Climate

Corn Husk Smocked Chicken

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

#WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into delicious meals!

At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.

UN Food & Agriculture

Scraps: Corn Cobs, Corn Husks, Corn Silks

Corn Husk Smoked Chicken

Corn is delicious, but creates more waste than what ends up on the plate. That’s the inspiration behind this dish. This is a delicious dinner that uses all the parts that typically end up in the compost. 

Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

  • 5 corn cobs
  • 1½ tsp (9g) kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup (90g) coarse ground cornmeal 
  • 2 tbsp (30g) freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter

Directions

  1. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the corn cobs with enough water to cover them. Heat over medium-high heat just until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour, covered. 
  2. Strain and discard the corn cobs. Return the corn stock to the stove and simmer over medium-high heat. Add the kosher salt. Add the cornmeal and whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil. Continue whisking for an additional 3 minutes. 3 4 
  3. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and cook the polenta, stirring every  5 minutes or so (switch to a wooden spoon from this point forward), until the cornmeal is completely cooked and quite tender,  2½ to 3½ hours. It may seem too thin initially, but it will gradually thicken.  As the polenta cooks, a skin will form on the bottom and sides of the pan (if you are not using a non-stick pan), which is proper and gives the polenta a slightly toasty flavor. 
  4. Fold in the cheese and butter until fully incorporated.

Corn Silk

Ingredients 

  • 2 cobs of corn worth of corn silk 
  • 4 cups (1 L) canola oil 
  • ½ tsp (3 g) kosher salt 
  • ¼ tsp (1 g) smoked paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 165F(75C)
  2. discard any dark brown/black silk. Transfer the remaining silk to a parchment lined baking sheet and dehydrate in the oven overnight. 
  3. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with oil and bring to 400°F (205°C) over medium heat and fry the silk for 15 seconds, or until crispy and golden. 
  4. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, and season with kosher salt and smoked paprika.

Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 whole corn husks 
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on 
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil 
  • 1½ tsp (9 g) kosher salt 
  • 2 tsp (2 g) rosemary, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • 1 cup (125 g) chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and torn

Directions

  1. Submerge the corn husks in cold water and soak for 1 hour. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). 
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken with 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the canola oil, 1 tsp (3 g)  of kosher salt, 1 tsp (1 g) of rosemary, and 2 cloves of garlic. 
  4. Drain the corn husks and place in an ovenproof pan. Warm the husks over medium-high heat until they begin  to smoke. immediately transfer to the bottom of the oven. 
  5. In a different ovenproof pan, warm the remaining canola oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers and runs easily across the pan. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook until the skin turns a medium golden brown. Flip the chicken breasts over and transfer to the oven. Be sure to turn on your hood fan as the smoke from the corn husks will billow from the oven and potentially irritate your eyes. roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked completely. 
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest. return the pan to the stovetop over medium-high heat and add the chanterelle mushrooms. Once they begin to sizzle in the rendered chicken fat and juices, add the remaining rosemary and garlic. Cook for another minute and remove the pan from heat.

Plating

Place half the polenta in the center of a plate and garnish with mushroom-rosemary-garlic mixture. Top with 1 chicken breast and finish with a nest of silk. Repeat with the remaining polenta and chicken breast.


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

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