Monday, June 12, 2006

New Lemon Chicken

I really enjoyed tonight's dinner. How very vain of me, I know, but I liked it because I finally made a lemon chicken dish that didn't taste like piccata (not that I don't like piccata - I do) that was good. So, here's what I did. I took 5 chicken breasts and cut them each into 2-3 small portion-size pieces. In a dish, I combined the zest of 1 lemon (using a microplane), the juice of that lemon (about 1/4 cup), a couple sprigs of fresh chopped cilantro (from my garden), about 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. I added the chicken, then turned it several times to coat it completely, and let it set about 1/2 an hour - no more. When I was ready to cook it, I heated my pan to medium high, added my olive oil and let it heat, then placed the chicken in the pan in one layer. After about 10 minutes, I turned it and cooked it 5 more minutes. Some of the pieces were pretty thick, which is why it took so long to cook, but they all browned nicely and stayed really tender. I removed the chicken to a dish, then deglazed the pan with about 1/2 cup of white wine (I used a Soft Chenin Blanc, but do whatever you like, since I know nearly nothing about wine). After the wine reduced by half, I added 2 T. butter, 1 T. flour, about 1/4 t. lemon zest, probably 1 cup milk, and around 1 cup of good chicken broth. Salted to taste and served with the chicken. Oooh, yum. The chicken, I'll warn you, has a bit of a bite to it, since it was quite tart on the skinny pieces, but the thicker pieces were just right with the marinade and sauce.

I served it with julienned, roasted carrots, a favorite side of mine. After julienning, lay the carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at 425°F for about 1/2 an hour. And I cooked up a pound of orzo pasta, then tossed it with about 1/4 cup of olive oil, plenty of salt, fresh pepper, a crushed and chopped clove of garlic, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, and 4 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, stirred in until wilted. It was a really nice summer dinner.

Later, I finished it with a few bites of my new favorite ice cream, Häagen-Dazs Mayan Chocolate. It was a delicious evening!

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