tasty tuesday: okra and country ham risotto, blackened chicken cutlets, fried egg, bacon garlic oil



Sometimes you are just inspired. Sometimes the right ideas come along and force you into a dish that you might say is the best thing you’ve ever made, and among the best things you’ve ever had. Sometimes the right advice hits you at the right time.

I have to thank Hugh Acheson, 29 South, and esquire for their recipes tips and inspiration for tonight’s food.

Since the first time I made risotto, I wanted to make it better. Since I had a wonderful carbonara with a duck egg, I wanted a similar taste, ever since I read I had been frying eggs wrong, I had to prove myself. Wins all around.

I also wanted to feed my dear friends Tim and Amanda before they left my beloved Macon.

So, I made this lovely risotto and chicken meal that knocked my socks off.

I started with cutting everything our for my Hugh inspired risotto:

Take a taste or two, you've earned it.

Take a taste or two, you’ve earned it.

I tweaked his recipe for country ham, okra and boiled peanut risotto to include rosemary and, sadly, remove the peanuts. Other than that, I followed his recipe to the letter so, out of deference, I will not post it here.

But I will show you that it started out like this:

Like butta

Like butta

While that was cooking I started my personal invention, bacon garlic oil. Taking three strips of thick sliced bacon, start rendering the fat:

It makes everything better...

It makes everything better…

And cook it for about 5 minutes, until most of the fat is gone. Once the pan has a a good layer of grease you are ready for the next step. Peal three cloves of garlic and then fry the garlic in the bacon grease. This will take about 10 mins, until brown on all sides:

You heard me.

You heard me.

Once the garlic is soft, strain the grease into a food processor with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic and pulse until it is smooth and set aside in a microwavable bowl.

Now that is done, it is time the sauté the chicken cutlets. The key to the cutlet is the cut. Using a boneless breast, start at the fatter neck end and cut from the top corner toward the middle on the diagonal. One breast should net four good cutlets following this course. Pound the cutlets to tenderize and coat them in olive oil. I used a pre-made blackening seasoning packet as a short cut, but it is essentially a spicy rub with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder. Cook over medium high heat for about 2 mins per side, until cooked throughout, but still tender. It should squish a little bit.

Now that you have your chicken, it’s time for an egg!

I fried one egg per plate in butter in a non-stick pan. Over medium low heat, slowly crack the egg so it doesn’t spread all over the pan. Once all three are down, cover for about 4 mins so the tops cook, but the yolks stay runny. If you keep the heat low, the egg will cook perfectly, but not burn or even brown on the bottom.

Since you have been stirring and watching your risotto, it is now time to finish it off and plate. Add the risotto to a pasta bowl, then top with two of your cutlets. Place the egg and drizzle with the bacon garlic oil. I topped it with some parsley from Bungalow garden and shared with my dear friends.

This meal was divine. I highly recommend.

Bacon garlic oil:

3 strips thick sliced bacon, fat rendered
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

Meal was served with Honeycrisp Apple Wheat Shock Top and finished with Sandeman Tawny Port. Cheers.

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