Eat Something











{September 25, 2008}   Chicka Cherry Cola

Yep, it’s Eat to the Beat time and I did “I Want You” by Savage Garden at the beheadst of my little brother… I hestiated a bit a first, but decided I felt I could do fun things with this song and food… (The reason for my pause is this song and I have a soap opera story past, riddled with unforseen drama… and was once the source behind me being nicknamed Chicka Cherry Cola among other things…)

So on to the eats… I bet you could have guessed that I used chicken, cherries and coke, huh? I started with leg quarters because I saw them and thought of Amber and how I was telling her they were perfect for something sticky sweet and/or with something carb-y (so I also put this over mixed whole grains) and thus my first attempt at an Eat to the Beat was born…

Chicka Cherry Cola
4 chicken leg quarters (cut in thighs and drumsticks, and haphazardly skinned and trimmed of excessive fat)
flour for dusting chicken (maybe 1/2-3/4 c, no idea though since I never made note of it)
1/2 yellow onion
1 lg carrot
2 c cherries (I’d use 4 c next time)
1 T herbes de provence (I might sub something else never time–a little muddled with this pairing IMO)
2 tsp ea: garlic and onion pwd
1 tsp ea: thyme, salt, blk pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 c cachaca (or rum if you are normal)
2 cans coke
2 c hot water
1 T vanilla ext (next time I’ll plan on a bean I think)
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c creme de cassis/rasp reserve (leftover from PMG, but a cherry liqueur would work and might be better)
1/2 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c chopped fresh chives

Season the meat as you wish with s/p and garlic (not included in the amts listed above for the sauce) or however you season basic chicken before flouring… dry in flour and quickly pan fry in 2T of your preferred fat (I merely redendered some the chunks I cut off the chicken to have enough for the meat and veg, but oil works too) until browned on all sides… set chicken to the side and add the diced carrots and onions, with the alcohol (or a splash of vinegar in some water) to deglaze the pan and simmer until veg is soft and liquid is absorbed… add hot water and pour into blender to puree and add back to pan with seasonings and coke and bring to a simmer and pour over chicken and cherries in an oven safe dish andcover with foil… Baked 1 hr @ 375 and then drained off the reduced liquid to taste and adjust… decided to strain out the dried herbs (they’d done their job and I didn’t need that much mouth feel), and added vanilla, sugar and creme de cassis (I really wanted more cherry flavor but had used them all and had this tucked in the fridge and figured the berriness was a similar vibe to what I wanted), parsley, and chives before reluctantly–becuase I really wanted to add more cherry oomph but couldn’t–returning to the chicken for another 30 hr or so of cooking until the meat was to temp….

final oven stages... sorry, I neglectfully forgot to get a dished out pic over it's bed of grains...

final oven stages... sorry, I neglectfully forgot to get a dished out pic over it's bed of grains...

All in all, it worked out alright as a stand alone dish with another name but I think I could make this rock the name better with more tweaking… so it didn’t submit because it fell short in a confusing way, and I really couldn’t decide what it needed (except obviously the cherry hit)… Hubs and the kids really liked it, and I think part of my disappointment rested in the Cherry Cola-ness not being more oomphy…ever so technical I know. LOL) But my best guesses where I’d start: I think I would pull the extra thyme and replace it with rosemary and perhaps pull all the herbs and use just rosemary as a stand out kick instead… yeah I really think that could help, and I’d like to double the cherries and puree half of them to lift the sauce… I guess in the end it is a brand new dish I invented on the fly and I just want to tinker some more (however we’ve been to 3 stores since then–I was gonna doctor up the leftovers some more to see if I could get it where I wanted it–and can’t find any cherries… *sighs* so I may just have to wait until next year, as I really don’t think I’d want to bake frozen cherries that long… but maybe I’ll try it, who knows…)

PS. Oh and despite my vows to try the bobbypin tip the next time I pitted cherries I of course did not, as I hadn’t bought any (there’s always next year, right?)…
PPS. I made this at the beginning of the month but still may find time to do another before the deadline, which hopefully I’ll deem submittable…

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