Junior Chef – 21/22 Sept 2019

This week our Junior Chefs will be making – Creamy Chicken Alfredo with Garlic, Parmesan & Leeks

This is a classic pasta dish when made from scratch is delicious.

We will be searing our chicken until golden and combining it through a super creamy garlic parmesan alfredo sauce, with the pasta cooked within the dish.  The sauce will be made from a base of chicken juices, butter and leeks. Chicken stock and double cream will be added and then simmered down to a rich consistency. Chicken breast adds some necessary protein and parmesan cheese adds to the creamy factor as well as bringing a welcome salty, tangy element to the dish.

This week we will be looking at leeks, it is one of the few vegetables that are at their best during the autumn months.  It is packed with nutrients and crucial anti-oxidants.

Available (September to November) the British leek is a fantastically versatile vegetable that adds flavour and bite to many dishes.

Leeks are from the same family as onion and garlic they are an allium vegetable.

What to look for when buying; is a leek that is nice and firm, they can be cooked in many ways, steamed, stir fried and can be used in lots of dishes like soups and casseroles.

Two techniques we will be focussing on this week will be sweating and searing.

The purpose of sweating is to draw moisture out, concentrating the flavour and enhancing conversion from starch to sugar. Cooking the onions in this way releases their aroma and reduces the bitterness they exhibit when raw. Cooking at a low heat, the onions will become soft and translucent any emitted liquid will evaporate. 

Searing is a technique used in grilling, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food is cooked at high temperature until a browned crust forms on the outside before finishing at a lower temperature.  Our chicken will be cooked in this way to give us added flavour.

Skills used this week include:

Searing, sweating, cutting, shredding, slicing, pan frying, deglazing, reducing, simmering, squeezing.

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