Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Chicken Picata - Pioneer Woman Cooks

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Kosher Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
5 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup Dry White Wine
¾ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 - 1 whole Lemons
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 pound Angel Hair Pasta

Preparation Instructions
This is how you make Chicken Piccata when you’re out of capers and you have a pathological fear of cooking anything without adding heavy cream.

Have a pot of water simmering for the pasta.

If chicken breasts are overly thick, pound until slightly flattened. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides, then dredge in flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry two of the chicken breasts at one time until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side; a little longer if
breasts are thicker, a little shorter if breasts are thinner. Remove to a plate, then add the other 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Fry the other two breasts until golden, monitoring the oil/butter mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn. Decrease heat as needed!

After removing the chicken, have the heat on medium to medium-low. Pour in wine and chicken broth, and squeeze in the juice of two lemons. Whisk the sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan. Allow sauce to cook and bubble and thicken until reduced by about half. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper as it’s cooking.

Reduce heat to low and pour in cream. Whisk together and allow to cook for a couple of minute until sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings or other ingredients. Expect the sauce to have a real tang to it; counter it with a little more broth and cream if it’s too strong! Sprinkle in some chopped parsley and stir.

Right at the end, cook angel hair until al dente—do not overcook!

With tongs, place a medium-sized mound of pasta on a plate. Place a cooked chicken breast beside it, then spoon sauce over the chicken and the pasta. The sauce is strong, so no need to drown it. Sprinkle a little minced parsley over the top.

Lemon Chicken - Susan Branch Heart of Home Cookbook

4 chicken breasts (I used tenders)
1 1/2 cups flour (this is way too much - also it's easy to put in bag and shake to coat)
1/3 cup butter
2 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper

Place chicken between wax paper and pound to flatten. Coat with flour and cook in butter and oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP parsley, chopped
1 lemon

Melt butter in pan with drippings from cooking chicken. Remove from heat and add parsley and 1 TBS lemon juice. Pour sauce over chicken.
Hilary's Notes: This calls for a TON of butter. Can easily be cut back. I'd cut back when you make the sauce. Also, I used dried parsley (forgot to buy the fresh). I also thought, "Lemons, yum-- I'll double the lemon since I like lemon so much." Not a good idea! PUCKER UP SOUR! But really tender and moist and I'll definitely repeat - just won't use so much lemon!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta - Pioneer Woman Cooks

•4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
•1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
•½ sticks Butter
•3 whole Lemons, Juiced
•¾ cups Heavy Cream
•¼ cups Half-and-half
•1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
•Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
•20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pasta alla Vodka with Chicken - Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks

1 pound Pasta
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Chicken breasts chopped in bite size pieces
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped Finely
2 cloves (to 3 Cloves) Garlic, Chopped
¾ cups (to 1 Cup) Vodka
1 can (About 14.5 Oz.) Tomato Sauce
1 cup Heavy Cream or Half & Half
1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
¼ teaspoons (to 1/2 Teaspoon) Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add in chopped chicken and cook until done. Remove chickent from pan. In same pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add onion and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato sauc and stir.

Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Pour mixture into large serving bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese.

Eat it out of the serving bowl. Faint. Repeat as needed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Banana Banana Bread Recipe -

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
3/4 - 1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hershey's One Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans, 25 cupcakes or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 18 - 22 minutes for cupcakes, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.)

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting - Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

2 sticks of Butter, softened to room temperature (the regular ol' salted stuff)
1 - 2 TBLS Corn syrup
4 cups Powdered sugar (I buy huge bags at Sam's Club, but a regular small bag is fine)
1 TSP Vanilla (nothing fancy, I buy a big bottle of that at Sam's too)
2 TBLS Milk (I use 2%, whole would be great too. I don't recommend skim)

Put butter, milk, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix on low speed until it just starts to come together, about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase to medium low speed and beat for about another minute. It should be almost combined but there will still be a bit of liquid at the bottom.

Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for about another or minute or so. Add powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until sugar is just barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and increase speed slowly to medium. Beat for about a minute.

At this point, you want to check your consistency. This is very important because if your frosting is too thick, it will not spread well. If your spatula does not glide through the frosting, add about a tablespoon of corn syrup and beat on medium for about 30 seconds.

Add another tablespoon of corn syrup and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Repeat until the frosting seems to be of a good spreadable consistency. You don't want it too runny though, or it will just slide off the cake.

Once you get your frosting to a good, spreadable consistency, increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for one minute. This will get your frosting nice and fluffy.

Here's how to take your frosting a step further:

With an offset spatula, put a good - size blob of frosting on your cupcake.

Use your spatula to get it nice and flat. It's okay if it's not perfectly smooth, just make sure that it's spread to the edges of the cupcake.

Holding your spatula with it's edge along the side of your cupcake, give your cupcake a spin. This will take off the excess frosting and make your edges nice and flat.

Pour your favorite sprinkles onto a plate and roll the edges of the frosting in the sprinkles.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brownies - Baker's Chocolate

4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F.

Spray pan with cooking spray.

MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and nuts; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool completely.
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