A Chicken in Every Pot!

Chicken in Lemon Coriander Broth

1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into fine strips,

about 1/4 inch wide and 1 & 1/2 inches long
1 clove minced garlic
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
8 ounces new red potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, left whole
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Simmer the garlic in the broth and water for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken, lemon zest and simmer gently, without boiling, for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the broth from the heat and add the cilantro and lemon juice.

Sprinkle each portion with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Asparagus and Lemon Chicken with Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup water, white wine or chicken stock
3 cups cooked rice

In a large non-stick skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the zest and 1/2 cup liquid and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Serve immediately over hot rice.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

 

Chicken Breasts in Tarragon Cream

If you're an herb lover, this dish, which takes 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish, will become a standard in your repetoire.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh French tarragon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Browning the chicken. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully lower the chicken breasts into the pan and cook them for about 1 minute on each side just until they begin to brown slightly. Transfer the still-raw chicken to a plate.

2. Poaching in cream. Reduce the heat under the skillet to low. Add the shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, less than 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook for 30 seconds, then add the cream and half the tarragon. Return the chicken breasts to the pan and adjust the heat so that the cream gently simmers. Cover and cook until the chicken is firm and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. To check for doneness, cut into the thickest part of a breast with a pairing knife--there should be no sign of pink or translucence.

3. Finishing. Transfer the chicken breasts to a warmed serving platter or individual dinner plates. The sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. If it is too thin, continue to simmer it for about 1 minute and it will thicken. Stir in the remaining tarragon and the lemon juice, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve right away with buttered egg noodles.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes

Chicken Coconut Soup

COCONUT MILK:
2 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
3 cups milk

Combine the coconut with the milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat slowly, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and cool. Strain the milk, pressing down on the coconut meat to extract all the liquid. Squeeze all the coconut through a towel to get any last drops. Discard the coconut.

CHICKEN COCONUT SOUP:
4 stalks fresh lemongrass
4 cups chicken stock
2-4 T fresh ginger mint chopped
10 whole black peppercorns, crushed
3 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
12 fresh lime leaves (or scant 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest)
2 cups coconut milk
1 whole chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup canned straw mushrooms, drained well
1/2 cup julienned snow peas
1/2 cup julienned carrots
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Remove the grassy tops of the lemongrass, leaving stalks about 6 inches long, and cut off any hard root section. Using the blunt edge of a large knife or cleaver, bruise each stalk all over. Cut each stalk into 4 pieces.

In a saucepan bring chicken stock to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then add lemongrass, galanga, peppercorns, serrano chile, and lime leaves. Simmer 15 minutes, then add coconut milk and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces, straw mushrooms, snow peas, and carrots. Simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in fish sauce, and lime juice and serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, galanga or ginger, or lime leaves when eating.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tea Smoked Chicken

3 pound whole chicken
1 teaspoon ground Szechwan peppercorn
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fivespice powder

Smoking Mixture:
1/2 cup black tea leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw rice
2 to 3 chunks fresh ginger
2 to 3 large strips of orange zest
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Scallion brushes

Wash the chicken and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Combine Szechwan peppercorns, salt, and fivespice powder in a small bowl. Rub the seasonings into the outside and inside cavity of the bird. Place the chicken in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Fill the lower part of a steamer with enough water to come within an inch of the cooking rack. Bring the water to a rolling boil, place the chicken on the rack, and cover the steamer. Steam the chicken for 45 minutes, keeping the water at a boil and replenishing it as it boils away.

Line a large wok or a heavy Dutch oven with tightfitting lid with heavyduty aluminum foil.

Combine the smoking mixture ingredients and spread over the foil in the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat under the pot to high and place a rack about 3 inches above the smoking mixture so that the chicken does not touch it. Place the chicken on the rack, breast side up. Line the inside of the lid with more foil, leaving an excess of 3 inches around the lid. Cover the pot tightly and crimp the foil down so the lid fits securely and smoke doesn't escape.

After you detect smoke, smoke the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the smoke subside, about 5 minutes. The chicken should be a rich, golden brown on the outside.

Lift out the smoked chicken and transfer to a cutting board. Immediately brush the sesame oil lightly over the outside. Allow chicken to cool, about 10 minutes. To serve, cut off the wings and legs. Divide the body of the chicken in half lengthwise by cutting through the breast and backbone. Lay the halves flat on the cutting board, skinside up, and use a cleaver to chop through each half, bones and all, into 3 to 4 equal pieces. Chop the wings and legs into pieces as well. Arrange the chicken pieces on a large platter, and garnish with the scallion brushes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Lazy Lasagna with Tomato-Basil Sauce

1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with puree (14 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, or to taste
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
12 wonton skins
Fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook garlic in butter in a large heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with puree and simmer sauce over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring, 20 minutes. Stir in orange juice, half of basil and salt and pepper, to taste.

While sauce is cooking, stir together ricotta, Parmesan, remaining basil, and oregano, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Separate wonton skins and add to a shallow saucepan of salted boiling water, then immediately transfer with a slotted spoon or a spider to a shallow dish with a little of the boiling water.

Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce evenly in bottom of a buttered small sheet tray or 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 4 wonton skins, drained briefly on a kitchen towel, in 1 layer on top of sauce. Divide half of ricotta mixture evenly among squares in pan and top with 4 more squares, drained briefly. Spoon remaining ricotta mixture evenly on top of squares in pan and top with remaining 4 squares, drained.

Spoon several tablespoons sauce over each stack and bake, uncovered, in middle of oven until bubbling, and heated through, about 10 minutes.

Yield: 2 main-course or 4 appetizer servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

 

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