chicken leek

When the CAS gives you leeks....make this recipe from Epicurious. Actually, this was a dish that Michael and I made when we were first dating and when neither of us could cook. For some reason, I brought over this recipe to his little Havemeyer Street apartment and we made it together -- a major project. This time, I whipped it up pretty fast while the boys were on their way back from Boston. It's so simple, I thought it would be dull but it wasn't. I added my garlic herb salt and subbed sour cream for cream. It was rich and hearty and just right for a Sunday night dinner. 

favorite recipe of 2014

My favorite new recipe this year, and the favorite of many New York Times readers apparently, is Velvet Chicken Breasts with mustard sauce  It's very easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time. The actual cooking only take a few minutes on the stove. The chicken is incredibly dense and moist almost like you'd find from a sous vide machine.

The Velveting technique--used in a lot of Chinese cooking to marinade meat pre-wok-- involves soaking the chicken breasts in a mixture of egg whites and cornstarch. (You whip the whites then blend in the starch to create a foam.)  Breasts can sit here for a few hours.

Next you make a simple sauce of mustards and creme fraiche which can also hang out in the fridge until dinnertime. When it's time to cook, saute the chicken very briefly in vegetable oil or melted butter. It's not long enough for them to even brown but when the egg white marinade touches the hot oil, it turns into a thick skin-like coating around the still raw breast. Remove the breasts and heat the sauce mixture in the pan. Then finish the chicken in the pan by gently heating through. 

easy chicken cutlets

Over thanksgiving weekend, with 6 adults and 4 kids staying in Edgehill for three nights, I had the opportunity to do some cooking on that fabulous old stove. One night I made a version of Barefoot Contessa's seafood stew (I eliminated shrimp and added more cod to keep the price down; also replaced potatoes with parsnips.) I also made chicken cutlets from memory and it seemed to work very well, so I wrote it down here.

Edgehill Chicken Cutlets

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Pound 4 chicken breasts to about 1/2 inch thickness. Set up three bowls
  3. Set up three bowls with 1. flour with salt and pepper 2. 2 eggs mixed with 1 tbsp water 3. panko and Parmesan (mostly panko)
  4. Dip into flour, then egg, then panko.
  5. Heat large skillet over med-high heat and add t tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp butter. When hot add breasts one or two at a time and cook on each side about 4 minutes until brown. (Add more oil and butter to cook additional cutlets if pan seems dry.) Transfer to baking sheet and put in oven for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth to pan and scrape up cooked bits. When liquid has almost evaporated add 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 squeezed lemon to finish sauce. Pour over chicken to serve. 

chicken grill

I highly recommend this recipe for grilled chicken breasts from Once Upon a Chef

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1¾ pounds total)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, from one lemon
  1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness.

  2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag. Add chicken breasts and massage marinade into meat until evenly coated. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (the bowl protects against leakage); let the chicken marinate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

  3. Clean grill and preheat to high. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over grates several times until glossy and coated. Place chicken breasts on the grill (make sure they are well-coated with the marinade; the more garlic, lemon zest and herbs on the chicken, the better!). Grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes per side.

transforming kid food

I actually made these panko-breaded chicken breasts for the kids because I was tired of the frozen kind. I used fresh organic, free-range, local chicken, panko, Parmesan cheese, pasteurized eggs and high quality oil. Neither boy touched them. Nate said they were brown.

So I reinvented them for night two of veggie/healthy/detox week. Reheated in a dry frying pan and topped with a simple, light tomato sauce (recipe below) and served with baked zucchini (375 for 20 minutes) and whole wheat shells (which when covered in Parmesan tasted kind of like pasta. I get why the kids don't eat the whole wheat pasta...but the chicken breasts? they were amazing. why do the kids hate everything I actually make from scratch. why? why?!

Tomato sauce

  • 1 can tomato diced
  • salt, balsamic, lemon juice, garlic.

Bring to a boil and reduce for 20-30 min