altIn our quest to encourage boaters to dine and entertain with fun and flare, the Galley Guys showed up at the Halifax Boat Show this past Valentine’s Day, February 14th to join in the “Cooking Onboard” presentations being made by Michele Stevens at the show.

Michele is a 4th generation sailmaker and her loft, called Michele Stevens Sail Loft in Second Peninsula, Nova Scotia is the official sailmaker to the Bluenose II. With her all-woman team, they produce sails as well as upholstery, cushions, sail bags and custom work.

Michele and her husband traveled south to the Caribbean in their CS 36 last year and she shared some of her recipes and experiences from the trip. This Lemon Chicken recipe, served with Basmati rice prepared in a pressure cooker, was a favourite.

The Galley Guys love to travel to great locations, cruise on great boats, meet interesting people, and enjoy amazing meals and spirits, so this was a chance to spend time with an experienced cruiser and her “special guest”.

The guest turned out to be Canada’s “Around Alone” sailor, Derek Hatfield who shared his racing recipe for cooking onboard Spirit of Canada. His new Open 60 is now almost ready to compete in the 2008 Vendee Globe race.

A Galley Guy offered Saputo Cheese samples to the audience while Michelle prepared the Lemon Chicken recipe and Derek showed off the Mountain House freeze-dried chicken pasta meal that he eats while onboard and racing.

As Michele delicately breaded and sautéed the chicken, Derek explained that he used only one pot and would make a double serving of the freeze-dried chicken pasta, leaving it in the pot and eating it throughout the day as he raced.

The crowd was treated to samples of Derek’s Mountain House chicken pasta and all agreed it was good and quite convenient, but few could imagine eating 5,000 calories worth each day, for 84 straight days from one pot!

New appreciation for what the solo racer goes through!

Back to civilized life onboard Michele and Al’s CS 36–she shared some good, long-range cruising tricks. For example, spices are readily available and cheap in most places, so there is no need to pack much. Chicken is also readily available, so take chicken recipes!

Michelle showed off nice plastic food containers that have gasketed lids for freshness and mentioned special waterproof bags she got from Mountain Equipment COOP that kept flour dry and fresh and one huge bag that was ideal for stowing months worth of toilet paper. Members of the audience also offered their ideas. My favourite was the cruiser who slipped his wine bottles into his socks to keep them from crashing together!

Michele’s Lemon Chicken

4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1 egg
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup lemon juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ginger

Rind of 1/2 lemon, cut into thin strips

Cut chicken into 1-inch strips.

Beat egg with 2 tablespoons water.

Dip chicken in this, then dredge in flour

Heat oil in skillet and fry chicken, remove pieces as they are cooked

Mix remaining ingredients except strips of lemon rind.

Bring to a boil in skillet.

Add chicken and lemon rind to the mixture and heat for 5 minutes.

Serves 4

Try this recipe at home and watch Canadian Yachting for the Galley Guys’ next culinary adventure!