Sunday, April 15, 2007

Island Chicken Nightmare

The recipe that I tried tonight was simply called Island Chicken. The full color photograph shows a lovely chicken breast, browned to perfection with grill marks and a sprinkling of exotic looking spices atop a pinapple/brown sugar glaze. Aside lay pinapple rings, also adorned with grill marks and above mentioned spices; they sit next to a bed of fluffy brown rice. It looks so good, you want to lick the photograph.

...and, I have had dishes called "carribean chicken" and remember eating something similar on one of our cruises and it was very tasty. I had been wanting to try this recipe since I bought the cookbook (Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking Light) and I just had a feeling that this was going to be good.

I fired up the George Forman, grilled the chicken and follwed the recipe. And it tasted terrible. Not just terrible, but Weird-Terrible. Like something was off but I couldn't quite put my finger on it so I kept on eating it trying to figure out what it was until I finally came to the conclusion "This is Just Nasty" and tossed the whole dish. I KNOW it wasn't anything I did wrong, because I didn't really have to do anything but grill the chicken and stir the sauce which consisted of pinapple juice, a tbs. of brown sugar and some jerk seasoning. The sauce was actually the best thing about the dish and it wasn't good. The recipe suggested to serve the dish alongside brown rice. BLAND rice is more like it. I tried it with chicken and I tried mixing some of the sauce with it...didn't help. It was terrible all the way around!

I believe the culprit to be the carribean jerk seasoning that was used in the recipe. Something in that mix is off--weird. The stuff was on every part of the dish. The chicken, the pineapple, and in the sauce. It has to be what made it so bad. And bad it was. I grilled up some of the pineapple pre-chicken so that Mark could have grilled pineapple and rice. He took one bite and said "What's wrong with this pineapple?" I'm not going to bother posting the recipe. First recipe I've tried from that cookbook. May be the last. I'm really dissappointed.

Something I discovered while cooking this dish... The GF, while it may be the best kitchen appliance ever, is not particularly suited for grilling GIANT chicken breasts. I bought a bag o' chicken breasts at Kroger and they are HUGE. Normally I get the tenders and cook 2-3 at a time. They grill up quick and easy and are always perfectly juicy. The giant ones tend to end up a little dry if you leave them on the GF till they're good n' well done and I do because, as my friend Cara says, " I Don't want no samonella!". Anyway, I'm not sure what to do with the giant chicken breasts. Bake? Broil? Any suggestions? After this disastrous experiment, I'm thinking I might as well try frying chicken again. Couldn't turn out any worse tasting than tonight's Island Chicken Nightmare.

OH, I ALMOST FORGOT. King Arthur---FANTASTIC! I knew it would come to me.


Scott and Jackie said... sounded good at the beginning. Sorry it turned out awful! :) Mom gave me this tip once about pork chops and I've tried it with chicken breasts too, twice now and it's been DELICIOUS and JUICY every time:

(First on a side note...yesterday I cooked two REALLY big chicken breasts for me & Scott...I'm always terrified that my chicken's not going to be done, so I took a big knife and sliced the chicken into halves "butterfly" I think is the term, anyway I didn't cut all the way through, but sliced it inbetween so I could lay it out...made it look quite a bit bigger...but thinner and it worked!)

Heat up just a bit of oil in a skillet, just enough to spread on the bottom of the pan...on medium heat. Season your chicken before you put it in the pan (not my favorite thing to do because I HATE raw chicken...blech..but the tastiness is worth it) I rub it down with either some BBQ Chicken rub or some "Slap Ya Mama" Cajun seasoning.

Throw it in the pan, let it cook on both sides (maybe a couple minutes on each) and then pour in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan..or even just a little more. Throw in a little more seasoning, maybe a tiny bit of butter.
(Side note: When I'm doing BBQ Chicken I also pour in some BBQ Sauce...Extra Yumminess!)

Cover and simmer for a while just to let the chicken soak up the juicy-goodness. Just check it occasionally to make sure it's done. You can turn the heat down after a few minutes and just let it simmer some more. Just don't let it simmer too long or it may dry out.

So, I'm not the best with recipes...but that's they way I've done it the past couple times and it is AMAZING! (Considering chicken always used to be dried- out when I'd cook it) (Big thanks to Mom!!)

Maybe that will help with your giant chicken breasts! LOVE YOU!

Kellie Cotton said...

I will try that! I think I've maybe done a porkchop kinda like that before. And the cutting the chicken down the middle...GENIUS. I don't think I like the giant chicken breasts so much...too big. So I'll cut 'em down the middle next time. I'm like you, raw chicken grosses me out big time, but when it's cooked right, it's good eatin'!