Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Son3 was going to be late tonight and The Hub was planning on getting home around 6ish but wanted to have a little time for a light workout before dinner. I had taken some chicken out of the freezer earlier in the day, so I was bound to chicken but wanted something that we had never had before. I realized how far behind the challenge I am and I also knew I might not make it unless I really knuckle down and start actually cooking every day. ( I do foresee a day in December when I try 10 new and different cookie recipes just to try and finish this quest.) Tonight was a simple task though. I looked through google doing one of my more refined searches like "chicken breast recipes". As luck would have it, the first click took me to an interesting enough looking picture, and it only required a couple of ingredients I didn't have on hand. I planned on making a quick trip to The Pig because it is a smaller store and is usually very quick to hit and run. Except for tonight! Today is the start of The Pig tent sale. To get into the store you have to wander through a maze of "deals". 45 minutes and 60 dollars later I came out of the store with the pesto, mushrooms and about 5 other bags of groceries So much for the run in and out thing!
I didn't get home until about 6:30. In fact The Hub was at the end of his workout by the time I unloaded everything, so I was very happy I had decided to have a quick cooking meal. As I was putting the food away I started a pot of water for pasta, then started pounding the chicken. Does anyone really use the 2 sheets of plastic or do you do like I do and stick a chicken breast in a freezer bag to pound? By the time I had the chicken flat and the mushrooms sliced, the water was boiling so I tossed the noodles in the water. While they cooked I got the chicken started, tore some lettuce and sliced a tomato. A few stirs and a very brief simmer and dinner was done in about 12 minutes.
Chicken in Pesto Cream
4 to 6 Chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons prepared pesto
1/2 cup heavy cream
Wash chicken and pat dry. Put the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound to about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dredge lightly with the flour. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute chicken and mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring mushrooms and turning chicken about halfway through the cooking time. until browned. Combine cream and pesto; cover and continue cooking over low heat for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with hot cooked rice or pasta.
Serves 4 to 6.
This was one of the easiest dishes I have done in a long time. I am grateful to companies who make pesto for people like me to buy. I have a basil plant that is nearly as high as my waist and still has a good many leaves. If I had planned a little better I would have made my own. ( Oh, who am I kidding?)
I did not flour the breasts prior to cooking because I didn't want the taste of fried flour on mine. Instead I warmed the pan and then put the olive oil in it. I brought it to a fairly high temp and just browned the naked chicken breasts in it, salting and peppering when I turned them over to brown on the other side. Other than that I followed the recipe as given.
We each had 1 breast half, noodles and the simple salad. It was a very nice meal that was not too heavy in spite of all the cream. I only served the sauce that was on the chicken and did not spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, just to save a little fat and calories.
The verdict was that it was good and something I will do again, but not too often. I thought the basil flavor was not as developed as it should have been. I should have sprinkled minced fresh basil over the top of the dish for eye appeal and for taste. Next time I will.
Tomorrow Son3 has a jazz concert and we will have a late dinner again. I think I need to look through the crock pot cookbook and see If I can become inspired. Or we can always do take out!