Monthly Archives: February 2013

Chicken with tarragon & white wine

chickentarragon

This is such an easy dish to put together but it seems really impressive. Impressive enough to serve to guests if you have them. My neighbor was in over while I was preparing this, she was helping me figure out what to do with the rest of that bottle of white wine I opened for the recipe. She remarked how good it smelled and that she only cooks like that when people are coming over. No need for an occasion, this is a simple weeknight dinner that makes great leftovers.

Tip #1: while the chicken is simmering for 30 minutes, prepare some rice, potatoes or pasta to serve with it.

Tip #2: You can substitute gluten-free flour for regular flour of you are eliminating wheat. And if you don’t have fresh herbs, dried will do just fine.

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 ¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ cup Dijon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper

Season the chicken with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and dust with 2 tbsp flour. in a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan heat the oil over high heat. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside on a large platter.

In the same pan with the heat now med-high, add the onion and season with one tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high, add the wine and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooded spoon. Return the chicken to the pan, add 2 cups of chicken broth and a half cup of tarragon. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp of flour until smooth. Whisk the flour mixture into the simmering juices. Whisk in mustard.  Bring the mix to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Season with salt & pepper. Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

Two meals in one

chickpeasauce

Two meals in one recipe. The phrase is music to my ears. If you are not a fan of daily cooking but also not a fan of last night’s dinner warmed over i.e. leftovers, look no further. This delicious sauce has lots of nutritional value and can be used to make two separate and distinct easy meals.

My love of chickpeas is well-documented on this blog. Here is another recipe featuring the almighty garbanzo tailored for pasta but with a slight Mediterranean twist to it. While you can follow this recipe to a tee and have plenty of leftover pasta for lunch tomorrow, this sauce is so versatile it can have another life beyond macaroni.

When I made this dish, I cooked just enough pasta for dinner for 2. I saved about half of the sauce and put it in the refrigerator. The next day I had some rice and a little leftover chicken so I combined the three to make a wonderful lunch.

If you have a sensitivity to spiciness, leave out the red pepper flakes. If you are VERY sensitive to any heat, leave out the garlic too. It may be slightly bland but the rosemary will do its best to kick in some flavor.

 

Chickpea-garlic sauce over pasta

1 medium onion, quartered

1 medium carrot, peeled and 1” sliced

1 celery stalk, cut into 1” slice

4 whole garlic cloves

2 chopped garlic cloves

½ cup flat leaf parsley

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup olive oil

kosher salt

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 15oz cans chickpeas, rinsed

elbow macaroni for 2 people

1 tbsp dried rosemary

second meal: cooked rice for 2

Put onion, carrot, celery, garlic parsley and red pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Heat ¼ cup in a large heavy post and add vegetable mixture. Saute for 8-10 minutes. Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water together in a small bowl and add to vegetable mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5-8 minutes. Liquid should almost be evaporated.

Add chickpeas and 2 cups of water to pot, simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer 1 cup of the chickpea mixture to food processor and puree until smooth, then stir back into the sauce.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. When you drain the water, keep a little, like a half cup, incase the sauce needs thinning.

In a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add chopped garlic and rosemary cooking about 1 minute.

Combine cooked pasta and sauce. Drizzle rosemary mixture over the top.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Apetit.

For the love of pancakes

We take our pancakes seriously in my house. When I make pancakes, I want to make sure the good feeling lasts for a few days so I always make enough to freeze. My recipe for excellent pancakes is simple: Bisquick. I’ve tried making my own from scratch but I can’t beat the consistency and ease of Bisquick. My secret is that I like to personalize the Bisquick pancake mix to suit my tastes which can be done in under a minute. Here’s how I do it: measure out the dry Bisquick. Add one or both of the following: a ½ tsp of cinnamon, a few dashes of nutmeg. Using a wire whisk, stir these in thoroughly. After you add the milk and eggs, mix in a ½ tsp of vanilla extract. Cook pancakes according to the directions on the box.


pancakes

Summer option: In summer I like to add the zest of a lemon or two and blueberries instead of the more wintery cinnamon/vanilla combo. Add the zest to the wet batter. If your blueberries are frozen, as mine usually are, drop them onto each pancake right after you’ve poured the batter onto the griddle. Fresh berries can be added to the batter and mixed in.

drop berries into the pancakes right after they hit the griddle

drop berries into the pancakes right after they hit the griddle

Once you’ve used all the batter to make pancakes and you’ve eaten your fill, let the uneaten pancakes cool on a wire rack.  Transfer them to a baking sheet and arrange them so they are not touching each other. Put the sheet with the pancakes in the freezer for an hour or so. I’ve been know to forget and leave them in the freezer all day, its not a problem. Once they are frozen, move them into a freezer bag and take them out next time you want pancakes. Reheat and enjoy. (I don’t have a microwave to I heat mine up in the toaster on low.)

If you have a more than one child or really really love pancakes, go ahead and double the Bisquick recipe.

As an added bonus: a frozen pancake is great for a teething baby to chew on. A room temperature pancake eaten out of hand without syrup makes a nice toddler snack.