When you mix an athlete, a nerd, beer, and good ingredients this is what you get.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chopped@Home 2: Chicken Thighs, Cheddar Cheese, Purple Top Turnips, Frozen Waffles

Last night I was up for Chopped@Home. Katie met me at the grocery store and dropped the proverbial bomb on me: "chicken thighs, cheddar cheese, purple topped turnips (??), and frozen waffles." I thought for a bit about options, incorporating waffles into a dough and making some type of chicken pot pie, use the turnips as potatoes... oh wait, cheddar. I was kind of at a loss so I just started grabbing flavors that might work with the other stuff, within a few minutes I settled on some type of chowder but that was about all I had.

Half way home it materialized. Buffalo chicken served in a deep fried turnip bowl with broiled cheddar on top, a dollop of sour cream and some chopped scallions. I surrounded the buffalo chicken bowl with a homemade cheddar corn chowder with chili waffle crisps floating on top. Sounds kind of crazy, it kind of was, but it made sense in our mouth.

Katie invited Kit and Kaylin over so I had the added pressure of guests. It was set to be a challenge.

First thing I did was hollow out the turnip halves and popped them in an oven to cook them through (til fork tender). I was treating them like potatoes because they aren't really something I cook with every day. Then I threw the chicken thighs on a griddle pan to brown them, then turned it down and let them finish cooking right there on the stove.

Oh wait, I have no hot sauce...

Luckily we have some pickled roasted cherry peppers in the fridge from about a month ago. I threw the pickling juice from that into the food processor with some fresh cherry peppers and half of a tomato. Added some melted butter and tasted it. Sweet buffalo sauce was the outcome and it was so good that we saved the leftover (I decided an empty Rolling Rock bottle was the best container last night...).

I brought that up to a simmer, pulled the chicken off of the bone and let it finish off simmering in the sauce until everything else was done (but don't leave it too long and overcook it if you try this bc I can easily see that happening).

Meanwhile, I had to make the chowder. I rendered some bacon off in a pan, removed it, added onions, corn, bell pepper, let them cook til tender. I added the bacon back in with a little chicken stock and some water to cover the veggies. Then added about a cup and a half of half and half to cream it. Some black pepper finished it off.

Last thing to do was deep fry the turnip halfs and put it all together. Came out pretty good...

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Katie's making corned beef and cabbage today, we're both wearing green, and started drinking at 9, people coming over soon. Setting up to be a good day!

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