Chef's Blog

July 10, 2013

Chicken Base Tips from the 60’s to Today!

from Chef Brian Dragos

In 1969, at age 11, I started in the restaurant business working for my father Irwin (Red) Dragos, who was a huge MINOR’S fan! In 1971, I got my first big promotion from dishwasher to pantry boy (that was a big deal for a thirteen year old). One thing my father taught me was how to make all of the basic soups. One of my favorites is Cream of Mushroom soup. He taught me to use half MINOR’S Chicken base and half MINOR’S Beef base for the stock. To this day, I still use this short-cut. In the late 90’s, I owned a namesake restaurant called Brian’s in Chandler, Arizona. The Cream of Mushroom soup was such a hit among customers that they would call to make sure we would have it available as the Wednesday Soup of the Day before flocking to eat there!

Years later, my father and I worked for a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona called Anderson’s. Anderson’s Executive Chef was a man named, Gerard Pin, whom I believe is from Lyon, France. My Father has passed on and Gerard finally retired two years ago but here are some tips they taught me way back then!

  • Add a touch of Minor’s Chicken base to Hollandaise replacing salt, it will make it richer.
  • Add a touch of Minor’s chicken base to some hot water then fold it into Bleu Cheese dressing. (Shhh! Don’t tell, this was one of Chef Gerard’s big secrets).
  • Reheat Corned Beef in chicken stock made with Minor’s Chicken base and hot water. Corned Beef dries out very fast once it’s cut. Using this tip will eliminate that problem. We did this for both thick cut (Entrees) and also thin cuts (Rueben’s and Sandwiches).
  • Hold hot dogs and bratwurst in Minor’s Chicken stock during lunch rush. Believe it or not, bratwurst was a weekly menu item in the 70’s and sold very well in a white tablecloth restaurant in Scottsdale.

Well, I’ve shared with you a part of my family; and as in most families, we never tell anyone our family secrets!

Chef Brian Dragos - Brian.Dragos@flavormeansbusiness.com

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