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SRC: Lemon Thyme Chicken

Secret Recipe Club

Yikes, another month has already gone by?! Yikes. I thought I had no time during busy season. Ha! Jokes. Now I’m studying for the CPA exam and still working full time (obviously) and I really really have no time. I’ve been living off of oatmeal for breakfast and then PB&Js for lunch and dinner since the office always has the fixins for it and I study after work…at work. I’m fairly certain I spend more time at work still than at my apartment.

Last month I’d decided I wanted to make something sweet for SRC so I could bring it in to work, but after living off of the aforementioned PB&Js I wanted something savory so I could make it and bring it into work for lunch/dinner. And I definitely found a winner!

I got assigned Fried Ice and Donut Holes by Melissa and I had so much fun looking through her recipe index! I finally settled on her Lemon Thyme Chicken, and boy am I glad I did!

Even though I’m a total sucker for lemon anything, this was absolutely delicious. Melissa was completely right when she said it was something straight out of a restaurant. It was delicious and I followed her advice and also made the baked garlic rice pilaf, and I’m so glad I did, the whole meal was delicious. Lemony and garlicky.

I started the rice first, since that took the longest and once that go into the oven, I cooked the chicken in batches. I can happily report that the recipe scales up nicely – just make sure you cook the chicken in batches! Everything was very simple and very delicious. I’m totally looking forward to having this for lunch or dinner next week in the office!

The recipe called for butterflying the chicken breasts which I didn’t do. Instead I pounded it flat because there’s something therapeutic about pounding those things flat. Too bad I can’t do it with my financial accounting review book. That would have been way more therapeutic. Le sigh. The only other change I made was to add capers to the pan sauce, because I love capers!

So, while I go back to living under the rock that is the CPA exam – go make this for dinner tonight! You won’t regret it!

Lemon Thyme Chicken

From Fried Ice and Donut Holes

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, butterflied or pounded flat
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves, minced
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 tablespoon capers
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
Juice from 1 Lemon
3 tablespoons Butter (I used about 1 1/2 and it was just fine)
Either butterfly your chicken breasts or pound them flat until they’re about half as thick.

In a large skillet (or sauce pan, just make sure it has sides, you’ll be making a pan sauce!)  heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Salt and pepper each breast and then dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess flour.

Place chicken breasts in the pan  — if they’re large chicken breasts (like the ones from Costco) you’ll want to do them separately – and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken breast over and cook for another three minutes. In the thickest part of the chicken breast insert a thermometer to make sure the chicken as reached 160 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut the chicken at the thickest part and if it’s white all the way through it’s done.

After the chicken has been cooked, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the yummy bits of food. Return to heat and bring to a simmer. Add in the chicken broth.

Cook for another 4-5 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce. Add in butter and lemon juice and stir until the butter has completely melted. Salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon over chicken and enjoy!

 

In case you make your dinner plans based off of what cats like to eat; I give you a cat approved meal:

Although, he does like green beans so I don’t know if we should trust him. His taste buds seem a bit off for a cat.



Secret Recipe Club: Chicken Pot Pie

Secret Recipe Club

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but if not I’ll mention it again, I’m horrific at making decisions. If life came with a flow chart complete with “if <x> do <y>” my life would be so much easier. Compounding this problem is that I desperately love planning. I tend to over think things. So when it comes to picking recipes to do it can definitely be a chore. Generally, when making recipes for The Secret Recipe Club I take three weeks to decide on something (and more often than not I narrow it down to about six and then email a friend saying “Which one do I choose?!”) and then the Saturday before the post needs to go up I make the recipe.  Well that’s just what happened with this recipe.

Have I mentioned I thrive on short deadlines? Doing everything and completing the task by a quick upcoming deadline always gives me a overwhelming sense of triumph.

This past Saturday was one of my closest friend’s, Molly, birthdays, so naturally I sent her Easy. Everyday. Eats. by Erin a blog with sections for food, crafts and bits about her life. She has cats. I adore her already. And please go look at her new kitchen, the amount of envy I have is overwhelming.

Anyway, I sent Erin’s blog link to Molly to have pick out a recipe for me to make. Delegation – totally worthwhile. So Molly then, who also can’t make decisions (watching us try to pick some place to eat drives her boyfriend crazy), sent me back some links. Five links. Le sigh. Once we figured out that Molly, another friend of ours – Jordann, and I were going to watch what’s perhaps one of the best song contests shows ever – Eurovision – together I knew we’d need a meal before the actual party started so I settled on the chicken pot pie.

One of the best things about this pot pie was that all three of us  made it. We used Erin’s recipe for Chicken Pot Pie as a starting point. We ended up adding two Granny Smith apples, some cinnamon, mushrooms and some sage to the mixture. One vegetable that I always look forward to in pot pies, was the one vegetable I forgot about  – the peas! So sad. Although, clearly not that sad since I didn’t remember they hadn’t been added until I saw the bag of frozen peas still in the freezer…the next day.

