Monday, February 20, 2017

One Skillet Chicken with Garlicky Mushroom Cream Sauce

The post #Whole30 world has been so interesting!  I look at everything with a critical eye determining how I can make a recipe Whole30 compliant...what can I substitute? Do any of the ingredients contain sugar?  How did I get brainwashed so quickly?

It is a constant monologue that goes through my mind daily!

With that in mind I was hosting Sunday Dinner this week and was THRILLED when I found a recipe everyone wanted to try, made a few substitutions and VOILA! we had a fantastic meal!  Everyone was raving about it and couldn't believe we had snuck another Whole30 compliant meal by them!

One Skillet Chicken with Garlicky Mushroom Cream Sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
3 cup chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup finely diced red onions
1/4 cup ghee
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or basil)

Using a mallet, pound down the chicken breasts/thighs into ½ inch thickness. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken.

In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried thyme.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and allow to brown for 3-4 minutes stirring as required to brown both sides. Remove the mushrooms to a plate (use one large enough to remove chicken as well).

Heat the remaining oil on medium high heat. Add the chicken and allow to brown on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side. Don’t worry if the chicken isn’t cooked completely, we’ll finish it in the oven. Remove the chicken to plate.

Reduce the flame to medium, add the shallots to the skillet along with the chicken broth mixture. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan so all the brown bits are loosened. Let sauce reduce for about 8-10 minutes.

When the sauce has thickened, remove from the flame, add the ghee and whisk until it melts completely. With the skillet off the flame add the sherry, coconut milk and mushrooms, and whisk to combine. Place the skillet back over the flame for just 30 seconds, do not allow the sauce to boil. Remove from heat, add the chicken back into the pan and drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Top with chopped parsley or basil and serve warm.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Culinary Experience for the Ages

If your family is anything like ours, when someone's birthday rolls around it is a sheer test of creativity to find something fun and different that the celebrated individual has 1) mentioned they want and more importantly 2) not already purchased it for themselves.

In the age of Amazon Now and 24 hour delivery, our family has found that the gift of an experience is so much more fun than another year of the gift card and sweater vest!

When my dads birthday rolled around the day before Thanksgiving this year we were all in a quandary trying to figure out what he might need when the idea came to my brother that an experiential gift would be something my father would enjoy so much more than anything we could purchase at a store.

This is where our dear friend, and culinary mastermind, Chris Cunningham comes into the picture!  He and his wife Sam have been friends of ours for years and we have loved picking Chris' brain over the years about a better way to cook paella, or what his favorite seasonal veggies he is using in his kitchen, or basically anything that pertains to cooking....typically over a beer while sitting around the pool.

Sam mentioned to us a while back that Chris has been doing private parties in people's homes where he will come and cook a three-course meal in the comfort of ones own home.  This was exactly the type of experience we were looking for for dad's birthday and it couldn't have been more perfect!
On an unseasonably warm day in February, Chris went to work on a meal consisting of seared scallops on top of a quinoa bellini with crushed pistachios, pickled raisins, avocado sauce all topped with the most decadent caviar (a first for many in my family...or at least for me!)
followed by beef tenderloin with sautéed brocollini, root au gratin consisting of celery root, sweet potatoes and turnips, all topped with a porcini truffle hollandaise and crispy fried onions. Are you drooling yet?  Because I am!
To complete this delicious meal, we were served a decadent chocolate tart with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream.  Absolutely amazing!
Entertainment and puppies to top out the night!
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