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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 54

This chicken dish is easy and so full of flavor. It was on my original list of recipes to make for 68 Days of Gourmet because it received great reviews and was originally published in 1974 (I’m trying to make something from every decade). I almost didn’t make it because I feel like I’ve done too many chicken dishes but I’m so glad that I did. We will most definitely be having this again. What is it about a delicious sauce that can really take a simple piece of sauteed chicken to a totally different level? I spooned this sauce all over my chicken and rice!

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days. I’ve had the best intentions to update but have been so busy. We are under contract on a house that we love and can’t wait to move into. We had been looking since November and getting really frustrated with the process and were so excited when this house popped up. We instantly fell in love. Please keep your fingers crossed that our closing goes smoothly!

And we’ve been celebrating birthdays and visiting with our ridiculously cute nieces. I have a sinful Reese’s Cake to share with you all after 68 Days of Gourmet wraps up!

Lots of exciting things going on! Will keep you guys updated :)

One Year Ago: Grilled Shrimp

Chicken with Red Wine and Vinegar
(Recipe source Gourmet, originally published in 1974)

Ingredients:

1 (3 1/2- to 4 pound) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup shallots (about 2 medium), minced
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

FOR THE CHICKEN
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse and pat chicken dry. Season with with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken in 2 batches, turning once, about 8 to 10 minutes per batch.

Transfer chicken to a small (13- by 9-inch) oven-safe roasting pan, arranging it in 1 layer. Once all chicken is browned, roast, uncovered, in oven 15 minutes.

FOR THE SAUCE
While the chicken is roasting, discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add garlic, shallots, carrot, thyme sprigs and bay leaves.  Cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until vegetables are browned, 3 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, vinegar, sugar and remaining teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes.

TO FINISH SAUCE AND CHICKEN
Add chicken broth to sauce along with any juices from roasting pan and bring to a boil. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve onto chicken in roasting pan, pressing on and then discarding solids. Continue to roast chicken, uncovered, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes more.

Transfer chicken with tongs to an oven-proof serving dish and keep warm, uncovered, in turned-off oven.

Meanwhile, boil sauce in roasting pan over high heat (I transferred it back into the original saute pan), stirring occasionally, until reduced to a scant cup. Remove sauce from heat and swirl in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper and pour sauce over chicken.

Yield: 4 servings

*Note, I easily halved this and just used two leg/thighs and only did one batch of browning.

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 52

I have yet to find the perfect pizza dough recipe so it was definitely something I wanted to try during 68 Days of Gourmet. And unfortunately, I will be continuing the search for the perfect pizza dough because this was not it. This dough wasn’t bad just average. It was pretty difficult to work with – sticky and tore easily. There was pretty much no way I was going to get it into a circle when I was shaping the dough so we ended up with very strangely shaped pizza. Luckily, things looked up once I topped it with all the fixings for barbecue chicken pizza and baked it on a hot baking stone. The dough was crispy and chewy (good for thinner-crust pizzas) and the flavor was nice. Barbecue chicken pizza is a great flavor variation from your typical pizza. If you’ve never tried it you must!

I’m blogging from Atlanta. I’ve spent the weekend here visiting my parents while Brandon has been in New Orleans for a bachelor party. He’s flying back to Atlanta tonight and then we’re making a late night drive to Charlotte. His flight has been delayed and he’s not getting in until 11 so we won’t get back to Charlotte until 3 a.m. at the earliest. Tomorrow is going to be a long day at work!

It’s been a nice and relaxing weekend hanging out in Atlanta with my parents. When I arrived late Friday a yummy pizza from Grant Central Pizza in East Atlanta Village was awaiting…along with some strawberry shortcake (one of my favorite desserts!). Saturday morning I visited a yoga class at Yoga Samadhi in Inman Park. Since the weather was so beautiful, there ended up only being one other guy in the class. It was pretty nice having a semi-private lesson and the instructor, Stephanie, was great! Saturday night we had reservations at Nino’s. It’s a family owned Italian place that’s been open since 1968. It was old-school Italian and really delicious. I believe that there is infinite value in keeping things simple and traditional.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

One Year Ago: Banana Nutella Muffins

Pizza Dough
(Recipe source Gourmet, June 2003)

Ingredients:

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 3/4 to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading, divided
3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees), divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture appears creamy on surface, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Stir together 1 1/4 cups flour and salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, oil and remaining 1/2 cup warm water and stir until smooth. Stir in enough of remaining flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) for dough to come away from side of bowl. (It is normal for this dough to be stickier than other doughs you have made.)

