Sunday, February 8

Food, again.

Let me share with you a story (it’s shorter than the last one).

One man said, “I feel like chicken tonight. Like, chicken… tonight.”

Another said, “I think that’s copyrighted.”

But the first guy wasn’t listening and instead went to About.com to pour over endless recipes and dishes from the whole world over. Also, he was deaf. But since the second guy didn’t know this, he just thought the first guy was being a douche and went home to sulk about it. At home, he found a lottery ticket on his front porch that just happened to win him one-hundred-thousand dollars the next day. Thusly financed, he finally married his stripper girlfriend and they moved to the Keys where they lived in utter bliss until the god of the sea-folk – yea, Lord of the Under-Kingdom – rose that following summer to sow terror among the realm of the land dwellers. Until somebody stopped him. The end.

Point is: About.com contains a trove of information if you like to cook. Today, you get to share in my joy.

Portuguese Chicken Burger
(That’s what it’s called at least. Apparently, it’s an Australian recipe. Or, at least, it’s from an Australian. Well, somebody who claims to be so. Or not. I don’t know. Look, it’s the Internet; if you want, I’m sure you can hack into his birth records on your Ipodamaphone or whatever the hell it is kids do these days. Get off my lawn.)

Ingredients:
(Here’s what we’ve got)

Sauce:
- 2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 dried habanero chilis, chopped (since I’m cheap, we’ll be using 2 Tbsp of red pepper flakes, instead)
- About ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp ginger
- 6 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp white sugar
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder

- 1 cup flour (for coating)
- 1 tsp salt (ditto)

- 4- 6 burger buns
- some mayo
- some lettuce
- also, cheese (I’ll be using Swiss since that’s all we have at the moment)

Preparation:
(This is how it’ll go down)

1. Filet the breasts to your desired thickness. I found three breasts gave me about 6 small to medium filets.

2. Combine the red pepper flakes, lemon juice, ginger, oil, paprika, garlic, sugar(s), and chili powder in a bowl. Wisk it quickly until well blended.

3. Spoon about a third of the resulting sauce into a small bowl and set aside for later (topping).

4. Dip the chicken into the original sauce mix, coating each piece thoroughly. Transfer these to a container (preferably glass – doesn’t absorb flavor as much as, say, plastic) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

5. Mix together the flour and salt. Remove the chicken and gently shake off any excess oil. Lightly dredge the filets in the mixture until covered.

6. Pre-heat a medium-sized, non-stick pan with a little oil. Pan-fry the filets for several minutes on each side.

7. Slap some mayo, lettuce, and cheese on those burger buns and you’re good to go. If you’d like to eat the chicken you just cooked, I guess you could put it on there, too.

8. Oh, and that sauce you set aside earlier would probably taste good drizzled over the chicken. Or whatever. I’m not you.

Result

Not what I was expecting. I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be as spicy when we’re throwing the equivalent of two hot peppers into the mix (not to mention the ginger and chili powder), but I found the product a bit lacking. Hanna – being a kind of sadist when it comes to spicy food – loved the chicken itself and opined that it would actually work best as a standalone entrée (sans bun and burger fixings). While I found that all heat and no sweet made for a spicy (yet boring) dish, I would be tempted to try this again from that angle; maybe substituting brown sugar in greater quantity, leaving out the chili powder, and halving the amount of pepper flakes. At least, that’s how I achieve ultimate flavor with this thing in my mind.

But that’s enough culinary alchemy for now. When I return, we’ll be discussing Lore checks, Clue tokens, and the menagerie of eldritch horrors stirring beyond the boundaries of space and time. Also, popular recipes for freshly shucked Cthonian.

Basically, you get to hear me rave about Arkham Horror. Because I knew you’d love that.

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