Wednesday, February 27, 2013

one hundred and ninety-three

Being that I'm very much a creature of habit, my most commonly prepared foods are simply variations on a theme.  That's not to say I don't like to experiment with new recipes or try unique restaurants, of course, but there are times that I enjoy not having to worry about constantly tasting and adjusting a new dish. Fortunately for you, these go to recipes are inherently well tested, which means that they're the ones that end up posted on this blog--but unfortunately (for me), these are the meals that can sometimes feel like they've been served one time too many.

As you may know, I'm more than a little prone to food cravings.  My husband, on the other hand, never seems to have any sort of opinion about food* until it's cooked and sitting in front of him.  Our completely opposite (yet disturbingly complementary) food preferences put together mean that we eat whatever I feel like on any given day--and these days, I have been craving fresher, springier meals (in no small part thanks to the blahness of the SNAP Challenge.)  So, easy, right?  Why not just make springy stuff and be done with it?

I've been feeling terrible for the last month or so due to medication changes,** so I haven't really had the pain tolerance or level of concentration to stand in the kitchen and think about/experiment with a nice salad or tasty spring lamb.  What's a disabled homemaker to do?  Why, fall back on one of those easy-peasy go to meals--and put a twist on it, of course!

*except that bacon > beef > everything else
**sometimes, generic =/= name brand side effect-wise, it seems.

Lemon-Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and pounded thin
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter, divided
4-6 cloves garlic, minced (less if you don't love garlic)
1/4 cup lemon juice, plus the zest of one lemon
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (I used lemon-balsamic)
 1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the butter until melted.  Add the garlic and cook until softened and browned, about 3 minutes, stirring often.
Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off the excess before placing into the pan on top of the garlic.  Cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Add the lemon juice, vinegar, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan to a platter and tent with tin foil.
Add the lemon zest to the pan, then increase the heat to medium-high.  Allow the sauce to simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to make a gravy.  Add more chicken stock (or lemon juice) if the gravy is thicker than you'd like.
(I served this with couscous cooked with lemon zest and black pepper and wilted spinach with toasted walnuts.)

Serves four.

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