Posts Tagged With: fire

Pan Fried Chicken Breast

American Entree



4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless, 5-to-6 ounces each
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon onion powder
1¼ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley (1 teaspoon more later)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (ip to 3 tablespoons more, if necessary)
up to 3 tablespoons more, if necessary
1 lemon
1 teaspoon parsley


plastic wrap
kitchen mallet

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.


Remove chicken breasts from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels. Cover with plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts lightly with kitchen mallet until they are ½” thick or thinner. Rub chicken with pepper and salt.

Add flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and parsley to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dredge chicken breast through mixture in bowl. Shake off any excess. (Excess flour falls off in the oil, adding a burnt taste and look..) Repeat for remaining breasts.

Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to large pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a little bit of flour in the oil starts to dance. Add 2 chicken breasts to pan. Cover and fry chicken breasts for 2½ minutes or until bottom of chicken breasts turn golden brown. DO NOT move them. (Only lift a corner of a chicken breast to see if the bottom is golden brown. Use spatula to flip chicken breasts. Cover and fry for another 2 minutes or when new bottom turns golden brown as well. Remove breasts to plate and cover to keep warm. Add up to 2 more tablespoons oil, if necessary. Repeat for 2nd batch of chicken breasts. (The 2nd batch might take less time to cook.)

Slice lemon into 4 pieces. Serve each chicken breasts with a lemon slice Garnish each chicken breast with ¼ teaspoon parsley..



1) The title of this dish pretty much tells us that chicken breasts are fried in a pan.

2) Or can we be so sure of this?

3) Sure, the picture to the right is indeed a pan.

4) But maybe, just maybe, pan here means something else.

5) “Pan” is a term used by drama and movie critics to denote harsh criticism of the artistic endeavor.

6) Indeed, Cal Porter’s*, Broadway play, Fried Chicken Breast closed after only one performance.

7) The very next day, the headline on Variety(tm) read, “All Critics Pan Fried Chicken Breast.”

8) Noted acid-penned critic, Farine du Ble called the play, “Fried Chicken Beast” and advised Cal Porter to stick to one-word haikus.

9) To this day, actors morn the quick closing of a play by eating Pan Fried Chicken Breasts. And this is how this entree got this name.

10) But wait, there’s another subtle explanation.

11) In ancient Greek mythology, Pan was the god of the wild, shepherds, rustic music, and great chefs. He had the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat. Yep, he was the original Goat Man.

12) Goat Man loved chicken as what Greek god didn’t?

13) Pan originally ate fire-burned chicken. This recipe involved herding chickens into a brush fire. This frustrated the hooves off Pan. When the blaze finally died, chances were all the chickens had to turned to ash. He’d throw himself down and beat the ground with his fists. This is the origin of the line, “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”

14) Plus Goat Man had to wait for lightning to strike the fields near his chicken. And you can’t really count on a lightning strike when you’re hungry.

15) Then happy mythological day, the god Prometheus** gave fire to us mortals. Zeus’s monopoly on fire went up in smoke. Petulant Zeus tied Prometheus to a rock and had an eagle peck away every day at the fire-donor’s liver.

16) Sure, that was bad for Prometheus, but fire was a positive boon to Greek cuisine***. We could now fry things. Pan started Hellenic cuisine off right with his Fried Chicken breast. Grateful Greek chicken diners called it Pan Fried Chicken Breast. So maybe this dish got its name this way.

17) * Cal Porter was Cole Porter’s distant cousin. ** Prometheus twin brother was Antimetheus. *** Fire was also a boon for Greeks wishing to stay warm on cold, like during wintry nights.


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Orzo Soup From Portugal

Portuguese Soup



1 garlic clove
1 onion
5 cups chicken broth
7 cups water
8 allspice berries or ½ tablespoon ground allspice
1½ pounds chicken boneless
2 bay leaves
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup orzo or arborio rice, couscous, and pearl barley
½ cup fresh cilantro

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes


Mince garlic clove and onion. Add chicken broth, water, chicken, allspice, bay leaves, garlic, onion, and salt to large pot. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 50 minutes or until chicken is tender to the fork. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Return shredded chicken to pot.

Add orzo to pot. Simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes or until orzo is done to your desired level of tenderness. Stir enough to keep from burning. While orzo cooks, dice cilantro. Garnish soup with cilantro.


1) Every time you hesitate to eat some new meat or fish someone will say, “Try it, it tastes just like chicken.” I used to say, “Well, why can’t I have chicken then?”

2) But don’t get angry at your annoying would-be advisor. He has to say that. It’s in our genetic make up. Just like we have a gene to determine height; we all have a gene that makes us say, “Try it, it tastes just like chicken.”

3) However, the chicken in Chicken Orzo does taste like chicken. Indeed all chicken tastes like chicken. The reverse is also true.

4) One wonders why humanity evolved this gene millions of years ago. You’d think learning to walk upright, to cook with fire, to build huts, or to harvest wheat would have been much more useful to Early Man than saying, “Try it, it taste just like chicken.” Particularly, when chickens weren’t around. And what of the woman hearing this advice? She couldn’t understand all those words nor respond intelligently, particularly when the vocabulary of the time limited itself to “ugh” and “ugh!”


– Paul De Lancey, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shrimp Fried Rice

Chinese Entree



1 cup rice
2 medium carrots
1″ ginger root
2 stalks green onions
2 eggs
½ tablespoon sesame oil (1 more tablespoon later)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
¾ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup snow peas or snap peas


food processor or grater
spice grinder
wok or skillet

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes


Cook rice according to directions on package. Grate carrot using food processor or grater. Grind ginger root in spice grinder. Dice green onions.

