Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Fricassee

I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken for Mart, I feel like I always cook him the same kind. I got my Cooks Illustrated magazine in the mail the other day and saw this recipe and thought I would try it out. It's just a chicken breast with a creamy mushroom sauce on top. He said he liked it and would want it again. (That's saying something!)

Chicken Fricassee

(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cooked three smaller breasts and had plenty of sauce for all three)
Salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (my store was out the day I bought them so I just used plain old button mushrooms)
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock/broth
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp juice from 1 lemon (I just used all the juice from the lemon)
2 tsp minced fresh tarragon or parsley

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. When foaming subsides, place chicken in skillet and cook until browned (about 4 minutes). Flip chicken and continue to cook until browned on second side (about 4 minutes longer). Transfer chicken to a large plate.

2. Add mushrooms, onion and wine to the now empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned (8-10 minutes). Add flour and garlic. Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add broth/stock and bring mixture to a boil, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in breasts (5-10 minutes).

3. Transfer chicken to a clean platter and tent loosely with foil. Whisk sour cream and egg yolk together in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly stir about 1/2 cup of the sauce into sour cream mixture. Stirring constantly, slowly pour sour cream mixture into simmering sauce. Stir in nutmeg, lemon juice and terragon/parsley. Return to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

'Tis the season for soups! I love rainy days or crisp fall days. They make the perfect day for a nice hot bowl of homemade soup. I decided to try a new one tonight and wasn't disappointed. It was pretty tasty. I may change it a little next time I make it, but it wasn't bad for a first time attempt.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)
*I altered this recipe from the original*

5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, minced (about 1/3 cup)
1 small rib celery, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups stock (chicken or veggie)
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 bay leaf
pinch cayenne pepper
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups) *I didn't have sharp cheese, so I used colby jack and added a couple of handfuls extra, it tasted just fine*
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves or about 1 tsp dried

(The soup pictured does not have any carrots because I was feeding someone who was allergic to them)

1. Heat butter in a large soup pan or heavy bottom dutch oven over medium high heat until foaming. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 4 minutes). Add carrot, celery and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add flour and cook, stirring to coat the veggies until mixture begins to brown on the bottom of the pot (about 2 minutes). Gradually whisk in stock and milk and add bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables soften (about 10 minutes).

2. While vegetables are simmering chop up some broccoli into bite size florets (I also dice up the stems too) and put into a deep frying pan with a little bit of water and cover. Steam until they are bright green and still have a bit of a crunch to them. Drain and set aside.

3. Off heat add cayenne to the soup. Cool the soup for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the cheese and thyme; season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately! (Mine needed a little extra cheese because I didn't have any sharp cheese so I just added more to taste).

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