Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bison Stew

I never thought that I would be making Bison Stew but after traveling to Utah and Montana to visit Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, I had to do it for my son and my husband.  We (they) tried the bison stew during a tour we took at Yellowstone.  I actually ate just the cornbread and a cookie.  They seemed to enjoy the stew on the tour and asked me to make it when we got back home.  I probably should have tried the stew myself but for some reason I can't bring myself to eat any meat but the conventional chicken, beef, pork, etc.  I know it is probably much healthier to eat bison but still...  Anyway, I made this version from Robert Irvine and the boys seemed to enjoy it.  The only complaint (from my son) was that it was a bit heavy on the wine.  I will have to agree that 4 cups is a LOT of wine.  I am not convinced that I needed to add the butter at the end of the cooking process.  I served the stew over couscous.

Bison Stew
by Robert Irvine

1/4 cup canola oil
2 pounds bison meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup diced white onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
4 cups red wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
1/4 cup unsalted butter


1.  Cook wild rice or couscous, for serving.

2.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, until almost smoking.  Brown the bison meat in the hot oil until golden brown, then remove from the pan to a plate and set aside.

3.  In the same pan, add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the flour and tomato paste and stir well.  Slowly add in the beef stock, red wine and canned tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4.  Return the seared meat to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Continue to cook for about 45 minutes.  The liquid, when close to finishing, should have reduced in volume by 1/2 of what you started with and the meat should be fork tender.  Cook's Note:  if the liquid begins to evaporate too rapidly, you can add more stock or water.

5.  To finish, stir in the fresh herbs and the butter.

6.  Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and serve immediately with wild rice or couscous.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chicken & Waffles

My son has been wanting me to make him chicken and waffles for a few years now.  I only recently discovered that this is a Baltimore, Maryland favorite dish.  I had no idea until I read about it on Wikipedia! I also discovered that there is an Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch style of this dish which is fairly different (probably healthier since the chicken is roasted).  In the meantime, I found a recipe for these cornbread waffles that sounded like a perfect combination with the buttermilk chicken.  They were.  My son has requested that next time I make this dish, I use a regular buttermilk waffle recipe to see how that tastes.  It is supposed to be made with buttermilk waffles that have maple syrup and butter on top.  The butter on top seemed like it would be overkill but my husband disagrees.  Apparently, it is the sweetness of the maple syrup that combines so nicely with the salty taste of the fried chicken that makes this dish so appealing.


Cornbread Waffles
From Soul Daddy Restaurant

1-1/2 cups cornbread
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
2-1/2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup soybean or vegetable oil


1.     Preheat a waffle iron.
2.     Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3.     Add buttermilk and oil and whisk until smooth.
4.     Spray a heated waffle iron with cooking spray.
5.     Add 2/3 cup batter and cook until crisp and lightly browned (5 to 6 minutes).
6.     Serve warm.

By Carrie Farias

2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups milk + fresh juice of 2 lemons)
8 pieces of chicken (thighs, breasts or legs)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsps. Fresh thyme (1/2 tsp. dry thyme)
Extra virgin olive oil for frying


1.       Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
2.       Add the chicken to a resealable plastic bag along with the buttermilk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or all day.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 10 minutes before you are ready to fry.
3.       Prepare the coating mixture by mixing together the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and thyme.
4.       Pour the oil into a large pot, Dutch oven or deep fryer and allow to heat over medium-high heat.
5.       Coat the chicken one piece at a time by dredging it into the flour mixture; then add the chicken to the oil.
6.       Fry the chicken 7-8 minutes per side; allowing them to turn golden brown;
7.       Drain the chicken on paper towels; then place on a baking sheet lined with a rack or foil.
8.       Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken has reached the proper internal temperature.

Chicken Gravy

3 tbsps. butter
3 tbsps. flour
1-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste       

Whisk the flour with the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Melt the butter in the same skillet that you used to fry the chicken and whisk in seasoned flour until smooth.  Bring to a simmer, whisking until the gravy is smooth.  Meanwhile, toast the waffles.

Assemble Chicken and Waffles:

Place a toasted waffle on a warmed plate.  Pour a drizzle of maple syrup and a pat of butter on the waffle.  Place 3 pieces of chicken on top of the waffle then pour gravy on top of the chicken.