Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cooking for looks continued: grilled chicken

I did this rosemary and thyme grilled chicken breast with grilled baby portabello mushrooms, grill-roasted garlic, and mashed new potatoes as a homework for my food styling class. My idea was to use the subtle color variations of off-whites and golds to emphasize the old-world character of the dish. I even got one of my fancy plates, not used for two years, out of the chest.

It's amazing how fast the grilled foods sag if they are allowed to sit for a while at room temperature. One of the requirements for this weeks class was to experiment with keeping food "alive" under the camera. My chicken and potatoes had to be sprayed with olive oil and water several times, while I was setting up the camera and arranging the garnishes. The potatoes were cooked, chilled in an ice water bath, then mushed cold, with olive oil instead of butter, and still I had to spray them more than ones during the shooting, or they would dry. The chicken has grill marks one one side only, and was undercooked, to keep it looking fresh longer. The herbs were not a problem - they come from the garden, just keep cutting new ones and replace them. And rosemary and thyme don't wilt very fast anyway. the baby bella mushrooms and thebgarlic head were the worst: as soon as you take them off the grill, they begin to dry and wrinkle. Water and more water.

And then I messes it all up overdoing the lemon...

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