Lemon Chicken Breasts

Another one off Food Network.  This is copied straight off the website.  I used boneless skinless chicken instead, as part of my ongoing effort to at least try and be a little healthier.  The real reason I made this was to use the lemons off my tree in the back yard.  Just doesn’t get much more exciting than that, at least in my world.

4 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo

From the Food Network, one of my go-to sources.  I added some crab I had leftover from my recent crabbing trip, it was pretty darn good.

4 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Neufchtel or low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces fresh fettuccine
Freshly ground pepper
Directions

Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

Paella Project

A random photo gallery of my first attempt at paella earlier this week.  There is some disagreement there, as Donette claims I’ve made it before.  If I did, it wasn’t in a genuine paella pan, and surely it wouldn’t taste the same if assembled in a plain ol’ skillet.  I was pleased with the outcome, for a first (in my mind) try.

Elliott’s Burnt Ends Chili

I saw this in the paper this morning.  I haven’t actually made it yet, but I will.  Oh yes…  I will.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 pound prepared beef brisket burnt ends
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely minced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid drained off one
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup pilsner beer
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon barbecue rub
1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

2 teaspoons epazote (optional, for digestion)

Into the removable crock of a slow-cooker (or large food-safe plastic container), mix burnt ends, bell pepper, onion, beans, tomatoes, beer, garlic, chili powder, barbecue rub, cumin, cayenne, chipotle powder and optional epazote together until well-combined.

Place lid on crock (or plastic container) and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, to allow flavors to meld.

Place crock into slow-cooker (or transfer contents from plastic container into a soup pot), cover with lid and simmer on low in slow-cooker (or on stovetop) for at least 5 hours.

Note: Elliott uses Bush brand beans and Boulevard beer.

Spicy Linguine with Clams and Mussels

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, sliced
  • Kosher salt, for seasoning, plus 2 teaspoons
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine (recommended: Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 12 mussels, cleaned

Directions:
Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the butter and parsley and toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sauce: In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, red pepper flakes, clams and mussels. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook until all the shellfish have opened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any unopened shellfish.

Using tongs, remove the shellfish from the pan and reserve. Season the cooking liquid with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour the shellfish cooking liquid over the pasta and toss well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the reserved shellfish on top of the pasta and serve.