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Berlin, MD 21811
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Cuisine

Summer chicken challenge isn’t Reel hard

5/18/12 | By Paul Suplee

 The school year is coming to an end for seniors. Others must stick it out until the buses park for the last time, preparing for their own two month hiatus.

The trees are in full force, the flowers are blooming and there is an excitement in the air as people prepare for their dream vacation downy ocean, hon.

The surfers’ wetsuits are getting thinner and shorter as the ocean temperature is warmer than usual and more bikes are present on the Boards and in the Pines.

Yes, summer in Delmarva; it’s almost here. 

If you are like me you are getting ready to jump into yet another summer job, a reality for many educators. Being in the kitchen especially benefits me as it keeps me sharp for the next school year.

I will be running the kitchen at The Reel Inn on 14th Street and the Bay in Ocean City starting this Saturday.

As with many restaurants in the area, we won’t go into full swing until June and after that I will be able to come up for air sometime in September.

In the meantime, though, The Reel will host the White Marlin Open as it always does, an event known for its ‘busting at the seams’ crowds.

I am excited for the season and a few of my new graduates will be working with me.  We are destined for a crazy summer of crab cakes, hot dogs, cheese steak subs and sundry provisions.

You will have to come into see for yourself what I have in store (and please wait a few weeks so we can get up and running). 

I’m thinking fresh pasta, house-smoked bacon, stuffed chicken breast (pictured), Yankee Pot Roast, Cuban Pork and BBQ Brisket– those of you who had had my BBQ know that I love the stuff.

I am looking to play with the vegetables and starches to add some nice variety for the community owners and we are excited about the next three months.

Check us out at The Reel and before you do, make this stuffed chicken breast so that we can compare notes.  

I always love a food challenge and look forward to this new one on my horizon.  Before I know it, summer will be coming to an end and I’ll be writing about that.

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Serves 6

6 ea. Medium chicken breasts

3 c. Spinach leaves

½ c. Ricotta cheese

¼ c. Heavy cream

1 ea. Egg white

Salt & Pepper to taste

Clean chicken breast of all fat and sinew 

If you look at the breast from the top, it will come to a point at one end.  Now go to the other end

Working on the fat end of the breast, use a boning knife to cut a pocket in the breast the length of your protein

Combine the spinach, ricotta, egg whites, cream and seasonings in a bowl ensuring that everything is well combined

Place in a pastry bag and then pipe the stuffing the length of the breast as evenly as possible

Sear them off to get some color and then place them in the refrigerator until service time

If cooking immediately, place in a 375F oven until the internal temperature reads 165F

Pull out of the oven and let them slack for three minutes so that the meat relaxes.  Plus, you will retain more juices if you leave alone for a spell

Slice on the bias (on an angle) and serve with glazed carrots, stewed tomatoes and Rosti (recipe follows)

Rosti

Serves 6

1.5 # russet potatoes skin on and clean

6 oz. white onion

2 ea. Whole eggs

Salt & pepper to taste

Dash nutmeg

Fresh garlic to taste, finely minced

Butter and Olive oil as needed for pan frying

Shred the potato and onion through either a box grater or with the help of your friendly neighborhood food processor with the shredding disc

Squeeze the excess moisture from this and place in a bowl

Add the remaining ingredients up to but not including the oil and butter

Mix until well incorporated and then heat up a fry pan large enough to fit the rosti (The rosti should be no more than 1” thick so use that as your yardstick

Melt the butter and add the oil and allow these to become very hot before adding your spuds.  Make sure that you add just enough fat to cook but not so much that you would be putting yourself in danger as you flip it

When the oil is almost at the smoking point add your rosti

Press down firmly and evenly to make a perfect cake

Cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottom is a deep golden brown

To flip it over, set a plate or pot lid (a flat one, of course) on the rosti and quickly invert the pan

Set your frypan back on the burner and slide the rosti in to finish cooking

When I make these, I will cook on both sides for about 10 minutes and then finish in the oven if need be

Yes there are a lot of steps here, but it will only take you one time before you become a master

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