Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘Chicken

Thoughts of Ocracoke Island

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IM_A0008                                                                        The neighborhood

   It’s been a long time since my last post. I apologize. I am feeling it’s time to get back to my second passion,writing!.

     Since my last post I was able to make a trip back to my second home (Ocracoke Island N.C.). To those not  acquainted this is a barrier island on the outer banks of North Carolina where I spent vacations as a child and have visited each year for the last decade. While we have  always rented a house (my buddy and 
I). The last couple of time I chose to come down to the island early. The house we rented would not be available until Sunday but I chose to leave Thursday afternoon. Fifteen hour in the car later I Caught the ferry leaving the workaday world behind.

 ferry pic

While I am not, generally, a rustic person I have camped on the island,a couple of days, for the last 2 years.

P1010152 IM_A0056 P1010150

          Home for a couple of days                                     The View from the backyard                              Bluefin


This last year I found myself hanging out at the campground feeling hungry and called a takeout order in to ( what I believe is) the only Thai restaurant on the outer banks. My thought process was that the seafood would be absolutely fresh as almost everything served on the island comes from day boats. I chose the Penang Curry with shrimp. It was everything I expected. Sweet and spicy with the freshest shrimp available and served over rice. I decided that I would have to recreate the dish when I got back to Detroit.


                                                         Trying to catch Dinner! Me (left) and Steve(right)(2004)

     I had most of the ingredients I need to reinvent this dish. I always have Pankow Breadcrumbs and and have had Java Curry Cubes in my freezer for some time. The plan is to bread the chicken in Pankow and Coconut and serve it with a Penang Curry Sauce over stir fried Rice Noodles.



Coconut Crusted Chicken with Stir Fried Rice Noodles in a Penang Curry Sauce

Serves 2

  • 2 4 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup Pankow Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 egg + 1 cup Milk (or water)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Rice Noodles (wide)
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Square Java Curry Paste (available in Asian groceries)
  • 1/2 cup Bean Sprout
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro (freshly Chopped)
  • vegetable oil
  1. Combine Coconut and Panko and reserve
  2. Wisk milk/water with flour to create a batter.
  3. Dip Chicken in the batter (draining excess) and dredge in the Coconut/Panko blend using the standard breading procedure rules ( in an earlier post)
  4. Set  aside for at least 10 minute so the Breading will set.
  5. In a separate pan combine the Coconut Milk with the Curry paste. Bring to a boil and wisk until combines. Keep warm for service.
  6. Cook Rice noodles according to direction and shock (stop cooking )in cold water.
  7. Fry/Sauté breaded chicken in vegetable oil until a golden brown color is achieved. Finish in a 350 degree oven until internal temp is 165 degrees.
  8. Stir fry Rice noodles.bean sprouts and peanuts in a little of the vegetable oil until warm.
  9. Add1/4  of the curry/coconut mix and toss. Add cilantro and toss again.
  10. Place a portion of the rice Noodles on a plate and arrange slice chicken around it.
  11. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

Notes Food:

  • Panko is readily available in most supermarkets.
  • The Java Curry paste I used was from a Japanese grocery. It works well with this application. A Red or Green Curry sauce might not work as well in this S.E. Asian preparation.
  • The egg/milk/ flour combo is a Japanese take on Standard Breading Procedure. By creating a batter they eliminate a step.

Notes: Ocracoke Island

  • Ocracoke Island has it’s own dialect which, if you listen carefully, you will hear spoken by the Island residents! It’s been in use since the island was settled in the 1700’s.
  • Hoi Toide = High Tide

    feesh= fish

    Dim witter= dumb ***

  • Until the 1960’s wild ponies had the run of the island and the local boy scout troop were the only “mounted” unit of the Boy Scouts due to the fact that they captured and trained the wild ponies. Due to progress they have since been corralled and remain an Island feature.
  • If visiting don’t miss picking up a jar of the local fig preserves. Figs grow wild on the island but also look for the Apple trees which have been growing on the island for hundreds of years. In recent years I have found Prickly Pear Cactus growing as well.
  • I also recently found, what I think is, the worlds largest rosemary plant growing there. It was in somebody’s front yard!
  • In addition to being a fisherman’s paradise there is also clamming and crabbing available.


