Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chicken Provencal w/ Sauteed Spniach and Pine Nuts

Wednesday nights are my serious cooking nights. Most other nights of the week are difficult with our schedule. Monday I have agility with The Dog. Tuesday nights The Spouse has indoor soccer. Thursday is a question-mark day. Friday is hard to say whether either of us wants to cook or not. And the weekends are usually filled with family events, soccer, etc.

Wednesday, however, The Dog has daycare, so he's not pesty in the kitchen, so we always try to make an effort to do a nice dinner.

Tonight I had taken out some chicken breasts but had no idea what to do with them. I searched online but couldn't find anything to inspire me. I called The Spouse and asked what he was in the mood for and got the Shrug over the phone. When pressed, he said "Something Mediterranean." Gee, that's specific, since "Mediterranean" can span anything from Spain to Greece to North Africa. Added to that, I REALLY did not want to have to run to the store to pick up one or two ingredients to make some recipe.

The resulting dinner was strictly from our pantry. And, best of all, could be adjusted to be suitable for grilling during the summer with a light salad.

Serve with Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese.

Chicken Provencal
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk (I mixed 1 cup skim milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice)
~1 cup whole wheat flour
~1/4 cup wheat germ
herbes de provence
sea salt
ground pepper
1 tbsp butter, divided
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup lemon juice

Mix together the wheat flour, wheat germ, herbes, salt and pepper and spread on a plate. Mix the wine, broth and lemon juice.

Pound chicken breasts flat with meat mallet. Dip in buttermilk, then dredge thru flour mixture. Set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add in 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp olive oil until butter is melted. Sautee 2 of the chicken breasts for 5 minutes, turning halfway thru. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add in remaining 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Repeat with remaining 2 chicken breasts. Remove from heat and keep warm with the others.

Warm remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil in pan. Sautee shallots and garlic until lightly browned. Deglace pan with wine/broth mixture. Bring to a boil. Add chicken back to pan. Reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from pan and plate. Plate spinach, sprinkle with goat cheese. Increase heat on sauce and reduce the sauce until slightly thickened (30 seconds). Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Serve immediately.

Wine pairing: I paired this with a Nobilo 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (from Marlborough valley in New Zealand)

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