Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Cooks!

Since being back home from the holidays, I am cooking up a frenzy. Sort of.

Last night I made a delicious improvised dish for dinner with a friend: chicken breasts with shallots, lemon, and artichoke hearts. Mmm, my mouth waters just thinking about it. And easy. Here are my improv'd directions--feel free to play!
  1. Pound 2 chicken breasts flat (the most fun part!)
  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a heavy skillet (you could probably use olive oil, too).
  3. Chop or thinly slice 2 shallots and dump into butter in skillet. Let cook about 1 minute, then add chicken breasts. Let the breasts cook 1-2 minutes per side (depending on size), then add about 1/4 c. chicken stock, white wine, or water. Squeeze one lemon into the mix. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. cumin over top of breasts. 
  4. Let this cook, turning the breasts occasionally to make certain both sides get equal attention. after about 10 minutes, add 1/2 c. artichoke hearts direct fom the jar (no extra liquid). Let all this cook, paying attention, for another 15 minutes, until the breasts release clear juice when sliced (or until you feel satisfied hey're cooked, again depending on the size of the breasts, your stove, etc.).
  5. Remove the breasts to a plate and continue stirring the juices and artichoke left in the pan until it thickens. Then pour the juice over the breasts and serve.  Yum.
If you are counting calories, replace the butter with olive oil (more heart-friendly) or one of the sprays available. Not a big deal. Just make sure the breasts don't stick. The cumin can barely be tasted, but gives a subtle kick to the artichoke hearts and lemon... and it's just my favorite spice. I would add cumin to everything, if I could.

Today I am "roasting" a chicken in my slow cooker. At 5 lbs., the chicken barely fit, so we'll see how it goes. (I downgraded from a huge 7 qt. cooker to a 3 qt, remember?) Followed the directions online, by coating it with a thin film of olive oil, seasoning with lemon and rosemary, salt and pepper, but no room for onions, vegetables, or anything else in that crockpot with the robust-sized chicken. Note to self: next time, get no more than a 3 lb. one! I love the slow cooker, frankly--set and go? Perfect!--but am still developing regular recipies for it.


+ B.

= ?

Have to make to home after errands to switch to low in... 2 hours. Then simply clean house and wait.

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