Posts tagged chicken chop

Q&A with The Henry Ford’s Head Chef, Nick Seccia

Oven-Seared Amish-Raised Chicken Chop
Decadent & creative

Fiddling in the kitchen one day, The Henry Ford’s Executive Chef, Nick Seccia, dreamed up one of his signature creations—a flavor-infused chicken breast modeled after a pork chop. Using fresh herbs grown at the Greenfield Village (the historic town which is part of the museum’s property) and animals raised on local farms, Chef Nick concocted the inventive dish. Did I mention that the chicken breast is wrapped in bacon?

Buying local not only helps support Michigan’s economy, explains Chef Nick, but it’s also good for the environment too. And there’s an even better reason why Chef Nick uses local ingredients in his professional kitchen and in his home—it tastes better. For home cooks, Chef Nick suggests getting to know the farmers’ markets in your area. He’s also a regular at the Eastern Market in Detroit. “I remember how exciting it was to go there as a child,” recalls Chef Nick, who grew up in Novi and Gaylord. “It’s really coming back. It’s a lively, happening place now with lots of great, local vendors.”

Below Chef Nick, who regularly creates everything from 5-course meals for high-end events to finger foods for visiting school groups to menus for the museum’s on-site eateries, shares some insights into his cooking style. He also passed along the recipe for his Oven-Seared, Amish-Raised Chicken “Chop” with Morel Sauce.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
It’s tough to choose just three. But, I’d have to say veal stock, fresh herbs and butter. Real butter.

What is your favorite meal to make or eat?
Anything braised. I like dishes where the meat has been seared and then cooked for a long time so that it just becomes tender.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?
Chocolate. I like ganaches (smooth, creamy chocolate sauce or frosting) that are made with a high percentage of chocolate.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
I learned how to cook first and when you’re cooking you create dishes using your eyes and your palette. I tried to do the same with baking. Now this was a long time ago, but I made this cake without measuring any ingredients. I can’t even remember what kind of cake it was supposed to be–it was just terrible.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?
Real Michigan maple syrup.

What do you suggest for first-timers to The Henry Ford? What menu item should they make sure to try?
At the Eagle Tavern, we make our own sausage. We use Berkshire hogs. And these hogs are raised exclusively on apple pulp. It’s something you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’d like a taste of Chef Nick’s culinary creations, you can head to The Henry Ford in Dearborn and try any of the eateries there, or you can master one of his dishes at home.

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Oven-Seared Amish-Raised Chicken “Chop” with Morel Sauce

Oven-Seared Amish-Raised Chicken Chop
Decadent & creative

Oven Seared Amish Raised Chicken “Chop” with Morel Sauce
Nick Seccia CEC
Serves 6

Chicken Chop
Ingredients

6 Airline cut Amish raised chicken breast 6-8oz ea
6 Slices thick cut hickory smoked bacon
1/4 Cup pure olive oil
2 Cloves garlic peeled
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
2 Tablespoon fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves
2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper
Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken and bacon, puree in a blender
  2. Remove the meat and skin from around the bone on the chicken
  3. Pour marinade over the chicken and marinate overnight
  4. Place chicken skin side down flat with the bone pointing away from you then roll the thin edge towards the chicken until rolled into a chop shape
  5. Stand chicken up so the bone is straight up then wrap the bacon around the bottom
  6. Roast at 350F for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through
  7. Serve with morel sauce

Morel Sauce
Ingredients

1 cup fresh Morel mushrooms sliced in half lengthwise and cleaned
1 large shallot minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup roasted veal stock reduced from 2 cups
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and ground black pepper as needed
Directions

  1. Saute the mushrooms and shallots in butter until the shallots are clear and the mushrooms are tender
  2. Add the brandy and reduce until almost dry
  3. Add the stock and heavy cream reduce until thickened
  4. Season with salt and pepper
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