What’s Cooking – Chicken Pronto

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS Quick cooking is a way of life for all of us these days. But that is no reason to cut corners on taste and quality. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts and thighs are the answer to the harried cook’s dilemma. Just a few years ago, if you wanted skinless, boneless chicken, you had to do the job yourself, a task that required the skill of a surgeon. These cuts of chicken cook in just a few minutes. In fact, overcooking is the most serious problem here. Now get moving – you have 30 minutes until dinner! Chicken Breasts with Apricot-Cherry Compote 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme 3 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries 3/4 cup chicken broth 2/3 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth Season chicken with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme. In a large frying pan, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and nearly cooked through, about 12 minutes. Add apricots, cherries and remaining thyme. Pour in broth and wine. Partially cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until fruit is nearly tender, about 3 minutes. Uncover and simmer 1 minute. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Serves 4. Chicken Amandine 1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast fillets 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2-1/2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup chopped shallots 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup chopped parsley Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once or twice, until white throughout, about 6 minutes. Remove to a platter. Add remaining butter, reduce heat to medium, and cook almonds and shallots, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove nuts and shallots and sprinkle over chicken. Add nutmeg, wine and broth to pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits clinging to the bottom. Boil, stirring occasionally, […]

What’s Cooking – Great 20-Minute Meals

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS In the time it takes to spin a globe, your family can enjoy flavors from around the world with these quick entrees. Take advantage of timesaving food products to stay within the 20-minute time limit. No matter which culinary journey you choose to make, it won’t take very long to get there. Linguine with Clam Sauce 1 package fresh linguine 4 bacon slices 2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Pinch crushed red pepper Ground pepper 2 (6-1/2-oz.) cans minced clams, drained 1 (8-oz.) bottle clam juice 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain. While pasta cooks, place bacon in large skillet and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add garlic and basil; sauté for 30 seconds. Add bacon, lemon juice, and the next 4 ingredients (lemon juice through clam juice); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine pasta and clam mixture, and toss well. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4. Cashew-Crusted Chicken on Basil-Pineapple Rice 1/2 cup cashews 2 tablespoons garlic-seasoned breadcrumbs 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1 large egg white, lightly beaten 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained Cooking spray 1 (3-1/2-oz.) bag precooked long grain rice (such as Success) 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 450F. Place nuts and breadcrumbs in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until the crumbs are evenly ground. Pour nut mixture into a shallow dish. Brush chicken with egg white; dredge chicken in nut mixture. Spread the pineapple in an 11×7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange chicken over pineapple, and bake at 450F for 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning after 7 minutes. While chicken is cooking, prepare the rice according to package directions. Remove chicken from dish. Stir rice, basil and salt into pineapple. Serve with chicken. Serves 4. Sesame-Crusted Salmon 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1 tablespoon grated orange rind 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sesame oil 4 salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick) Cooking spray 1-1/4 cups water 3/4 cup uncooked couscous 1/4 cup sliced green onions 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1/4 teaspoon salt Preheat broiler. […]

What’s Cooking – Wine and Dine with Friends at Home

October 2, 2008 // 0 Comments

by JEANNE BRIGGS Matching the right wine to any dish can be the ultimate way to share a wonderful meal with friends. My new column sponsor, “Rockford Dry Dock” on Courtland St., is waiting to provide you with the wine and I’m here to give you the food to put with your choice. Dry Dock owners Bill and Sue Ten Broeke have a vast array of wines and spirits to meet your needs for entertaining. I will give you several of their new wines each time to pair with something special from your kitchen to make the meal memorable. Bon appetit! Chicken with Fresh Pineapple 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/3 cup pineapple juice 1/4 cup orange juice 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 3 tablespoons cooking oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium green sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1-1/2 cups) Hot cooked rice 1/2 cup chopped cashews Cut chicken into thin, bite-sized strips. Set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine pineapple and orange juices, and cornstarch. Set aside. Add oil to a wok or nonstick skillet. Heat to medium-high. Stir-fry garlic in hot oil for 15 seconds. Add green pepper and onions for 1-1/2 minutes. Remove vegetables. Add chicken to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Push chicken from center of skillet. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return cooked vegetables. Add pineapple pieces. Stir until heated through. Serve over cooked rice. Sprinkle with cashews. Serves 4. Serve with Domanie Lafage “Cote d’Est” wine. Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette 2 cups each: torn leaf lettuce, torn radicchio, torn arugula 1 medium Belgian endive, cut up 1 roasted chicken from the store, boned, cut up 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honey 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper 2 oranges, peeled and sliced 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, sliced lengthwise 1 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned 2 green onions, thinly biased sliced Raspberry Vinaigrette Vinaigrette: In blender, combine one 10-oz. package thawed red raspberries, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 clove garlic, minced. Cover and blend till smooth. Use a […]