We have become friends with a magician. His name is Piff The Magic Dragon. You may have heard of his older brotherSteve. That is actually one of his jokes.
He moved out here from London, England. We were introduced and went to his show at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. We have been going to his show every week since. I guess we have become Piff groupies.
You can see some of his acts on You Tube. He's a grumpy magic dragon and he is hilarious. My favorite part of his show is his sidekick, Mr. Piffles. Don't tell Piff that. Mr. Piffles is a little adorable longhaired Chihuahua. He does the moonwalk, gets shot out of a cannon, dies, and comes back to life. Every time we go to see the show the act changes a little. So, it is never boring. I laugh the entire time, even though; sometimes, I know what is about to happen. I keep trying to get him to teach me his magic secrets. He won't.
“Chicken, I Made It Up” is Claud’s own recipe.
Piff has a real name. It's John. When we are out with him and not at the show, I have a hard time remembering that his real name is not Piff. I call him Piff everywhere we go. I don't think he minds. I probably should ask him though. We have introduced Piff to all of our friends and now he is in our circle. To be fair, he has introduced us to some amazing people too. Some of them are performers and some are producers or directors of shows. It's been a lot of fun.
The first night we went out to dinner with Piff, we all went to Nobu, which is an amazing sushi restaurant. We decided to order the chef's special. I love this concept. We were instructed to tell the server if there was anything we did not want. I said, no meat (other than fish) and no octopus. I think those were our only limitations. Next, we had to give the server our price per person. After that was settled, we waited to see what would come next. To our surprise, each dish that came out to the table was more delicious than the last. Nothing came to the table that we wouldn't have wanted. The dinner was a success.
The next time we all went out to eat, we visited a Chinese Mexican restaurant. Yes, that is right. The menu is filled with Chinese dishes like fried rice, pot stickers and wontons. Next to each Chinese dish is a Mexican dish like tacos, salsa and burritos. It sounds really weird but somehow it all works. Everything there is amazingly tasty.
Made It Up
Time: 1 hour
8 split chicken breasts skin on with bone in
salt and pepper
cup white wine
4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 cup mini portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lemon sliced
8 sprigs of thyme
1 cup chicken stock
cup white wine
cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bone off of the chicken breasts and keep the skin on. Pour cup of white wine onto the breasts. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Don't be shy with the salt and pepper. Cover these and place them in the refrigerator. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat. Add onions and saut for five minutes. Add mushrooms and saut for ten more minutes. In another pan bring the remaining olive oil to a high heat (not smoking). Sear the chicken breasts for five minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Place breasts into an oven safe dish. Place a slice of lemon in between each breast and a sprig of thyme on top of each breast. Bake in the oven for fifteen minutes (until cooked through). Keep the pan that was used to sear the breasts on high heat. Pour in cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Add the mushrooms and onions to this pan. Add the cream. Mix well. Take the breasts out and top them with this sauce.
Obviously, we have had Piff over to our place for dinner. In fact, he joined us for Thanksgiving. I love introducing English people to the Thanksgiving festivities. He missed our Super Bowl feast, which ended up with a couple of friends spending the night in jail. That's a whole different story. I may have to save that for an in person conversation with some of you. I don't think my friends would want that in print.
This week, we had a dinner party at our place and mingled Piff's friends with ours. Claud and I discussed what we would like to serve. Claud wanted rack of lamb, roasted vegetables, Dauphinoise potatoes, and a salad. We spent the night before the dinner party in Laughlin, so my shopping trip for the food was pretty last minute. I went shopping a couple hours before the dinner.
Unfortunately, the store I went to did not have rack of lamb. I decided on chicken. Also, they had what looked like perfect asparagus. So, I switched that with the roasted potatoes. In the end, we cooked chicken breasts, Dauphinoise potatoes, asparagus and a salad. Claud was in charge of the chicken. I asked him as he was getting everything out of the refrigerator to prepare the dish what I should call it for the article. He said, "chicken, I made it up." So, following is a recipe that was made up on the fly by Claud. Everyone loved it. One person went to far as to say they had never tasted chicken so moist in their lives. This has to be good. Oh, and it turned out that the asparagus was perfect, like magic.