Thursday, February 15, 2024

Weekly Cooking Report February 15: Marry Me Chicken

Another Week, and other recipe, and we're back to playing with chicken breasts in a skillet because it's a very simple go-to. This week its a riff on the internet classic Marry Me Chicken, which I threw together for the first time earlier this week to general acclaim. It's pretty damn simple, being just sautéing the chicken, making a sauce, and putting the chicken in it. I ended up serving it over couscous, with added fresh tomato in the sauce to have it double as the vegetable. 

Why, you ask? well, I found some other recipes for similar things that add kale into the sauce but a) I don't like kale and b) don't trust kale. We only ever use it chopped up in soups and stews, otherwise its ridged texture is too noticeable. Whereas the extra chopped fresh tomatoes add a nice hit of acid depth to the very savory baseline sauce, pair really well with the basil and the rest of the tomato flavor, and get you some veggies. 

Why pair with couscous? Because couscous is the student cooks best friend. It's the starch you can't mess up! Boil water. Add couscous and flavor packet from the box mix. Let sit. Fluff with fork. Tastes yummy, looks good, fills a hole on the plate, and is very versatile with the box you buy. 

Speaking of buying, the rest of the shopping list is pretty simple: garlic (and you should have that jar of diced or minced garlic already, use that...), Olive oil and kosher salt (you probably have both), some chicken broth and heavy cream (may already be in the fridge), a jar of sun dried tomatoes of which you'll be using about 1/3rd to 1/2 along with some of the oil, and some red pepper flakes, which are handy to have around. I also chucked in some fennel seeds because the recipe that used kale recommended them and I have those around... they added some nice pops of flavor. Finally fresh basil, which if you can find I heartily recommend over the dry. When you chop it up you'll smell it and ask yourself why you don't use basil more often. 

The recipe I linked to calls for pounding the chicken breasts down. I mean, you can...? Or you can cut them in half to get the right thickness. Or you can let the store do the work and buy chicken cutlets. If whatever you're cooking is less than 1/2 an inch thick (and cutlets usually are) cut the cooking time down to 2-3 minutes per side. You're still going to need to work in batches, so have a plate ready. 

Salt the chicken. Heat oil for a couple of minutes, add half the chicken, 2-3 minutes and flip, 2-3 minutes and put on plate, repeat for the other half of the chicken. The hard part is done. Yes, that was the hard part. 

Add a little of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes jar, heat that, and then toss in the garlic, the chopped sun dried tomatoes, and a smidge of red pepper flakes. 30 second later add the chopped fresh tomatoes and the tomato paste, keep stirring everything for 1-2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and heavy cream, along with another hit of salt. Let it simmer (a very mild boil, just barely bubbling) for 4 minutes so it reduces and comes together. Add the chicken back in and cook for 4-7 minutes (4 will be enough if you're using cutlets). 

Serve over the couscous with sprinkles of chopped basil to a grateful family. This should only take a half hour, 45 minutes tops. 

If you have sauce left over but not chicken, buy a rotisserie chicken the next day, strip the skin off the chicken breasts, chop those off and put them in the leftover sauce to reheat. It's not AS GOOD, but it's still pretty damn good. 

No comments:

Post a Comment