Pan Cooked Chicken in a Lager Reduction Sauce

Lager chicken

My dad is in a beer of the month club, and yes it’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. I used the Fordham Brewing Company’s Helles Lager as the base for a pan sauce to serve over chicken. To cook the chicken I seasoned it with salt and pepper, then cooked it until done in a pan. After the chicken was finished I sauteed shallots and garlic then deglazed the pan with the beer. I reduced it down by half then added the home made chicken stock. after reducing the mixture down to 3/4 I added whole grain mustard and heavy cream. The sauce was delicious and matched up well with the chicken. Aside from being great to cook with, the beers from Fordham brewing company are also great for drinking. You can find a link to their site below.

Fordham Brewing Company


Cookin Classes Week 2: Beef, Veal, Lamb and Pork

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In week two of the cooking classes we learned how to prepare and cook various forms of meat. The class started with a talk about the various types of each meat, ie the difference between choice and prime cuts of beef. We were then walked through where on the animal various cuts of meat came from. After the short lesson the chef taught us how to prep and French a rack of lamb and prep a pork and veal tenderloin. Then we got into the cooking. I chose to cook a roasted veal tenderloin with a maple bourbon glaze, Ben I’m sorry about the veal. One skill I will take away from this recipe was learning how to properly sear a piece of meat. From properly preheating the pan to the proper time to flip the meat. The chef was very good about answering any questions we had during the class. A few of the other dishes from the class that stood out were the beef stroganoff, the Thai curried pork, and the tri tip that the head chef prepared for us. I look forward to trying out those dishes in the near future.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with a Vanilla Creme Anglaise

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I had sticky toffee pudding the first time I went to England and it quickly became on of my favorite desserts. This recipe is a bit more advanced. The toffee sauce and the creme anglaise take a lot of attention while preparing them, but in the end it is all worth it. This dish is extremely rich and is great for a special occasion. Each part of this dessert can be made in advance and warmed up when ready to serve. The recipe for the sticky toffee pudding is below. I found the recipe for the vanilla creme anglaise in the book Modern Sauces, a cook book which I highly recommend picking up. Enjoy this one, after making it once it has instantly become a go to dish.

Sticky Toffee Pudding


Recipe Updates

I went back and updated two of the recipes. I just wanted to improve a few things from the first time I made them. Most of the improvements are small but make a big difference in the finished product. Enjoy!

Chicken Stock

Sichuan Boiled Beef

Chicken Stock

Chicken stock

Continuing on with my homework assignment from the cooking classes, I took the chicken carcass from the other night and made a chicken stock. The recipe is very simple, the only difficult part of the recipe is that it takes 4-5 hours to make. You can use the stock as a soup or you can use it in sauces or other dishes you decide to cook. If you have the time I would recommend trying to make your own chicken stock.

Chicken Stock

Update: Sterling Duns Mixtape Now Avaliable!!!


Are you looking for some good music to listen to while you cook? Or just good music to listen to in general? if you are go check out my man Sterling Duns at you won’t be disappointed. He plays guitar, raps, sings, and cracks jokes to just brighten your day. Tell your mom, dad, sisters, brothers, friends, grandmas, grandpas, everyone you see to go and check him out. Today he releases his second mixtape: Gift Wrappin’ you can download the mixtape HERE. You can follow him on twitter @SterlingDuns or like him on Facebook. Now go and download the mixtape, he’s just following his dream putting out good music for good people.

Download Mixtape HERE

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken

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After practicing breaking down the chicken I decided to make a spicy honey brushed chicken. This dish is very simple and can be prepared in a few different ways. First you can either only use chicken thighs, or you can mix it up with various chicken pieces. Then when it comes to cooking the chicken you can either use the grill, broiler, or oven. Whatever way you choose to cook it you can’t go wrong. Right before the chicken is finished cooking you brush it with a honey sauce that glazes over the chicken giving it a sweet taste that is then complimented by the slight spiciness of the rub. I hope you give this dish a try!

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken

Breaking Down A Chicken

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Today I practiced the techniques for breaking down a chicken I learned on Monday. As you can see from the first picture I started with the whole bird. I then used the knife skills I was taught and broke the bird down into quarters, also known as European style. I then further broke the bird down into eighths, also known as the American style. For the dish I wound up making I had to cut the chicken breasts in half so everything would cook evenly. If you look at the bottom left corner of the third picture you can see I also attempted to French the chicken wing. The chef in the cooking class went over this technique briefly but I thought I would give it a try.

Sichuan Boiled Beef

chinese beef

I saw a recipe very similar to this the other week and wanted to make it. However, it turns out Sichuan peppercorns are quite difficult to find and after visits to many supermarkets I came up with nothing. I wound up getting the peppercorns off of Amazon. They were well worth the purchase. They give of a tingly and numbing spiciness that I had never tasted before. This dish bring a lot of heat, but the sensation of the peppercorns makes the heat from the chilies tolerable. This dish is best served over rice noodles. If you want to try a new Chinese dish and you like spicy food I recommend giving this dish a shot.

Sichuan Boiled Beef

Cooking Class Week 1: Poultry

Cornish Hen

The first week of the cooking class was focused on poultry, particularly chicken. At the start of the class we learned about the different types of chickens and talked about various ways to prepare a chicken to make sure it does not dry out. After the introduction to chicken we were taught how to break down a chicken in both American and European styles. The American style of breaking down a chicken separates the bird into 8 pieces while the European style leaves you with 4 pieces. We then took the preparation skills we learned and applied them to a recipe.

We were able to choose between four recipes. Maryland fried chicken, chicken Kiev, Cornish Hen with sausage stuffing, and grilled Cornish hens Diable. I chose to cook the Cornish hens with sausage stuffing. To prepare the chicken I had to cut out the spine, then remove the ribs and breast plate. The head chef showed me a few techniques and by the end of the preparation I felt fairly confident in the knife skills I had just learned. After prepping the bird I made the sausage stuffing. when the stuffing was finished I stuffed the bird then sewed it back together. This was the most difficult part of the recipe but after a few pointers I was able to stitch the bird back together. I then trussed the bird and rubbed butter over the skin then seasoned it with salt and pepper before putting it in oven.

I learned a lot of new techniques in this class and will be practicing them throughout the week. So expect to see quite a few chicken recipes out of me in the next few days.