Solid As a Rock... not my Brown Sugar!!

January 31 2010 - 9:16 PM

Solid As a Rock… not my Brown Sugar!

Brown sugar is one of my favorite cooking friends. It is a wonderful flavor addition to breaded chicken, chili, beef/pork tenderloin, stir-fry, and the list goes on. Technically, Brown sugar is a mix of white sugar and molasses. It seems like whenever I buy a box of Brown sugar it is fluffy and easy to use, but in a short amount of time, even in a sealed container, it turns solid as a rock. There are a few easy ways to keep your brown sugar more like cotton than croutons.

Option 1. Stick and apple slice in the sealed container with the Brown sugar. It won’t mold and it will keep the Brown sugar moist and fluffy. Option 2. Add one slice of white bread to the sealed container of Brown sugar. Like the apple, it won’t mold and will provide that moisture content for the sugar. Over time, the bread will dry out and you should look to replace it. Option 3. My personal favorite option is the terracotta disk. These disks can be purchased for $3 to $10 (check out or> ) soaked for 15 minutes in water and then they are off to the races. Place the terracotta disk inside the sealed container of Brown sugar for wonderful results overnight. The disk will eventually need to be re-soaked in water and put back into the brown sugar container. This solution is easy, inexpensive, and will make your life as a Brown sugar user so much easier.
Here is a quick recipe (just whipped this up the other night) for pan-fried chicken breasts with Brown Sugar:
(Part 1)
2 large chicken breasts
1.5 Cups of breadcrumbs
(Your pick of brand. Try to get one that doesn’t have too much sodium)
½ teaspoon of Garlic salt with parsley
½ tablespoon of Cavender’s Salt Free Greek Seasoning
½ tablespoon of Brown sugar
(Part 2)
1 medium shallot
½ a clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
To prepare (this is going to be so low brow that some of you might lose respect for me!)
1. Slice chicken breasts in half so that you end up with four thin breasts instead of two larger ones. They will cook faster and more evenly.
2. Score the chicken breasts on both sides with long thin knife marks so that it looks like a # sign. Score means that you don’t cut too deeply into the meat just use the tip of the knife to make a small incision. 2. Open large Ziploc bag and add all aforementioned ingredients in Part 1.
3. Shake the contents of the bag until the chicken breasts are fully coated with the mixture. Now place bag to the side of your prep area.
4. Finely slice the shallot and garlic. You want to spread the flavor of the garlic and shallot into the base of the pan with the olive oil, so the thinner your slices the better it will be for the dish.
5. Place all ingredients from Part 2 into a pan. In this case, non-stick pans are more desirable, but not necessary. Heat on high until the shallot and garlic look very soft. This will take 30 to 90 seconds.
6. Shake bag with chicken once more. Remove pieces and arrange them on top of the olive oil. The chicken should completely coat the pan. Reduce the heat to 75% and cover with glass lid. Check them every minute and flip the chicken over after 2 to 3 minutes. Do the same process on side two. Once you have seen both sides obtain a medium brown edge, reduce heat to medium and let chicken sit covered for another 3 to 4 minutes. It should be tender, flavorful, delicious, and ready to serve.
*I served this chicken with portabella mushroom ravioli on a marinara and feta sauce, but you could pair this with healthy veggies or cut into strips and layer into a salad.