Here’s what’s cooking in our kitchen lately- chicken piccata. It is packed with flavors from a stab of garlic to delicate shallots and tangy lemon with crisp white wine in the sauce. Serve it over rice, pasta or a side of mashed potatoes. This is winter comfort food at its finest. It also makes great leftovers for the week ahead.
Heads up: The sauce is the most time-consuming part of making this dinner because you’re adding 1 or 2 ingredients at a time to slowly build the flavors, but the effort is well worth it.
- 4 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 Tbs butter, divided
- 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- Lemon slices (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I love a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc)
- 2 Tb fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Tb drained capers (optional, I’m not a fan)
- 3 Tb fresh, Italian parsley leaves chopped
- Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of heavy plastic wrap; pound to a 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Combine 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1 teaspoon flour in a small bowl.
- Dredge chicken in remaining flour and shake off excess.
- Heat 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 chicken breasts to the pan cooking each side for 4 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven set at 250 degrees. Cook the other 2 chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and place on sheet with other chicken.
- Add remaining 1 Tb olive oil to pan. Add shallots and lemon slices if using. Saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add remaining 1/2 cup stock; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
- Stir in reserved stock and flour mixture from bowl; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining 1 Tb butter, juice and capers. Place all chicken back in skillet and top with parsley. Enjoy!
Here’s a good recipe to try over the weekend that will hopefully leave enough left over to bring into work on Monday. There’s a couple of surprising ingredients that give it some extra depth and flavors. Serve it alongside some crusty bread and you’ve got yourself one hearty, satisfying meal.
Cheddar Broccoli Soup
- 3 Tb unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 large heads broccoli florets, chopped
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- In a large pot on the stove, melt 3 Tb butter over medium heat. Add onion, salt, white pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, garlic and thyme. Saute all ingredients until onions turn translucent; about 4 minutes.
- Pour chicken stock into pot and stir gently. Turn up heat to high and wait for it to boil.
- Turn down heat to medium and add the broccoli. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until broccoli is thoroughly cooked.
- Turn off stove. Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients together. You can also use a blender, but you will have to blend in small batches carefully. Hot liquids can cause the lid to fly off and scald the skin.
- Add heavy cream or half and half and sharp cheddar cheese. Stir until combined into soup and serve with your favorite bread. Enjoy!
Hello! Is the cabin fever setting in yet? How about a recipe rut? I hear ya. Yesterday I was experiencing both and mentally running through our currently stocked pantry items when I remembered an easy and solid lunch option: tuna melts.
These aren’t like the ones your mom made when you were a kid. There’s no gloppy mayo. No sliced bread either. These are made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can toss in some finely chopped celery if you have it too. Spoon this mixture atop a toasted English muffin and add some chunks of sharp English cheddar cheese, broil it a few minutes and you’ve yourself one tasty lunch. With Lent around the corner, it’s a great substitute for meat too.
Lemon Tuna Melts
- 3 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- juice from one freshly squeezed lemon
- 2 cans of white albacore tuna packed in water, drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 stalk of celery chopped fine (optional)
- 4 English muffins, sliced in half and toasted
- Sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Toast the English muffins until browned.
- In a medium bowl, combine drained tuna, juice from 1 lemon, 3 Tbl olive oil, salt, pepper and celery.
- Spoon tuna mixture on top of toasted English muffins. Top with cheddar cheese.
- Place open-faced tuna sandwiches under broiler until top is golden and bubbly.
This recipe is a big winner in our house. There’s something for everyone. My husband loves the meatballs, my girls love the sauce and I love the whole shebang. Serving it family style makes the meal feel more relaxed. You’ve got to love it when you can just plunk dinner right down in the center of the table hot out of the oven. I serve this with garlic toasts so we can dip them into the skillet, but you could also toss your favorite kind of cooked pasta in with it too. Be careful when you serve this, the skillet will be very hot!
Another thing I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t take all day to make. Give yourself 40 minutes and you’ve got it covered.
Credit: Cooking Light Magazine
- 1 small zucchini shredded (I use a cheese grater)
- 12 ounces ground turkey
- 1 small onion shredded
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite jarred pasta sauce (we like Prego)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 french baguette, cut into small slices and toasted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place shredded zucchini between a double layer of paper towels to squeeze out excess moisture. Stir together zucchini, turkey, onion, oregano, salt, pepper and egg into a medium sized bowl. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 1 tablespoon, arrange onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Add olive oil to the pan and garlic and mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are fully cooked. Stir in marinara sauce and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add meatballs to skillet (leave behind cooked-out proteins); gently stir to coat with sauce. Sprinkle cheese on the top.
- Broil meatballs until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes.
- Serve with toasted baguette.
Here’s the mushrooms sauteed with the garlic and olive oil.
Next, add your marinara and water. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Then put your baked meatballs on top.
Stir the meatballs into the sauce until they are completely coated.
Finally, sprinkle the cheese on top and toss them under the broiler for 2 minutes.
Enjoy! (Safety hint: I keep an oven mitt on the handle to prevent burns)