Thai Chicken Stir-Fry

Another non-dessert post! Don’t get me wrong, I do plenty of cooking – almost every night. However, usually I don’t think the dish is unique enough to blog about, or just don’t think about snapping a photo before we eat. Also, I cook like my mom – I throw a whole bunch of spices or veggies together without measuring much, and that doesn’t make for a great recipe.

This Thai Chicken Stir-Fry was a new recipe for us, from my favorite cooking magazine, Fine Cooking. As usual, it was another hit – easy and quick but full of flavor compliments of the fresh basil. I enjoyed the slight spiciness of the herb, which I don’t normally notice in pastas or salad caprese. This stir-fry did make me happy that I planted basil again this year.

Thai Chicken Stir-Fry

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 98

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. chicken breast cutlets (about 1/4 inch thick), cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c. lightly packed fresh basil leaves, cut roughly into 1/2 inch strips
  • Peanuts

Heat the oil in a well-seasoned wok or a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots start to soften but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it’s no longer pink and the shallots are beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the lime juice, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is just cooked through and the liquid reduces to a saucy consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the sauce reduces before the chicken is cooked through, add water, 1 Tbs. at a time.) Remove from the heat, add the basil, and stir to wilt it.

Caesar Club Sandwich

I was very excited when I saw that Karen of Shortbread chose Ina Garten’s Caesar Club Sandwich for Barefoot Bloggers this month. I have come across this recipe a couple times and have been waiting to try it. I was not disappointed. The sandwich was amazing – easy and flavorful. The dressing tasted way better than any bottled Caesar dressing does (I made mine without the anchovy paste, which I couldn’t find at my grocery store), and the sun-dried tomatoes were a surprising burst of flavor. I prepared everything ahead of time and assembled it shortly before my friends arrived. I have a feeling that my hubby will be adding this to his list of favorite dinners.

Caesar Club Sandwich

From Barefoot Contessa at Home and on Food Network

Ingredients for the Salad Dressing:

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise

Ingredients for the Sandwich:

  • 1 whole chicken breast (bone in, skin on, and split) or leftover rotisserie chicken
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 large ciabatta bread, or other bread with a slightly crunchy crust
  • 2 oz. arugula or spinach, washed and dried
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 2-3 oz. Parmesan, shaved (I used shredded, since that’s what we keep on hand)

Make the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and roast 35-40 minutes, until cooked through. Cook slightly. Slice meat off bone and set aside.

I used left over chicken from an rotisserie chicken I made the night before, and that worked perfectly. This is a great way to use up leftovers!

Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients:

1. Make the Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Or, combine all ingredients in a food processor, processing until smooth.(Refrigerate if not using immediately.)

2. Place pancetta on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, until crispy. Pat off grease with a paper towel and set aside.

3. Slice bread in half horizontally. Place on a baking sheet (cut-side up) or directly on wire oven racks. Toast for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Assemble the Sandwich

Spread Caesar dressing on both piece of bread. Then layer: arugula / spinach; sun-dried tomatoes; pancetta; chicken; shaved Parmesan (or, if using shredded, sprinkle on top half of bread, so that it will stick to the dressing). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place top on sandwich and cut into pieces. Serve at room temperature.

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry-Port Sauce

The only change I made with this recipe was to make two birds instead of four. If you’re going to make four birds, be sure to double the sauce below.

This recipe was mighty intimidating. I don’t like to make turkeys or chickens (um, ew, pulling out the innards?), and have never deboned any bird in my life. Since this was part of my special Valentine’s Day dinner for the hubby, I started the day early (when he was involved in video games and not paying any attention to me). It was slightly traumatic, and they weren’t the prettiest birds, but I did it!

Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Cranberry-Port Sauce

Adapted from: Fine Cooking No. 102 (p. 65)

Ingredients for the Birds:

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens, 1 1/2-2 lbs. each
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage leaves (save the stems for the broth)
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (save the stems for the broth)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Ingredients for the Broth:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 c. chopped shallot
  • Reserved backbone & wing tips from hens
  • Reserved sage & thyme stems

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 1/3 c. ruby port
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Prepare Birds At Least 12 Hours in Advance:

Step 1: Split each hen down the center of the back using a chef’s or butcher’s knife. Remove the backbone. Or, using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone. Set backbone aside.

