Sometimes recipes just don’t work out the way you hoped. Take, for example, my recent version of a chicken fricassee with lemon juice: Pan-roasted-chicken-with-lemon-juice.

Although it was quite tasty, its appearance left a lot to be desired.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon Juice

Other times, they work out even better than you had expected. As a case in point, take this version of almost the same dish by the same author, Marcella Hazan, that I prepared over four years ago: Chicken-fricassee-with-lemon-and-rosemary.

Not only was it better in appearance, but the flavor was richer and more concentrated.

From this recent experience, I’ve realized that you have to trust your instincts when a recipe just doesn’t seem right and tweak it the way you think it needs to be changed–even if it’s from a highly respected author. Remember, it’s your kitchen.

5 thoughts on “Musing: When a Recipe Doesn’t Seem Right

  1. I find browning chicken not easy. No matter what you do, there is some level of fat in the meat that renders and “steams” the meat. You need to have the heat really high. That in itself is a pain because of the ensuing mess that is all but guaranteed.

  2. Our kitchen has a plaque that says, “There’s no failures in the kitchen, only opportunities”. I’ve had to look at that sign with a sigh more than once. For me, in the end, it’s all about enjoying the cook and the taste.

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