Working with floured hands, knead dough on a work surface until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes. Relflour hands and work surface when necessary. Alternatively, use a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook and knead on low speed for 8 minutes.

Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls. Generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.

To bake, preheat pizza stone in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Add whatever toppings you would like and use a pizza peel or well floured baking sheet to slide pizza onto baking stone. Bake for 18-20 minutes, start checking pizza for doneness after about 15 minutes.

Or try our favorite Barbecue Chicken Pizza!

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 48

I hope you didn’t think I’d disappeared. My sore throat ended up morphing into laryngitis and a bad upper respiratory infection and we were out of town. I’m just now starting to feel normal again. To give you any indication of how bad I’ve been feeling, I haven’t worked out since Friday morning. Whatever was going on in my chest was not good and I needed to rest.

In slightly more interesting news, we did a five-course chef’s tasting dinner at Woodfire Grill on Friday night. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant in Atlanta. I’m going to post a recap of that dinner tomorrow night and my experience meeting Kevin!

And now onto the food you see pictured above. I found this recipe for Chicken Hawaii while I was searching for older recipes to make for the 68 Days of Gourmet project. The recipe was originally published in 1953 and featured some of our favorite ingredients – coconut, curry, pineapple, chicken – it was a must try.

I was so excited about serving the coconut curry braised chicken with all of the fun toppings – lime wedges, pineapple, toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts. It smelled amazing while it was cooking but then kind of fell flat in the flavor department. I was so disappointed. There just wasn’t enough curry flavor and it was kind of bland. I was explaining the lackluster dish to my dad and he made a good point, the whole can of full fat coconut milk that I added to the curry mixture probably just washed out the flavor. And he made another funny point that in the 1950s people were really just starting to experiment with bold flavors and served a lot of bland dishes. Maybe this was pretty cutting edge in 1953!

So while I won’t be making this again, I still enjoyed cooking it and liked the idea of serving the dish with toppings so it can be customized to each diner’s taste.

One Year Ago: Lady Strawberry Cake (a show stopper!)

Chicken Hawaii
(Recipe source Gourmet, January 2006 – originally published in 1953)

Ingredients:

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 (13 1/2- to 15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)

Optional accompaniments for serving: rice, toasted coconut, fresh pineapple cubes, lime wedges, mango chutney,  chopped salted roasted cashews, macadamia nuts or peanuts, chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Rinse, pat chicken dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat. Brown chicken, turning occasionally, 8-10 minutes. You will probably need to do this in 2 batches. Transfer to plate and reserve fat in pot.

Add onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and flour and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring  constantly. Stir in sugar, coconut milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pot. Return chicken and any accumulated  juices to pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through. This should take around 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees. Discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Season with salt to taste.

Serve chicken over rice with sauce from pot and toppings.

Yield: 4 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 68

Are you thinking what I was thinking when I first saw this recipe? Gourmet has a recipe for Cornflake Fried Chicken? I was really shocked! I knew it was something that Brandon would love and I had some cornflakes in the pantry that needed to be used. I made several modifications to the original recipe that included dredging in flour before egg and adding spices to the cornflakes. I decided to bake mine instead of frying it and it turned out great. We did a taste test with Brandon’s fried and my baked and while the baked was definitely missing out on the “fried chicken” taste it was okay with me! Chicken breasts are so big when you pound them out so I saved half of mine to eat over a salad for lunch tomorrow.

I taught BodyPump tonight at the Y. There were 32 people in the class! So exciting. I’m going to yoga tomorrow morning – so looking forward to it after two days out of the studio. After work, Brandon and I are working on making chocolate butterfly wings for the butterfly cupcakes I’m making for my niece’s 2nd birthday Saturday. I am so thankful to have his help with the wings because he just has so much more patience with this type of thing. We’re heading to Sole for a late dinner to take advantage of their Charlotte Restaurant Week menu.