Written by Ed Schenk

February 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

Turning Japanese..I think I’m turning Japanese.I really think so ! Making and Eating Chicken Katsu

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Katsu 1    

I have always had a love of Japanese food and culture. As early as me teens I was going out to Japanese restaurants and slurping up sushi. My Asian journey was helped by a good friend whose nickname Red Ed. He was called due to the fact that he had red curly hair and freckles and so people would know which Ed they were talking about ( I was called …..Ed. Sorry I won’t reveal more!). The thing about Red Ed was that he grew up in Japan and was fluent in the language. Besides introducing me to Japanese food and culture he also taught me some of the language (a skill that would serve me well later). A favorite prank of ours was to go to a party and speak Japanese to each other and watch as the whole room fell silent while trying to figure out what we were saying to each other. Anyway…

  Fast forward 30 years. I was hired to run the Cafeteria at a large Japanese auto concern. It was a natural. I knew food and spoke some Japanese. One of the requirements of the position was to serve authentic Japanese food. In order to fill this requirement I hired a Japanese Chef. Now my background as a Chef is pretty deep but I was in awe watching this Chef work. It was such a pleasure and I learned so much more about Japanese cuisine than I thought I knew. One of the dishes we served was called Chicken Katsu. It’s basically Japanese fried Chicken but is very popular. We served it once a week and people would line up around the building just to order it.

Without further babbling I present to you Chicken Katsu:

Chicken Katsu Dinner for Two

  • 2×4 oz chicken Breast
  • kosher salt
  • White pepper
  • 1 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • milk
  • Bulldog brand Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Finely shredded cabbage*
  • Nishiki brand Japanese short grain rice
  • Black sesame seeds

1. Butterfly both chicken breast so that they are an even thickness through out.
2.Sprinkle each piece lightly with kosher and white pepper.
3.Make a batter with the egg milk and some of the flour. It should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.
4.Dredge the chicken in the flour and then dip it in the batter. Place the battered chicken in the breadcrumb.
5.Using dry hand  coat the chicken with the breadcrumb. Allow the breaded chicken to rest fir 1o minutes so the coating will set.
6.Fry the chicken at 350 degrees until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
7.Place shredded cabbage on the plate in a mound.
8.Run a knife through the chicken in order to cut it in strips.
9.Put on plate with the cabbage and drizzle with Tonkatsu sauce.
10.Serve with cooked rice sprinkled with black sesame seed.


* Soak the cabbage in cold water after shredding. It will get crisp as it absorbs the water.

  • Panko breadcrumbs are available in all Japanese grocery stores and most groceries.
  • I am not endorsing the rice brand as I know there are other brands of Short grain Japanese rice. It is, however the most recognizable brand in the U.S.
  • While it is possible to make Tonkatsu sauce nobody in Japan really does because the commercial stuff is widely available. It’s like mayonnaise…Yeah I know how to make it but why go to the trouble if I don’t have to.
  • Bulldog brand Tonkatsu sauce is the most widely available brand and can be found in Most Japanese (and Korean) groceries.

Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru

Luck exists in the leftovers.

Written by Ed Schenk

April 15, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Living in a Maple Wonderland

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syrup-pancakes     I would like to like to begin this post by introducing some friends of mine. They go by the screen names Gizmar and Psychgrad. They are the mother and daughter team behind Equal Opportunity Kitchen  andAdopt a Blogger Badge _4 my mentors in the Adopt-a Blogger program. Giz and Psychgrad have been blogging together since 2007 and have graciously offered to help me with my blogging. For the last month or so we have been e-mailing each other, checking each others sites out and working on a post together. While checking out their site I came across a couple of posts about Maple syrup. Now Maple syrup is one thing I haven’t tackled ( except if you count pouring it on my pancake with great enthusiasm) but living in Michigan I am aware that there is a fair amount of production of this special product. There are also activities associated with the product. I hope to attend one of these events and eventually tap a tree, boil it down to make syrup and follow up with that pancake thing I mentioned earlier. In any case being right in the middle of Maple syrup season we decided that a post on this subject would be timely. The photos were taken by Psychgrad last season the with recipes from Gizmar and myself.

     Long before the first Europeans came to North America the native peoples were making  maple syrup. How they happened upon this treasure is the subject of some debate but several native tribes tell  that, long ago, pure maple syrup ran from the trees and that one of the gods thought this too easy for the people and that they would take it for granted so he gathered water up into the skies and and poured it onto the trees watering the syrup down into sap. After that the people had to boil the sap in order to make the syrup.

     When the Europeans arrived the natives taught them how to take the sap and make syrup from it. The French Canadians began making in the 1600’s with the British colonists in New England following suit. It was an important commodity early on as the cost of sugar (which had to be imported) was prohibitive. As settlements were established in the west the tradition of making maple syrup went too. While Canada produces the most Maple syrup many Northern US states from Maine west to Washington produce maple syrup as well .


     The process for making maple syrup is a very time consuming process. First maple trees are “tapped”.

syrup4 syrup2

“Tapping” is when a hole is drilled into the maple tree to allow the sap to flow. a spigot is inserted and the sap drips into a container. The sap runs best on days when the nights are cold but the days are mild (February,March and April). Each day the sap is gathered and it’s brought to a central processing point. It is then boiled down to remove the water and concentrate the sugar.

pioneer sugar making

When the sap is collected it contains 97% water and 3% sugar but by the time the process is finished the numbers are reversed and the syrup contains 97% sugar and 3% water.

rustic maple cabin

     If you live in the Northern tier of the United States (or in Canada)  chances are Maple syrup events are going on in the late winter and early spring. People gather to celebrate the coming of spring and the syrup harvest (Maple syrup is actually the first “crop” of the season). There are an assortment of activities at these festivals. Of course there are sap collecting, syrup making demonstrations and usually a pancake breakfast.  These events are great family friendly activities that shouldn’t be missed! Here in Michigan you can find out about Maple syrup events at the Michigan Maple Syrup festival site. For our friends across the river in Ontario you can visit the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers website or Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugarbush. Of course there are several other states that produce Maple syrup  and if you live in ( or think you live in) one of those states just Google it on the internet and you will find events in your area!

