Chef Hung’s Herbed-Up Chicken with Spiced Aoli

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Two weeks ago I attended a Passover demo by last season’s Top Chef Winner Chef Hung at Birthright’s JEC (Jewish Enrichment Center). The demo showcased Chef Hung’s ability to spice up a traditional Passover Seder with dishes like  Herbed-Up Chicken with Spiced Aoli.

I named this dish herbed-up chicken because as Emeril would say, Chef Hung “takes it up a notch” with the combination of lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, and curry. A lot of people are  immediately turned away by curry, despite that it’s only a mixture of spices that are commonly used such as corriander, cumin, tumeric, fennel, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic powder, and some other everday seasonings. I believe you’ll be pleasantly suprised by how the curry  enhances the flavor of this dish and will no be disappointed. So the lesson of the day is don’t be scared of curry!

Though Chef Hung refused to give us a finite recipe for this dish, because he doesn’t like chefs to be constricted by set ingredients, I jotted it down to share with all of you. I’ve written in some substitutions but feel free to experiment with whatever ingredients you might have on hand. As Chef Hung says, “If you don’t have lemon, use a lime.” And it’s really just as simple as that!

And although this dish was designed with Passover in mind, it can be served all year round. So you might want to think about adding in some peanut butter after the holiday has ended.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken

  • 6 oz Chicken Breast cut in thin slices (can also use tenderloins)
  • 1 tsp Curry
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Garlic
  • 1 tablespoons fresh Thyme (1/2 for dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary (1/2 for dried)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons White Wine (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Canola Oil (for frying)

Aoli

  • 1/4 Cup Mayonaise
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (or Orange also works)
  • Curry
  • Cayenne
  • Chives (green onions or shallots)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Add more lemon juice for a vinaigrette

PREPARATIONS

chef-hung-0381.  Season the cut chicken breasts or tenderloins generously with the first five herbs and spices. Place in plastic bag along with wine, lemon juice and olive oil and let refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The chicken can marinate overnight as well.

2.  Pour 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil in sautee pan and heat until it sizzles. chef-hung-044Then place 3-4 chicken pieces in the hot pan. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side, though cooking size depends on the size of your chicken pieces.

3.  While chicken cooks, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry, cayenne, and chives until well blended.

4.  When chicken is finished cooking sprinkle with a bit of salt. Let chicken cool for about a minute and either skewer the tenderloins and serve as an appetizer or serve on top of mixed greens mixed with the spiced Aoli.

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Why is this night different than all other nights?

Believe it or not, Passover happens to be one of my favorite Jewish holidays despite that we are forbidden from eating bread, among a few other random things like peanuts and corn syrup. Though one of the reasons I enjoy Passover is not because I no longer have to recite the four questions, but because I actually know the story of Passover. And though it’s not a happy story per se, like most things in life it’s an important stepping stone in how we (the Jews) survived persecution (feel free swap in your latest stressor here).

But in food terms, it gives most cooks a reason to experiment in the kitchen, and that’s really all the motivation I need to get cooking. So I figured that I’d leave you with a few choice recipes to help brighten your holiday meal, since this night really IS different than any other night…

I know it becomes difficult year after year to spice up your seder but Gourmet Magazine in particular has dozens of recipes in their online archives just waiting for some eager Jewish cook. Luckily, I’ve selected what I believe to be the most delicious recipes of the bunch and hope that after trying them for yourself, you’ll agree.

I’m planning on making the Matzoh Baklava and the Flourless Chocolate Cake, with hazelnuts. The only recipe I can vouch for is Chef Hung’s Herbed-Up Chicken. He was nice enough to share some of his Passover-friendly dishes at a Passover demo last weekend at the JEC. And I must admit, that it was not only easy to replicate, but was incredibly delicious. So stay tuned for the recipe… 

PASSOVER’s GREATEST RECIPES

Matzoh Baklava

Top Chef Hung’s Herbed-Up Chicken

Sindi’s Flourless Chocolate Cake (with hazelnuts)

Roast Leg of Lamb

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Eggplant Salad with Dill & Garlic

Braised Short Ribs

Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb  Crust