Wonderful bourbon ginger chicken

Created this dish for my friends Jim and Gloria  Zion with Whicked Bourbon Whiskey. Enjoy ! 


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

½ cup Wicked Harvest Bourbon
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 TBS. light brown sugar
2 tsp. fresh chopped ginger
1 TBS. sesame oil
juice from 2 fresh oranges
½ tsp. crushed red chili peppers
4 cloves chopped fresh garlic
2 TBS. seasoned rice vinegar

1/3 cup toasted chopped Pistachios
fresh orange segments (rind removed from one orange)
1/3 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup corn starch

Thoroughly mix all the marinade ingredients together in a stainless-steel bowl. Hold on side. Place the chicken thighs between two sheets of saran and pound slightly (not too flat). Take one fourth of the marinade mixture and hold on side for sauce. Place chicken thighs in the remaining marinade and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours. Place both oils in large sauté pan and bring up the temperature. Remove chicken thighs from marinade, dredge in corn starch and pan fry until brown and cooked through. Discard the marinade the chicken was in. Take the reserved marinade, place in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil and thicken with a corn starch slurry (couple of TBS. corn starch with a couple of TBS. water). Add to boiling marinade gradually until it slightly thickens and looks like a glaze. NOTE: May not use all the slurry. Hold on side. SERVICE: Cut thighs into strips and arrange on a service plate. Ladle heated glaze over the top, add toasted chopped Pistachios and the fresh orange segments. Garnish with fresh zest of orange.
Chef’s Note: Sticky rice or Chinese noodles are a great accompaniment for this dish.

Wicked harvast bourbon glaze


2 oz. butter
3 Tbs. light brown sugar
¼ Cup Wicked Harvest Bourbon
3 Tbs. quality Maple Syrup
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium fire to start and reduce heat after ingredients are dissolved. Let simmer approximately five minutes until consistency is that of melted caramels. Do not overcook and do not use to high of heat. Syrup can be used for a variety of applications: pancakes, French toast, glaze for chicken, pork, custards, ice cream etc. A variety of chopped nuts, raisins, fruits, citrus can also be added to the base glaze. Because the bourbon has a slight Pistachio flavor, chopped Pistachio nuts are a natural add on to this glaze. Have fun with it. I am sure you will come up with some creative uses.
This recipe goes with the previous posting for the frozen custard.
Chef Len

Wicked harvast frozen custard

My friends, Jim and Gloria Zion, of Velvetree Foods have created a first-in-world Pistachio finished Bourbon called Wicked Harvest. It is incredibly delicious and a joy to cook with, adding a subtle flavor of true Kentucky Bourbon along with a delectable pistachio flavor.


2 cups half and half
3 beaten eggs
¾ cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsps. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs. Wicked Harvest Bourbon
1 cup heavy cream whipped
½ cup chopped Pistachio Nuts


Mix eggs sugar and salt in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat half and half in a sauce pan. Place stainless bowl with egg mixture over a sauce pan with boiling water to create a double boiler. Gradually stir in the heated half and half whisking constantly until mixture thickens and coats a metal spoon. NOTE: This should take approximately eight to ten minutes. Do not overcook or you will end up with a curdled product. Remove from heat and cool. After cooling, fold in the whip cream, flavoring and bourbon. NOTE: Optional — add a couple of drops of green food coloring to create a Pistachio green. Pistachios can be added now and incorporated into the custard or used with the glaze (refer to Wicked Bourbon Glaze) to top the custard as a garnish after it is frozen. Pour custard into Soufflé Cups or suitable containers and freeze until firm. Makes approximately six servings.
Chef’s Note: This dessert dish can also be served unfrozen as a custard similar to Panna Cotta.


*photo credit La Cucina di Lorendana*

Today we’re going to cook one of my favorite recipes. Easy to prepare and always loved by the guest. Flatten the meat mixture on a sheet of cello wrap for easy handling when folding over. With cooler weather approaching this makes for a wonder dinner main course. Keep cookin’!


1lb. ground beef
1lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4oz. raw bacon, diced
3 slices sourdough bread
1/2 cup (scant) heavy cream
3 whole eggs
3oz. parmesan cheese
5oz. crushed pistachio nuts
5 slices ham
5 slices provolone cheese
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste


Saute onions and garlic with the raw bacon, cool and hold on side.  In a large bowl, soak the bread in the cream. Add the seasoning, beef, pork, eggs, cooked onion, garlic, bacon, parmesan cheese and mix. Flatten mixture and place slice of ham, provolone cheese and crushed pistachios down the center. Fold sides over to make a stuffed loaf. Rub lightly with olive oil and back at 375 degrees approximately 45 minutes or when internal temperature is 160 degrees.

Serve and Enjoy!

Chef Len

Fresh Seasonal Fruits on Hearts of Romaine | With Grilled Pound Cake


This week we’re going to make an appetizer we serve here on the Papagallo as an accompaniment between courses, you might recognize it from one of previous posts you can find here. It’s simple but is a great accompaniment between courses. This is a great addition to most meals and you can definitely add any other fruits that you think would go well with the meal you are preparing. Here we go…


Romaine hearts, blackberries, fresh pineapple, strawberries, orange segment, candied pecans, fresh mint, and pound cake slice. You can also add other seasonal fruits to you preference.


