Tangy Chicken with Shallots

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I think my love for Melissa D’Arabian has been adequately expressed, but in case it isn’t as apparent from the number of recipes I make from her cookbook, hopefully this posting will drive it home. Melissa’s cookbook should be the go-to guide for the college/budget cook. Not only does she give amazing tips on how to shop smart, she shares recipes to use up dying veggies, provides recipe variations, tips on extending the life of your food, and so much more. It is a must for the culinary shelf.

This recipe follows her Chicken Piccata recipe but uses different ingredients.* I followed one of her suggestions and adapted it to fit my pantry.

2 chicken breasts

2 tbs olive oil

S&P

1/4 c. flour

1/2 c. red wine vinegar

1/2 c. water

1 large shallot

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbs dijon mustard with chardonnay (Melissa uses a grainy mustard)

4 tbs butter

Fresh parsley

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Start by slicing the chicken breasts in half, creating four thin breasts. I made a minor error and wound up with 5, no big. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle both sides with S&P.

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Dredge the chicken in the flour and set aside. Heat up the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

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Brown the chicken, about 6 minutes per side, and then transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil.

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Chop up the shallot and add to the chicken pan with the dried time. Stir constantly so those precious shallots don’t burn! Scrape the brown bits off the pan while you stir.

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Add the red wine vinegar and water to the pan, continuing to scrape the pan for all the sautéed goodness.

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Add the butter and mustard to the pan, stir well and let reduce a little, you want it to be saucy not watery. Taste and adjust with S&P, mustard, or water. I added a bit more than 1 tbs of mustard, this is recommended if you love mustard as much as myself. I also got a little fancy and used pasta water in my sauce.

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Rip up some parsley leaves and throw those in.

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Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon sauce over top. Serve alongside pasta, orzo, or a salad. The sauce is reminiscent of a dressing.

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Huzah! 🙂

*Melissa switches up the veg (shallots & thyme), deglazing liquid (red wine vinegar & water), and finishing touches (mustard & parsley) to create new chicken dishes all the time. Try your own concoction!

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Chicken Fried Rice

I like to try to make Asian food. I think its because Mom never made it. But now I understand why. I have made some absolutely awful Asian dishes. I can vouch for the easy sweet and sour chicken recipe on my pinterest board, that’s about it. Tonight I was expecting Matt to be here and to make crockpot cheesy chicken and rice but unfortunately he is stuck in Charlotte due to weather. So I am alone and have four chicken breasts that are slowly going bad in my fridge. Time to act is now!

Chicken fried rice is possibly my favorite Asian meal ever. I pinned a recipe last week that looked easy enough and I had most of the necessary ingredients, Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice. The one thing I had to pick up before the snowstorm was sesame oil. I have never used it, but I thought it may be worth it to have a bottle in the cupboard. The second that stuff hit the pan my apartment was filled with an Asian aroma. I think every Asian dish ever has sesame oil in it.

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1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice (3 cups cooked)

1 cup of peas and carrots, I used frozen peas and fresh carrots

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbs sesame oil

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/4 cup of soy sauce

The Enterprise was busy tonight, but this meal was fairly simple. First thing I did was set up the rice. I used 1 1/2 cups of rice and cooked it in 3 cups of liquid. Because I had it in my fridge, I used 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups of water. That sat on the side burner while I cooked the chicken.

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I used the same pan to cook the chicken as I did to make the rest of the meal, so make sure its big enough! Season the chicken cubes with S&P. Heat 1 tbs of vegetable oil in the pan. I added a couple drops of sesame oil. Once heated, drop the chickens in and toss occasionally until browned and cooked through. On the Enterprise, this task took almost thirty minutes. I checked the fattest chicken cubes until they were no longer pink, I can’t imagine this should take more than 15-20 minutes.

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Once the chicken was cooked through, I set it on a plate while I cooked the veggies. This process took a respectable 12 minutes. I heated 2 tbs of sesame oil and 1 tbs of vegetable oil in the pan. First I cooked the onion and carrots, they are the toughest and need the most time to soften. About 6 minutes later, I tossed in the garlic and a couple minutes after that the peas. After testing a carrot and pea for appropriate tenderness, just a little carrot crunch and almost mushy peas, I added the egg.

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To add the egg, simply crack them into the pan and scramble with the veggies.

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Bring it all together by adding the chicken, rice, and 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Mix together and enjoy!

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This was truly as good as Chinese takeout. I was so impressed I blogged while I ate! 🙂

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Just wait for dessert! I made it last night and it’s been chilling all day!