Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Hello Chicken- Let me cook you right! Review of Coriander Chicken and Fennel Tostadas
On Saturday, I selected my three recipes and made out my shopping list. I did not anticipate blogging about any of these recipes, just simply listing the successful ones to the sidebar on the right. However, tonight's recipe was worthy of a blog post. I found the recipe for Coriander Chicken Tostadas with Refried Beans and Grilled Fennel in January's issue of Bon Appetit. We love Mexican food around here so this one caught my attention. I am making an effort to bring more vegetables into our diet and thought this was an interesting use of fennel. The recipe comes from Sue Torres, owner of Suenos restaurant in Manhattan. In the introduction to the recipe, she makes a commentary about how people constantly overcook chicken breasts in fear of salmonella. I am guilty of this, so I decided to follow her instructions and use an instant read thermometer, cooking the chicken to exactly 165 degrees. The result was moist and flavorful chicken. I had respected my chicken by not drying it out! It's amazing how the simplest adjustment to method can take one's cooking up several notches.
Now, to the specifics of the recipe- the flavor combination of the coriander rubbed chicken, the pinto bean puree with cumin and chipotle peppers, and the grilled fennel is subtly addictive. Coriander* really is a lovely seasoning for chicken, as she states in the recipe. It would work nicely in a salad. I really wasn't sure how fennel was going to taste on a tostada, but it had a nice texture and mild sweetness. The meal took me about 45 minutes to prepare, which included me frying up corn tortillas to use for the tostada shells. We served them with shredded iceberg lettuce, cilantro sprigs, and a little sour cream. Adam added a little shredded cheese to his, but they honestly don't need it. I skipped the radishes, but might try them once gardening season rolls around. Anyhow, even if you don't want to try the recipe, click on the link and read her comments about cooking chicken- made a huge difference for me.
*I did not have coriander seeds, only ground coriander. It worked fine, but I suppose was lacking some texture that you'd get using crushed seeds.