Some chefs have to cook for greedy friends and family during the few hours they’re at home, and Whole Foods Bowery has wrangled three of them to teach classes this June with their favorite ingredients. Julia Jaksic of Employees Only cooks with polenta on June 1, Scott Campbell of the New Leaf Restaurant & Bar in Fort Tryon Park will work with cherries on June 8, and Bobo’s Patrick Connolly picked fish for June 15. Classes run 6:30 to 9 p.m., and chefs will shop with you for ingredients. Or you could save the $50 fee and try making Campbell’s pan-seared chicken with cherry compote on your own. The recipe is below.
Crisp Pan-Seared Chicken With Cherry Compote and Mixed-Grain Salad
2, 3 pounds Chickens
To taste: Chinese Five Spice
To taste: Sea Salt, Maldon
To taste: Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
4 ounces Brown Beech Mushrooms, Cleaned
1-1/2 ounce Sweet Butter
8 ounces Cherries, pitted & halved
1 ounce Cranberry Juice
To taste: Ginger, Finely Diced
To taste: Sugar
To taste: Orange Zest
1/4 cup Wild Rice
1/4 cup Farro Wheat
1/4-cup Dried Cherries, Rehydrated In Cranberry Juice
1-1/2 ounces Walnuts
1-1/2 ounces Pumpkin Seeds
1-1/2 ounces Sesame Seeds
1-1/2 ounces Sunflower Seeds
½ ounce Sherry Vinegar
1-1/2 ounce Extra Virgin Olive Oil
To taste: Salt, Maldon Sea Salt
To taste: Pepper, Freshly ground
Cook all grains separately until al dente. When cooked place all grains and drain in a colander, air-cool and dry.
Meanwhile, toast all nuts and seeds separately in an oven until they have a desired flavor and texture. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl; grains, cherries, seeds, nuts, vinegar with olive oil and seasonings.
Cut chicken in half, removing all bones yet keeping the chicken intact, creating a boneless half chicken.
Season chicken with Chinese five spice and seasonings, pour olive oil into a sauté pan on a high heat (let the oil reach its smoking point), add the seasoned chicken. Keep cooking the chicken skin-side down until it is 3/4 cooked and flip it over to finish; chicken takes about 20 to 30 minutes. (Note: Chicken can be finished in the oven.)
Drain off some of the chicken fat; add in butter and sauté, season beech mushrooms for a minute or so.
In a medium sauce pot, pour in cranberry juice, add sugar, and bring to a simmer; add cherries.
Simmer cherries for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously before they start to pop. Remove from the stove and add orange zest and ginger. Set aside.
Plate the chickens and add mixed-grain salad, mushrooms, and cherry-ginger compote.