I love a man in a uniform. And if he can cook? Oh honey. I am so excited about the new CafeMom Studios series Dinner Boot Camp. Sergeant First Class Rene Marquis, a five-star military chef who rescues families "from the same-old boring dishes." No excuses! Trim those green beans or give me 100 push-ups now!
No problem -- these recipes are way easier than push-ups. In the first episode Sergeant/Chef Marquis shows single mom of two Renee (hmm, Rene, Renee...) how to make chicken chasseur with herbed mashed potatoes, and green beans. Sounds fancy, but it's basically pan sauteed chicken with a rich but super-easy pan sauce. Did I mention Chef Marquis likes butter?
And since Chef Marquis and Renee are cooking together, Renee gets to ask lots of questions -- the kinds of questions most of us would probably ask if we were there. Recipes follow the video!
Chicken Chasseur (hunter-style chicken) with Boursin mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans
1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter has melted. Add chicken; cook until golden brown on each side and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes each side.
2. Remove chicken from pan; set aside. Add shallots; cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add red wine to deglaze.
3. Stir in demi-glace, tarragon, parsley and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with remaining butter. Drizzle pan sauce over chicken and serve warm with Boursin-style mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans.
Boursin Mashed Potatoes
1. Place four of the peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook potatoes until soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cheese, butter, milk and sour cream.
3. Remove potatoes from water and transfer to ricer. Press potatoes through the ricer, into cheese mixture.
4. Gently fold riced potatoes into cheese mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with gaufrettes.
For the optional gaufrette garnish
1. Cut raw potato on a mandoline, rotating potato 90-degrees with every pass to create the waffle cut.
2. Place waffle cuts in cold water.
3. Meanwhile heat oil over medium-high heat until the temperature registers 365 on an instant-read thermometer.
4. Remove potatoes from water. Using paper towels, dry potatoes completely.
5. Drop potatoes into hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a wire rack;
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Watch Chef Marquis whip these into shape.
1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook green beans 3 minutes.
2. Remove from water and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
3. Remove green beans from ice bath and dry with paper towels.
4. In a large skillet heat butter over medium heat until foamy.
5. Add green beans and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; squeeze lemon juice over green beans just before serving.
Serve family style, or to plate, transfer potatoes to a piping bag and pipe potatoes onto plate; garnish with a gaufrette potato. Place Chicken Chasseur and green beans alongside potatoes and serve warm.
Neat tools to use:
Cooking terms to brag about:
Gaufrette potatoes can be par-cooked ahead of time and kept in the freezer for nights when dinner calls for a fancy garnish, or when you’re in the mood for homemade potato chips. To make, peel a russet potato, cut on a mandolin, rotating the potato 90-degrees with every pass. To par cook, blanch in 325 degree oil for 1 minute and store on a parchment-lined sheet pan to freeze. To crisp, deep fry in 365 degree oil until golden and season with salt and pepper.
Mandolins do more than just waffle cuts. Keep a small hand-held unit in your drawer at all times to make quick work of slicing vegetables for salads and side dishes.
Keep dinner exciting by introducing at least one “adventure ingredient” every month. Adventure ingredients are ingredients that are new to you – perhaps something you’ve always wanted to try, or something you just discovered but never used, like an herb, spice, fruit or vegetable. In this recipe, our adventure ingredient is demi-glace.
When making mashed potatoes, leave them whole whenever possible to retain nutrients during cooking. Using a ricer, instead of whipping or mashing, keeps the texture light and fluffy.
Deglazing is a quick and easy way to make an extraordinary pan sauce. Simply add stock or liquid to your pan drippings and whisk in cold butter just before serving.
Check out Chef Marquis' steak recipe, too.
What do you think? Is this a recipe you think you could make for your family now that you've got all the tips?
Image via CafeMom Studios