Wednesday, August 19, 2009
A copycat non-recipe
Years ago, while training for a new job, I ate a dish called 'Smothered Chicken' at a restaurant called P.J. Whelihan's. I can't pinpoint why, but while many restaurant entrees have fallen out of my memory, this simple one never did. Maybe because I knew it would be relatively easy to duplicate at home?
When I saw that I still had peppers left and just about everything else I needed, I decided to whip up a close reproduction of this dish. I really wanted to use up the last of those peppers. I used them in the Cacciatore Burgers, the Italian Sweet Chicken Sausage Patties and then this recipe. Later I found two more! I think I only paid $2 for that basket of peppers. I swear they're breeding in my vegetable bin.
P.J. Whelihan's website describes this dish as 'Twin boneless breasts of chicken seasoned and char-broiled, smothered with red and green peppers, mushrooms, onions and melted monterey jack cheese.'
So I flattened out four chicken breasts and marinated them in some salad dressing. I had a bit of Ken's Healthy Options Olive Oil and Vinegar left and some store-brand Italian. I used just enough dressing to coat them and then I let them marinate all-day while I was at work (about 11 hours). Beforehand I had sautéed the mixture of peppers, onion, and mushrooms with one clove of minced garlic added at the end. I cooked the chicken on the Griddler (would have grilled outside but the weather didn't cooperate) then I topped it with the vegetables and some shredded cheddar cheese I had leftover. I only had to buy the mushrooms to make this.
It really hit the spot. It was just as good as what I remember and it cost me a lot less to make than what they charge for it ($12.99 with fries and coleslaw but I'm sure it was less expensive 11 years ago when I had it). Only problem was that at home I couldn't get a Blue Moon draft to enjoy with this.
Question of the Day: Have you been able to successfully duplicate any restaurant recipes?