A Wednesday Night Dinner – elegance in a flash
In re-arranging the freezer I pulled some chicken thighs out to thaw. Didn't have a clue what I was going to do with them, but I'd figure something out wink I had a ton of various noodles on hand so searching 'chicken and pasta' led me to several recipes – the ones that I liked the best included white wine, but it appeared all I had was red. Next search - Chicken with red wine? Yep, that worked!
How about a beautiful dinner – in about 40 minutes? Yes, that's all it took! Starting with this recipe from Taste of Home, you pan sear the thighs and then finish on the stove. The photo and comments suggested mashed potatoes (not on hand), pasta didn't seem right, so I sauteed some onion and toasted some brown rice together, adding chicken stock to simmer away for simple yet slightly enhanced brown rice. Once the chicken is cooked through – use a meat thermometer to check this! - it rests on the side while you make the wine sauce in the same pan. I chose to double this as there is absolutely nothing wrong with leftover rice and gravy (or in this case, sauce). cheesey I admit right here and now that I started off with the wrong pan – for some reason I thought that a ridged grilling pan was the best choice. It started off great, hotter than I would normally allow my saute pans, but the ridges didn't allow uniform browning. Even MORE important, it did not allow enough fond to develop!!! [Fond: those brown bits that accumulate on the bottom of a pan that add SO much flavor to the balance of the dish, especially when you are deglazing with wine]. Red wine and white cream, yes I was expecting pink – but a deeper, browner shade would have been more to my liking, lol!
The flavor was outstanding though! Who knew that just reducing some red wine and adding cream and rosemary (chop finely, please) would produce such a rich and different flavor – well, WE do, now! (IMO this would be great on a steak as well). I rounded out the plate by sauteing some sliced mushrooms, and then tossing in peas just until they heated through... Salt, pepper, and a grating of nutmeg seasoned them beautifully.
Not bad, huh? The chicken was incredibly juicy, tender with a richness of flavor, and my sides were not only good on their own, the simplicity of the entire meal somehow added to the decadence. You really can't go wrong with this one. Oh, and for dessert? Some good vanilla ice cream sprinkled with sea salt. Perfect.

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 03 September 2016 - 16:35:02
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