Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

November 18, 2012

From a coupla weeks ago . . . the mission was to hit the grocery store, get chicken and pasta, and release the hounds.  I wanted dinner to be healthy and ready in 75 minutes.  AND not to involve pork.  I know, I know.


When in doubt, start with a vegetable flavor base. Here we have lightly caramelized onions and a lot of microplaned garlic, to create an Italian soffritto. For a Pro Move at this point and a thicker finished sauce, I decided to singer the soffritto. Singer is a French culinary term and it means to sprinkle flour over the sauteed items before adding the liquid. It's not quite a roux, but nearly.

I browned the chicken and finished it in the sauce.

You can see where this is headed, right?

Fusilli with braised chicken breast, broccoli, almonds, and the last of the season's good basil and organic sweet million tomatoes. The Chardonnay went into the pan to deglaze after I sprinkled in the flour, and then I added chicken stock. It's a white wine dish on the cusp of being a red wine dish, so we added parmigiano-reggiano and drank . . . hm, what did we drink? Obviously not something terribly memorable.

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