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John's Favorite Recipes

Anyone who knows John Kiskaddon knows that he is an incredible and passionate cook. He cooks at home for his family almost every night! He says it relaxes him. Here are a couple of his favorite recipes------------

Johnnie Kiskaddon’s Pan Roasted Chicken with Morels          Serves 4


1/2 Pound fresh Morels (cut into quarters)
or sub 2 oz dried porcini's that you have rehydrated in warm water

4 Chicken Thighs, Skin removed.

1 large shallot, chopped fine

2 tablespoons peanut or rice bran oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup dry white wine

1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley

Salt and Freshly ground pepper

To Prepare:

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.

Have chicken out of Fridge for half hour to take the chill off and salt liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter, the mushrooms and saute for 8-10 minutes until nicely browned. You want the mushrooms to cook long enough to give up all the liquid in pan.
Remove from heat.

Preheat a cast iron skillet until hot. Add Peanut oil to skillet,

Pat dry the chicken, place in skillet and cook 6-8 minutes until nicely browned.

Turn chicken over and place in preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until just done.

Remove chicken to heated plate.

In the same pan chicken cooked, add 1 tablespoon butter (or more is fine!)  the shallots and cook on medium heat until softened. Add white wine and reduce for a few minutes.

Add cooked mushrooms to shallots and continue cooking until all smells delicious!

Place the chicken on pre-warmed plates , top with mushrooms, garnish with parsley.

Add salt and pepper to taste…. Then Enjoy!


Crab and Asparagus Soup                       Serves 4

½ small cooked crab (either Dungeness or 1 large king crab leg with partial body)
(You should have about 1 -1/4 cup of reserved crab meat)
2/3 LB fresh asparagus cut on bias in ½” sections (discard tough sections at bottom)
4 cups chicken stock
2 egg whites
3 thin slices fresh ginger
1 shallot or small yellow onion chopped fine
1 tbls Vegetable oil
1 tbls Cornstarch mixed with 3 tbls. Chicken stock
¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
¼ -1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper or more to taste
Kosher or sea salt to taste

To Prepare:
Remove crab from shell, gently shred crab pieces with fork and reserve shells.
In medium saucepan, add the oil and cook shallots over medium heat until softened slightly- about 2-3 minutes. Add stock, reserved crab shells and slices of ginger and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
If using canned stock, it’s usually seasoned, but if using homemade, add salt to taste here. Don’t be stingy with the salt…this is what makes your soup go from merely good to great!
Remove from heat and strain broth into a medium saucepan.
Reheat your stock to a nice simmer and add asparagus.
Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender but still bright green.
Add white pepper and cornstarch mixture and stir well to thicken soup.
(If you like a thicker soup, just add a little cornstarch to a few tablespoons stock and add to soup stirring constantly.)
When asparagus is tender, stir in reserved crab and cook gently 1 minute.
Add egg whites and swirl for a few seconds. Ladle into preheated bowls and garnish top with cilantro.

John’s Risotto with Shrimp and Fresh Green Peas                            Serves 4

1½ cups arborio rice

6 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

2/3 lb. large or jumbo raw shrimp, deveined and shelled (reserve shells)

1 cup fresh green peas (frozen 2nd choice)

1/3 cup Shaoxing, (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry

½ cup cream

2 tbsp. good olive oil

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 thin slices fresh ginger, the size of a quarter

3 tbsp. fresh chives finely chopped (reserve some sprigs for garnish)

Sea Salt or Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


To Cook:

In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to low simmer. Add the reserved shrimp shells, ginger slices, bay leaf and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Strain stock and add back to saucepan. Keep stock on a very low simmer.

In risotto pan or other non-reactive medium saucepan, sauté shallots in olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat until softened. (Don’t brown). Add rice, stir to coat grains well and cook about 3 minutes until rice smells nutty, stirring occasionally.

Add the wine and stir until liquid is absorbed (about 1 minute)

(Now comes an important 18-20 minutes: First, pour yourself a glass of wine or other beverage.)

You’re going to need to pay attention to your lovely risotto; otherwise you’ll end up with either a new adhesive or soggy mush!

On medium heat add ½ cup broth to rice and stir well for about a minute or two until stock is almost absorbed. When you’re stirring and you can see the bottom of pan, it’s time to add more stock.  Add another ½ cup stock and continue stirring every minute or so.  Note: Watch your heat. You don’t want the pan too hot or the rice won’t cook through inside. Heat too low and you’ll end up with the aforementioned adhesive!

After 12 minutes of cooking, in a separate saute pan, cook shrimp in remaining 1 tbsp butter 3-4 minutes until just pink. Set aside.

After cooking risotto about 15 minutes, add the green peas and ½ cup stock. Taste your rice now. It should be almost cooked through with a slight “dry nut bite” to it. You’re almost done.

At about 18-20 minutes, taste again. The rice should be “just cooked through.”

Add shrimp, cream, salt and pepper to taste and add a little more stock if you need.

Just before serving, stir in chopped chives and then ladle into preheated bowls.

Garnish with chives and serve!    

Note: Risotto can be tricky. If you end up with not enough stock to finish your risotto, you probably used too high a heat. Just add a little extra stock. If you end up with a lot of stock, your heat was too low. 


Microwave Nut Brittle

This is the fastest, easiest brittle recipe you’ll ever find.
I made tons of it last year and gave it out for Christmas gifts.

1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 ½ cups salted peanuts
1 tablespoon butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Spray a wooden spoon with non-stick cooking spray.
Lightly grease a 10 x 15” or larger baking sheet, or line it with parchment>
Mix together the sugar and corn syrup in a large microwave-safe bowl
and stir until well combined; the mixture will be stiff and hard to stir.
Be sure to use a large enough bowl; the sugar/corn syrup should fill it no more than about 1/3 full.
Microwave the sugar mixture uncovered on high power for 5 minutes;
it will bubble vigorously.
Add the peanuts and butter, stir well to combine. Speed is key!
The cooler the mixture becomes the harder it will be to stir.
Replace the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 2 to 4 minutes, until the mixture turns a nice medium- brown caramel color. Start watching carefully around the 2 minute mark,
and remove when the caramel color is achieved.
Add the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble furiously upon the addition of these ingredients. Stir quickly to combine. The finished mixture will look creamy and caramelized. Working quickly, pour the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet
and spread as evenly as possible. If you end up with an uneven spread,
don’t worry—the candy should still set up nicely.
Once the brittle has cooled, break it into pieces.
Yields about 3 dozen pieces