Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken in a Lemon-Dill Broth

Remember I said I love how versatile chicken is? Well I really meant it, because here it is, another chicken recipe. I made this up as I went along - perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • For seasong chicken: approximately 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 sm onion, diced
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • Pinch of dill and salt for the sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional, to thicken sauce)


  • Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the dried dill, coriander, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat
  • Add chicken; cook 3-4 minutes per side, transfer to oven to finish cooking for just a few minutes (in a separate dish).
  • Add a touch of olive oil to the pan
  • Add garlic and onions, saute 2 minutes
  • Add white wine, stir, scraping up brown bits
  • Add broth, lemon, dill, and salt. Bring to a simmer
  • Whisk in butter
  • Return chicken to the pan
  • Serve over pasta

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Balsamic-Dijon Chicken with Mushrooms

I think it's funny when I look at my blog and see that I have 90 chicken recipes. 90? Poor Jon - he's not the biggest chicken fan, but I keep surprising him with new recipes, and he keeps eating them.

Before I got into cooking several years ago, I never would have thought I could make chicken 90 different ways. But now that I have, I love how versatile it is, and keep looking for new inspiration and recipes. You can use chicken in so many different ways, so many different cuisines, and with so many different ingredients. And the recipes are usually pretty quick and easy, even with a nice sauce and good flavor. Chicken doesn't have to be boring!!

That's why chicken ends up on my menu at least once, sometimes two times, a week. Several weeks ago, I came across
this recipe for Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. I made very minor changes, and thought the Dijon taste was pretty strong (in a good way), so renamed it Balsamic-Dijon Chicken with Mushrooms.

Ingredients (I used 2 breasts so I cut the recipe below in half)

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I used 2)
  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups small mushrooms, quartered (I used crimini mushrooms)
  • 1/3 c chicken broth
  • 1/3 c white wine
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves

Directions (written in my own words)

  • Heat half of the oil in a saute pan
  • Mix 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a bowl.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, then pour the balsamic-Dijon mixture onto the chicken, coating both sides.
  • Add the chicken to the pan, and saute until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan.
  • Add the mushrooms and thyme; saute for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the wine; stir, scraping up any brown bits. Add the broth and the rest of the balsamic. Bring to a simmer. Adjust seasonings.
  • Return chicken to the pan and let simmer another minute.

We both liked this - nice earthy flavors and super easy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hoisin Braised Short Ribs

This was a great recipe for New Year's Eve. Yes, that's when we made these short ribs and I'm just getting around to blogging them. Anyway, this dish was the perfect recipe for what we wanted - could start it early, it braised for a few hours, and then was ready to eat when we were ready - after the baby was in bed. And the fact that it was absolutely delicious helps, too.

I found the recipe for these short ribs in the How to Cook Like a Top Chef cookbook - it was Hosea's recipe. There are so many things in that book that I would love to cook! The short ribs recipe can be found online here.

I have to admit that Jon did most of the work while I took care of the baby and put her to bed. He did a great job!
We followed the recipe almost exactly - changes noted in italics below.

  • 3 lbs boneless beef short ribs (we used bone-in short ribs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 c peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 c chopped celery
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 1 c dry red wine
  • 2 c beef stock or low sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/2 c hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c fresh orange juice (sorry, we didn't squeeze our own juice! Used store bought)
  • 2 c water
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh time, a few sprigs reserved (we used dry, worked fine, but we didn't have the sprigs to use as a garnish at the end)


  • Pat the short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed ovenproof pot, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium high heat. Sear the short ribs to brown them on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side, and then remove them from the pan. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pot.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery and saute until caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Push aside the onion mixture, add the tomato paste, and brown for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Mix in the onion mixture, add the red wine, and stir to scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Reduce the sauce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the beef stock, hoisin, brown sugar, orange juice, water, thyme leaves, and bring to a simmer.
  • Put the ribs back in the pot, cover, and transfer to the oven. Braise the ribs until they are very tender, about 3 hours, checking the pot and stirring every hour.
  • Transfer the ribs to a platter and keep warm.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then reheat the sauce.
  • To serve, divide the short ribs among 4 dinner plates. Top with the sauce and garnish with the thyme sprigs.

We served the short ribs over mashed potatoes and with garlic sauteed spinach. The sauce on the ribs was so delicious that I could have licked my plate. I loved everything about this meal!

We enjoyed dinner with a bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine really stood up to the beef, and the peppery hints paired perfectly with the dish.