don't want the oil to be deep, just a thin coating and enough to brown the chicken.  Preheat over medium heat.  

Once oil has come to temperature, brown each piece of chicken on both sides, adding more oil and butter if necessary.  Drain chicken on a paper towel lined sheet pan and when all chicken is finished, place in a 275 degree oven to keep warm.  

 Serve with Creamy Cheddar Mustard Sauce.  

Creamy Cheddar Mustard Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk 
1 1/4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
healthy pinch of each salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika

Over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour.  Cook for a few minutes and then slowly whisk in milk, adding 1 cup at a time.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, sauce should thicken.  Add cheese, mustard and spices.  Lower heat and cook until a creamy sauce forms.  

To reheat sauce, add a little milk to thin it out.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Curried Chicken Roti

Ever since we got back from our cruise, I have been dying to try to recreate this dish.  I have to admit, this is not exactly what we had, but it comes pretty darn close.  

I always get intimidated when it comes to making any type of bread.  Working with flour has never come natural to me.  I think it is just the fear of getting flour in every nook of our kitchen that scares the bejesus out of me.  Plus, I always manage to get flour all over myself.  In my hair.  On my clothes.  In my nose.  On my toes.  Sorry... my rhyming mind just got carried away.  

Back to this roti.  I suppose you can just use tortillas.  They would work great. But the roti here is paper thin and I'm really glad I took the extra step to make them for this dish,  They made it feel more authentic and magically transported me back to Saint Kitts.  

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4-1/3 cup of water (or milk)
more flour to roll

Add flours and salt to bowl and mix with fingers to combine.  Add oil and 1/4 cup of water.  Mix with fingers and add just enough water until a ball of dough forms.  Knead for 5 minutes until dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Cover with wet dish towel and let sit for 20 minutes.

Dust counter with flour.  Portion off a small ball of dough, slightly smaller than a golf ball.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a disc until it is about the thickness of a piece of paper.  Keep flouring the surface and moving/flipping the dough so it does not stick.

Preheat a skillet over high heat.  Place the rolled out roti on pan and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.  Remove from pan and transfer to a plate to cool.  Roti should  be pliable and able to be folded.  If they are stiff, then cook them for a shorter amount of time.

For more detailed instructions and a video on how to make roti, click here. In this video, she stacks the roti and cooks two at a time.  For me, I found it to be easier to simply cook one roti at  a time.  

Curried Chicken
1 small potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 chicken breasts
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup leafy greens ( I used spinach and arugula but parsley or cilantro would work nice as well)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces of jack cheese, shredded

Peel potato and cut into small cubes. You want them to be small so the potato will cook all the way through.  Place coconut oil in large skillet and melt over medium high heat.  Add diced potatoes and cook until brown and soft.  Remove from pan and let cool.

Dice onions, mince garlic and grate ginger.  Add to skillet and saute for 4 minutes until soft.  Chop up chicken breasts until  meat is very fine; almost like the consistency of ground chicken.   Add chicken to onion mixture as well as the curry, tumeric, coriander, salt and pepper.  Stir in pan and cook until chicken is cooked all of the way through.  Add greens and potatoes and cook until greens are wilted.

Place a handful of shredded cheese on half of the roti.  Top with warm chicken mixture and fold roti in half and then in half again to form a wedge. I like to leave a little space in between the filling where I fold, to ensure the roti does not tear.   Serve warm.

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