FNCCC 3 – Ina Garten – 3 Recipes

You see that title?  It says THREE recipes!

THREE!

That’s right… I did THREE recipes (if you spell out the number it seems much more significant).  I totally understand now though why I can’t make 3 recipes… because I just flat out don’t have the cookware to make all this shit.  I kept having to wash pans and bowls and measuring cups and my hands (because a bit of OCD makes me not want nasty weird shit on my hands).

Betsy and I went and bought all our shit Wednesday and I by the time I got ready to cook I realized that my stupid chicken had to sit in the marinade over night.  I was like, christ on a cracker cuz that meant it would delay my making the dish a whole ‘nother night.  I had a friend coming over so I figured I’d just do the marinade late that night or get up early in the morning to do it.  Problem is I know my ability to get things done in the morning barely consists of putting on clothes.  I’m a HORRIBLY grumpy morning person (who’d have thunk it?)

I got prepared for making the marinade for my tequila lime chicken by taking a shot of tequila.  I got all my stuff together that I needed and then got into my car and drove to Wal-Mart to pickup the jalapeno I forgot.  I was a bit blessed though when this nice lady let me cut in front of her cart load to pay for my 14 cent jalapeno.

I have… delicate hands okay.  They are sensitive… and jalapeno’s burn.  Stupid capsaicin actually burns though long after you’ve washed it all off.  My hands had a wonderful burning sensation all the next day.

Did you realize that you can’t find boneless skin ON chicken breasts?  You can find skin w/bone and boneless skinless… but not boneless w/skin on.  I had to debone the chicken breasts.  Have you ever done that before?

I watched a Youtube video twice and then tried to figure out which of my 3 knives was closest to a deboning knife.  I just grabbed my cheffy choppying knife and went to work.  Chicken is nasty to touch on it’s own.  Digging into it and trying to cut out the bones… I had to hold back the vomit.  The picture above doesn’t show just how drastically different the sizes are on those chicken breasts.  I just kept hacking at them until they roughly resembled the chicken breasts I’ve bought before.

I’m starting to buildup a list of things I won’t do while cooking (ie. work with dough, debone chicken).

I got home Thursday and started on the easiest of the 3 recipes.  Pineapple Margaritas!  I figured, why not get drunk while you cook!  I was actually cooking two things so let’s take the edge off ya know.

They are REALLY strong.  REALLY strong margaritas.  It’s basically 1/2 alcohol 1/2 flavor… but I’m more into drinks that you don’t realize you are getting liquored up on.  I don’t want to taste the alcohol (ie. vodka & red bull!)

Next up I wanted to get started in the croissant bread pudding so it would be in the oven cooking while I was grilling the chicken.  The greatest part of this recipe to me was leaving the croissants sitting out so they’d dry out.  I put them out to dry Wednesday night and when I got home from work Thursday my whole house smelled like butter croissants, sooooooooooo good smelling.

I’m not sure where Ina comes from but her idea of medium bowl is NOT the same as my idea of medium bowl.  In fact… I don’t even own a medium OR large bowl.  It’s not like I’m going to eat a large bowl of cereal (unless it’s coco puffs).  I had to mix all the custard ingredients in big pot I had.

I had to get some egg yolks for the custard and remember watching Top Chef where they pour the egg into their hand and let the white run through their fingers.  Imagine if your sinuses opened up and you were trying to let the snot run over your hands in some sort of voodoo related skin treatment.  Why is it that cooking can be so nasty?  I broke several of the egg yolks but managed to save them.  Then…

I headed to Wal-Mart.

I didn’t get enough half n’ half for the stupid custard (you see how common this theme is).  I got all the stuff into the pot and started whisking the shit out of it.  I couldn’t get all the yolk completely dissolved so I dialed up Betsy and she said I’d probably be okay.  I cut my croissants in half with my cheffy choppy knife (cuz I don’t have a bread knife) but it turned out to be pretty easy cuz they were like rocks.