We have a really good chance of getting some snow this weekend! We’ve had two close calls this winter but no snow yet so keep your fingers crossed :)

Cornflake Fried Chicken
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, July 2008)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups cornflakes
Paprika or cayenne pepper, optional
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pound out chicken to 1/2 inch thickness (in a plastic bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper).

Set up three shallow bowls. Put flour in the first and season with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together egg and milk. In the third bowl, crush cornflakes and toss with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cayenne and paprika to your liking (about 1/2 teaspoon) if desired.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.

Meanwhile, season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess flour and then dip in egg mixture, then in cornflakes, pressing to help adhere.

Fry chicken, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total. Internal temperature should be 160 degrees. Drain on paper towels.

*Note – I baked mine on a wire rack at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, until internal temperature reached 160.

Yield: 2 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 31

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Mine was full of cooking, house hunting, cleaning and working out. Saturday morning started off with a bowl of oats full of apples, peanut butter, raisins and ground flax while I updated my blog with the seared scallops from Friday night’s dinner. Then I headed out for a quick 3 mile run with Sullie before meeting with our realtor to look at houses.

On Saturday night we finally tried Lebowski’s for dinner. It’s a local bar and grill that actually has great food. I had two sliders – one turkey burger and one “beef on weck.” I’d never had a beef on weck before – delicious! I also had a side of garlic fries because I heard they were the thing to order. This was a big splurge for me – I’m usually all about the sweets and pass on fried food – but they were totally worth it. They had some great looking salads and healthier fare that I’ll have to check out next time. We’ll definitely be going back to Lebowski’s!

When we got home I put together an overnight French toast to have for breakfast the next morning. I was not feeling French toast after our feast but my feelings had changed Sunday morning when I woke up! I’ll be blogging about the French toast soon. It was the perfect weekend treat.

Sunday was devoted to mostly cleaning and organization (our apartment desperately needed it) and of course, my 90 minute hot yoga class at Charlotte Yoga with my very favorite teacher, Suzanne. I look forward to this class all week! Seriously amazing. I saw on the schedule that Grace, the founder of Charlotte Yoga, was assisting in the class so I knew I’d better get there early. I’m so glad I did, the class was packed and they ended up having to send about 20 people away. The room was packed with almost 50 sweaty, hard working yogis!

I actually planned on making Duck a l’Orange last night for 68 Days of Gourmet but I just did not have the energy for it after my day of cleaning and the yoga class. I ended up making Teriyaki Chicken with the chicken breasts I got on sale at the grocery Friday. I was browsing chicken breast recipes from Gourmet online and thought this looked simple and healthy. Brandon and I decided that while this was a nice basic dinner it wasn’t anything special. Neither one of us is super fanatical about teriyaki chicken but if you are then this is a great recipe for you to try. It’s so simple, healthy and the homemade teriyaki sauce is way better than the stuff you buy in a bottle. We didn’t dislike this; it’s just not something I think we’ll make again. I adapted this by changing the sauce to pretty much double it after reading a lot of reviews to do so. Was definitely necessary. I also used boneless skinless chicken instead of boneless, skin on.

So the duck is on the agenda for tonight. Wish me luck! This is my first time preparing duck. Blog update to come soon!

Teriyaki Chicken
(Recipe adapted Gourmet, May 1990)

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon medium-dry sherry (I did not double this as I’m not the biggest fan of a strong sherry taste)
2 tablespoons white-wine or rice wine vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

In a large, shallow dish, whisk together soy sauce, ginger, honey, Sherry, vinegar and garlic. Pound chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to about ½ inch thickness. Place chicken in marinade and turning to coat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, turning once.

Preaheat the broiler to high. Transfer chicken to the oiled rack of a broiling pan, reserving marinade. Broil about 6 inches from heat for 5 minutes. While chicken is cooking, boil the reserved marinade until reduced by half. Remove chicken from oven and flip chicken breasts. Brush marinade on tops of chicken and return to broiler for 5-8 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, careful not to overcook.