Arrange fruits on romaine and drizzle with vinaigrette mixed with little honey and crushed black peppercorns. Butter slices of pound cake and grill till light brown. Serve on the side.

The pound cake makes a nice accompaniment to the fruit. Garnish with fresh mint.

Very refreshing and enjoyable. Would be great for any dinner party.


Chef Len

Want a dish that would be a nice accompaniment to this dish? Check out this main course here!

Easy Two Step Quiche

Begin with prepackaged prepared frozen 9 inch deep dish pie crust. I like Marie Calendars in the frozen food section. Slightly thaw enough to poke with a fork in a few places on the sides and bottom. Place in 400 degree oven Aprox eight minutes or until lightly brown then remove from oven hold on side. This helps the finished quiche to have a flaky crust instead of soggy if not pre- baked , very important step.

Egg Filling for each quiche :

In mixing bowl place five whole eggs and Aprox. one cup of heavy cream and dash of ground nutmeg and whisk until blended.
Filling: all fillings should be cooked prior to placing in browned pie shell , many choices here.

  1. Cooked diced bacon and diced onion.
  2. Diced ham , bell pepper and onion.
  3. Cooked sausage and salsa.
  4. Diced tom , fresh spinach ,garlic, onion and buffalo mozzarella cheese. 5. Mushroom , zucchini, onion , red bell pepper.


place cooked filling in shell with small amount of shredded cheese season salt and Pepper then pour egg mixture over until filling is close to top of pie crust without overflowing. Note here: if not full enough add a little more heavy cream or a little more filling to reach top. Place in 300 degree oven and bake Aprox. 45 min to one hour or until quiche is lightly brown on top and firm and not runny in center. Cut into eight like a pie.

Great for lunch or brunch service. It is always a real hit on the Papagallo memorial services at sea. This is so easy to prepare and loved by everyone.

Have fun and get creative with the fillings,

Chef Len


Did you catch our blast from the past last week? Check it out here! Also, get these recipes right to your inbox by subscribing today!

Gentieu’s Pantry | A Look Back

The year was 1973 and I was 25 years old, opening my first restaurant in Taft. I first came to the area from Delaware in 1970 to teach ROP food services for Taft and Maricopa schools.

Gentieu’s Pantry was a modest entry into the restaurant industry with the first day receipts total of $128.00. Modest start, yes! With just a $7000 investment and rent of $300 a month, it was the start of a wonderful 50+ year career in the food business.

Looking back over 40 years, the Pantry was well received by the community and I think most will agree, the sandwiches we created there were one of a kind and have not been duplicated to this day. We accomplished many firsts there: 5ft. Sandwiches delivered by motorcycle, home of the KiWi sandwich, the first pickled tongue sandwich in town, the record breaking worlds longest sandwich and of course, Philadelphia subs and cheese steaks sandwiches.

My sincere thanks to the people of Taft and surrounding trade area for your continuing support now and back then. There will always be a special place in my heart for the town where my entrepreneurial spirit first began.

Please share your memories of the Pantry by posting comments on our blog or on Facebook. It would be so good to hear from you.

Chef Len

Flaming Coffee A’la Gentieu

Ready to WOW your guests?! This Flaming Coffee recipe is sure to do the trick!

To begin, you will need glassware that can withstand the heat of burning rum. I use a 17.5 ounce Libbey 8418 Bolla Grade wine glass that has worked well for me over the years. You can find them, here.


Brewed Coffee
Bacardi 151 Rum
Baileys Irish Cream
Ground Cinnamon
1 Fresh Orange
Fresh Whipped Cream

You will also need a flame, preferably from a candle. Start by quartering the orange and using one piece and rim the edge of each glass with it’s juice. Dip each orange-rimmed glass into sugar placed on a small plate as if you were rimming a margarita glass with salt. Next, pour a scant ounce of rum into a one-ounce ladle. I prefer Bacardi 151 Rum, a highly flammable variety that’s 75.5 percent alcohol.

Holding the ladle in one hand and the glass in the other, run the ladle under the open flame to ignite it. Place the burning ladle of rum halfway into the glass. Carefully lift and tilt the ladle upward and out of the glass, catching the burning rum in the glass. When the ladle empties, blow out any remaining fire in the ladle. Swirl the glass with the burning rum as if it were a red wine. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon into the fire to create a colorful sparkling effect.

The rum should burn for several seconds, but don’t let it burn too long as the glass will become too hot. Pour the coffee into the glass by resting the edge of the coffee pot or container on the edge of the glass. When you begin pouring, move the glass in a downward motion and the coffee container in an upward motion. this causes a stream of coffee to flow through the air to half fill the glass and extinguish the flame.

Add shots of Kahlüa and Baileys, a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon. When handing the drink to the guests, caution them about how hot it is. This dish exists in many versions using a broad range of ingredients. Once you’re comfortable making it, experiment with coffee syrups, other liqueurs and chocolate.

This coffee service is even more spectacular performed in the dark. The rum burns with a beautiful blue flame and sprinkled cinnamon adds a “Fourth of July” effect. Just be sure there’s enough light to let you see what you’re doing!


Chef Len 

Check out last week’s recipe!