Right before Passover, Food, Words & Photos hosted it’s first ever Giveaway. (It was a while ago- look here http://foodwordsphotos.com/kol-foods-a-revolution-in-kosher-meat-part-2-review-and-giveaway/ to refresh your memory.
I only had one request of the winner – please tell me what you made. I was so curious to see what another person would do with the same chicken that I received. The winner was Dena from Oh! You Cook! and this is what she has to share with us.
I enjoy reading Sarah’s posts almost as well as trying out her delicious recipes. So I was very honored when she asked me to guest post about a recipe I made using KOL chicken I won in her recent giveaway.
First, a little about moi. I am married with 3 adult children. MiddleChild made aliyah a few years back and is proudly serving in the Nahal brigade in the IDF. TheDaughter works for Google on the west coast (so when the phone rings at 1AM, while normal people answer in a panic, I’m thinking, it’s only 10pm in CA and 8AM in Israel) and youngerSon is finishing up his sophomore year in college, thankfully in the same time zone where theHubby and I reside.
Just like Sarah, I have a kosher blog: Oh! You Cook! It started out as grad school term project that I continued with as an easy way to share recipes and musings with friends and relatives. Then last year out of the blue, a publisher offered me a chance to write a cookbook! So I can proudly say that I am a published author as well (available at amazon, barnes & noble, most quality Temple gift shops, or ask for it at your local library).
Unlike Sarah, I am a self-taught cook. When I got married, the only two things I could make were meatloaf and Fettuccini Alfredo (not at the same meal, of course). Not even challah, without my mother doing the kneading! Hundreds of recipes later, I like to think that I’ve improved a tad along the way.
What little photography ability I have is also self-taught. If you look at my earlier work (and stop laughing) you can see I have improved in this department as well, although they are nowhere near as good as Sarah’s.
Anywhoo, back to the giveaway chicken. Despite the heat wave, the prize package on my doorstep was extremely frozen and in perfect condition (protected by a reusable Styrofoam cooler). I picked up the first package inside labeled “Boneless Breast Fillet” and put it in the freezer. I picked up the second package labeled “Boneless Breast Fillet” and put it in the freezer. I didn’t read the third and just tossed it into the fridge to defrost.
NOT Basil Chicken!
A couple days later, I made Chicken Marsala for dinner, a little disappointed that the breasts looked as if I did the deboning. However, the flavor and tenderness more than made up for it. TheHubby, on the other hand, ate his serving despite complaining that he doesn’t like dark meat.
No, all three packages were white meat, I said.
No, this is dark meat, the Hubby responded.
Oopsies. I had forgotten that the prize package consisted of two packages of white meat and one of dark. Also explains why dinner looked like it did … dark meat doesn’t neatly come off the bone.
Fast forward to the end of last week, when I defrosted gen-u-ine breast fillets. Which looked exactly what professionally boneless chicken breasts should look like. They were larger and filleted even better than those I purchase locally, with very little fat to remove as well.
Decided to make something a little more different this time … Thai Basil Chicken. Unlike many recipes that use a few basil leaves for a little flavor, this one puts basil front and center. Thai basil has purple stems, and the leaves have a hint of anise flavor. If you don’t have an Oriental grocer nearby or don’t like anise (like me), you can use Italian basil instead.
Sambal Oelek is ground-up chili paste. It packs a lot of flavor in 2 teaspoonfuls, but also packs a bit of a wallop, so if you are the type who thinks ketchup is spicy, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instead. Or sub with a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (coarsely ground preferred).
The chicken was delicious, tender and juicy. And, as opposed to the Marsala, this time theHubby had seconds. He called dinner “nice” (translation: WOW! This chicken is a keeper!).
Thank you, Sarah, and KOL Foods!
Thai-Style Basil Chicken with Rice Noodles
Yield: 6 servings
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic (bottled okay)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch or so pieces
1 Tbl. soy sauce (regular or low sodium)
1/2 cup sherry (or chicken broth)
2 tsp. powdered ginger
2 tsp. Sambal Oelek (chili paste)
1 loosely packed cup basil leaves (Thai or Italian), coarsely chopped
juice from 1 lime (about 2 Tbl.)
coarsely chopped salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
Start up a 3 or 4 quart saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil, wait 10 seconds,
then add garlic. stir continuously for 30 seconds, then add
chicken. Let sear for a minute or two, then stir until chicken is mostly
cooked on the outside, with little spots of pink remaining. Stir in soy sauce, sherry (or broth), ginger and Sambal Oelek. Reduce heat and let simmer a few minutes until chicken is completely cooked through (no pink if pierced).
Stir in basil leaves just until they start to wilt, which will happen quickly.
Divide chicken and noodles among 6 dinner plates or pasta bowls. Squeeze
lime juice over each serving and garnish with salted peanuts, if desired,