Friday, November 14, 2008

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

I was feeling disappointed in myself because I hadn't cooked a proper meal since we got back from our honeymoon. So naturally, I went all out, making not only an entree but also a homemade dessert. The entree came together organically--and I found the dessert recipe in the November issue of Bon Appetit. The entire dinner took about an hour to cook--and about 5 minutes to eat!

Basil Chicken Wrapped in Prosciutto
- This was a total hit and we both loved it. The chicken was cooked really well (don't mean to toot my own horn) and it was the moistest piece of meat that I ever made. I got some help from the prosciutto, as it protected the meat, preventing it from drying out. The prosciutto also added extra saltiness, which is usually missing from my dishes. Here's how you make it:

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

6 thin, long pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 long slices of prosciutto (any kind is good but I avoid the really fatty cuts)
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
3 - 4 tbs of olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Combine the basil and garlic with 2 tbs of olive oil and mix well (if 2 tbs is not enough, feel free to use more). Coat the chicken with the basil and garlic olive oil and then wrap the prosciutto around each chicken breast. Preheat 2 tbs of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sautee the chicken for about 5-6 minutes on each side or until the prosciutto is golden and crispy.

Garlic and Basil Mashed Potatoes - This was our side dish and it was a nice complement to the chicken. I went lighter on the garlic, as to not make this dish heavy on the stomach. The flavors worked and weren't too overpowering.

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 tbs of butter
A generous splash of light whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste


Boil the potatoes in a medium sized pot until tender but not so completely soft that they fall apart on contact. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash together until you get the creamy consistency that you're looking for.

Blueberry Clafouti - I got this recipe from the November issue of Bon Appetit in an advertising section sponsored by McCormick. It sounded easy enough and took about 10 minutes to prepare--really! The blueberries made it light and refreshing and it would've been even better if paired with good vanilla ice cream. There's always a next time!

Ingredients (serves 6)
1 cup whole milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla (McCormick)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (McCormick)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar
3 cups of blueberries, rinsed (I used frozen blueberries)
2 tablespoons of crystallized ginger (I omitted this ingredient)
1 small block of dark or bittersweet chocolate, grated (I also omitted this)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch deep pie plate or a shallow baking dish. Arrange the blueberries and ginger on the bottom of the buttered pie plate and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar. I used about 1/2 as much sugar--1/4 cup seemed excessive.

Pour the milk into the blender and add the eggs, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Blend on high speed until mixed, about 1 minute.

Pour the batter directly from the blender over the fruit in the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until clafouti is lightly browned on the edges. Cut into six pie-shaped wedges and serve while still warm with whipped cream and grated chocolate.

Enjoy these dishes. Your friends and family will appreciate them!

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