Mediterranean-style chicken, truffle festival | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

It seems chicken has become one of the most saleable food items these days.

Max Fried Chicken started this. I remember dining at Max in the Scout area in Quezon City, as such a Sunday treat. Then, in the ‘80s, Sandy Javier opened a stall of Andok’s Lechon Manok. That idea caught fire and hundreds have duplicated the idea.

When Jollibee came into the picture, it gave us the best-tasting fried chicken in the fast food market today, Chicken Joy! One piece with two balls of rice—great!

Bea Puno served us lunch last week and made a fantastic Iberian Chicken. I’ll let you know when she’s ready to offer it to readers.

In many private homes, tasty chicken recipes can be found. I learned to make a winning dish of parmesan chicken served us at a children’s party. As a “house-band” in Canada, I experimented with this chicken dish which is now a staple on our family table. It’s a dish I will serve in my future restaurant—Herb and Dijon Mustard Chicken.

Different roast chicken

Last week, my cousin Paul texted me and told me about a different kind of roast chicken his friend was offering. It was Mediterranean Chicken. I scanned the menu and the dishes that called my attention were Paella Marinara, Fish Gratin, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Linguini in Mussels and Saffron broth, Seafood Linguini with Pesto Cream Sauce, Pork BBQ Ribs and Almond Pilaf Rice.

I would gulp as I read each dish. Here I am in the middle of my endless attempt at dieting, and looking at this menu, I had to constantly tell myself, “bukas na lang.”

Anyway, I got a chance to try the most popular dish on the list, Chef’s Mediterranean Chicken. It comes with homemade tortilla, Rice Pilaf, Salsa and Chili Oil.

The first bite of the chicken was okay. It had a middle Eastern aroma, with the whiff of many herbs clinging on the roast. I thought the pilaf needed a bit of seasoning.

Then I had the chicken with salsa and the rice, and what an awakening. Fantastic! It made sense that the pilaf was not as well-seasoned. The attention was focused on the star, the chicken.

A dish like this has to be had with all sidings. So—salsa with cilantro and tomatoes on the side, yellow rice pilaf in the middle, and the Mediterranean chicken on the other side. And just when I thought I had found the right combination, I drizzled some chili oil on the chicken and it became even better.

I also tried it with homemade tortillas. Also good. I can imagine this to taste even better coming out of the oven with its crispy skin and all. There goes my diet!

Best meal

A few weeks back, a friend came back from Italy. At his Katre restaurant, he again made me his guinea pig for his three dishes: simple scrambled eggs with fresh shaved truffles (something very common in Italy, I’m told); white cream pasta, again with shaved fresh truffles; and the main dish—truffled mashed potato with medium-cooked rib eye steak topped with fresh pan-fried goose liver and shaved truffles.

As you try something like this, you think of your loved ones. Then I thought of my readers. You have to try this meal. With a glass of inexpensive Cabernet that passed through that wine aerator, this has to be the best meal for me this year.

If you order a glass or bottle of red, ask that they use the aerator. Many enthusiasts frown on the aerator. One of the members of a wine group emailed me and said he uses it for entry or inexpensive wines, but does not with vintage or expensive wines. I’m with him on this. But a meal like this is a must!

Mediterranean Chicken is from the kitchen of Chef JYN. 38 Valencia St., Quezon City; mobile 0917 5280563, 0922 835 8588 and tel. 622 2521

Truffle festival is at Katre Restaurant; 103 Dr. Lazcano St. behind Alfredos steak house on Tomas Morato, Quezon City; tel. 374 6650 and mobile 0908 8852873

Both come highly recommended!

Happy eating!