Friday, May 16, 2014

Cooking Mayhem...

By the end of the week, I'm usually tired of cooking but since it's a rainy day, and I still have some vegetables left from last weekend's farmer's market, I decided to make dinner tonight. I gave Dave the choice of a pork tenderloin with balsamic glaze or a braised chicken/coq au vin dish that I had printed off from Fine Cooking. My inclination was to make the pork but Dave said the chicken sounded good so I decided I would make him happy and make the chicken.'s taken two hours, I've just degreased my kitchen which I almost burnt it down, but the chicken is braising in the crockpot. What a nightmare!
The recipe started with frying 12 ounces of chopped bacon in a 10" inch pan. I should have known something was off, because there was no way to fit all that bacon in a single layer of the pan as directed. Then after browning the chicken in the bacon grease (yes, this is a really healthy recipe!), I was to put the vegetables in the pan to soften before adding them to the crockpot....over 7 cups of vegetables in one 10 inch pan....they were piled up 3 inches above the height of the pan and I was tossing veggies all over the kitchen as I tried to stir them. I finally gave up and just added them to the crockpot.
Next step was making a roux out of tomato paste, some more grease and flour. To this, nearly a cup of brandy was to be added and boiled down. Thank god, I'd been wiping the outside of the pan down each time I emptied it, because even though I added the brandy with the burner turned off, of course due to the heat of the grease, the brandy immediately ignited! So I had a 10 inch pan filled with bacon grease, tomato paste and flour flaming away on my stove...quite aggressively.
Now as a sidebar, Dave was working at home today, and it's always tough when either of us is working for one of us not to talk to the other (it's particularly hard for me not to talk to him). I've been working on this and so as the flames are shooting out of the pan, the thought is going through my head: "hmmm, should I say something to him about this or wait until it's a real emergency?"
Well, I decided to wait...knowing that when the alcohol burned off of the brandy the flames would die down, but in the meantime, I pulled out the kitchen fire extinguisher, and a lid for the pan, though the pan had pouring spouts and I was afraid if I put a lid on the pan, fire would shoot out like a blow torch from the spouts! As the fire started to dissipate, I gently poked at the stuff in the pan with a whisk and of course the fire flared up again. Patience and calm were called for and even though I downed a cup of espresso as I started the recipe, I fortunately kept my head (and all my hair!).
So, as I said, everything is now cooking away in the crockpot, but again, I think the quantities are off as the crockpot is filled to the brim, so who knows how this is going to turn out. We may end of ordering pizza tonight. This recipe is going in the trash...needless to say, I'm not going to provide you with a link as I do NOT recommend it!

1 comment:

  1. I always keep a box of baking soda by the stove, although I would not have used it for an alcohol flame, I would have just sobbed at the waste of brandy. I am very glad your house didn't burn down, there would be no place to attach the new awning.