I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken soup. But not on purpose.

Monday, my parents invited the kids and me over for dinner.  They do this every once in a while when my husband is traveling to help me out and give me a little break in the meal and night-night departments, and I appreciate it.  I especially appreciate it when the invitation is prefaced with, "We're trying a new recipe..."  

You know how I love eating at Chez Sweeny.  My parents are very good cooks - especially my dad. Monday I was sent into anticipatory mode.  My dad had started brining the chicken at 9am, and it was going into a one-pot recipe with sweet potatoes and cream by Jamie Oliver.  

When the chicken was supposed to be done (and was still pale in the pan and medium rare), the sauce was separated and soupy.  We added 10 minutes an turned the oven up 15 degrees to get it up to temp and get at least a hint of brown on the skin.  

This is not the sauce you are looking for.
It has no resemblance to this.
PS there's no asparagus in the recipe - what is that in your picture, Parade?

The first step is admitting you need help.  Call me.

It left us all wondering if anyone actually tested this recipe, or if they just trusted a well known chef at his word that it would work.  I'm going with the latter, as there is no description of how big these breasts are supposed to be, it took 55 minutes, there's nothing green in it like the picture suggests, and the sauce did nothing but separate.  Needless to say, I'll be doing further study on how to actually cook this meal - the components tasted good, but who could even attempt to eat that sauce?

Parade Magazine: I am an experienced Home Kitchen Tester for magazine recipes. Let's talk. 


  1. Maybe the tray wasn't the only thing that was baked at time of publication.

  2. Oooo, an 8 hour brine for chicken breast? Nope. Besides, that stuff needed to be heated up, to get oils and such into the brine, not to mention dissolving the salt, then cooled, then brine the chicken no longer than 4 hours. Also a rinse might help.

    What I think needs to happen is a roasting of the veg and such for maybe 10-15 minutes, until bacon renders down and veg becomes soft, THEN remove and deglaze with broth, then add chicken and cream. But then you'd be kinda sorta poaching, so I don't know when this "chicken is golden" thing is supposed to happen - maybe placing the chicken ON TOP of the veg, with the broth and cream, so the veg "stews" and the chicken "roasts". And that cup of parm, that should go in after the meat and veg are done and removed from the sauce - parm is oily and will break a sauce if heated too long.

    I think I may have to try out my own damn fix myself....

  3. I think the green bits are sage leaves, not that that's the biggest problem here. Makes you grateful for EatingWell!

  4. Blaarrrgh... can we talk about the food-bourne illness panic attacks a melange of dairy, veg, and undercooked chicken would send me into? I hate when recipes let me down!