Saturday, August 06, 2005

Recipes for REAL MEN, Volume 8 - It's a pork fat thing

Ya know, Steve H. swears by beef fat, but for my money, all non dessert food should be fried in bacon grease.

Just for a second or two, but still, everything needs bacon grease. Oh and lots of butter, and cream.

I was hungry, bored, and didnt feel like shopping. I had some boneless chicken, bacon, feta cheese, and new potatos, which gets me to thinking...


1 lb trimmed boneless chicken breast
1 lb black pepper cured bacon
2 lb new potatos
1/2 lb feta cheese
4 oz Parmagiano regiano cheese, finely grated
1 dozen button mushrooms (optional)
1 dozen chery tomatos (optional)
1 red pepper (optional)
1 green pepper (optional)
1 large bermuda onion (optional)
1 habenero pepper (optional)


4 tblsp stone ground dijon style mustard
4 tblsp chipotle habanero hot pepper sauce (I used AZ gunslinger)
2 limes
1 clove elephant garlic
1 tblsp fresh rosemary
1 tblsp fresh thyme
1 tblsp fresh oregano
1 tblsp cracked black pepper
1 tblsp paprika


Okay first step,

Quarter the potatos, coat liberally in lime juice, and microwave covered on high until slightly softened (5-10 minutes depending on your potatos). This step is optional, but it seriously reduces cook time without effecting the taste much. Preheat your oven to the highest heat setting (assumign a normal oven that drops out below 600 anyway. If you have an 800 degree volcanic then ... YOU LUCKY BASTARD ... set it to 550).

Dice the bacon large, and fry in a high walled thick frying pan or skillet with until lightly crisp; then remove from the pan and drain the grease through a strainer into a mixing bowl. Do not clean the pan yet as you'll be using the remaining drippings in the next step.

Add about a tablespoon of butter (more or less depending on your pan size) to the pan, mince and crush the garlic, and lightly sautee in the pan on low heat until golden. Deglaze the pan with a little vinegar and add the result to the bacon grease.

Prepare a mustard emulsion dressing with the bacon grease, mustard, hot sauce, the rest of the juice from the first lime, and all the rest of the seasonings (minced very fine). The lime juice is there to aid in the emulsion not primarily for flavor. If the emulsion is too fatty (it slides off a fork) add more mustard until it will evenly coat a fork.

Dice the chicken into bite sized pieces, and coat thickly with the dressing. Cover and leave aside to marinate.

Mix the rest of the dressing in with the potatos, in a non stick pan with deep enough walls to stir the potatos completely. Spread the mixture out in one even layer on the bottom of the pan. then cover with the parmagian cheese, and cracked blacked pepper, and mix it up again to form an even coating of dressing and cheese. This will create a crispy flavorful crust, that will carmelize nicely when roasted. Now spread it out into an even layer for real, and put in the oven, under your broiler. You want the highest heat possible here because you want to roast and carmelize quickly without drying the potatos out. This is why microwaving first helps.

Stir the potatos every five minutes or so until golden grown with dark and carmelized crust and points.

While the potatos are cooking, heat your frying pan and drop a couple tablespoons of butter in the pan to lube it up; then put the dressed chicken in the hot pan, stirring frequently.

Wash and slice your mushrooms, adding to the pan once the chicken is firm and white, turn the heat to low, and re-cover.

Quarter your cherry tomatos, squeeze a little lime juice over them and put them to the side.

Slice your red peppers into 1/4" by 1" stips. Finely mince the habanero, and dice the green peppers and onions into 1/4" to 1/2" chunks to your preference. It is not important to dice to an even size here, in fact some variation is nice in texture and mouth feel.

Crumble the bacon into the chicken, then add the onions and peppers to the pan, along with the rest of the juice of the lime. Stir rapidly over high heat until the mixture is fully glazed, not wet; and there is no real moisture in the pan. This shouldnt take very long, and shouldn't really cause the veggies to wilt. The idea is that they will still be crunchy and fresh when you bite into them.

To plate the dish, make a bed of the potatos in the plate, then cover with chicken leaving 14" to 1/2" of the potatos showing (the idea is to have several clear layers on the plate).

Cover the chicken with crumbled feta, as much or as little as your want but leave 1/4" to 1/2" of chicken showing, and scatter some tomato quarters over the top. Garnish with fresh parsely or cilantro.

I almost made a creamy feta cheese sauce to drizzle over it, but I thought that would be overkill.

I personally would serve this for two HUGE plates, but that's just me. The dish should probably serve four.

I made this last night minus the onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms (but WITH my last habanero), and it was so damn good I can't describe it. For all you rabbit food lovers I'm sure the mushrooms etc... will make it even better for you.

And be sure to check out:

Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 12 - Lard Ass Wings
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 11 - Bacon Double Macaroni and Cheese
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 10 - It's the meat stupid
Recipes for REAL Men, Volume 9 - Labor Day Potatos
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 8 - It's a pork fat thing
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 7 - It may not be Kosher...
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 6 - Andouille Guiness Chili
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 5 - Eazza the Ultimate Pizza
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 4 - Two Pound Meat Sauce
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 3 - Highbrow Hash
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 2 - MuscleCarbonara
Recipes for REAL men, Volume 1 - More Beef than Stew