I know what you are thinking? "Hey Rob, all this great chow you are always cooking up. Why don't we ever see the disasters."
Well fine. I have no problem showing you the dark sordid world behind the apron, we pride ourselves here at the blast for giving you the whole megillah, warts and all.
You want to see the sausage being made, it's on you.
Anyway last night my idea was to make a red thai curry. Never have made a thai curry before, was on new ground.
I went to Grocery Outlet and found a whole fresh chicken I could afford. No preservatives, probably had antibiotics but I ran with it anyway.
Anyway I found a basic recipe and mostly followed it. I hacked up the chicken as best as I could without a mattock.
I spooned a few teaspoons of curry paste on the bottom of the dutch oven with some coconut oil. Added onion powder and let it all simmer for a couple minutes. I placed the chicken parts, which I had pretty much cubed at the bottom of the pot.
I added about ten ounces of coconut cream, curry powder, turmeric and ginger and then some lemon zest, not having any kafir lime leaves. Added brown sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
Per the stupid recipe, I covered it and put the pot in the oven for an hour at 400°.
Everything looked okay when I pulled it but the instant read thermometer was over 200° when we stuck it in the chicken breast. Oops.
The sauce did not look smooth or creamy, more like clotted.
I poured the entree into a bowl over some delicious black rice noodles (which are beautiful but actually a dark shade of mauvey purple.)
So I ended up with something like this.
Oh ya, garnished it with cilantro.
The verdict? Maybe a five or six at best.
I had overcooked the chicken and the coconut had clotted and separated, couldn't take the heat that Alexandra's Kitchen had recommended.
Probably should have done it all on the stovetop, in retrospect. I could control the heat better.
And I did not cut off all the skin and the extra fat did not help. That one is on me. Next time, I am more vigilant about the schmaltz.
Leslie said it was delicious but that I could eat all the leftovers which means that she was probably fibbing.
She stuck with the dark meat and would not touch the dryer breast.
Honestly it tasted good to me, I have had far worse. Many times.
She also said that the sauce had turned into a "little puddle of sh*t" because of my poor cooking technique.
I am not sure if she called me chef at that moment but she likes to call me that when I have blown it in the kitchen to stick the knife in a little bit and make me feel like an idiot. It certainly worked.
This morning she suggested I buy some grapes and turn it into a curried chicken salad with some nuts and what have you. I might just chuck it, not really emotionally equipped to confront my failures head on right now.
Like James Beard or Sir Douglas MacArthur, I shall return. Just wait for the culinary redemption tour.