Chicken Daniel Francese

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

Unlike Mands, I didn’t meet Dan Franzese – or Dan Fran, as I prefer to call him – until we were on the set of Mean Girls. Given it was based on my life story, I had offered Tina support in coaching the three actors whose characters which were based on me; Regina, her mum – when Ames plays your future self, you know you’ve made it – and too gay to function Damian.

After five minutes in the trailer, I noticed that Dan didn’t need any help with the character, instilling Damian with humanity that my teenself couldn’t even fathom having. So instead, we hung-out. And by hung-out, we commenced a torrid affair.

While you will soon find out that out all-too-brief affair ended in a total disaster, we remained friends against all odds and I am so proud of the career that Dan Fran has gone on to have. Despite me vowing to ruin his career, even though I was in the wrong when our relationship ended. Hell, I even suggested him to Jonathan for a role in looking!

Damn – why am I admitting fault?

Given he is busy being a successful boss, we haven’t had the joy of spending as much time together as we would like. As soon as Dan Fran walked into my room, he lit the place up with his beautiful soul. Which off topic reminds me that I need to see Jesse McCartney ASAP.

Anyway … he lit up the room and TBH, that is to be expected when a big plate of Chicken Daniel Francese is awaiting you.

 

 

Lightly coated chicken for optimal crunch, combined with a punch of garlic and lemon works to create a mouthwatering delight. Add in the fresh hit of parsley – which I never thought I would say but it really makes it sing – and I just can’t stop.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Daniel Francese
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
2 eggs, whisked
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lemon, half sliced and the other half juiced
½ cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine a cup or two of flour in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl whisk the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of water.Flatten the chicken breasts with the back of a frying pan until they’re about 2cm thick.

Heat a good lug of oil in the base of a pan over medium heat. When scorching, dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and transfer to the skillet to cook for about five minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and cook the lemon slices and garlic for a minute or so. Add the vermouth, stock and lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and leave to simmer for five minutes, stirring through the parsley towards the end. Return the chicken to the pan for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Serve chicken topped with a slice of lemon and drowned in sauce, for optimal devouring.

 

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Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Sweets

When I first met Merrin Dungey – aka Mezza – she was cracking jokes with some of the lower members of the cast of Deep Impact. Despite being quite the high roller on set as T’s best-friend, I was drawn to her infectious joy and decided to take her under my wing.

Let me tell you, Mez is just what the doctor ordered – I feel joyous again!

Jubilant even.

Mez has long been someone I’ve relied on to lift my mood and in exchange, I’ve lifted her up the Hollywood ladder. After Deep Impact, I quickly introduced her to Sorks and got her a brief role on The West Wing, landed her a part with my – and I guess the world’s – Friends and bounced her too Chrissie Apps on Jesse before landing her the big fish that was Alias opposite my then boyfriend Bradley Cooper.

It had been a couple of years since we last caught up – I may have caused a scene on the set of Trophy Wife when she was guesting and was scared I had embarrassed her. Thankfully, I hadn’t but sadly that meant I had to struggle with my mood these last few years.

Mezza is trying to relax and make the most of her free time before reporting to the set of her new show, Conviction, so was down to party and bring the joy … which she did.

As did my Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie.

 

lemon-merrin-dungey-pie-1

 

I like my lemon curd like I like to act to attract men – tarty, smooth and soft and warm inside. Add the culinary equivalent of Merrin / valium, pastry, and a generous dollop of mallowy meringue and you’ve got the perfect dessert to eat away your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

lemon-merrin-dungey-pie-2

 

Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Pastry
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 tbsp icing sugar mixture
125g butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
2 ½ tbsp iced water

Filling and meringue aka all the rest
Lemon Kurd Cobain
1 cup cold water
¼ cup cornflour
8 large eggs, whites only
⅔ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Method
In a larger bowl, sift the flour and icing sugar together. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water and mix with your hands until it just comes together … just.

Shape into a 2cm thick disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out until it is about 5mm thick, lay the dough in a 23cm pie dish, trim excess, line with baking paper and return to the fridge for half an hour.

Then add pastry weights and bake for 15 minutes … and then remove the pastry weights and baking paper and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool completely.

That was kind of militant right now, wasn’t it? Sorry.

Anyway, while the crust is cooling, get to work on the curd. Start by whisking together the water and cornflour, then go to the recipe and when it calls for the butter add the cornflour slurry.

Rather than chilling the curd, pour it straight into the crust, smoothing over with the back of a spoon and chill in the fridge for 3-5 hours – the pie, not you – or until it is set.

About half an hour before you’re over the pie chilling preheat the oven to 180°C … again.

While the oven is warming up for you, combine the whites, sugar and salt in a large, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Layer the meringue on the pie, sealing in the curd, and bake for about 5-10 minutes, or until the meringue starts to brown.

You could always use a blowtorch in lieu of the oven but I don’t, and nor should anybody else, trust me with a blowtorch.

Either way, once you’re done devour and feel happiness again.

RIP *spoiler* from OITNB.

 

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No more bad Francies

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After being thoroughly disappointed by the world for most of last week (until Jay Z dropped by), followed by 13 hours spent watching OITNB season 4 which culminated in a horrific kick to the guts in the second last episode – seriously, I am still llorando – I decided that I needed to focus on the positive and bring a little bit of joy in the world.

But seriously, how fucked up was the end of episode 12?

Anyway, I have decided to become the personification of valium and bring joy, or at the very least a feeling of strange calm, to everyone on the planet.

As I am still reeling from Orlando and the culmination of the fictional prison overcrowding/under-trained guard perfect storm, I wanted to catch-up with someone that brings an infectious joy to my life (rather than infectious disease, FYI) so gave the dear Merrin Dungey a call.

What says while your turn as Ursula made me uncomfortable it will never take away from your majesty on the one-two punch that are Alias and the egregiously Emmy snubbed Summerland?

Picture source: Still from Alias.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.