Sunday, January 09, 2005

Paper Chef January

I can’t say I was going to participate in Paper Chef, when it was first announced. Neat idea, but since I had never watched Iron Chef… I didn’t really get the feel of it. However, as it happens, Swedish television just aired two shows of Iron Chef (one featuring crab, and the other one, where Marcus Samuelson was the challenger, featured turkey) and I really enjoyed it. A bit corny of course, showy – and a lot of fun.

So. I still didn’t give Paper Chef much of a thought, but I was surfing around, and came upon the list of ingredients for this edition.

It felt very, very do-able. Chicken? Sure! Lemon? Sure! Potatoes? You bet! Savoy cabbage? Oh… I guess so. I immediately thought about fried chicken, fries and coleslaw. So that’s what I made. Sort of.

Oven-fried garlic chicken parmesan
I cut two chicken breasts into strips. I dipped them in some garlic butter (melted butter, crushed garlic) and then rolled them in a mix of finely grated parmesan, breadcrumbs, lots of salt, and some ground chili flakes. Then, into the oven, 200 degrees C
(about 400 F) for 40 minutes. This turned out to be a bit too long – I think I’ll try it on a slightly lower heat next time, but since I had to do the potatoes at this temperature… Well. The garlic didn’t come across a lot – next time, I think I’ll do a garlic dipping sauce, too. The parmesan gave a lot of flavor, and so did the ground chili.

Potato wedges
I used 4 medium potatoes. Without peeling them, I cut each into 8 thin wedges. I parboiled them in plenty of salted water for seven minutes, and then tossed with some oil (a mix of sunflower and rapeseed – wouldn’t use olive for this) and a lot of salt. Into the oven at the same temperature at the chicken, 200 degrees C (about 400 F) for 45-60 minutes depending on your taste. They need flipping and turning a bit, so keep checking them every fifteen minutes.

Savoy Slaw with lemon and Turkish yogurt
I used half a head of savoy, finely shredded, and one finely grated carrot. To this, I added 3 large spoonfuls of creamy Turkish yogurt (gorgeous stuff – thick and rich), the juice of half a lemon, and a splash of raspberry balsamic vinegar. Some freshly ground white pepper and – heaven. It’s delicious! The raspberry vinegar gives it the perfect fruity touch, while the creaminess of the yogurt blends beautifully with the tangy lemon. The savoy cabbage, not being as crunchy as regular cabbage, has more of a chewy texture and fits in very well with the other flavors. The carrot gives it just a hint of sweetness. I thought about adding a tart Granny Smith apple to it, too, but that would make a bit too much slaw for just the two of us.

Ah. All in all, a very satisfying meal. The chicken was yummy, and certainly healthier than regular deep-fried chicken. It had a lot of flavor, and it was wonderful with freshly squeezed lemon on top. I’m glad I participated in this edition of Paper Chef – and I look forward to the next! Thanks Owen, for inventing it!

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Great combination for dinner. Your parmesan chicken sounds delicious!