Cooking can become a drag no matter how much you love to cook or how skilled you may be in the kitchen, and so an opportunity to brush up those skills was welcomed by members of my Zumba class( yes, I do have to work off those calories) Pam, Julienne, Peggy, Joe and Josie signed up for it and proved to be an enthusiastic audience. Cooking is really all about sharing and I was delighted to share my time, recipes and food with this group of savvy cooks.
The menu consisted of Pan seared chicken au jus with herb mashed potatoes, an easy to prepare meal with possibly great end results. Dessert was a rich Crème Brulee. So I rolled up my sleeves and got busy while they got comfortable with a glass of wine, olive bread, home-made baba ganoush and Joe's freshly baked focaccia.
It was a great way to spend an evening with an interesting group of people. For me, it was a milestone; teaching people to cook has been on my bucket list. It's a win win situation- doing what I love most and being appreciated for it.
Recipe for Pan-seared Chicken au jus :
Brine: 2-3 T kosher salt +1 C water
Minced herbs: thyme, rosemary, and parsley
Pinch of Paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper
¼ C Oil
1 T butter
1 C white wine
- Rinse the chicken breasts and brine for at least 2-3 hours.
- Remove from the brine. Place in a Ziploc bag with the flour, paprika, onion powder, herbs, salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper.
- Heat oil in the pan and sear chicken till golden on each side.
- Remove and place on an oven tray. Finish in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Jus by adding the shallots and garlic to the pan. When this is fragrant add in the wine. When it reduces, add in the butter.
- Pour over the chicken and serve immediately.
4-6 Yukon Gold potatoes cooked
3 T butter
½ cup half and half
salt and white pepper
- Keep the potatoes hot and push them through a food mill adding cold butter with each batch.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix in the herbs. Keep warm.
- Add the half and half and mix in well before serving.