Showing posts with label quick chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quick chicken. Show all posts

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fabulous Chicken -- Quick!

Everyone has busy days when dinner is more of an afterthought than anything else. I'd been looking around for a quick chicken recipe with mushrooms, but everything seemed heavy or involved cream or sour cream or a tomato sauce. And then I found exactly what I had in mind.

When I was away at school, my mom always made Julia Child's chicken supreme for my first night home. It was my absolute favorite. But Julia also made chicken breasts in the oven. I've done it many times. So easy, you start it on the stove top, then shove it in the oven to finish it.

Tyler Florence used that technique exactly the way I wanted. Easy, light, no heavy creams, no tomato sauce. I tried his recipe with five chicken breasts and a ton of mushrooms. Oh dear. Mushroom overload. Delicious chicken, cooked to perfection, moist and juicy. But too many mushrooms.

So this weekend, on a very long, busy day, I made it again, sticking closer to Tyler Florence's measurements. Naturally, I changed a few things to suit me. He used shallots, I used garlic. He used fresh sprigs of rosemary. I substituted sage. He used white mushrooms, I used Cremini. Clearly you can play with the ingredients to suit your taste. It's so good that it might start being my go-to recipe for guests on busy days.

Why so busy? If you read our 2013 bucket lists, you might remember that I was looking for a dog. This weekend I adopted Baron, aka Bear. Darling, sweet, energetic, wriggling -- the dog who never sleeps! Pictures to come, provided I can get him to sit still long enough.

Mushroom Chicken

(based on recipes by Julia Child and Tyler Florence)

2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper (I used Pensey's Lemon Pepper)
1 joined chicken breast (really 2) or two small separated chicken breasts, skinless
5 Cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
3 pinches sage
1/4 cup water
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350. Pour olive oil in an oven safe pan and heat on the stove top just below medium heat. Salt and pepper the chicken generously. Saute it in the olive oil on each side until the top and bottom have turned white.

Cut the mushrooms in half. Crush, but don't mince the garlic. Add the mushrooms, garlic and sage to the pan. Cover and place in oven for 15 minutes.

HANG POTHOLDER ON OVEN DOOR so you won't forget that the pan handle will be hot.

Remove from oven and place chicken, mushrooms and garlic on a plate. Add the water and lemon juice from 1/2 lemon to the juices in the pan. Cook about 5 minutes, until reduced. Pour over chicken and serve.

Not the best picture since his eyes are closed. But look who is sneaking up to his tail!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Julia and Me

Before Paula Deen and Rachel Ray, before Martha, there was Julia Child. My mom loved her show, and I was the lucky beneficiary of many delicious dishes based on Julia Child's recipes. One recipe for chicken breast stood out as my favorite. It's very simple and I still make it today, although I've simplified it a bit. I've searched through Julia's cookbooks and can't find the exact recipe, but I think she may have called it Chicken Supreme.


three chicken breasts or one package of chicken tenders
two tablespoons butter or olive oil
half a lemon
two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Julia's original recipe called for butter. Over time, with the push to eat less saturated fat, I started using olive oil instead. Until I made it both ways for this blog, I was happy with the olive oil version.
  1. (Optional) Julia's recipe began with folding waxed paper over the chicken breasts and pounding them so that they are uniform in thickness. This is a great idea and will yield more consistent results, but I'm generally too lazy and skip this step.
  2. Heat a saute pan (or similar) over medium/low heat. Add butter or olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the meat. Cover the pan. (Julia Child's version called for covering the meat with waxed paper and then putting a lid on the pan. I don't see much difference when I do that.)
  3. When the meat turns white around the edges (about three minutes for chicken tenders, five to six minutes for chicken breasts) turn the pieces over, add the parsley, cover and continue to heat.
  4. Cook just until the middle is no longer pink (about three to four minutes for tenders, about six to seven minutes for breasts, depending on the thickness).
  5. Salt to taste and plate the chicken. Drizzle the juices from the pan over the meat and serve.
Rice is a perfect match for this dish and I can't help thinking that Julie's White House Worthy Rice would be excellent with it! While it tastes delicious made with olive oil, I have to admit that it's better with butter. It's exactly the kind of dish that Sophie, the protagonist in my Domestic Diva Mysteries, would serve to her friends on short notice.