Sep 20th, 2011 by lane
It’s been an absurdly long time since I posted a new recipe. It really wasn’t intentional; I’ve just been doing other things. Many people asked if I stopped cooking or was quitting the blog. As for cooking, no I haven’t stopped, just suffered from a lull in creativity and perhaps from over committing. As for the blog, I never intended to stop writing. I got a new computer, was slow to transfer things over, then looked up and half of summer had passed.
What have I been up to the last six months? Inertia. Does that ever happen to anyone else? I wish I had more to report, just enjoying life mainly. As for culinary endeavors, here are a few of the best meals we had this summer. Martha Stewart’s Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad – Click where it says Spicy Asian Dressing for the recipe, do *not* leave out the mint, and if you’re feeling courageous – boil the chicken then hand shred (same method as my Chicken Enchiladas), then marinate the pulled chicken and warm in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. If you’re not feeling courageous, you could always buy a rotisserie chicken and shred that, then toss with the marinade and heat. In any scenario, the result was great! The Italian Beef Stew from Jan/Feb issue of Cooking Light was shockingly good. Shockingly, because I almost never want to make *anything* from Cooking Light, but I keep taking the magazine for years on end. Just remember to add your fresh herbs right at serving time, otherwise they’ll be browner than green. So much prettier that way. And of course tons of shrimp. If you haven’t tried my Roasted Shrimp with Chimichurri sauce, you should. It’s probably my most requested dish this year. Roasting the shrimp is covered in this post, and you can find my favorite chimichurri recipe here.
This chicken was a quick weekday night meal for us. Roasting split breasts does take nearly an hour, but you can half that with your convection setting or use skinless, boneless for a similar meal in less time. If you go that route – I’d use this style for braised chicken breasts.
Roasted Chicken Breasts with Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Capers
serves 3 adults
3 chicken split breasts
fresh ground pepper
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered
8 oz cremains mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
3 tbsp capers
1/4 c. Madeira wine
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp chopped Italian Parsley
Preheat oven to 425. Place chicken breasts in a heavy bottomed skillet skin side up, then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper, and paprika. Roast chicken in oven approx 45 minutes, then start checking internal temperature. The larger sizes tend to take just under an hour to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from oven and cover your handle with a handle sleeve. (You can use a towel or hot pad, but if you’re anything like me – you’ll suffer at least 3 burns in the process. Save your skin and buy a sleeve!)
Remove chicken breasts to a cutting board to rest. Heat skillet over medium heat to reduce the pan juices. (You can skim any visible fat at this point if you’re counting calories!) Use a wooden spatula to scrape up all the brown bits. When juices are reduced by half (approx 3-5 minutes), reduce heat to low and add artichoke hearts, stir. In a separate skillet, melt 1 tbsp of butter, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp oregano leaves. Brown cremini mushrooms until thoroughly browned, then remove from heat and set aside. Add capers, Madeira and water to artichoke mixture, then stir until combined. Heat 2 minutes, then add creminis and stir. Just before serving, stir in chopped parsley, let rest no more than one minute. Plate chicken breasts, then spoon sauce over the top. Enjoy!