Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, 2012

Happy Friday!  The last couple of weeks have been so busy that I hadn't had much time to cook, so this week I was making up for lost time; we went all out testing new recipes.  We tried a fish pasta dish, a homemade salad dressing,  a new sauce for salmon, 2 new chicken recipes, a new potato side dish, and a new lunchbox cookie.  Everything was good, though I wouldn't make all of the recipes again, and as a result, not everything earned keeper status. The pasta with fish in the sauce was good, but I don't think I'd make it again.  The salad dressing was a little overpowering for spinach and romaine, and the cookies were quite a bit of work.  We love salmon, but the sauce was so light we barely noticed any flavor. 

Both chicken dishes did earn the seal of approval, and you will likely notice quite a few ingredients overlap...clearly I am drawn to chicken recipes that call for mushrooms, onions, and white wine! The funny thing is that one of the recipes was called Quick Chicken Fricassee.  I don't know about the lunch menu at your childhood school, but I distinctly recall Chicken Fricassee as a hot lunch choice at least once a month.  I wasn't a hot lunch buyer, so I never actually tried the school Chicken Fricassee.  But now seeing the ingredients, how is it possible that something even remotely similar to the recipe I am sharing here could end up on an elementary school lunch menu?  Hmmm....maybe the teachers and administrators bought lunch that day?

My family scarfed down the roasted potatoes - but they were mixed with bacon and green onions, so really, who wouldn't love these?  Not the healthiest potatoes, but so delicious.  I did serve them with salmon and sauteed vegetables, so at least the rest of the meal had a lot of healthy redeeming qualities.

Three keepers this week.  Enjoy!

New Recipes
Roasted Potatoes with Bacon and Green Onions
Chicken in Mustard Sauce
Quick Chicken Fricassee

Chicken in Mustard Sauce

* 1 1/2 to 2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1/4 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tomato, chopped
* 1 tbsp flour
* 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
* 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
* 1 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
* 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
* 2 tbsp sour cream

1.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.      Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  If using chicken breasts, cut or pound them to the thickness of chicken thighs.
3.      Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the chicken and set aside.
4.      Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the Dutch oven and cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and flour and cook, stirring, to remove the raw flour flavor, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Italian seasoning. Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with the white wine or chicken stock, allowing to bubble for a minute or two. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven. Add enough chicken stock to reach halfway up the sides of the chicken. Cover, place in the oven, and braise for 45 minutes, removing the lid halfway through.
5.      When finished, remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and set aside. Add the mustard and sour cream and whisk to blend well. Return the chicken to the pan and allow the flavors to meld before serving, about 5 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. 

I used chicken breasts, and made sure they weren't too thick.  Everyone loved this, and I really enjoyed the addition of tomatoes to the dish.  We served it over egg noodles, but you could serve this with rice, cauliflower rice, or mashed potatoes.


Roasted Potatoes with Bacon and Green Onions

* 1/2 lb bacon
* 3 1/2 lbs potatoes
* 1/4 sliced green onions
* coarse salt
* fresh ground pepper


1. Peel and cut potatoes into cubes.  Bring water to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. 
2. Cut bacon into 1/2-inch pieces.  Cook bacon in a skillet, than remove cooked bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels.  Reserve the bacon drippings.
3. Prepare a baking sheet by brushing some of the bacon drippings on the bottom of the pan.
4. Preheat the oven to 425.
5. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and dump onto the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.   Place in 425° oven for around 20 minutes.  Mix the potatoes halfway through the baking time to ensure an even color.
6. After 20 minutes, turn potatoes over again and sprinkle with the bacon and green onions.  Add more salt and pepper if desired.  Return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are browned to your preference.  Remove from oven and serve!

What's not to love about potatoes, bacon and green onions?  This tasted like hash browns, and they were gone in no time! 

Chicken Fricassee

*  2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination
* Table salt and ground black pepper
* 1 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1 tbsp olive oil
*  1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
* 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
*  ¼ cup dry white wine
* 1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
*  1/3 cup sour cream
*  1 egg yolk
*  2 tsp juice from 1 lemon

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat butter and oil in 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 large plate.
2. Add mushrooms, onion, and wine to now-empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add broth and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in breasts and 175 degrees when inserted in thighs, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to clean platter and tent loosely with foil. Whisk sour cream and egg yolk together in medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly stir ½ cup sauce into sour cream mixture. Stirring constantly, slowly pour sour cream mixture into simmering sauce. Stir in lemon juice and return to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.


This recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen, one of my all time favorite cooking shows.  A few of the Cook's Illustrated cook books even live on my kitchen bookshelf!  I made a few changes, and we served this with mashed potatoes.  It was a hit!