Quick Chicken with Browned Butter-Balsamic Sauce

Chicken with Browned-Butter Balsamic Sauce
Garlicked Potatoes

After my original plans for fish and rice were abruptly canceled by a lack of appropriate fish at Whole Foods, I figured I had to make something with the chicken in our fridge. And I knew I had a bunch of Yukon Gold- like potatoes, from my mom by way of Costco (or should that be from Costco, by way of my mom?) along with a gallon bag of green beans, gifted by the neighbors. I was going to go with a basic chicken in bread crumbs with boiled potatoes and quick-sautéed green beans. Then I watched Rachel Ray while I awaited the proper time to start so that dinner would be ready about the time Chris got home from Southfield. And RR was making fish, dredged in seasoned flour then pan-fried, and a browned-butter sauce to top the fish. I only saw the last 10 minutes so I had to get on-line to find the actual recipe and FYI, the mobile version of Food TV’s website is a pain in the arse. I gave up and went to the laptop*.

What I Used

3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup balsamic vinegar (get the good stuff)
One shallot, diced small
1 cup reduced sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
optional: 1 tablespoon butter combined with 1 tablespoon flour
½ cup flour
Seasonings for flour (I used salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and dried basil)
Olive oil
3-4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
Salt & Pepper
1 package chicken, pre-cut in ‘tender strips’ per the packaging

What I did:

Potatoes:

Garlicky Potatoes

Heat oven to 375.

Slice potatoes in to evenly sized shapes- I suggest half-moons. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Spread potatoes out in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle sliced garlic cloves over potatoes.

Bake in oven about 35-45 minutes, turning potatoes periodically, until potatoes become golden brown and the whole house smells like roasted garlic.

Chicken:

Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Dredge chicken strips in flour mixture and sauté, turning once, until cooked through. I had to do two batches to avoid overcrowding. Add more oil if necessary. Remove chicken from pan and cover to keep warm.
In pan, reduce heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of butter. “Toast” the butter until the foam begins to turn a light brown color and the butter smells nutty. Do not burn!

Add shallots, stirring to coat. Add balsalmic vinegar to pan and increase heat to medium-high, scpraing the bottom of the pan to get up any sticky bits. Once the initial bubbling subsides, add broth and continue to cook at low boil until sauce is reduced. Optionally, whisk in 1 tablespoon butter combined with 1 tablespoon flour to thicken.

Serve potatoes and chicken with browned butter-balsamic sauce drizzled over top. Try not to eat all the best most garlicky, golden-brown potatoes yourself. Unless you are alone. In fact, this might be a good dish to make when you are all by yourself so there is no pressure to share.

Chicken, Potatotes and Nutty Yummy Buttery Balsamic Sauce

*This experience is pushing me further towards really wanting to purchase a tablet type computer so I can use the internet for recipes in the kitchen without having to make counter space for my 17inch widescreen laptop or trying to scroll through a recipe on a 2 inch phone screen. Something like an iPad but maybe a wee bit less pricey.

I’m curious to try this butter-balsamic sauce on some other foods like say, mashed potatoes or roasted root veggies or just lick it up right from the pan. Be generous with the balsamic- a lot will “burn off” leaving behind the sweet sweet nectar that balances perfectly with the nutty, deep earthy butter.

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Turkey meatballs + noodles + roux= mmmmmm

Turkey Meatballs with Green Beans & Noodles in Roux-ly Good Sauce

What I used

Meatballs
1 package ground turkey (20 oz?)
1/2 onion, finely diced
tarragon
garlic powder
thyme
salt & pepper

Sauce
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
2 cups fresh green beans, chopped in to 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups flour
smoked paprika
garlic
thyme
any other herbs/spices you like

egg noodles

What I did

In a bowl, combine turkey (I used 85/15), onions, garlic powder, thyme, tarragon salt and pepper. I didn’t measure the seasonings but I’d guess a teaspoon of thyme, 1 1/2 tsp of tarragon and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

Heat non-stick pan over medium-heat. Form turkey mixture in to 1 inch meatballs and add to pan. Cook, turning periodically, until cooked through, 10-15 minutes. If you use a leaner ground turkey, you may want to add a little oil to the pan.

Remove meatballs from pan and drain most of the fat then return pan to heat. Add onions, sprinkle with smoked paprika and saute until lightly golden. Add green beans along with 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 tsp garlic powder (approx). Cover and cook 5 minutes until green beans begin to soften.

At the same time, prepare egg noodles according to directions.

Push onions and green beans to the side in the pan. Melt butter and flour together to form a roux (paste). When roux becomes lightly golden, stir in 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until green beans are soft then return turkey meatballs to the pan and combine all along with noodles to heat through.

Garnish with fresh cut parsley.

Basking in the late-day sun

The point of making turkey meatballs is to attempt to reverse engineer these stuffed rice cakes Chris found at the Better Health Store in Novi. They were turkey meatballs surrounded by risotto then dipped in bread crumbs and baked. Pretty good but should be even better with my mushroom risotto. For the above recipe, I used 8 of the 14 meatballs. I’ll be trying the risotto cakes with the remaining 6 tomorrow.

