We’re very excited to introduce a new blog series, In the CulinaryAcademy360 Kitchen, designed to offer you a peek into our CA360 program and give you a “taste” of what we’ve been up to! Our CulinaryAcademy360 program provides students, young adults, and clients with culinary vocational training and life skills. We hope you enjoy the series and that you learn something new, too!
We kick off the new blog series with a dish that is guaranteed to please everyone…including Food Network star and renowned chef, Bobby Flay! This past March, CA360 was visited by the celebrity chef and restaurateur who provided a cooking demonstration for CA360 students. Chef Flay also served on a panel of judges during a Cook-Off between CulinaryAcademy360 students from Academy360 Upper School and from Independence360. His visit gave our culinary students the opportunity to showcase the training and skills they learned in the program and to pick up some new tips and tricks from Chef Flay.
Students were given the chance to ask Chef Flay technical cooking questions as well as talk about how he got into his line of work. By sharing skills and advice on how to be successful in the restaurant and food service industry, our guest reinforced the many vocational possibilities that exist. Chef Flay reminded the captivated audience that even if you aren’t the best at reading and writing, there are many other ways to be successful in your education and career. Cooking happens to be one of them. We’re so grateful for his inspiration!
At the end of the cooking competition, two of our judges declared it a tie — both teams had the best dish! Academy360 Upper School student judge Tyrell broke the tie by declaring that the Academy360 Upper School team led by Chef Matthews the clear winner. Watch the video below as student Dylan M. and Chef Michael Matthews, director of the CulinaryAcademy360 program and graduate of the Culinary Arts Institute of America, demonstrate how to cook this winning dish. And we’ve included the recipe so you can try it yourself! (You can download and save or print if you choose.)
Stay tuned for the next delicious recipe in our next installment!
Pan Sautéed Chicken Thighs with Wild Mushroom and Marsala wine Sauce
- 8 Boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 minced shallot
- 2 cups sliced assorted mushrooms
- 6 leaves of fresh sage – chiffonade (sliced very thin)
- ½ tablespoon, fresh rosemary – minced fine
- 1 cup roasted chicken stock
- ½ cup demi glaze
- ¼ cup marsala wine
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Chopped parsley
- In a mixing bowl mix the flour, salt, and pepper well.
- Coat chicken thighs with flour mixture, tap off any extra. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes.
- In a heavy bottom pot heat up butter and olive oil.
- When hot and bubbling add chicken and brown on all sides. After the chicken is browned remove from pan and put on absorbent paper to drain off any extra fat.
- Add to the hot pot sliced mushrooms, minced shallots, minced garlic, pepper and any dry herbs.
- Sauté until mushrooms are golden brown and tender, remove from heat and de glaze pan with Marsala wine.
- Return pot to the heat and add in demi glaze, cream, return chicken to the pot reduce heat to a simmer cover and let cook for 12-15 minutes until chicken is tender.
- Add in fresh sage and rosemary, taste for seasoning.
- Add in small diced cubes of cold butter to thicken sauce.
- The chicken should be tender and soft the mushrooms should be golden brown and delicious, and the sauce should be slightly thick and velvety.
Serve with potatoes, grilled vegetables, rice or pasta and enjoy!!!
CulinaryAcademy360 was started with a generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. Created in September 2016, the program was developed to provide students, ages 14 and older at Academy360 and adults at Independence360, with the opportunity to explore food service as a career path, as well as increase their ability to live independently by learning to cook for themselves. CulinaryAcademy360 provides day classes to clients of Independence360 as well as after-school and evening classes for Academy360 and participants of Spectrum360’s Adult Enrichment Program. The after-school and evening classes are also open to individuals with autism and related disabilities who attend other programs and schools. For more information about classes, contact Director, Chef Michael Matthews at email@example.com