Ask A Chef: Brunch Recipes For Mother’s Day

May 7, 2014 7:00 AM

The sad, undercooked pancakes and burnt toast may have been heartfelt when you handed it to her at age 10, but it’s time to “wow” mother with your incredible culinary skills courtesy of a cheat sheet provided by Madison & Rayne’s chief chef.

Although delivered meal kits are a burgeoning trend, not all “deliver” exceptional meal experiences. Chicago’s Madison & Rayne is a standout in the concept. Recipes are intriguing and deeply flavorful yet simple to prepare with measured ingredients and sensible instructions, just like these for dear mom. Each has a nice element of breakfast and lunch, making them ideal brunch options. Make either or both and she’ll be convinced she did a great job in raising you.

Josh Jones
Madison & Rayne
1658 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(855) 626-3701

Jones, a top-of-his-class Culinary Institute of America grad who was Chef du Cuisine at Spring, has now partnered with Madison & Rayne, bringing his culinary vision to home kitchens. Madison & Rayne’s “meal kits” allow anyone from novice home cooks to pros to prepare gourmet cuisine at home. His recipes are inventive and delicious and when you’re the chef who prepares them, you get the kudos and a kiss on the cheek.

Roasted Amish chicken breast with savory French toast
Asparagus and radish salad with lemon chervil vinaigrette

Serves 4

Chicken Breast Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt/pepper to taste

French Toast Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2-inch slices of baguette bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus blanched and sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 shaved radishes
  • 12 sprigs chervil
  • 8 oz arugula


  1. First make you vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice, shallots, garlic and salt and pepper. Whisk together and as you whisk, slowly drizzle the EVOO into the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Make the batter for the French toast. Combine the eggs, cream, cheese and salt and pepper. Add the bread and soak for a minute or two. Remove the bread and reserve.
  3. Start cooking your chicken breast by heating a sauté pan or skillet on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add a tsp of olive oil. Add the chicken breast to the pan and sear for 2-4 minutes. Turn breast over and repeat on opposite side. 
  4. Once the chicken breast is cooked, remove it from the pan and rest on a cutting board.
  5. Using the same pan, return the pan to the stovetop and heat for 30 seconds. Add a tsp of oil to the pan. Add the French toast to the pan and cook for 1-3 minutes per side.
  6. Add the salad ingredients to a bowl and add the dressing. Taste and season to your liking.
  7. Serve the French toast, salad and chicken breast together on a plate. Put the French toast on the bottom and stack the salad on top of the toast, then serve the chicken breast on top.

Related: Ask A Chicago Chef: Best Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes 2013

Blackened tilapia with cheddar and corn fritters
Shaved Brussels sprout salad, mustard aioli

Serves 4

Tilapia Fillets Ingredients:

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 tsp blackening spice
  • salt/pepper to taste

Fritters Ingredients:

  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 8 oz fresh corn kernels
  • 2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

Aioli Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp stoneground mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 large Brussels sprouts shaved thinly on a mandolin 
  • 1 carrot, fine julienne 
  • 1 red onion, fine julienne


  1. Make the aioli by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together. Then add the salad ingredients. Season and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Reserve.
  2. Make the batter for the fritters. Use a stand mixer and combine all ingredients. Mix for 2-3 minutes. Let rest for an hour or so before cooking.
  3. Heat a skillet on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add a tbsp of oil. Spoon the batter into the skillet to make silver dollar-sized dollops. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Put on plates that you will serve the fish on (2 per person). 
  4. Heat the same skillet on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Season the fish with a pinch of salt and the blackening spice. Add a tbsp of oil to the pan. Add the fish to the pan. Cook on each side for 3 minutes. 
  5. Spoon the salad on top of the fritters and serve the fish over the salad.

Related: Ask A Chicago Chef: Best Corned Beef And Cabbage Recipes

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at

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