You can increase this recipe in easy multiples. For each two large boneless skinless chicken breasts, use two cups of corn syrup in a large glass pan or bowl. Stir two tablespoons of Dijon mustard into the corn syrup. Add two to four tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika, your choice. No salt and pepper until ready to cook.

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Marinate the chicken in the syrup for a couple of hours in the fridge, turning a couple of times using tongs to make sure every bit of chicken is coated.

In a fresh skillet, melt two tablespoons of unsalted butter. Salt and pepper the chicken. Let the butter just sizzle and place the chicken into the skillet. Don’t move the chicken around. Let it sear for just a few minutes until chicken is a golden colour. Turn and sear the other side.

Transfer all the marinating sauce to the chicken skillet. Use all the sauce. It will bubble and caramelize in just minutes on high heat. Turn the chicken so it is completely engaged with the hot syrup in the skillet.

Place the skillet uncovered on the centre rack in a preheated 350 F oven for 10-12 minutes. Set your smartphone timer.

Remove from the oven and let the skillet rest on the stovetop for about 10 minutes, covered at a tilt to let steam escape. Add to the resting skillet a half cup of quartered, brandy marinated firm black mission figs from your Asbach Uralt jar.

Never carve until resting is complete. Stir a quarter cup of cognac marinating jus into the sauce. The sauce will be gooey, sticky, sweet and beyond wonderful.

It’s perfect to enjoy just as is, but you might enjoy chunks of pineapple added to the sauce and serve over plain buttered instant basmati rice. Minute Rice brand literally cooks in one minute in the microwave and comes prepackaged in one-cup containers.

If using canned pineapple, reduce the packing liquid or add the pieces to simple sugar syrup. Most tinned fruits are now packed in juices, not in sugar syrup, so you have to make you own. Make a batch of simple syrup and keep on hand for such uses. Store syrup in glass jars only.

You can cut the chicken breasts into chunks and serve in a soft taco or crispy sun-dried tomato tortilla, alone or with the cooked rice and shredded crispy iceberg lettuce. Drizzle with the sticky sauce. This is an amazing dish, oddly just right sweet, balanced by the paprika and Dijon. A perfect accompaniment to a fresh stir-fried mix of veggies such as mixed colours bell peppers, onions and whole small button mushrooms.

ALTERNATE: When you remove the chicken from the oven, while it is “resting,” smear on each piece a teaspoon of amazing Wildly Delicious BBQ applewood and hickory smoked sauce.

And another alternate: Substitute centre cut thick, on the bone pork chops. The Wildly Delicious BBQ sauce has become a staple in my house. I dare not run out of it.

Frozen corn syrup cubes special treat

Some cooks have invested in tiny ice cube trays about the size of sugar cubes. These are a perfect size for making these unusual corn syrup sweet treats.

Fill each unit with corn syrup. Drop in each a bit of minced homemade candied citrus rind from your pantry sugar jar.

Alternatively, drop in a homemade candied hazelnut, walnut or almond from your pantry selection.

Freeze until solid. Empty the tray or individual units onto a tray of crushed ice. Serve immediately as a cold chewy treat.

You could serve it in one of your favourite cocktails. Just pop a cube into your glass.

If you use a full-size ice cube tray size you will have enough space to tuck in a whole small juicy ripe strawberry or a couple of blueberries, or a generous blackberry, as you freeze the corn syrup cubes. You could spritz the fruit with your favourite brandy and the alcohol will cut the super sweetness. There’s not enough alcohol to prevent the corn syrup from freezing. Enjoy!

Chocolate ganache

Make chocolate ganache, white or dark. Milk chocolate is not recommended.

Let it come to room temperature. Cover so the skin doesn’t form.

Using a little ladle, fill an ice cube tray that you have spritzed with walnut oil or coconut oil. Use an eye dropper and add in a very tiny drop of oil to the chocolate-filled cubes. If using walnut oil, pop in a whole homemade candied walnut or other nut from your pantry jar.

If using coconut oil, pop in a little piece of sugared pan-roasted fresh coconut.

You could add any sort of fresh fruit: a piece of Fiero lightly spritzed peach, or fresh plum in season or a few fresh, never frozen, berries. Maybe a raspberry filled with my figgy butter cream icing; to fill use a tiny forcing bag tip.

Let it freeze hard overnight and serve as an instant frozen amuse bouche.


© Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Amuse Bouche Hors D’Ouvres Collection ~ a Bite of this and a Nibble of that… 

© Spirits in My Kitchen: Lady Ralston – Canadian Cooking with Bouquets and Aromas ~ Good Food Made Better Adding Spirits  

© “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”

Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience 

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The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.

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