Friday, April 27, 2018

Digging up the Past

We here at MLK have been blogging for quite a while now, with some guests popping in, and we’ve posted over two thousand recipes. Yikes! How did that happen?

It’s interesting to see how recipes and cooking have changed since we started writing this blog. I was looking for inspiration this week and turned to my own saved recipe folder—which goes back to the year 2000 (long before MLK!). It includes a real hodgepodge of recipes—from magazines like Bon Appetit, to which I subscribed for a few years, to contributions from friends (one shared three excellent cheesecake recipes), to a few “where the heck did this come from?” recipes.

I went back to the very beginning, and found a nice and fairly simple recipe for chicken. Of course, if you follow MLK you know that we always have to do some tweaking, and that was true here. The original recipe called for chicken cutlets (does anyone use that term any more?), but I substituted a Cornish game hen (which is really just a small chicken). One of those feeds two people nicely, and I used the full recipe for the rest of of the ingredients.

A Cornish game hen. Tiny, isn't it?
Can you tell how things have changed since 2000? Answers at the end.

Classic Lemon Chicken


2 lemons 
4 chicken cutlets (or one Cornish Game Hen)
salt and pepper 
flour for dredging
6 Tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
6 Tblsp. butter 
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
2 Tblsp. capers
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1 cup chicken stock or broth 
2 Tblsp. chopped parsley


Squeeze the juice from one and a half lemons and reserve. Cut the remaining half lemon into very thin slices. Remove the seeds and set the lemon slices aside. 

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces in flour, coating both sides, and tap the excess flour off. 

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes. Flip and cook the second second side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. Wipe  the remaining fat from the skillet with paper towels.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, butter, garlic, lemon juice and lemon slices to the skillet. Cook, scraping the bottom until garlic is golden brown, about 3 minutes. 

Scoop out the lemon slices and set aside. 

Add the capers and cook, stirring gently, for about 4 minutes. 

Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is reduced by half. 

Add the chicken stock and boil until the liquid is slightly syrupy.

Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and coat each piece in the sauce. Add the parsley and swirl into the sauce. Serve with rice or fine noodles.

What makes this recipe a bit out of date? For one thing, the amount of butter used. For another, the length of cooking times (if you used the chicken breasts originally called for, they’d be like leather when you were ready to serve). But the dish did taste good!

When you read this, I will be at the annual Malice Domestic conference with a few hundred or more of my cozy writing buddies and readers, celebrating books. I'll respond to your comments whenever I get a free minute or two!

1 comment:

  1. Just a smidgen of butter. After all, it's all for taste, right?
    Hope you are all enjoy Malice.