The Granny Smith apples and cinnamon really added a nice sweet touch the pot pie which was a nice complement to the savory basil and sage. We used store bought puff pastry, and a  store bought rotisserie chicken as time saving measures. Both worked wonderfully.

While making the filling part we thought that there wasn’t going to be enough gravy, so we added some more water but completely forgot to up the amount of flour to help thicken everything as it cooked. So the filling part wasn’t  all that thick and creamy, but it was still delicious and made a wonderful soup to dip bread into; which is exactly what we did!

Even though none of my favourite countries (France, Malta, and Ireland) won, Eurovision was a fun 3 hour diversion capped off with a delicious pot pie that made the house smell like heaven. Even one of the housemates mentioned that even though she wasn’t hungry in the slightest the smell was making her want to eat some. Next time California experiences some unseasonably cold weather I’m going to whip this up again because it really doesn’t take very long at all!

Chicken Pot Pie

From Erin at Easy. Everyday. Eats.

3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 large chicken breasts (about 3 cups shredded)
1 1/2 carrots, diced (about 5 carrots)
1 cup celery, diced (about 3 stalks)
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 large granny smith apples
1/2 a large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, mined
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch sage
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
olive oil
extra salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large pan over medium heat add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, salt, pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and apples. Cook until the apples have begun to soften, but are still firm when poked with a fork. About another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and mix in celery, and chicken. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish*.

In a microwave safe dish, heat the heavy cream for 20 seconds.

In a sauce pan, over low heat, melt the butter and then add in the flour whisking constantly for about two minutes. Add in the heavy cream whisking until smooth. Slowly pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes.

Pour over the vegetable mixture. Place thawed puff pastry sheet over the casserole dish and cut off the excess leaving about an inch all around the edge. Gently pinch the edge to seal the casserole dish.

In a small bowl mix together the egg and a few tablespoons of water. Brush over the top of the puff pastry.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

*I found it helpful for placing and removing to have the casserole dish on a baking sheet.

Secret Recipe Club: Brownie Cookies

Secret Recipe Club

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned K&K Test Kitchen by Kim and Kelsey – a mother/daughter duo! How fun! I had such a hard time deciding on what to make! I must have booked marked at least a dozen things.

But, I decided that since Busy Season (aka tax season) was over it would be fun to bring in something to the office so I settled on their Brownie Cookies. What an amazing idea. And yes, they do actually taste like a brownie only they’re cookies! How amazing is that? I love making brownies but they’re so difficult to bring to events; there needs to be a spatula or knife for everyone to cut them. But cookies? Just set them out and everyone can easily grab one. They were a total hit at the office, and then I made them again — yes I liked them so much that I made them twice in one week — for a family gathering on Sunday and they were a hit there too.

The batter for these cookies is extremely thick, and I have on good authority from my eldest sister that the batter is absolutely delicious. She may or may not have “pre-washed” the mixing bowl once I was done. I used a medium cookie scoop to dish out the batter and that seemed to be a good size. The cookies are very very rich, so I think anything larger would be too much. But who knows, I’m not a huge chocolate person so I could be totally wrong :)!

For the office, I made a double batch and the cookies came out more like cakey brownies than fudgey brownies. The second batch was a single batch and those came out a lot more like fudgey brownies. But I think that has more to do with the oven in my apartment vs. the oven in my parent’s house than anything else.  I forgot to count how many I got from the first batch, so I counted the ones I made yesterday and I had about 3 dozen cookies.I’m definitely keeping this recipe around for parties.

On top of that the recipe is super simple and it very easy to double, so it’s perfect for small gatherings or big gatherings! For the record, there were no cookies left over from either my office for my family gathering yesterday. As fun note, one of my very good friends who lives in England told me she was making brownie cookies last week as well and without knowing it we used the same recipe. We’re totally the same person. And if they win the approval of two different groups in California and one across the pond? Pretty sure these are keepers!

Brownie Cookies

From K&K Test Kitchen

½ cup butter
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium sized saucepan combine butter, unsweetened chocolate and half (1.5 cups) of the chocolate chips. Melt over medium heat stirring constantly. Once melted remove from burner and allow to cool while prepping the next steps.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl (I used my kitchen aid) mix together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Scrape the bottom of the bowl. Next, add in the salt. Then, add in the baking powder. Slowly add in the flower (I did three 1/2 cup measures). Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Add in the melted chocolate and the rest of the chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl one last time to make sure everything is mixed.

Scoop the cookies out onto ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for about a minute or two on the sheet then remove to a cooling rack.