Chicken Curry

I started out with the intention of making something Asian-y for dinner- a Chinese stir-fry type of thing. This is because the chicken we had was pre-cut in to strips, ideal for a quick cook. Looking around the house, I realized that a. I need garlic and b. this cilantro we planted is getting out of control. And c. warming up naan is way quicker than making rice.

So I detoured south and went for Indian cuisine. Using the cookbook, 5 spices 50 dishes, a gift for Chris*, I decided to make the chicken curry because I had all the correct spices. The other reason I was drifting from more Chinese-Asian was a lack of ginger- a key ingredient in most Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese dishes.

I did have to make a couple of changes based on what I had and a desire to add more veggies.

What I used- (followed by as in the book where necessary)

1 onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 sliced thin (2 onions, finely chopped)
14 oz can crushed tomatoes, no salt added (3 fresh tomatoes, chopped = 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly (not in book version)
1 package chicken breasts, strips style (3 lbs chicken parts, bone-in)
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chicken broth (1 cup water)
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

What I did

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cook onions until they begin to brown (or completely brown if time permits).

Combine cayenne, turmeric and cumin with 1 tablespoon of water to create a paste. Stir paste in to onions, mix to combine and cook 3-5 minutes. Add tomato and stir constantly so mixture doesn’t scorch.

Add chicken and bell pepper; mix to combine. Cook about 10 minutes then add water plus salt. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a high simmer. Cook uncovered until chicken is completely cooked through, up to 30 minutes (boneless chicken strips only took about 15 minutes). Add vinegar and sugar, adjust seasonings.

Served with garlic naan and plenty o’ cilantro.


This was good, spicy with just a little sour from the vinegar. However, it was not thick so perhaps not suited to naan dipping. I didn’t have anything handy to thicken it up (i.e. sour cream or cream or yogurt) so we made do. I still like chicken tikka masala better but with no marinating, this was way quicker.

*So, this was meant to be a gift for Chris so he could make some Indian food. How many dishes has he made so far?

EDIT: add bell pepper with chicken or partly through onion sauteing, whatever floats your boat.

Garlicky Rosemary Chicken

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Earlier Chris was sending me texts, asking what I wanted for dinner. I said I wanted lobster. And wine. On a boat on the ocean.

Instead we had chicken, rice and balsamic green beans. I also made a quick pan sauce with lemon juice, rosemary and red onion. Good in concept only okay in execution.

But I did take a couple of pics using the new Droid from which I am also posting this.

Chicken Tikka Masala Nirvana

Onions- smell the tasty-ness

When your husband tells you that the dish you’ve just served is one of the top five best of all time, you probably ought to write down the recipe. When I first started making dinner tonight, I wasn’t necessarily going to blog about it. I did take some pictures but that was more because I just received a new (old) lens in the mail and wanted to play with it and the new natural light we get now that Spring has sprung forth.

I first tried making my own chicken tikka masala back in January of 2009.  Since then, I’ve used various jarred sauces along with variations on spice mixes and pastes to make  marinades, trying to move ever closer to “perfection” as described by Chris, the lover of all things tikka. Some of the sauces have been closer than others but each time, either the marinade or the sauce was off (plus there was that one time I used vanilla yogurt instead of plain- not that Chris seemed to notice).  Short of buying a tandoori oven, I didn’t really know what else to try*.  Truthfully, I don’t know what I did tonight that made it work so well but I’d like to think it was using yogurt in the sauce (healthier too!) and the almonds.

Top 5: Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients

1 package chicken breasts, cut in to strips or chunks
1 container Fage yogurt (2% fat), plain, divided
1 tablespoon Neera’s tandoori paste from Cinnabar Foods**
Sauce:
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup slivered blanched sliced almonds
1/2 onion, medium dice
1-2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ginger

Directions

Mix tandoori paste and 2/3 of the yogurt together in a plastic bag. Add chicken pieces, marinate for at least an hour

Over medium heat, toast almonds (in a tiny bit of oil) until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Either grind in food processor or use a mortar and pestle if you are feeling particularly aggressive.

Prepare to be bashed

Preheat grill or broiler.

In a large saute pan, heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and onions, cooking until they look that picture up there at the top (softened but not browned).

Add half the garam masala and cayenne pepper to onoins. Stir to combine and continue to cook for two or three more minutes.

Meanwhile, you can put your chicken on the grill or broiler about now.

Add tomato sauce, ground almonds and remainder of spices to the pan. Reduce heat to low and allow the flavors to meld.

When chicken is done, cut in to chunks (if you didn’t already) and add to tomato sauce along with the remaining yogurt. Mix to combine, heat through and serve.

Perfect?
Chicken Tikka Masala

We had our with store-bought garlic naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro, of course.  Also would be excellent with rice or quinoa.  I recommend a bit of raita too as this version turned out fairly spicy.


*I have looked in to purchasing a tandoor. Looked as in glanced. Amazon sells them, for a couple thousand dollars so that is clearly out of the question. Right?

**I wish I could remember exactly where we bought this. Maybe Whole Foods or I just saw it in some random store.  You can get it online if you follow the link in the ingredient list, though.