Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chicken Scallopini

I haven't done a whole lot of cooking since I've been in Texas. Usually, I take charge of the grocery list and ensure that these boys get some good eats and that I get to play in the kitchen. But Art's been on this health food/tight budget kick, and so... there's some chicken. And more chicken. And pork for a treat. And while I will sing chicken's praises all day long, there's only so much grilled chicken I can think about eating. So, I looked at what we had in the pantry, and this came out. This is NOT your standard chicken scallopini recipe. In fact, I'm only calling it that because I think it might look like it. That is the only reason.

Digging through this bachelor pantry, I found this stuff:

White wine (I used 2007 Barefoot Chardonnay... ain't bad), some lemons, God-forsaken chicken breast (this had rib meat on it... takes two seconds to trim off and it's much cheaper!!), extra virgin olive oil, half and half, garlic (natch), margarine (could also use butter, but for shame), capers, parmesan cheese, and mushrooms. Don't you forget the mushrooms or I will cry.

We're going to bread up the chicken a little, so it's important that they are even thickness. If you have a rolling pin, flat sauce pan, meat tenderizer, etc., use that and pound the heck out of the chicken. Or, if you are in the house of two clueless bachelors, ask them politely to borrow their potato masher.

Get a few tablespoons of oil and a few tablespoons of butter in the pan, and get your pasta water rolling.

After the butter and oil has mixed together, split a few cloves of garlic and pop it in the pan. We'll remove it later.

Salt and pepper the flattened chicken and roll it in some flour. Or, if you have a plastic gallon bag, put some flour in there and shake shake shake. Then put the chicken in the pan. Why I thought you needed a picture of boiling water and not a picture of the last three steps, I'll never know. My shortcomings are many.

Your kitchen should be smelling delicious now. And, if I'm right, around this time you'll have some good looking single men start to gather in the kitchen saying "Looks good." And then they'll drag their knuckles and go back to watching Cash Cab.

... Perhaps that will only happen if you're me.

Anyways, once the chicken is delightfully browned on both sides, remove it from the pan and put it under a foil-tent on a plate. Remove the garlic cloves.

Then, oh baby, this is where the fun starts. There should be lots of brown bits stuck to the bottom of your pan. DON'T DO ANYTHING TO THEM. That's where the magic's at.

Melt a little more butter and throw in a bunch of sliced mushrooms. Try not to eat half the carton as they go in.

Again, that may only happen if you are me. Be grateful you're not me and you can cook your mushrooms in peace.

Once the mushrooms are coated, take about a cup of dry white wine and pour it into the pan, and start to scrape the bits off the bottom. This is called deglazing. I think. Unless the Food Network tells lies, because I obviously do not get my culinary information anywhere else.

Oh good gracious. Oh mercy me. If your kitchen doesn't smell divine right now, I have failed. There is something about the smell of reducing white wine that makes me swoon.

The mushrooms will cook in the wine sauce and reduce quite a bit. Like THIS:

The best part of this dish? It brought this handsome fellow into the kitchen:

Dreamboat, am I right? I can't guarantee he will show up in your kitchen if you make chicken scallopini. But honestly, it's worth trying.

Anyway, back to the food. Reduce the heat to low and pour in just enough half and half to thin out the sauce a little bit. You could also use chicken stock. I wish I did, actually. My GI tract hates half and half.

I promise never to talk about my GI tract on this blog ever again.

No I don't.

I decided to add in some capers, because God wanted me to. Actually, it was just me that wanted to. Because I think that every dish that involves chicken and pasta should have capers in it. I don't want my life to be any other way.

At this point, you could put the pasta and chicken side by side and then spoon the sauce over it. (Did you drain the pasta? Overcooked pasta is gross). But, me being me, I decided to add the pasta to the sauce and toss in the pan.

Oy. The combination of reduced wine and delightful mushrooms and briney capers... mmmm. Is this in any way related to real chicken scallopini? Does anybody know? If this recipe is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. And don't forget the cheese.