Posts tagged: lemon

Chicken and spinach with white wine and lemon

 

Chicken and spinach
It’s farm share season, and in early summer, that means spinach! I often eat spinach raw in a salad, but it is a great addition to cooked dishes as long as you don’t overcook it into mush. So looking for something simple, I decided on a chicken recipe with spinach in a light white wine and lemon sauce.

I’m chicken recipe oriented for a number of reasons. It’s healthy. It’s relatively inexpensive. It takes on flavors easily, being somewhat neutral, so it is a natural for when you want other ingredients to shine. While in the case of this dish the lemon and white wine come to the front of the stage, by barely wilting the spinach, it will retain its flavor and the chicken will provide the texture and the protein (you could possibly use tofu in this dish, but I would miss the depth of flavor that the chicken offers as it cooks). I have made this with and without chicken broth and haven’t really noticed much difference, other than the sauce can be a bit this if you use the broth. The chicken should offer enough flavor to make the broth unnecessary.

This is very much a standard in my family as it is quickly prepared and cooked, and quite healthy too. I much prefer it to the many boring chicken dishes I am forced to make sometimes. Grilled chicken is nice, but a little wine and lemon juice go a long way to take a boring chicken breast to new levels. Chicken recipes are a dime a dozen, and this is not an uncommon one, but this is the simplest version of this recipe I make, and it is worth the minimal effort to make it.

thinly-sliced-chicken

Chicken, thinly sliced

Cooking garlic

Cooking garlic

Chopped spinach

Chopped spinach

Chicken and spinach with white wine and lemon
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This chicken dish is packed with flavor and a great way to use up a lot of spinach, the mix of textures is fantastic.
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 bunches Spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken into thin strips for fast cooking and a very tender consistency.
  2. Rinse the spinach and chop roughly.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add add garlic.
  4. After a minute (before garlic browns) add the chicken and cook until just done.
  5. Add wine and lemon juice (and broth if you chose to, I often don't).
  6. Toss in the spinach, and cook for just enough time for the leaves to wilt, but not overcook.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Notes
If you find that the sauce is too thin, pour in a little corn starch dissolved in cold water and continue cooking for 30 seconds. You will find that the sauce thickens up nicely (this is the trick to all those thick sauces in Chinese restaurants, they often have corn starch dissolved in chicken broth ready for use, so you vegetarians our there may want to ask if they use broth or water for their corn starch thickener).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 282g | Calories: 221 | Fat: 9.3g | Saturated fat: 2.0g | Unsaturated fat: 7.3g | Carbohydrates: 7.8g | Sugar: 1.1g | Fiber: 3.8g | Protein: 25.6g | Cholesterol: 62mg

 

Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean SaladThere are so many variations of this recipe, sometimes called Tuscan cannellini bean salad (the beans are also referred to as cannelloni beans as well), or white bean salad, and the ingredients are often varied and quite good. This is my version, which, of course, makes it the best. You may see a small bowl of this on the table at good Italian restaurants, and while the most common variation uses parsley instead of basil, I much prefer my version. You will too.

Ingredients:
1 19 oz can of cannellini (cannelloni) beans (or any kind of white bean such as butterbeans)
the juice of 1 lemon (~3 tablespooons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon pesto (or a handful of basil leaves coarsely chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
A baguette or rustic Italian bread, sliced into small cracker-like shapes

Directions:
1. Rinse the beans under water as, while the liquid they are packed in is quite nutritious, it won’t work well if included in this recipe. Set the beans aside. If you prefer, you can use dried beans that you soak, cook, and prepare yourself, but unless you are comfortable doing so and know how to ensure their tenderness, I recommend canned beans.

2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and pesto (or basil leaves) to a bowl and stir together. The mix does not have to be a perfect emulsion, just a gentle stir will do.

3. Add the beans and stir it up a bit. I like to crush a few of the beans to thicken the dressing mixture allowing it to adhere better to the beans and giving it some texture. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Eat the whole bowl because you can’t stop after testing the flavor. Go back to step 1 and start over and try not to eat the whole bowl this time.

4. Place a spoonful of the bean salad onto each piece of bread and serve.

I always have pesto around so it is easy for me to use it in this dish, but basil leaves work perfectly well and so does parsley. I may experiment with the decidedly non-Italian cilantro to see how that goes. As I always say, experiment yourself, add other items that interest you, and you may chance upon something that blows you away. As you can see from the picture, I also added a lot more garlic than I indicate in this recipe, and woke up this morning still tasting the garlic, which I rather enjoy. Cooking is as much an art as it is a science, so tweak any of the ingredients or techniques to suit your own taste.

I also put the salad in the refrigerator for a bit which causes the olive oil to thicken somewhat. This helps the salad stay together a bit better and allows some tome for all the flavors to blend. I can easily make an entire dinner from a hunk of bread and a bowl of these beans, which is not just frugal, but also delicious and nutritious.

Supreme de Volaille a la Milanaise

This classic, simple chicken dish is rich and flavorful while still being easy to make.

Ingredients
4 chicken cutlets
salt
pepper
flour
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup fine, fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, well beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated

Sauce Ingredients
4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Directions
1. Lightly season each cutlet with salt and pepper.

2. Line up three plates — one with 1 cup flour, the 2nd with the egg , 1/8 tsp salt, and1/2 tsp olive oil mixed together, and the third with the mixed cheeses (Parmesan & Romano) and bread crumbs.

3. Take each cutlet, coat with flour, then egg mixture, then cheeses. Let rest on waxed paper for at least half an hour.

4. Saute the cutlets in butter (4 Tbsp) and olive oil (2Tbsp) for approximately 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes in second side, until brown and firm to the touch.

5. Keep warm in a low oven (150 degrees) until ready to serve.

For the sauce:
Put 4 Tbsp butter in a skillet over moderate heat until it turns light brown. Remove from heat and, add lemon and parsley. Spoon over cutlets and serve.

Serves 2 to 4