Step 2: Extend wings on each side and chop off the last two joints. Set wing tips aside, with backbone.

Step 3: Combine sage, thyme, 1 Tbs. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Pat hens dry and rub sage-thyme mixture on both sides of the hen. Place hens, skin-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Hens should not be touching. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 12 hours, or overnight.

My backbone-less hens… not the prettiest but they sure were tasty.

Make Broth & Sauce 12 Hours in Advance:

Step 1, the Broth:  Heat oil in a 3-4 qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Pat the wings and backbone dry and add to hot oil. Stir a few times until browned on all sides. Add chicken broth, shallots,  and sage & thyme stems. Reduce heat, simmering for 30 minutes. Strain, removing the solids, and let cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Step 2, Start the Sauce: Combine port and cranberries in a small bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight, so that cranberries plump up.

A couple hours before mealtime… remove the hens from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for an hour.

Roast the Hens:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt 1/2 tbs. unsalted butter and brush it over the hens. Roast the hens for 30 minutes, rotating half-way through. An instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 175°F to 180°F when done. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, Finish the Sauce:

Remove broth from fridge and skim fat off broth, and heat in a small sauce pan.

In another saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tbs. butter. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 1 minutes. Stir in flour and whisk for about 30 seconds, until a thick paste has formed. Strain port into sauce pan, setting aside the plump cranberries. Whisk for another 30 seconds.

Whisk in broth until the sauce is smooth. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer, whisking occasionally until sauce reduced to 1/3 its volume, 5-8 minutes.

Stir in cranberries and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Just prior to serving, pour any juices left from the roasted hens into the sauce, stirring to combine.

Serve roasted hens with a drizzle of the cranberry port sauce.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

I love meals that are quick to prepare. This one only took me 5-10 minutes to actually prepare, making the sauce. I marinated it for only a couple hours and it came out great. Sweet sauce and moist chicken, my only complaint was that I hate picking the chicken off the bone. I’d love to try this as a marinade and sauce for grilled chicken cutlets this summer.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

Adapted From: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 3/8 c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 c. minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
  • 1/4 c. peeled & grated fresh ginger root
  • 8-10 chicken thighs

Marinade: In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger root. Heat until honey is melted and sauce is combined.

In a shallow baking pan, place chicken thighs skin side down. Cover in sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil and marinade at least 2 hours or overnight.

Cook: Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cook the chicken for 30 minutes with foil on. Uncover pan, flip chicken, and raise the temperature to 375F. Roast for another 20-30 minutes, until cooked through. Sauce will be a deep brown.

Serve over rice or with a side of Green Beans.

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca is a lighter pasta dish that is delicious year round. Lean chicken breasts, salty proscuitto, and fresh sage are sauteed before being added to spaghetti and tossed in a light Marsala wine sauce. Serve with a side salad or some crusty French bread for a satisfying meal.

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca is a lighter pasta dish that is delicious year round. Lean chicken breasts, salty proscuitto, and fresh sage are sauteed before being added to spaghetti and tossed in a light Marsala wine sauce. Serve with a side salad or some crusty French bread for a satisfying meal.

I’m the type of person that can eat pasta all year round. Maybe it’s my Italian roots, but pasta is never off the table as a dinner option. While pasta with meat sauce (my lazy version of bolognese) is the most common pasta I make because it’s super easy and doesn’t require a lot of handson time (essential for weeknight cooking), I do love to experiment with other recipes.

This recipe is a long-time family favorite of ours. It is a bit lighter than the tomato-based sauces I favor, making it perfect for any time of the year. In fact, I make it most frequently during the summer when my garden is producing more sage than I know what to do with. This recipe cooks up fairly quick, is forgiving in the quantities of ingredients used, and is bright with flavor. It also scales really well, when we are entertaining and need to feed a crowd. Besides, a little leftovers never hurt – they never last long in my house.

