A cooking and baking journal

Dinner Made Possible -- Robert Irvine this Week

5/9/10: Chicken Fricassee with Tomato Basil Pilaf

Meal details: The main course consisted of roasted chicken drumsticks that were baked with a tomato, white wine, cream, and seasoned sauce. And the chicken was served on top of rice that was combined with the remaining sauce.

Defining moments: First time I have done fricassee; I have heard about this dish but never knew the traditional ingredients. Fricassee, as it turns out, is a French term used to describe any sort of dish that has poultry stewed in some sort of gravy thickened with butter or cream. In my case, the sauce was tomato based and it was thickened with the latter.

This is my first time creating pilaf, too. Every now and then, I heard this word used on Food Network and never knew what it was, either! Through my research I gather that pilaf is a dish in which a grain (such as rice) is first browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.

OK, I think that's it for the culinary dictionary. . . Let's move onto where I found these recipes.

Recipe sources: Both the chicken fricassee and pilaf recipes come from Robert Irvine, the host of Dinner Impossible. I specifically chose it because I am part of the Food Network Chef Cooking Challenge that is being hosted by the writer of the I Thank My Mother blog.

What I learned: I learned by doing this recipe that sixteen drumsticks fit perfectly into the large steamer tray--this is very important info people! :D Other than that, I don't think I learned any new techniques or ingredients this week. However, I shouldn't forget that I learned two new terms. . . Fricassee and pilaf.

Any modifications? Yes.

1. Instead of chicken breasts, I used drumsticks. Why? They're cheaper here.
2. I didn't clarify the butter.
3. I used dry basil instead of fresh.
4. I used evaporated milk instead of cream. Why? Didn't have cream on hand.
5. Used granulated garlic instead of fresh. Why? Didn't have any fresh.

How it tasted? It turned out perfectly; everybody enjoyed it. The sauce was creamy and really flavored the rice.

How about a 2nd time? Yes.




And here are a couple shots of the Cranberry Almond Bars my step mom made the day before. Recipe came from Baker's Sheet, a newsletter King Arthur's Flour sends out.



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