Saturday, February 26, 2011

Okay, it's been far too long...

Alright here we go.  I started this blog for a reason and I don't want to give up on it.  It's been over a month since I last posted and that is for various reasons.  But since excuses are like assholes I will just go on with my next post.

The original intent of this blog was to get things off of my chest, particularly what it is like to be an ex-pat (Philly) living in CA.  For Christmas I got the wife-unit a Phillies cook book whose money goes to charity.  I have thus far reviewed I believe two recipes.  Here is the third recipe I am going to review.


Now being born and raised in Philly there is a large segment of the population that is Hispanic, but it is mostly Puerto Rican.  My best friend is of Guatemalan descent and I have never personally known any Dominicans although I know there are quite a few around.  I have never even actually met a Mexican until I joined The Marines in 1996.  That is 2 years after I graduated High School.  So needless to say living in Central CA (The Salinas Valley) I am in one of the hearts of Hispanic Food country but unfortunately have nothing against which to judge Placido's Dominican Chicken Stew reciepe.

I will start out by saying that it was relatively easy to make.  The recipe is quite simple and seems to follow the steps needed to be taken (Unlike THE MIGHTY ROSS GLOAD'S BAKED ZITI.....) to complete the recipe.  But then again, Ross Goad is from NY originally so who really knows as to the level of education he has completed...Anyhow, I digress.

I had most of the herbs and spices needed already.  The only thing I needed to purchase was the veggies and the chicken itself.  I have never caramelized sugar before and while preparing the stock for the stew recipe I burned my arm due to the sugar boiling and sticking to my forearm...ouch!  Other than that it was easy going.

After browning the chicken in the sugary broth I just had to make the red beans and rice.  I decided to add some New Orleans style andouille sausage to it only because I have been craving some Jambalaya lately and figured this was a good compromise since the wife-unit will not try any.......she's a tough audience and likes to stick to what she knows.

So a little while later the red beans, rice, and sausage were all done so I am just keeping them on the stove for now.  The actual recipe calls for cooking the stew on a medium to medium-high heat for about an hour.  I am not a novice cook by any means so I decided to cook it on simmer for a few hours instead, allowing for the spices and flavors to sink in.  Besides it's only about 1:45 pm and the wife-unit will not return home until about 3:30-4:30 pm.

So now comes the hard part.  Waiting here until The Missus comes home so I can stuff my face.  I'll be honest, it smells really good so I guess I'll have to taste test just a tad bit of it prior to serving.  If there is one thing I have learned from watching Gordon Ramsay's HELL'S KITCHEN it is that you should always taste the plate prior to serving it to a paying customer...

Mmmmmmmmmm well, so far, so good.  As I said before I have nothing against which to judge it so I guess I'll have to see how the better half feels about it.  I am not quite sure how much to let the broth boil down though.  I love beef stew and am used to the broth being a tad bit thicker but this seems to be more of a soupy broth so I'll have to let you know how that turns out.  I'll check back in later.  Time on deck is:  1430 hours.

1645 hours.  Okay the wife unit is home and hungry.  As I began stirring the stew I noticed that the bones came all apart and it took me about 10 minutes to fish through the stew and pick them all out.  The recipe called for serving the stew over red beans and rice, which was a good call because it added a little more substance to it. 

The stew actually came out a bit more like a soup so I think next time I am going to make a bit of roux to thicken it up a little bit.  I may add more veggies as well because had it not been for the added rice and red beans there would not have been enough in the soup itself other than the chicken.  Now maybe the stew is supposed to be a bit more soupy, I don't know much about Dominican stew, but I prefer a thicker broth for my stews.  The flavor itself was very good and the better half seemed to be happy with it.  It was also much easier to figure out than the Ross Gload Baked Ziti.  This is another recipe that will go on my list of things to cook again.

I have not decided what recipe I am going to attempt to cook next time but if you are interested in trying some out yourself click on the picture below.  The picture will take you directly to the webpage to purchase the cookbook yourself.  In the mean time Spring Training is about to start and the 2011 MLB season shortly thereafter.  Here's to a great Phillies season!