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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Stacking Altos

The choir loft in my church has sections on each side we call the “wings”. Since the first altos sit in one of those wings, we’ve dubbed ourselves the “Hot Wings.” This may either be taken as a symbol of our general, um, hotness, or the fact that many of us suffer from hot flashes. We like to leave that open for interpretation. (The first sopranos sit in the other wing; I have no idea what code name is.)

Anyway, being of a sociable nature, the Hot Wings like to get together. Last Sunday, we had a little after-church luncheon for something called a “Japanese Stack.” We signed up to bring various ingredients and were all wildly curious as to how they would go together.
Ingredients
Once we arrived at Laura’s house all was revealed. You arrange all the ingredients in individual bowls, then send people through the line buffet-style. (That’s pronounced “boo-fay” if you’re Hyacinth Bucket.) Start with rice, then add chicken, then stack whatever you like on top.
stack in progress
End by pouring gravy over everything.
gravy

pouring gravy

The all-important pour


Everyone’s plate comes out a little different, but all delicious. We ended with a variety of desserts,
desserts

We like variety in our desserts.


including Japanese green tea chocolates brought back from Japan by one of our own Hot Wings.
green tea chocolates

Tasty in an odd sort of way.

And a good time was had by all!
Table full of altos

Not all, just all at my table.


In case you’d like to do some stacking of your own, here’s the recipe!

Japanese Stack
Ingredients
• Cooked Chicken Breasts, shredded—about 1 breast per person (then add a couple extra)*
• Cooked Rice (white or brown) about a cup per person
• Unsweetened Coconut, shredded 1 C
• Toasted sliced Almonds, about 1 1/2 C
• 1 cup diced tomatoes
• 2 bunches chopped green onions
• 1 cup chopped green pepper
• 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
• 1 large can crushed pineapple (about 14 oz)
• Can/pkg of chinese noodles. (Ramen noodles, soba noodles, you choose)
• Shredded cheddar cheese, 8 oz.
• 32 oz chicken broth
• 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

MAKE GRAVY: Pour ¼ cup chicken broth in a container; add the rest to a pan with both cans of condensed cream of chicken soup. Heat to boiling. Dissolve 3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch in the reserved chicken broth and stir, then add to boiling broth/soup mixture. Stir until thickened.

SERVE: Place all ingredients into individual bowls with rice at one end and gravy at the other. Guests “stack” their own plate starting with rice and chicken, then adding the additional ingredients of their choice, ending with gravy.

Everything except the gravy can be done ahead of time and then it is easy to set out for your guests.

This amount served 16 altos with plenty for several second helpings.

*Our chicken was cooked in a crock pot with some Italian dressing; it was really moist.

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For years I’d heard rumblings of this dish, reputed to be a Southern delicacy, but seriously . . . chicken and . . . and waffles? Together? On one fork?

That’s just weird.

But with it being National Waffle Week and all, it seemed like a good time to try it. So I gathered my fellow foodies and—after a calming facial to start the day off right—we set off on a culinary adventure. Having done considerable research, I found a place that served highly-rated chicken & waffles not far away.

Brix Bar & Grill. It’s in old downtown Plano, between 15th & 14th on Avenue K. There’s a garage behind for parking, which is a comfort in that part of town. Excellent pub-like décor, charming waitstaff . . . so far, so good. While we’re pretty brave when it comes to trying new things, we thought we’d hedge our bets and split a bowl of Lobster & Crawfish Bisque for starters.

Bisque

Perfect. Just perfect.

Oh. My. The consensus was this is probably the best we’d ever had—and this from people who’ve eaten bisque up and down the eastern seaboard and several spots in between. Chunks of lobster and crawfish meat swam in a broth that was not too creamy (but just creamy enough) with a touch of cognac and the perfect gentle cayenne afterburn. They thoughtfully serve it with soft, delicious bread which you’d best not polish off before getting to the end of your bisque, because you’re going to want to mop up every delicious bite. This dish alone makes it a certainty that we’ll be back.
Brix Burger
This is clearly neither chicken nor waffles, but it was voted “best hamburger in Plano” so—again, hedging our bets against the unknown—we ordered one for the table. Perfectly cooked 100% natural, local, Texas grass fed beef on a lovely soft bun, served with parmesan, herb, & sea salt-dusted fries. Yum.
Chicken & Waffles

Chicken & Waffles in all its glory.


And finally, here it is. Bacon-flavored waffles (more savory than sweet), crispy on the outside/juicy on the inside tempura fried chicken tenders, little strings of fried sweet potato, and grand marnier maple butter syrup.
Chicken & Waffles
The verdict? Surprisingly delicious. I do think it’s in the right place on the appetizer portion of the menu; I don’t think I’d want to wolf down an entire serving of this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But shared among friends? Fabulous.

As for Brix, that place is a winner, hands down. Fabulous food, delicious drinks (I had iced tea but my companions had yummy little cocktail things), nice people, and great prices. If you’re anywhere near there, go. Tell ‘em the “booth ladies” sent you.

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No, this is not a post about how much I love Chick-fil-A (although I do, very much). It all started with a July Fourth weekend trip to east Texas . . .

It was one of those “Don’t you want to upgrade your timeshare?” “No, I really don’t, thanks.” trips. (Pictures and restaurant review coming soon.) On the way home we decided to take the road less traveled, party to avoid traffic from Canton Trade Days and partly because I don’t enjoy driving on interstates. Along the way we stopped by the artsy little town of Edom, Texas, and stretched our legs by strolling into one of the galleries.

And there it was: a metal chicken sculpture, about two feet high, in the most glorious combination of warm golds and reds I have ever seen. I wanted it. Bad. I could design my whole kitchen around that chicken. But I’m about to head off on a vacation and I’m on a tight budget and do I really need a metal chicken?

Maybe.

I glanced at the price tag, assuming it would be outrageous and therefore not an option. No such luck; it was actually reasonable. I gave it one last longing look and ran out the door before I could succumb to this sudden, irrational craving for a metal chicken.

Besides, one chicken would be weird, wouldn’t it? I’d need two. Maybe a rooster. Maybe the chicken and a rooster and another chicken. Odd numbers work better in decorating. Wait, is this how hoarding begins?

WWDRD? (What Would Dave Ramsey Do?) He’d tell me to step away from the chicken, that’s what he’d do. And he’s probably right.

But Dave hasn’t seen this chicken.

Still obsessing . . .

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