Friday, January 7, 2011

An Unexpected Dividend

Janet here.

For the first time in a year, everyone is home. The holidays are over and while a number of people are still calling for command visits by or to Miss M and Rachel, in between our family is grabbing moments together. The "Just Us" has changed forever of course, as it absolutely should. But I am enjoying watching our children engage and reconnect — over a game of Monopoly, in a video game face-off and just sitting by the fire bantering.

We had a little unexpected moment tonight because we had Rachel all to ourselves. G and S were headed to a basketball game and M was in bed so dinner was the three of us. I lit candles in the dining room and made a tasty dish from Rachael Ray's new cookbook, Look + Cook, which I've been planning to try for a while. It was tasty but I think I will always remember it because the three of us had a brief moment together again of just being. And then Miss M called :)

Chicken Cutlets Brasciole
serves 4 (I reduced everything a bit to make it for 3, using 3 chicken breasts)

1/2 cup very hot tap water
handful of golden raisins (I didn't have any so I used five prunes)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (I forgot this and it was still tasty)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 slices white bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO in Rachael speak)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped (I used dried and about a teaspoon)

Put the raisins in very hot tap water. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium low heat. Watch them so they don't burn. Set them aside to cool. Place the parsley, lemon zest, garlic, bread, cheese, raisins and nuts into a food processor and pulse into a stuffing.

Butterfly the chicken by cutting into and across the breast, but not all the way through. It opens like a book after that. Pound out the cutlets and season with salt and pepper. Fill the breasts with the stuffing, roll and secure with toothpicks.

Heat the EVOO and butter in a large skillet over medium-heat. Brown the chicken all over for 7-8 minutes. Then remove from the pan and deglaze the pan with the wine. Scrape up the drippings, stir in the tomato sauce and tarragon and return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Slice and serve. As Rachael would say, "Delish."

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