Tag Archives: Chicken

Basil Chicken Marinade

We marinate meat for two reasons; the marinade enhances the flavor of the meat, but more importantly, the marinade tenderizes the meat. This simple marinade does a great job on chicken breasts.

Basil Chicken Marinade

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped basil leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic chopped

Mix together, and place in a gallon freezer bag with chicken breasts. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Marinades work best on flat pieces of meat; slabs of meat that are the same thickness across the entire piece. This is so the penetration is even across the entire piece of meat. So, before we actually worry about the recipe for the marinade, we need to take action to flatten the chicken breast to be more even in thickness.
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The easiest way to flatten the chicken breast is to hammer it with the bottom of a heavy pot. To keep from making a mess, use either a plastic storage bag (open so the air doesn’t cushion the blow of the hammer) or a couple pieces of plastic wrap- one under and one over the chicken breast. Now that the breast is captured between two layers of plastic, bring the heavy pan’s bottom down hard on the breast. It takes a good amount of smashing to get the results where the high spots are reduced to the same level as the edges of the breast.

Now that the breast is flattened, slip it into a plastic storage bag and add the ingredients of the marinade. I find one fault with the ingredient list; it sounds like there is enough volume to do several breasts at a time. My experience was that I feel that the ingredients as listed would do a single chicken breast- about 8 ounces of chicken breast. And, I felt that I could do the single piece of meat in a quart freezer bag instead of the larger gallon size. I would double the recipe if I were doing more that a single breast or a gallon freezer bag.
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Because the tenderizing process is really a “cooking” process, I would limit the time I left the meat to marinate to not more than about 10 hours; certainly not over night. The acid (vinegar) in the marinate is acting on the meat just as when we make ceviche- the sea food “cooked” in lime juice. Too long of a marination will leave the surface of the meat mushy and the interior of the meat dry. Marinating draws moisture out of the meat. It is important to turn the freezer bag a few times so that all of the meat comes into contact with the marinade, and not just one surface.

That last paragraph makes marinating sound like a difficult task; it isn’t. That paragraph is mostly about the end cases of what is happening, and why the time period of marinating is important. It isn’t something to start and forget.
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I think marinating makes a difference. One way to test that and form your own opinion would be to cut the chicken breast in half, and only marinate half. Then, after marinating one half, cook both halves and make a taste test. Hopefully, you will see the difference I did, and enjoy the enhanced flavor the marinade gives to the meat.

Mulligatawny Soup

I received this recipe from my sister Rachael after telling her about the Mexican Soup I make and we use to have almost every lunch. I found this soup quite different from most Mulligatawny, and asked Corbin’s Grille for permission to publish the recipe on the WidowerRecipes web site. If you are in the northern Utah area, you might stop in at the Corbin’s Grille and try their cooking.

The notes in the recipe are by Rachael.

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This recipe is published here with the permission of Jake Garn, Owner/Operator of Corbin’s Grille.

Mulligatawny

  • © 2007 Corbin’s Grille, LLC
  • All Rights Reserved. Copies and all other uses besides private in-home use strictly prohibited.
  • Corbin’s Grille
  • 748 W. Heritage Park Blvd.
  • Layton, Utah 84041
  • Corbin’s Grille’s web site

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Carrots 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Celery 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Onions 3/8″ diced
  • 4 oz Leeks sliced 1/4″
  • 3 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoons Curry powder (note: Madras)
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 oz White wine
  • 5 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy cream
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked rice (note: risotto also very good- drain & rinse)
  • 1/2 Cup Diced ham
  • 1/2 Cup Diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 Cup Corn (note: frozen)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot sauce (note: Cholula)

Directions

Cook carrots, celery, onions and leeks in bacon grease and butter over medium heat until soft. Add curry powder and cook for an additional minute. Stir in flour and cook slowly for 3-4 minutes.

Add white wine and chicken stock. Reduce heat to simmer and whisk continuously until thick. Add rice, ham, chicken, corn and hot sauce. Stir in heavy cream and adjust seasonings and thickness.

I have reviewed several other recipes for Mulligatawny and find they are missing ingredients that are in this recipe. The most obvious examples are the leek, the bacon grease, the wine, the ham, the corn and the hot sauce. While these make a more complex recipe, I liked the results and think you will, too.

At first pass, I thought the soup would be difficult to bring together because of all the ingredients. The hard places for me would be the meats, and the bacon grease; my chicken and ham are frozen in 8 ounce pieces and so I would have to defrost pieces and cut them, and then determine how to use the rest. And, I separate my bacon into packages of 4 pieces each as soon as I get it home, and then cook it in the microwave on paper towels, so I don’t have bacon grease in the freezer. My sister suggested buying the meat at the deli section of the grocery store and asking for them to cut 4 ounces as a thick slab. For the bacon grease, I fried a package of bacon and used that grease; it was probably 2-3 Tablespoons. I used the bacon elsewhere, but I wonder if maybe I could have just crumbled it right into the soup.

If you have not worked with Leek before, then the rule is to separate the leaves and wash them several times to get all the sand and mud off them. Swish them around in a sink of water, changing the water two or three times as the mud settles out.

My other area of desiring to experiment is with the rice; the recipe calls for cooked rice, but we see in the Mexican Soup recipe that the rice is put into the soup and cooks as the soup simmers for an hour. I wonder if something similar could be done here; for example, cook the rice in some of the chicken stock on the side. Most white rices (Arborio, white) cook up at a ratio of 1 to 3; i.e., 1 cup of rice grains makes 3 cups of prepared rice. (For brown rice, the ratio is 1 to 2.5.) So, using white rice, you would need ½ cup / 3 or 1/6 cup of rice grain as a starting point. If my math is correct, this is 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of rice grain. I need to test this idea. Rachael says that she always has a pot of cooked rice in her refrigerator, but I don’t and am looking for a way to not make extra cooked rice. If I learn something, I may update these comments at some future date.

Risotto rice is different in that it is cooked with flavorings, but I would think most of those are lost in the soup, so I don’t know if that makes a difference.

According to Rachael, the amount of hot sauce to add also seems to be very personal. Her friend only uses ½ teaspoon, while Rachael uses 2 teaspoons; I feel it could even use more and would probably try a full Tablespoon next time. And, I bought the Cholula hot sauce just for the soup, but I think you could use your own favorite brand. I did find the Madras curry to be hotter than what I had been buying as a curry powder; it seems to be more true to the tastes of India.

I think with these hints and suggestions, you should be ready to try this wonderful, hearty soup.