Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Yummy Valentine

I'm worth it, and so are you.

Sometimes we want to have dinner at an upscale eatery but either don't have the time or funds to make it happen. So, I had this great idea, or so I thought, to use my miles in exchange for a restaurant certificate. After all, you need like 739,271 miles to get 1 round trip DOMESTIC ticket. I figured, why waste time? Anyways, my plan didn't quite work out, so instead, I decided to take a stab at one of Julia's recipes as a special treat to myself. It was time to see if I could recreate that high end restaurant flavor on a modest budget. This is my version of combining two recipes Chicken in brown sauce and Chicken with vegetables in a cream sauce.

I picked up a small bottle of vermouth, two large boneless skinless chicken breasts, heavy cream and some savory veggies all for a total of about $12. After dividing the breasts into 6-8 event pieces, I seasoned with salt and pepper, dredged in flour and browned in approximately 6 tablespoons of butter with a bit of canola oil. After setting the chicken aside, I added diced carrots, celery and onion and scraped up all the "yum yums" browned bits from the pan. I removed the veggies, then added a small amount of butter along with the chopped shallots. I then added the vermouth (I wanted to get fancy and flame the pan, but I tend to like having eyebrows) and beef stock then reduced by half to concentrate the flavor. I then added heavy cream, chicken and veggies, brought to a simmer and served.


Now you calorie watchers and fat gram stalkers may want to turn your heads, but there is something to be said about the flavor of butter and heavy cream as a flavor enhancer. Both lend a velvety smooth texture and serve as ideal carrier for the flavor of other ingredients. Truth be told, you when you eat quality food that is well prepared, you don't have to engorge to feel satisfied. Now that I've tested a recipe, I plan on preparing another gourmet specialty to celebrate Valentine's Day, oh and the All-Star game :).

I encourage anyone who wants to perhaps impress that special Valentine or prepare a special meal for yourself to try one of Julia's recipes.

Happy Cooking!