Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brandy Street Chicken

I love trying to make up new recipes to see if they will even taste half as good as I envision them to taste in my head. This one did!!! I took some pork chops out to thaw and noticed how thick they were and decided to stuff them. I wanted to do something completely different and went for a Cajun theme since we are close to the Superbowl and of course they are gonna be in New Orleans!! This recipe turned out fantastic! Hope you all enjoy!

5 pork chops, boneless about 1 to 2 inches thick
4 andouille sausage links, casings removed and diced
2 shallots, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 cup French bread, diced
¼ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp white wine
Parsley for garnish

Creamy Cajun Mushroom Sauce

8oz package crimini mushrooms, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup beef stock
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp Cajun spice
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp water
For the pork chops, I started out with frozen chops. When they were almost thawed, but still a bit hard, I cut a little pouch into them (coming in from the side) so that I could stuff them…being careful not to slice them in half. I let them continue to thaw the rest of the way. For the stuffing, in a Dutch Oven or a large cast iron skillet, add extra virgin olive oil, sauté the shallots until wilted. Add the celery and sauté until wilted as well. Add the andouille sausage. Most of the sausages I found were already cooked through so this was just pretty much a browning process for me. However, if you find andouille sausage that is not fully cooked, make sure you do cook it all the way through.  Stir in the French bread and deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up the bits and wilting the bread. You don’t want any liquid in the stuffing so you want to make sure the wine has evaporated before you begin stuffing your pork chops. Remove the pan from the heat momentarily. Stir in the cotija cheese. If you can’t find this cheese, you can substitute feta. Eyeball your stuffing. If you think you are going to have any leftover…portion out a bit into a bowl so you don’t cross contaminate because you will be touching raw pork. Scoop a good size portion of the stuffing into your pork chop. I kind of pushed it in and made sure the pork chop was nice and filled. I repeated the process with each chop and then to make sure none of the stuffing fell out, I wrapped the chops with string. Preheat your oven to 350. In the empty Dutch oven, or cast iron skillet bring back up to heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides for about 5 minutes until nice and brown. Place the Dutch oven/cast iron skillet into the oven and continue to cook the chops have an internal temp of 160 degrees.

For the sauce, pull your pork chops out and immediately put the pan onto the stove and turn the heating element on. Remove your chops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Add a touch of olive oil, because you should have some grease from the pork chops. Add your mushrooms and sauté until wilted. Add in the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the brandy making sure to scrape up all of the pork bits. Add the beef stock and bring up to a simmer. In a cup, mix together the corn starch and water until there are no lumps and add mixture to the mushrooms. Stir until it starts to thicken slightly. Add your Cajun spice and heavy whipping cream. Bring up to a simmer and cook for about 5 – 7 more minutes. Serve over the pork chops. Garnish with parsley.

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