Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dinnertime: Tried and True Chicken

I hope you enjoy my messy dinnertime photo. I am no food network chef and my space doesn't always look camera ready, so I thought I’d share with you the real world of my kitchen at dinnertime.

Today I wanted to share a recipe that I like to make when I can’t think of much else to prepare; a tried and true, easy-peasy cheap-o meal.
1 lb. Chicken Thighs
3 tablespoons Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red Cooking Wine
1/4 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic 
2 teapoons unsalted butter
3 large pinches of flour

Ready to get started? Here we go!

The chicken was seasoned with 3 tablespoons of Mrs. Dash Tomato and Basil seasoning. If you are watching your salt but love good flavor, she’s the way to go!
In the meantime I sautéed chopped onion and minced garlic in 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Once the onions looked translucent I placed the chicken in the pan with the cooking wine and let simmer.

As a heads up, I am far from precise when it comes to cooking. For me it’s a little here, sprinkle there and taste to just make sure  -all of my measurements are purely guestimations-   yes, guestimations…I made that word up.

It is now time to take the chicken out of the pan to make a roux with the juices and onion-garlic bits that have already been cooked and left in the pan.
A roux {pronounced Roo} is a thickening agent which can be used to thicken soups or sauces. As long as you use your basic ingredients you can make a many different tasty options.  
Key ingredients for a roux: Fat + Flour + Liquid.
Try using one of the following in each category:
Fat: butter,oil, shortening, bacon fat, etc  
Flour: wheat, white or any you prefer 
Liquid: chicken, veggie, or beef stock

As you add in your fat and flour and mix, they will form a paste like consistency. This is when you want to add in your liquid of choice to thin it out and make more of a sauce.
 Though I tend to use stock, in this case I used more of the cooking wine for added flavor. You could obviously use regular wine as well or a milk/cream if you would like it to be extra creamy.
Over medium heat, use a whisk to combine all of the items you just added.  Once the mixture begins to bubble, add the chicken back in to finish cooking.
 I like to do this part before the meat has cooked all of the way through because the chicken will absorb more flavors and stay moist. Turn the burner to low and let simmer for 5 -7 minutes with a lid or cover. 

A few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your home and about 20 minutes of time, make for a wonderful meal. I served this chicken with mixed vegetables and homemade garlic bread. 
I hope this Thursday finds you well and that you're counting down til the weekend just like me.
I'll talk to you soon....
xoxo bd

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