Recipes

The Coral Reef’s foil-wrapped chicken was a Sacramento favorite

This is a menu cover from the Coral Reef Restaurant, 2795 Fulton Ave., which was once a popular night spot, famous for over 40 years as a family restaurant with banquet facilities and a South Seas atmosphere.
This is a menu cover from the Coral Reef Restaurant, 2795 Fulton Ave., which was once a popular night spot, famous for over 40 years as a family restaurant with banquet facilities and a South Seas atmosphere. Courtesy Special Collections of The Sacramento Public Library

Look at that risotto

Sometime after Easter, I saw a photo in The Bee’s Sunday supplement, Feast, “Take Your Best Shot,” a feature that spotlights reader’s photos of dishes they’ve enjoyed. Debbie Cole of Curtis Park took a photo of a dish she made for Easter, seasonal risotto. It included fresh leeks, asparagus, peas and lemon. It sounded delicious. I was hoping for the recipe.

Nancy Martin Wilton, Sacramento

How to contact the mailbox

If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email twatson@sacbee.com or fax 916-321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Coral Reef foil-wrapped chicken

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 4 minutes per batch

Serves 4

Patty Conroy of Sacramento and her brother are trying to re-create a meal using recipes from Sacramento’s now-closed Coral Reef restaurant. Conroy says the Coral Reef was her family’s all-time favorite restaurant back in the day.

In February 2011 The Bee’s Food & Wine section did a special feature on the popular Coral Reef restaurant, which included several of their recipes. This recipe was shared at the time by Suzanne Munoz of Orangevale, who said it was given to her in the 1960s by a source close to the Coral Reef kitchen.

Be sure to check next week’s Mailbox for another Coral Reef recipe.

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncooked

3 scallions

2 slices fresh ginger root, grated

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

20 foil squares, 6 by 6 inches

Vegetable oil, sesame oil or hot chili sesame oil and soy sauce, for foil

2 cups oil for frying

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes, about 1 1/2 inches thick. You should have about 5 pieces from each breast. Slice scallions so that you have about 7 pieces from each one. Set aside.

Combine ginger, sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add chicken cubes to mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the foil. Place one drop of oil (vegetable or sesame) and one drop of soy sauce onto each piece of foil. Place one cube of chicken and one slice of scallion on each piece of foil. Fold foil in half to make a triangle. Fold up two open sides to seal and crimp.

In a frying pan, heat 2 cups oil to 350 degrees. Deep-fry the triangle packets for about 4 minutes, pushing down occasionally. (Do in batches, if necessary.) Chicken is done when brownish bubbles appear breaking through the folds. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Per serving: 305 cal.; 55 g pro.; 3 g carbohydrate; 6 g fat (1 saturated, 2 monounsaturated, 3 polyunsaturated); 137 mg cholesterol; 941 mg sodium; 0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 20 percent calories from fat

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