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca is a lighter pasta dish that is delicious year round. Lean chicken breasts, salty proscuitto, and fresh sage are sauteed before being added to spaghetti and tossed in a light Marsala wine sauce. Serve with a side salad or some crusty French bread for a satisfying meal.

Tip: Preserve Summer Sage

This particular recipe does well with fresh or frozen sage. When my herbs are overflowing in the summer (or maybe you just didn’t finish the package you had bought for another recipe), I trim the plants back and freeze the sage leaves to be used in this recipe and others (i.e. these Blood Orange Sage Vodka Sodas).

To freeze, place sage – cleaned with stems removed – in a single layer on a wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 24-48 hours. Transfer to an airtight freezer bag and store in the freezer until further use.

To use, remove sage from freezer. Chop when still frozen. Use in recipe as directed (still frozen or defrosted are both fine.)

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Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca is a lighter pasta dish that is delicious year round. Lean chicken breasts, salty proscuitto, and fresh sage are sauteed before being added to spaghetti and tossed in a light Marsala wine sauce. Serve with a side salad or some crusty French bread for a satisfying meal.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 583 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. white cornmeal
  • 1 Tbs. Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb. chicken cutlets cut into chunks (or, pounded thinly and then sliced)
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. proscuitto, small dice
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh or frozen sage
  • 1 16-oz. box spaghetti
  • 1/2 c. dry Marsala wine
  • 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Mix cornmeal, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag. Seal and shake to mix thoroughly. Add chicken and shake again, ensuring that all pieces are coated.
  2. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, prosciutto, and sage. Saute.
  3. Meanwhile, start boiling a pot of water for the spaghetti, and cook according to package. If finished before the chicken, toss with a little bit of extra olive oil and keep warm.

  4. When chicken is browned and cooked, add Marsala wine, chicken broth, and butter. Cook for 10 minutes, reducing slightly.

  5. Toss chicken and sauce with spaghetti.
  6. Serve hot sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired, with a side of French Bread and Sage Butter (recipe below).

Recipe Notes

  • Nutrition calculated using 1 1/2 lb. chicken breast.
  • Feel free to adjust quantities of chicken, sage, and prosciutto to taste. I like more sage and prosciutto than the original recipe calls for, but tend to use whatever is in a package.

This recipe was adapted from Veal Scaloppini Saltimbocca in Bon Appetit, Sept 2002.

Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca by Books n Cooks - Chicken Scaloppini Saltimbocca is a lighter pasta dish that is delicious year round. Lean chicken breasts, salty pancetta, and fresh sage are sauteed before being added to spaghetti and tossed in a light Marsala wine sauce.

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Chicken or Veal Scaloppini Saltimbocca

Bon Appetit Sept 2002

Ingredients:

§ 6 oz. spaghetti

§ 2 Tbs. olive oil

§ ½ c. white cornmeal

§ 1 Tbs. herbes de Provence*

§ ½ tsp. salt

§ ¼ tsp. pepper

§ 4 3-oz chicken or veal cutlets, pounded thin (or thinly sliced and then cut into chunks)

§ ½ c. thinly chopped prosciutto

§ 1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage

§ 1/2 c. dry Marsala (Florio brand recommended)

§ 1/2 c. low-salt chicken broth

§ ¼ c. butter

Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain & toss with oil. Keep warm.

Mix cornmeal, herbes de Provence, salt & pepper in a bag. Coat chicken/veal with cornmeal mixture.

Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken/veal, prosciutto, and sage. Sauté.

Add marsala wine, chicken broth and butter. Reduce.

Serve over spaghetti.


* A combination of herbs typically including basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram or mint, rosemary, savory, sage, and thyme. Variations may include additional herbs (such as bay leaf, peppercorns, orange peel, and tarragon). These are all herbs grown in the Provence region of France and the herb mixture is used to flavor fish, meats, olives, potatoes, stews, soups, and sauces.

Ingredient Substitutions: For 2 tbsp herbs de Provence substitute the following mixture:

§ 4 tsp each dried thyme and marjoram

§ 1 1/2 tsp summer savory

§ 1/4 tsp dried rosemary and mint

§ 1/8 tsp fennel seeds

§ Pinch each of dried sage an lavender flowers