I measure all foods based on the following criteria...
If I brought a plate of these to a Southern Baptist Church for a pot-luck. after church dinner... Would my dish come back empty? It takes a lot of cooking nerve to show up at one of those with a plate of Deviled eggs. After all, the "Church Basement Ladies" have a collective 200 years of experience with the classics. Who am I to challenge them to D-Egg Supremacy?
There are a couple of secret weapons that would help me gird my loins in the battle of the D-Eggs...
There indeed is chicken in these. I minced up the meat from a chicken thigh (Yes, taken from a fully cooked, fully seasoned store bought Rotisserie Chicken, making this one of my "52 Uses for a Rotisserie Chicken").
But also I replaced the standard Mayo used in most Deviled Egg recipes (you know, the classics perfected by those Church basement Ladies). I used a Cajun Flavored, Garlic Enhanced Aioli.
And it makes a BIG difference. The chicken adds texture and a more full feeling when you eat one. The Cajun Spices kicks this up New Orleans style and the Garlic makes em pop Emeral style.
Of course the eye popping presentation would help... The Chick in the center is very easy. CAREFULLY slice the Hood or Hat from a hard cooked egg. Top with a small portion of the Egg goop (we'll cover that recipe in a bit). Put the hat back on, pressing gently so it fits tight. Add a couple of capers for eyes and cut up a carrot slice for the feet and nose. I just make one presentation chick and do not try to remove the yolk from this egg to make the Egg goop. If you want to make a lot of chicks, know that it is very difficult to remove the yolk and still leave a shell suitable for presentation. Possible, but difficult.
Besides, in this case, less is more for a presentation plate... One chick in the center, resting on a bed of chopped green onion (the green parts) and surrounded by the stars of the plate, the actual Cajun-Garlic Deviled Eggs! And another besides, if you make them all the standing chicks in an a egg, people think they are cute... too cute to eat. And of course by serving half an egg per devil, you get twice as many egg servings as you would by serving the single egg standing chick. We want to WOW the Church Basement Ladies, but we still want to stay in budget.
OK, Here's what I did... First, make the Aioli...
Cajun Garlic Aioli
- 1 Cup Mayonaise
- 1 Medium Lemon... The Zest of 1 Lemon
- The same, 1 Medium Lemon... The Juice of 1 Lemon
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced very fine
- 1 TBS Dijon Mustard
- 1 TBS Savory Spice Mix (like a store bought Herbes de Provence (or make your own better version like my recipe for "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence"))
- 1 TBS Cajun Spice Mix (store bought or make your own better version with my recipe for "Big Easy in a Jar")
- To Taste Salt and Pepper
- Assemble everything in a mixing bowl and...
- Taste, decide to up the spices or add some simple Salt and Pepper to add just a bit more if you like.
OK, Once you have the Aioli made, this turns into a more traditional Deviled Eggs recipe... Except the chicken. It adds a lot, remove the thigh and leg portion of a Rotisserie Chicken. Remove the leg and snack on it while making the rest of the recipe. Remove the meat from the thigh and mince... mince as fine as you can. Especially if you are competing against the Church Basement Ladies, you will eventually run the goop through a piping bag with a large star tip to get the fancy look. Mince and mince again.
One more tip is to boil the eggs the right amount of time. In fact, I actually do not boil my eggs... Much
Instead, I put a dozen eggs into a LARGE pan (no double stacking, this way you get an even cook on all). I add enough water to cover the eggs plus another inch. Bring this to a boil. the minute you get a boil, remove from the heat and cover for 17 minutes and viola... perfect eggs for Deviled Eggs!
OK, now the recipe...
6 Eggs, hardboiled, peeled, split in half and egg yolks removed
1 Cup Chicken, minced
1 Cup Cajun garlic Aioli
12 Egg Yolks
And simply remove the yolks, combine with the chicken and aioli. Mix well. If needed to thin, add more Aioli or mustard.
Add 1/2 TBS of the goop into each cavity of the eggs
Or for presentation, put the goop into a piping bag with the largest possible star tip
garnish with a pinch of Smoked Paprika on each.
You get the idea. From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking). More than enough ideas for that store nought bird to shine with just a little extra work
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