      Even though maple syrup is best known as the topping of choice for pancake it also works great in many other dishes. My friend Giz and I have come up with a couple of recipe that that scream “Maple Syrup! It’s not just for breakfast anymore!”

Grilled Chicken Glazed with Maple Syrup and Whole Grain Mustard


2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts ( 5-6 oz)
1/2 cup Liquid Steak Seasoning
1 tablespoon minced Garlic
1/2 4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup pure Maple syrup
1/4 cup Whole grain Mustard


  • Trim the Chicken breast of any fat or skin.
  • Mix together the Steak seasoning, Garlic and oil.
  • Marinate the Chicken in the Seasoning mix above for 1 hour.
  • In a sauce pan reduce the Maple syrup by 1/3 and stir in the Mustard. Your glaze is done.
  • Grill until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Glaze your chicken breast on both sides and continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • Remove from heat and glaze once more if needed.

maple glazed chicken

  • You may have notice that I used a store bought steak seasoning (Kroger brand). This is because it work well for my purpose. It’s a very concentrated (liquid) seasoning so it only take an hour or so to marinate. If there isn’t a Kroger store I’m sure they have an equivalent product. If not, or if you choose otherwise you could use and make your own marinade.
  • I reduce the syrup a bit to ensure that it doesn’t run off the chicken when I brush it on. It also intensifies the flavor.
  • I don’t start glazing until the Chicken is almost done. This prevents the sugar in the maple syrup from Burning.

From Gizmar at Equal Opportunity Kitchen we also have a Maple Salmon recipe:

Maple Glazed Salmon

plated salmon

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup light soya sauce
1/4 cup dark rum
3-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup (some use 1 1/2 – I like more)
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
salt and pepper to taste (I eliminate the salt)
1. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil
2. Marinate the fish for 2 hours.
3.  Bake at 400 F for 20 min.

Enjoy the taste of Maple syrup this year and support local agriculture!!!!

Written by Ed Schenk

April 1, 2010 at 12:01 am

On the Grill – Smoked Chicken

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     smoked chicken

     I love to BBQ!! Something about the smoke and fire make it a primal experience for me.Through the years I have had a variety of grills from an oil barrel grill to a water smoker.I used to be a “Charcoal Only” person but several years ago i even had an opportunity purchase a gas grill , at a reasonable price. and learned to like it.I have grilled/ smoked everything from geese to potatoes! A goal of mine is to get comfortable enough with BBQ that I enter the world of Competitive BBQ ( I have a cousin on the east coast who does this quite successfully. Her team is the Purple Turtle team ).

     It has gotten warm enough to start smoking again. Although I will, on a whim, grill/smoke in even the most inclement weather I try to save my resources for spring and fall. Whole chicken were on sale at the market this week and provided me with the opportunity.

    One of the most important elements of BBQ is to  prepare your meat. For the chicken I used a brine. This does two things.  The smoke clings to the salt in the brine better and the chicken stays moist from the brine. This brine will be enough for 2 chickens. I brined them for 5 1/2 hours. Also, as long as you are getting a fire going you may as well smoke as much as you can. no sense wasting all that good smoke! When I do ribs I always throw a chicken on too.

 A basic brine recipe:


One Gallon water
One Cup Kosher Salt
One Cup Sugar (Brown)




Right now I still have my trusty Weber Kettle ( 20 years old) and am using to smoke. One of the important things to remember about smoking is that the rule is “Low and Slow”. I put the charcoal on one side of the grill and a drip pan filled with water on the other. I place the chicken over the drip pan so the fat that is rendered doesn’t burn. Also the water help to moderate the heat. My goal is to cook between 225 and 250 degrees.

Smoked Chicken 3     Although there are several  types of wood people use to smoke I like hickory. I soak my chips in water for an hour before tossing them on my fire. I have a thermometer in the grill to monitor temperature and I adjust accordingly by opening and closing the lid and/or the air holes on the top and bottom of the grill. My chickens took approximately 2 1/2 hours to cook.

Smoked Chicken 2

     We ate our chicken hot off the grill. I am making a smoked chicken and vegetable Penne Pasta with the leftover from the one chicken and the other one will go in the freezer for another day!

Written by Ed Schenk

March 9, 2010 at 12:32 am