Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken and Pork Chops a la Polly Kohen

Ok, today I'm giving you two recipes for the price of one! Actually, it's just one recipe, but I tried it using two slightly different cooking methods. The chicken recipe is the original. I first saw it as I was watching Good Deal with Dave Lieberman. He was doing some of his grandmother's recipes and it looked so yummy, I knew I had to give it a try. I followed the recipe exactly as it was written and I LOVED it!!  CJ came over for dinner that night and also gave it two big thumbs up. Perfect.
 But did you ever taste a bite of something and think "Oh, this sauce would be GREAT on top of ___" ? I wondered what it would be like on top of pork instead of chicken. So, that's what I did. I gave it another try, only this time I used boneless pork chops.
 I also tweaked the cooking method slightly, just to see if my was easier. Did you ever read a recipe and think "wouldn't it be easier if I just did it THIS way instead?" So, that's what I did. Instead of adding this and that, and waiting until the end to add that and this, I just threw everything together and popped it in the oven.
 Oh, and I tweaked the amounts of some of the ingredients too. Have you ever taken a bite of something and thought "It needs more of ____ or less of ____" ?  Of course you have. So, that's what I did. I simply adjusted some of the amounts to taste.
 And there you have it! One recipe, used two slightly different ways! So, what'll it be?
Chicken a la Polly Kohen? Or Pork Chops a la Polly Kohen a la Joey??
 Why not try the chicken this time and the pork next time! If you like a nice sweet tangy BBQ sauce, then I think you're gonna love it!

Chicken a la Polly Kohen

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (3 to 4-pound) whole chicken, quartered
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, medium diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
12-ounces chili sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sherry
1/4 cup water
8-ounces canned pineapple chunks with half the juice from the can

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sear in a large saute pan only to brown the skin not to cook through. Remove chicken and add the onions. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the chili sauce, raisins and sugar. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil then bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Uncover pan, add sherry, water and fruit and bake for another 20 minutes.

Pork Chops a la Polly Kohen a la Joey

8-10 thick cut boneless pork chops
salt and pepper
2-3 tbs oil
1 12oz bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, with the juice
1 big handful raisins
2 medium onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oven to 375F.
Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and half the pork chops. Let them brown on both sides. (no need to cook them all the way through). Remove to a large casserole dish. Repeat with the rest of the chops. Add sliced onions to the pan, making sure the heat isn't too high. Let the onions slowly caramelize. After they've softened and cooked down, add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute. Add all remaining sauce to the onions and garlic. Give it a good stir, making sure any browned bits come up from the bottom of the skillet. Pour everything over the pork chops. Cover tightly with foil. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and leave in oven for 20-30 minutes longer, or until sauce thickens slightly.

Joey's Tips:
If you don't have dry sherry, simply leave it out. It'll still be yummy!
If you're not a fan of raisins, try dried cranberries or other dried fruit instead.
By the way, if you like a really thick sauce, go ahead and leave it in the oven, uncovered, until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Keep in mind, though, that the sugars will concentrate and the sauce will become sweeter the thicker it gets.

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