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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chicken Piccata

For tonight's dinner I made Chicken Piccata. YUMMY!! I think I love Chicken Piccata because of the capers. I like, wait, I LOVE capers. I have a love affair with capers. I can't get enough capers. I love their salty goodness when they pop in my mouth. They add such a great flavor to so many dishes. I truly feel this little flower bud is under-utilized in cooking.

Chicken Piccata
8 boneless chicken breasts halves
6 TBSP butter, room temperature
2 TBSP all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for dredging
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup chicken broth
¼ cup drained capers
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Mix 2 TBSP butter and 2 TBSP flour in small bowl until smooth. Set aside. Lightly pound chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap to ¼” thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place additional flour in shallow baking dish. Dredge chicken in flour to coat; shake off excess. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large heavy skillet. Add 2 chicken breasts and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Cook remaining chicken breasts, two or three at a time. Bring wine, lemon juice and broth to boil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in capers, parsley and remaining 4 TBSP butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Sausage Gravy

This morning I was inspired to make my honey biscuits with sausage gravy. He just loves this for breakfast and it's something I almost NEVER make because it's something I just don't eat...but hubby LOVES it! I got this sausage gravy recipe from The Noble Pig website and they got it from Cuisine at Home. It was declared a success by all who partook in it this morning! I'm sorry that I forgot to take a picture of this meal :(

Sausage Gravy
From the Noble Pig who credits Cuisine at Home for the recipe

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 lb breakfast pork sausage
1 TBSP minced fresh sage
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3-1/2 cups whole milk
Black pepper to taste

Cook bacon in saute pan over medium heat. When bacon is nearly crisp, stir in sausage and sage breaking up any chunks with a spoon. Cook sausage until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer bacon and sausage to a bowl; reserve drippings.

Sprinkle flour into hot drippings while whisking to remove lumps. Whisk until mixture thickens and begins to brown. Whisk in milk. Cook gravy over medium-high heat, whisking until thickened and flour taste is eliminated, about 15 minutes. Season gravy with pepper to taste. Stir bacon and sausage into gravy; serve with buttermilk biscuits.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grillled Asparagus

I use a grill pan that goes right over my gas burners on my stove to make this delicious side dish. Just be sure to stay on top of it as you don't want it to overcook. I love my asparagus cooked to a crisp-tender.

I must tell you how I came to discover asparagus and all its goodness. My hubby and I were eating lunch about 7 years ago at a bistro called Bistro Biagio. his meal came with these luscious looking green stalks that beckoned to me. Now, up until this point in my life I had zero desire to try asparagus. I looked at hubby and said "My, that looks good". The poor, naive man said "Would you like to try a bit?". I ate his entire order of asparagus! I had never tasted a vegetable as delicious as this was. I was in epicurean Heaven! I immediately went home and found recipes for cooking my new-found love!

Grilled Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus (the thicker stalks work better for ts dish)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Thoroughly oil your grill. Heat grill to medium high. Wash and dry asparagus and trim off woody ends. Coat asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and then place on grill. Grill approximately 5 minutes and then turn to other side and grill until just fork tender. Bon appetit!

Laura's Chicken

One of my co-workers made this for me for my birthday dinner last October and it was SO flavorful that I just had to have the recipe. I was quite surprised when she gave me the recipe! I made this last night and it was a huge hit. I really think the best part is the sauce over creamy mashed potatoes. My mouth water just thinking of how tasty it is! I am not a big fan of bell peppers, so I just omit that particular ingredient when I'm preparing this tasty dish.

Laura's Chicken

4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into thirds
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped (optional)
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning
5 packages McCormick's turkey gravy mix
6 cups water

In a large skillet heat olive oil (I use my electric skillet for this dish). Add veggies and sauté over medium to medium-high heat until tender, about five minutes. Remove veggies from skillet. Season chicken pieces with Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning and brown in skillet. While meat is browning mix the 5 packets of McCormick's turkey gravy mix with 6 cups of water (I use my 8 cup glass measuring cup for this). Add the celery, red pepper and onion to the gravy mix and stir well. When chicken is browned on both sides add the turkey gravy/water/veggie mix. Cover and simmer approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. This is good with rice, mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Serves 6.

We had this with rice and grilled asparagus last night.

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