Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

1 Comment

Recipe: Sauteed Chicken Breast

The Chicken is in the upper left-hand corner, btw.

Another day, another recipe courtesy of my old Culinary Skills notebook! This is another favorite recipe of mine from that class, mainly because I am a huge fan of sauteed items, such as Chicken Breast. Granted, a lot of people say it’s kind of bland, but hey, I like to think of it as a blank canvas for flavor. Especially when it’s a sauce derived from the chicken itself and, of course, augmented with some great complimenting flavors.

Sauteed Chicken Breast with Pan Sauce


  • 2 to 3 Chicken Breasts, Pounded flat
  • 2 Oz. of Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Shallots, Minced
  • 1 Oz. Olive Oil (or any neutral-flavored oil)
  • 2 Oz. and 1 Tablespoon of White Wine
  • 2 Oz. of Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup of Demi Glace (classic Mother Sauce. Made by reducing Chicken, Beef or Veal Stock down until it is thick)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Large Saute Pan (large enough to fit all 3 chicken breasts in at the same time)
  • Spring-loaded Tongs
  • Whisk
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cooling Rack for chicken
  • Wooden Hammer
  1. Pound the chicken breasts flat with hammer.
  2. Dry surface of chicken and season, liberally, with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the saute pan onto HIGH heat. The pan has to be VERY hot in order to do this.
  4. Add the oil to the pan and, when it shimmers, add the chicken.
  5. Sautes the chicken until the edges and the bottom are golden.
  6. Flip over and saute until that side is also golden.
  7. Transfer the chicken to the cooling rack, which is set over wither a bowl or sheet pan to catch the drippings.
  8. Drain any excess fat from the pan, lower the heat to medium and deglaze with the 2 Oz. of wine.
  9. Cook until the wine is reduced.
  10. Add the drippings from the chicken and the 2 Oz. of cream, as well as the parsley.
  11. Bring this mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.
  12. Add the Demi Glace and the remaining 1 Tablespoon of wine.
  13. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust thickness of sauce by adding chicken stock to thin it out, if desired.
  14. Re-heat the chicken breasts in the sauce for about a minute before serving.

The best part of this dish? If done right, you should still be able to get a crisp texture from the chicken, even after its been simmering in the sauce for a bit. This dish really showcases a whole myriad of flavors. It really is as much fun to eat as it is to cook. So, enjoy!


Recipe: 3 for 1 Pizza Special (Part 2)

Here it is, as promised! The final part to this two-post extravaganza and the finale to Pizza Week! I promised two more recipes and I shall deliver! So here we go!

Super Savory Pizza


  • Fresh or Store-bought pizza crust
  • 1 Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of Dry Oregano
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Pack of Pepperoni
  • 2 Italian style Sausages out of their casings
  • 1 Cup of Provolone Cheese, grated
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Box Grater
  • Sautee Pan
  • Pizza Pan
  • Silicone Spatula
  • Pizza Cutter
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  2. Stretch out your fresh dough on the pan
  3. Cover with the tomato sauce
  4. Sprinkle the Oregano on top
  5. Heat the sautee pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil
  6. Add the Sausages and break them up with the spatula. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Sautee the Sausages until brown
  8. Take out the sausages and put them off to the side for a bit
  9. Dice up the garlic and, using the fat that remains in the pan, sautee the garlic for 1 – 2 minutes
  10. Add the garlic to the tomato sauce on the crust
  11. Cover with the Provolone
  12. Add the pepperoni and browned sausage on top
  13. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes

Enjoy this one folks! It’s another favorite of mine. If you’re a sucker for Italian Sausage like I am, then you’ll love this! Now, on with the show!

Asian Style Pizza


  • 1/2 Cup of Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 Pack of Instant Ramen
  • 1 Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper Flake
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Chili Oil
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Chicken (or Duck if you can get your hands on it. yet another leftovers magnet here)


  • Small Pot
  • Pizza Pan
  • Small Bowl
  • Balloon Whisk
  • Wooden Spoon
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  2. In the bowl whisk together the sauce-to-be
  3. Fold in the chicken
  4. In the small pot, cook the ramen in salted water for 5 – 6 minutes. Drain thoroughly when done
  5. Stretch out the dough on the pan and add the chicken-sauce mixture
  6. Top with the cooked and drained ramen noodles
  7. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes

Surprised? Well I at least hope you were! This is a recipe I just thought of a few days ago. I tried it and it really is fantastic! It’s a nice little twist on the traditional pizza and it’s a great way to experiment with flavor profiles. Have fun with this one!

Well that draws Pizza Week to a close! I hope everyone enjoyed this little culinary excursion into Pizza Land. It’s a land of unlimited possibilities where instead of asking “Why?” you should instead ask “Why not?”

Send me some feed back by leaving comments or e-mailing me: You can even leave me messages on my Twitter! See you guys later!

Recipe: Cheesy Chicken Pizza

Hello and welcome to Pizza Week, Day 1! First, a quick note. My last entry said that this would start tomorrow (May 11), BUT when I was writing this and as it was uploading, it was still May 9 so, yeah. Here you go!

Now, surprisingly enough, I found a recipe for pizza dough courtesy of

I have yet to actually try this recipe myself, but I’m just passing it along to help you all out. And don’t worry, once I actually do this recipe, I’ll let you know how it went. Now, on with the show!

Pizza Dough (makes 4 – 5 pizzas)


  • 6 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons each of Sugar and Salt
  • 1 3/4 oz (2 packages) of active dry Yeast
  • 10 cups of flour
  • 2 1/2 cups of water


  • 2 Large Mixing bowls
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Small bowl for the Yeast
  1. Wake up the yeast. Put the yeast and sugar into the small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir until dissolved. Let sit until it looks foamy (that’s the yeast giving off CO2 as they munch on the sugar)
  2. Put the flour into the large bowl and add the salt, olive oil, yeast/sugar mixture and the rest of the water (go SLOW with the water). Mix thoroughly.
  3. When the dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead until it becomes smooth (about 5 – 10 minutes)
  4. Once that’s done, put the dough into the other mixing bowl that has been floured. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm, dark place until it has doubled in size (minimum 2 hours)
  5. When you’re ready to make the pizza, take a quarter of your dough and knead and shape it into the classic circle shape or any shape you wish, for that matter! Now, speaking of the pizza…

Cheesy Chicken Pizza


  • The Bechamel Sauce recipe as first seen in my Four Cheese Mac & Cheese recipe (basic flour and butter roux mixed with 2 cups of whole milk. cook until thick)
  • 2 Cups of shredded or crumbled Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 of your pizza dough OR one store-bought pizza crust
  • 2 cups of leftover roast chicken


  • Pizza Pan (a flat, aluminum pan with perforations in the bottom to allow heat in. it makes for a really crispy crust)
  • Small pot for making the Bechamel Sauce
  • Whisk
  • Pizza Cutter
  1. Preheat your over to 450-degrees
  2. Shape your fresh pizza dough into a disk that fits the pizza pan (10 – 12 inches). If you’re using the store-bought crust, just put it on the pizza pan and move on 😛
  3. When your Bechamel Sauce is thick, add 1 cup of the Mozzarella Cheese and whisk until it’s dissolved.
  4. Add the sauce to the pizza dough. Add the chicken.
  5. Add the rest of the cheese
  6. Put the whole thing in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Divide and serve!

Day one is complete! Stay tuned for day two tomorrow! I hope you enjoy!