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Chef On A Shoestring

Scott Conant
City Eatery
New York, New York
Air date: Oct. 7, 2000

Menu:
Polenta with Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts
Apple Crisps
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Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms

Ingredients for the Polenta:
4 oz. Polenta
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Milk
1 tbs. Butter
2 tbs Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt to Taste
Fresh Chives for Garnish

Ingredients for the Sauteed Mushrooms:
1/4 lb Chopped Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms (reserve the stems for the mushroom broth)
1/2 Shallot, diced
1 Cup Mushroom Stock
2 tbs. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Method:
1. Add the milk and cream together in a medium saucepan and heat to scald. Add salt to taste, and remove from flame. Add polenta in slowly and remember to stir. Lower heat, return pan to stove, and stir regularly for an hour. Keep covered.

2. Add olive oil to saute pan, heat until almost smoking, then add shallots. When the shallots star to caramelize, add chopped shiitakes. When the shiitakes begin to exude their juices, add the cup of mushroom stock, cook over medium-high heat until reduced by 2/3.

3. To finish, stir butter, and parmigiano into polenta, then spoon onto plate. Set sauteed mushrooms on top of polenta and pour juices from pan over the top. Garnish with snipped fresh chives.

**To make the broth, take the stems from the mushroom and let them stand in hot water (preferably water you just boiled) for approximately 20 minutes.**

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Baby Greens

Ingredients:
2 Whole Skin-On Chicken Breasts, frenched
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Pepperoncini to taste (Crushed Red Chili Pepper Flakes)
Freshly Ground Pepper

1/8 lb. Mesculin Greens (mixed baby herbs or any soft greens)
1 to 1 1/2 pints Grape Tomatoes (or Pear, heirloom, or mixed tomatoes)
3 tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Fresh Oregano Leaves

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine prepared chicken breasts with 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, rosemary, and crushed garlic. Let stand for 20 minutes to one hour.

2. Chop tomatoes and season with fresh ground black pepper. Toss with greens and reserve.

3. Put olive oil from chicken marinade (with rosemary and garlic) into pan, add pinch of pepperoncini, and heat until smoking. Add chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook from 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin is crisp, and a deep golden brown color. Place pan in oven, regularly basting with pan-juices, until cooked through.

4. Place a small mound of greens/tomato mixture in center of each plate and settle breast on top of salad. Return pan to stove, add oregano, and whisk in vinegar to emulsify. Spoon juices over salad and chicken.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients:
3 Golden Delicious Apples, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 Cups and 3 tbs flour
2 tbs melted butter
3/4 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 Cup Brown Sugar

Method:
1. Preheat oven 375-degrees incorporate brown sugar, softened butter, and 1 1/2 Cups flour.
2. Toss cubed apples with 3 tbs flour to coat, then toss in melted butter. Arrange in a layer in the bottom of an oven-proof ramekin or baking dish.
3. Spread pastry mixture over the top of the apples. Place near the heating element of the oven for 20 minutes or until brown.

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