Tuesday, November 13, 2007

simple chicken piccata

Good enough for company, easy enough for anytime.

Chicken Piccata
Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

You'll need:

  • 2 lemons

  • 2-3 T. capers

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/4 C. flour

  • 1 C. chicken boullion

  • 1 C. white wine

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 3 T. butter

  • 2 T. olive oil

  • Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Liberally season each side of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.

3. Dredge chicken in flour, and shake off excess.

4. In a large frying pan, heat the 2 T. olive oil. In batches, sautee each chicken breast for 2-3 minutes per side. When you put the chicken in, let it cook for 2 minutes--undisturbed--on both sides. (You won't need to cook these through, they'll finish in the oven. Important part is to get a nice brown crust on the outside of the chicken.)

5. When chicken has browned, transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish.

6. In the same pan that you fried the chicken, crush 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic. Careful not to burn these - cook until fragrant, or about 10 seconds.

7. Next, pour 1 C. white wine into the bottom, and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping any drippings that may be there from frying the chicken, and incorporate the garlic. Let the wine bubble and reduce for 10 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, take the juice from one lemon, and set it aside. Slice the 2nd lemon into 12 thin slices. Remove seeds from the slices, and set aside.

9. Add the chicken boullion/broth to the wine sauce mixture, and let it heat through. Add the lemon juice, and let the flavors simmer for an additional five minutes.

10. While the sauce is cooking, top each browned piece of chicken with two slices of lemon.

11. Turn off the heat, and stir in the capers, and the 3 T. butter. Spoon the sauce carefully over each piece of chicken. (It will eventually collect in the bottom of the pan, which is perfect.)

12. Cover your baking dish with tin foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Your chicken will come out moist and tender and wonderful.

Enjoy with some Sauvignon Blanc, white risotto, and a salad with dijon vinegarette!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

classic stuffing

Stuffing, the much-overlooked, oft-overdone Thanksgiving staple...Taken out of the turkey, this is a great addition for every table.

Here's a great recipe for a classic:

Classic Stuffing
Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

You'll need:
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 T. butter
  • 2 C. chicken broth (made from boullion)
  • 1 T. dried sage
  • 1 T. dried thyme
  • 1 T. black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut or tear bread into 1-inch (or smaller) pieces. Put in a pan in the oven, and toast until just beginning to brown - about 10-15 minutes. (They should be almost as hard as croutons when you take them out).

3. In a large pot, melt 2 T. butter. Add crushed garlic, diced onions and diced celery, and sautee for 10 minutes, or until soft and beginning to brown. Stir in thyme, sage, and black pepper.

4. Dissolve two boullion cubes in 2 C. hot water.

5. In the large pot, add the remaining 4 T. butter. When the bread is done toasting, add the bread cubes to the pot, and stir well to incorporate with onions, celery, herbs, and butter. Stir constantly, so as not to burn the bread cubes.

6. Slowly add the boullion, and stir gently to incorporate. If you overmix the bread and onions/butter/boullion, you'll end up with bread pudding. Careful!

7. Transfer the mixture into an oven-safe baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Enjoy with some gravy or cranberry sauce on turkey day!