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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

If I were Irish, I would probably post a recipe or two to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

But I'm not Irish.  Not a drop.

I always celebrate St. Patrick's Day by listening to my favorite Italian songs.  If you are also so inclined, I would recommend Lou Monte's CD, "Songs for Pizza Lovers."  Very festive, brings me back to my childhood.  I kid you, not.

Right now, I have my Italian station playing on Pandora.  It will play all day long, and drive my kids insane.

Do you listen to Pandora?  LOVE it.

Almost as much as I love this chicken and mushroom recipe.

(I am the only one in my family that eats mushrooms, so I only use about 1/2 lb of mushrooms when I make this.  If you happen to have a family full of mushroom lovers, use as many mushrooms as you can stand!  You may have to add an additional tablespoon or two of butter to saute the extra mushrooms in.)

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms (any type you like: white, shitake, baby bello or any combo)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light cream
(note: if you do not have fresh thyme, you can substitute dried thyme.  Remember, 1 teaspoon dried herbs = 1 tablespoon fresh herbs.)
serve with rice or orzo (1 cup rice or 1/2 lb orzo, prepared according to package directions)

Decide whether you will serve this with rice or orzo.  Prepare according to package directions.  (Depending upon your preference, you will either need to boil 2 cups of water then add 1 cup of rice or a large pot of water and add 1/2 lb of orzo.)

Heat a large skillet on medium/high heat (about 325 degrees for an electric skillet).  Add the olive oil.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and saute, about 2 or 3 minutes on each side.

Remove the chicken from the pan.  You will be adding it back later.

If you haven't already added your rice/orzo to the boiling water, now would be the time.
Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the butter to the pan.  After the butter melts, add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes.  Once the mushrooms have browned, add the garlic, shallots and thyme.

Once the shallots have softened, add the balsamic vinegar.  This will help to deglaze the pan.
Immediately sprinkle in the flour and stir.
Then stir in the chicken broth and cream.  Simmer for a bit and it will thicken.
Add the chicken back into the pan to reheat it and stir it into the gravy.  Simmer on low while you finish preparing your rice/orzo.


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