Doug’s Voodoo Chicken
1 Tbsp. crushed chilies
One whole chicken cut into 9 pieces
1 litre heavy cream – 18 or 35 per cent
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
1/4 to 1/2 cup Madras curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup butterProcedureCut chicken. Lay chicken in roasting pan and season with salt, pepper and small amount of curry powder, approximately 1 ounce. Bake in oven at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes.In saucepan add butter, onions and crushed chilies. Sauté for 10 minutes on high heat.Add fresh garlic, cumin seeds and curry powder. Sauté for two minutes.Add heavy cream and reduce for 10 minutes on medium heat until sauce starts to thicken.Add chicken stock and reduce again for 10 minutes on medium heat.Remove chicken from oven and cover it with sauce.Cover roasting pan and bake for 35 more minutes at 325 degrees.Serve hot with favourite rice. Basmati is best with this dish.Optional garnish of freshly chopped cilantro and a Tbsp. of natural yogurt.Enjoy.
Since moving to Morinville and opening Green Bean Coffee House & Bistro, chef Douglas Adsit has bridged the gap between restaurant dining and catering.
With both cooking and catering experience under his belt, as well as numerous guest appearances as a television food expert in the Global Edmonton kitchen, Adsit offers the best of his abilities and specializations.
In addition to hosting corporate gigs and private banquets that range anywhere from 50 to 250 people, the Red Seal Chef has also been the caterer of choice at St. Albert Dinner Theatre for the past four seasons.
“His buffets have a lovely variety. It always tastes good. He likes to experiment and he’s great with patrons,” said Rita Jensen, president of St. Albert Dinner Theatre.
In a high-pressure career that spanned well over 30 years, Adsit has worked in both Alberta and British Columbia building a resume that’s given him a strong reputation.
Born in Edmonton, he moved to Fort McMurray at age eight. His father, a retired Air Force mechanical engineer, had specialized skills and was hired at Syncrude as an instrumentation engineer.
“It was a small town. It was a community town. Everybody knew everybody. As a kid, you couldn’t get away with anything,” laughed Adsit, a deep chuckle emerging as childhood memories flooded back.
Attracted to the arts, he acted in junior high plays. Always strong in math and science, he and a buddy placed third at a provincial science fair. They created a basic project that tested nerves and impaired drivers.
“Ours was simple and I think that’s what they (judges) liked.”
But at 14, life took a sharp turn. He was hired as a busboy at the town’s Sheraton Hotel working at $3.85 an hour. That summer he was promoted to prep cook working with 40 other people in the kitchen. His pay jumped to a grand $4.25 an hour, a fortune for a teenager spreading his wings.
“Back in the ’80s we never had a labour shortage. That came later.”
The self-described Type A personality was hooked, and after Grade 12 started a 10-month commercial cooking apprenticeship at Keyano College. Following graduation, he moved to Edmonton, still working for the Sheraton chain.
But within six months the young chef bolted to Salt Spring Island, one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver. He was quickly hired at Alfresco Restaurant, a popular Italian-French culinary spot.
It was on the island, where an abundance of locally grown produce, dairy products and lamb as well as a fresh catch of the day from surrounding waters solidified his culinary philosophy. “I like clean, fresh food that is locally grown, and here in the restaurant, it’s got to be homemade.”
While working on Salt Spring, the detail-oriented chef was approached to consult with Seattle restaurants in trouble. In addition, during his two-decade tenure in British Columbia, Adsit took advantage of his self-discipline and drive opening up a summer place in Invermere and another restaurant in Windermere.
But by the late 1990s, Adsit returned to Alberta. He simply needed a break. In 1999, the dedicated, hard-working chef was sitting at the St. Albert Sorrentino’s Restaurant sharing a glass of wine with his father. Sorrentino owner Carmelo Rago walked by and started chatting. Short of kitchen staff, Rago hired him on the spot.
“I went in for a quiet drink. I wasn’t looking for a job and I stayed three years.”
A new start
Adsit’s career took a new trajectory after receiving a job offer from Sunspun Food Services as a sales representative.
“I knew the food industry. I had always worked a different side of the fence, but I wanted to try something different. Wouldn’t you know it. They gave me the Fort McMurray area.”
For a decade, Adsit was immersed in the food distribution network. For five years running, he was a top salesman, a position that placed him in a robust financial position.
When he retired from sales in 2012, Adsit opted to invest in his home town operating Green Bean Coffee House, a relaxed signature café where residents could enjoy a great cup of java.
“I threw on some sandwiches. The menu grew and I was asked to start catering.” Through his prodigious talent, knowledge of the business, hard work and unwavering attention to detail, Adsit now operates two locations – in Morinville and Edmonton – and is looking to expand, possibly another location in Edmonton or St. Albert.
Catering night-after-night as well as operating two high-pressure locations requires focused organizational skills as well as a lot of one-on-one communication. While some people collapse under stress, Adsit thrives in a hectic environment.
“I enjoy cooking. I enjoy people. And I love the open kitchen concept.”
Although the catering arm is fully booked during December, the Green Bean Java Bistro also celebrates the 3rd annual Star Wars styled Buffet on Saturday, Dec. 19. A themed Star Wars buffet, movie tickets and a bus to and from the bistro is available for $75 at http://www.eventbrite.com.