Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
Well, I was planning on doing the steamed fish with dry miso this past week; but things got sort of crazy. Once the dust settled, my wife and I were trying to figure out what to make for supper Sunday night. So the first thing that came to mind was the Bouchon/Thomas Keller Roast Chicken on a mushroom ragout; but I didn’t have all the proper elements to execute the recipe. Fortunately, I remembered that Chef Ming Tsai had a Shiitake-Scallion Pan Sauce that could go with crisp skin roasted chicken thighs (see http://ming.com/foodandwine/recipes/season-1/shiitake-scallion-pan-sauce.htm). While the recipe called for his master chicken broth, I figured it’d be quicker and simpler if I made it with Iron Chef Chen’s chicken broth/stock. And since I was making the soup stock from Iron Chef Chen, I thought I’d also make the old cucumber soup I grew up with.
For the soup, I needed
4 cups of Iron Chef Chen’s chicken broth
3 cucumbers (7 oz before cleaning), then peeled, deseeded and then diced small
1 teaspoon of sea salt
And so I assembled all items into a soup pot, brought it to a boil and the lowered the heat to medium to cook for about 10 minutes.
Once the soup was done, I dished out a serving each for my wife and I and added a few pieces of the chicken wings used to make the broth for the soup.
As I normally do, I prepared 4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 1.5 lbs) by seasoning them with 4:1 salt/pepper mix (I usually about teaspoon of the mix/lb). The chicken was then placed into preheated 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Since I wasn’t quite following Chef Tsai’s recipe, I ended up using 1/3 of the broth called for and I ended up omitting the white wine when I discovered there was none to be found at home and the liquor stores were already closed. To do the shiitake/scallion pan sauce, I ended up using –
1 cup of 1/4″ scallion pieces (white and green)
15 oz of sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup of Iron Chef Chen’s Chicken Broth
2 4-finger pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon of Iron Chef Chen’s chicken broth+1 tablespoon of water
To make the sauce, I sauteed the scallion pieces in a hot wok with grapeseed oil until soft and then added the shiitake and cooked them down with a little more grapeseed oil. Once the scallions and mushrooms had softened, I added the chicken broth and cooked the whole thing at about 75% max heat, making sure I had ‘deglazed’ the bottom of the wok. Once the mixture was bubbling, I added in the cornstarch slurry and stirred everything until it just thickened and then took the wok off the heat.
By this time, the chicken thighs were ready and had rested about 5 or so minutes. With the shiitake scallion ‘sauce’ all done, I quickly got them onto the plates to serve as a bed for the chicken. The plating was finished by placing the thighs atop the sauce.
This was pretty much an impromptu dinner; yet the soup and main course made for a satisfying meal at the end of long day (and a hectic weekend).