Add eggs to small mixing bowl. Whisk eggs. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to wok. Heat oil with medium-high heat until a tiny bit of egg dances in the oil. Add eggs. Sauté egg for 1 minute. (Do not stir.) Flip egg over with spatula. Add egg to flat surface. Cut egg into ¼” wide strips.

Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk or fork. Add canola oil to wok. Heat on medium-high heat until tiny bit of ginger dances in the oil. Add shrimp. Sauté shrimp for 2 minutes or until shrimp turns pinkish orange. Stir and flip shrimp occasionally. Remove shrimp and set aside. Keep canola oil. Add ginger, carrot, and snow peas to wok. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until carrot and snow peas soften. Stir frequently.

Add egg strips, rice, green onion, sesame oil/soy sauce mixture to wok. Sauté on medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir frequently. Add shrimp. Stir. Serve in bowls immediately.

1) The children’s game, CandylandTM, was invented way back when in prehistoric times by Philippe and Miriam Davout. The Davouts were devoted parents and persistent entrepreneurs. Hence, the saying that’s been passed down through the millennia, “As loving as a Davout hug. As novel as Davout fire.” Another stone-age adage that we know is, “As ugh as Ogg’s mastodon mignon.” But Chef Ogg deserves his own tidbit series after a recipe and so we return to the Davouts.

2) Anyway, little Yvette Davout didn’t have much to do. She had no school to go to. And what would the teacher have taught her? “Stay inside your cave. The pumas lurking outside will eat you.” That’s it. Her parents taught her. No need for school.

3) This attitude persists to this day. However, the truth be told, not many people nowadays do not get eaten, or even seriously challenged, by pumas. So, this view is kinda hard to challenge.

4) Meanwhile back at the cave, Yvette fussed and fussed. She couldn’t go out to see the Murat sisters. And after, their daughter Lucy got eaten by pumas, Daddy and Mommy Murat wouldn’t let their remaining girls visit Yvette anymore.

5) It got hot during Olduvai Gorge summers, particularly in a cave. Sweat rolled down Yvette’s sloped forehead like Eddie the Eagle doing a ski jump. She needed a distraction before she went stir crazy and ran outside to eaten by pumas.

6) Then one glorious noon, a thought, the first of the day, popped into Miriam’s head. She explained it to Philippe. He smiled. “Yo ho, Miram, that a’s glorious idea, wife.” They chattered excitedly about rules, then stopped abruptly. Miriam slapped her head with a rock. It didn’t hurt, her skull was thick. Cave folk did this all the time.

7) Miriam, having waited for the author’s intrusion to stop said, “Boo hoo, we don’t have the requisite technology to fabricate the many colors needed to paint this game’s playing cards.”

8) That was quite a complex statement for the time. Philippe, having neither a dictionary nor even a ThesaurusTM, had to guess at its meaning. Then he too smashed something to his head. It was a large chunk of obsidian. It splintered into nice sharp dice-like cubes.

9) The Davouts looked at each other. Light bulbs, at once a metaphor and an artifact, lit up above their heads. “Let’s make dice–the first use of this word–out of these, these DICE,” said Philippe and they did. They finished the game lickety split.

10) Little Yvette loved the game. She played it and played it until the sharp edges of the obsidian dice sliced off too many of her fingers. Distraught and bored, she took up painting. It was tough painting with two fingers on her hand, hence the crudely shaped hunters and mastodons we see depicted in the Lascaux caves.

11) Yvette eventually gave her dice to her own daughter, Sabine. Sabine too was forbidden to go outside the cave or to play bloody Candyland. She took to cooking instead. Being smart like all dawn-of-humanity Davouts, Sabine took to chopping onions with her Candyland dice. She called this technique dicing and so do we. There you go.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recipe From My Cookbook As It Appears on Kindle Fire

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World is available in paperpack or Kindle on

As an e-book on Nook

A big thank you to Natasha Fondren of eBook Artisans who is as professional and competent as she is nice.






– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berbere Potato Chips Recipe

Fusion Snack

Berbere Potato Chips


4 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons berbere spice
peanut oil


Wash potatoes. Slice them as narrowly as you can. A thin slice will come out like a potato chip. A thick slice results in a thin french fry. Put slices in large bowl. Put enough water to cover potato slices. Let sit for 20 minutes. Drain completely.

Sprinkle berbere spice on potato slices. Mix until potato slices are thoroughly coated with spice. Put enough peanut oil in skillet to cover potato slices. Heat skillet to 375 degrees. (It’s a good idea to hold the top of the skillet between you and skillet while putting the slices into the skillet from the skillet. Hot grease splatter is nasty.)

Fry for up to 7 minutes or until slices are crispy like, well, a potato chip. (Note, the time needed to turn a potato slice into a potato chip varies considerably with the thickness of the slice, so you will need to monitor the frying after about 2 minutes.)

Remove chips from skillet using a spoon with holes in it. Put chips on plate covered with paper towel. Enjoy.


1) The ancient Greeks thought the four basic elements of the universe were: earth, wind, fire, and water.

2) A famous rock and roll band from the 70s was Earth, Wind, and Fire.

3) Adding the fourth Greek element, water, would have made their name too long..

4) If the band had a time machine they could have named themselves after this recipe and been known as Potatoes, Water, Berbere, and Oil. Neat, huh?

5) But the band didn’t have a time machine.

6) If I had a time machine I’d never do laundry. I’d simply keep going back to the day when all my clothes were clean.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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