Thursday, November 11, 2010

wednesday - chicken with creamy chive sauce, roasted balsamic romanesco, arugula-pear salad with cider vinaigrette

This chicken with creamy chive sauce from is very similar to the pork chops au poivre recipe that I made on Tuesday night. No matter, though, because they're both delicious. The recipe for the chicken made a ton of sauce, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with all the extra--it's just too good to throw out. I followed the recipe for the sauce exactly except for using less chives than were called for (again, due to my sad, dwindling herb garden). The only significant change I made to the original recipe was using chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts--I didn't have the patience to pound out the chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness, so I used already-thin, quick-cooking chicken tenders and eliminated the pounding entirely. Hurrah!

On the side, I served leftover sweet potato-turnip mash (still delicious!), and roasted balsamic Romanesco based on this recipe from Romanesco is new to me--it's a very cool-looking, spiky, bright green Brassica, like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli (but slightly milder-tasting than either of those veggies).

I used a recipe that originally called for cauliflower, and if you can't find Romanesco, I recommend following the original recipe as written. I am generally not a huge cauliflower fan, but this recipe is a delicious way of preparing it. The Romanesco was great, and if you come across it, I encourage you to pick some up. It can be steamed or used in place of broccoli or cauliflower in your favorite recipes, and your kids will love the appearance--the florets look like tiny Christmas trees.

Wednesday's dinner plate looks strikingly similar to Tuesday's dinner plate...

I also made a delicious salad of arugula, pear slices, and walnuts. I tossed it with my favorite cider vinaigrette, which for some reason I only make during fall and winter.

Chicken with Creamy Chive Sauce

1 pound chicken tenders, trimmed of fat
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow glass baking dish and dredge the chicken in it. Discard the excess flour.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover, and keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir to coat. Add wine, broth, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with chives before serving.

Makes 4 servings.
Roasted Balsamic Romanesco

8 cups 1-inch-thick slices Romanesco or cauliflower florets, (about 1 large head)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence or marjoram
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss Romanesco (or cauliflower), oil, herbes de Provence (or marjoram), salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the Romanesco with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Makes 4 servings.

Cider Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly, and shake until combined.

Makes 4 servings.

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