The raisins were supposed to sit between the top and bottom pieces of the croissant which worried me because I didn’t want these big clumps of raisins but I guess as it cooks the croissants soak up even more of the custard which causes them to expand and spread the raisins out.  I wish I had a before picture because I didn’t realize they would expand to fill the whole pan.

While the bread pudding is baking I put the chicken on the grill thingie.  Betsy has this grill on one side griddle on the other non stick cooking thing that you can use on the stove top.  I’m not sure if you can use it with an electric stove but I have gas so whateva.

I seared the skin side and flipped them, cut the heat in half and let them finish cooking.  I took them off about 60 seconds too early and the 3 thicker pieces weren’t cooked all the way through =(

The thinner one (read: the one that got its bones removed first) was done all the way through and REALLY good.  I tried to nuke them to finish the other three off and it only served to dry them out.  Betsy and Den said they liked it but I wasn’t thrilled with the recipe.  The tequila flavor is too strong to me but the lime and the bit of heat is pretty nice.

I got so busy cooking that I barely had any of the margarita I fixed.  I grabbed the pitcher and the bread pudding and off to Betsy’s I went.

I now know what Den’s (Dariar) face looks like when he gets something he really likes.  He lit up like a christmas tree when he saw the pitcher of margaritas.  In the pic is Den, a margarita and gremlin (obviously the baby’s nickname, I’m sure it has a real name too…).  One can compare Den’s love of margarita’s to that of charlie and his chocolate factory.

Once the bread pudding cooled Betsy and I cut into it.  I began to pray that it was edible because I certainly had my doubts.  Betsy has a mild allergy to eggs so I figured she wouldn’t eat much and Den (who doesn’t like bread pudding or raisins) said, “Blargh!  Why did you make me put this in my mouth!?”

Betsy loved it so much she even went back for seconds (as did I).  The bread pudding was AMAZING.  I’d say it was the best thing I’ve ever cooked.  The croissant tops had just enough bite into them from the browning and the raisins were great little bites and softness of the bread and the melt in your mouth custard… omg.

It was absolutely delicious.


  1. 3 Recipes by Shindig
  2. Beef Bourguignon and Mini Orange Chocolate Cake
  3. FNCCC3: Never trust a skinny chef

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4 thoughts on “FNCCC 3 – Ina Garten – 3 Recipes

  1. Shiny says:

    Xeo, I am thinking more and more that you need to have a housewarming party or something to stock your kitchen with adequate supplies. I think what tipped me off was that you didn’t own a baking sheet and had to buy one at a yard sale the other week. I wish you lived closer, because I have so much extra corning ware and bowls I could really set you up. I have so much it’s piled up in my basement, b/c Addy says we don’t need all that crap in our kitchen cabinets taking up space. At any rate, I feel sorry for you each week and I can only imagine you having to wash dishes fifty times to just get one recipe done.

    I am really glad you tried out the Tequila Chicken, because that was one of the recipes I debated doing myself. I didn’t realize it called for skin-on, boneless chicken though. Haha! I remember the first time (and ONLY time) I decided to debone my own chicken, to save money. I was so nauseated after that experience, I don’t think I could eat chicken for more than a month without getting that yucky image in my head. And mine looked far worse than yours…like a mutilated anatomy project gone wrong.

    The pineapple margaritas sounded good too. I don’t think it’s possible to ruin a margarita. I don’t think I’d have liked the croissant thing even before I couldn’t have gluten anymore, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. Since you completed your three recipes early this week, I’ll be expecting you to whip out a few more before you post next week’s chef. 😛

  2. D says:

    I was considering packing up some of my spare kitchenware and shipping it to Xeo too (and I get told the same thing Addy tells you).

  3. Xeo says:

    awwww, you two are too nice! I’m slowly accumulating things from garage sales though. I found a medium bowl for 25 cents this weekend! It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a lot of cookware. I’m forced to wash stuff immediately instead of letting it sit in the sink due to procrastination.

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