Yield: 2 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 18

Brandon had been requesting Chicken and Dumplings or Chicken Pot Pie for dinner for several weeks. I browsed through The Gourmet Cookbook and found this recipe for Chicken Pie with Biscuit Crust. Kind of a hybrid of Chicken and Dumplings and Chicken Pot Pie – perfect.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I mean, I knew it would be a good dinner but I’m really not a pot pie kind of person. I know that sounds strange…but in general I’m not really so into comfort food. I was wrong. This was amazing. So amazing that I insisted that I didn’t need any help with the cleanup so I could shovel down more as I was putting away the leftovers :)

This can be a relatively quick dinner if you use leftover chicken, a rotisserie chicken or pre-roast a chicken. I put my chicken in to roast that morning while I was out on my run and getting ready for work. Really cut down on the prep time that night.

The biscuit crust was so delicious and the addition of cheddar cheese to the dough really made it special. The filling was a nice consistency and seasoned perfectly. This chicken pie will definitely become a winter tradition in our house!

Chicken pie with Biscuit Crust
(Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, printed in Gourmet magazine – January 1991)

Ingredients:

FOR THE FILLING
4 cups chicken broth
3 carrots, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 pound red potatoes (about 2 medium), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (the meat from around a 3 pound chicken)
1/2 cup green peas
1 onion, chopped
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

FOR THE BISCUIT CRUST
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/3 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk

An egg wash of 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk

Directions:

FOR THE FILLING
Bring the broth to a boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the carrots, potatoes and celery and simmer, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes. Vegetables should be tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, reserving the broth. Add chicken and peas to the bowl.

In another saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and transparent. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes to create a roux. In a slow stream, add 3 cups of the reserved broth. Whisk constantly and bring to a boil. Add the thyme and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken mixture and stir gently until combined.

Transfer the mixture to a greased 2-quart shallow baking dish.

FOR THE BISCUIT CRUST

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Add the butter and blend mixture with your fingers or a pastry cutter until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the cheese and toss to coat. Beat together egg and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir just until the mixture comes together and a dough forms. Into a liquid measuring cup break the egg, add enough of the buttermilk to measure a total of 1/2 cup, and beat the mixture with a fork. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until the mixture just forms a dough. At this point you can either spoon 2-inch balls of dough onto the chicken mixture (drop biscuit style) or gather the dough into a ball, and on a floured surface pat out 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with a 2-inch cutter dipped in flour. Gather scraps and repeat until all dough has been used.  Arrange the rounds on the chicken mixture.

Before baking brush tops with an egg wash or whole milk. Prick holes into the biscuits with a fork. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are puffed and golden and the filling is bubbling.

Yield: 4 servings

NOTE:
* Filling can be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Bring the mixture to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 13

Does it get more comforting than chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce with noodles? I think not. Stocked with a bunch of leftover mushrooms from the Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce and a lot of heavy cream from the best ever Macaroni and Cheese, I decided to try out the Chicken Fricassee recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook. We really love creamy chicken dishes but most of them include cream of yuckiness soup. Although this recipe is not exactly low-cal, it is a delicious and creamy combination of chicken and mushrooms with no fake or processed ingredients.

This dish is nothing fancy, it’s just good old-fashioned comfort food. The chicken was extremely tender after being braised in the chicken broth and vegetable mixture and the finished dish was perfect served over egg noodles. This was a great weeknight meal served with steamed broccoli and rolls alongside.

And on another note…I promise the week after Thanksgiving I will attempt to focus more on recipes that qualify for the “Healthy” category!

Chicken Fricassee
(Recipe source The Gourmet Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 (3 1/2 pound chicken, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 8 pieces) – I used 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
10 ounces (3 cups) mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
Garnish: flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:

Generously coat chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully place chicken in pan, skin side down and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until browned. Remove chicken from pan and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, celery, mushroom and garlic and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until mushrooms and onions have softened. Stir in thyme and flour and cook for another minute or so. Add in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken, skin side up, and simmer, covered, until chicken is just cooked through. This should take 20-25 minutes and internal temperature should be 160 degrees for breasts and 170 for legs or thighs. Transfer chicken to a plate while you make sauce.

To make the sauce, whisk together cream and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add in 1/2 cup mushroom/broth mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Whisk cream mixture into sauce in pan and gently simmer over low heat (careful not to let it come to a boil) whisking frequently. Sauce should slightly thicken and cook for about 1 minute.

Place chicken over egg noodles and spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 3-4 servings

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