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Friday, October 21, 2011

Franklin and Carmel Chicken

I often search for a new recipe each week as I create my menu. This week I found Chef John's Carmel Chicken, based on a recipe from a popular Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco called The Slanted Door. The picture looked delectable and it had rave reviews. I was getting really excited until I read the ingredient list; it calls for fish sauce

Many of you may be asking, what is fish sauce? It's a popular ingredient in many Asian  dishes, it's rather salty and so adds a lot of flavor. You can usually find it the Asian section of your local grocery store. 

The problem? IT STINKS!! I served a mission in Hong Kong for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and every now and then, as we were walking down the streets of Hong Kong there would be an over whelming stench. We were told it was a local favorite called Stinky Tofu and was sold by street venders. I could never being my self to try it; anything that smells THAT bad can't be good!

I took another look at the picture of the Carmel Chicken and read the reviews again and decided to give it a try, fish sauce and all. I was very glad I did. It was delicious! Yes, the fish sauce was a little stinky but the brown sugar and ginger more than made up for it. The only recommendation I would make is that it was pleanty salty. I don't think you need the extra soy sauce.

We had plenty left over for Pizza and Movie Night! I've been doing left-over-pizza more and more. I love being able to feed my family specialty pizza for about two dollars, just the price of the crust and cheese. Plus I get to use up the left overs.

So, first of all, here's the Carmel Chicken recipe from Chef John. He has video instructions on his website.

2.5 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, about 8-10 thighs)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbl grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
fresh cilantro to garnish

After enjoying this on Wednesday, I mixed the leftover rice with the chicken and saved it for Friday. Tonight I stir fried a julienne carrot (fancy word for thin strips, there is a special tool to do this, or you can just cut small carrot sticks like I did) and a small sliced onion. Jiffy was the crust of choice tonight. I added just a little bit of water to the chicken to make it a little more saucy and spread that on first followed by the carrots and onions, then topped with a little mozzarella cheese. This was a wonderful pizza and a great use of these leftovers!

We enjoyed our Carmel Chicken Pizza to a movie called Franklin and the Green Knight.I had never heard of this one before, but the kids found it at the Library and it's the one we brought home. In this cute little movie spring is late to Woodland and the animals long for the snow to melt. One little turtle, Franklin is especially anxious because he'll soon be a big brother. His friends make him dread the coming baby with warnings of how troublesome babies are, not to mention parents only have time for the baby. The one thing that really annoyed me about this movie was that the coming baby turtle was not in an egg. Rather, the mother turtle was drawn pregnant. 

 The Green Knight is a story within the story about a brave knight who brought spring to the wintery country while learning an important lesson:

"A true knight acts with a true heart"

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