December 13, 2010

Chicken Wrapped in Proscuitto

I am particular with my Food Network shows and cooks, and unfortunately, Rachael Ray, is a victim of the pass by click of the remote control.  I'm sure her dishes are fantastic, but I just can't sit through an entire episode.  I'm also not going to into why. =)  Regardless, this is one of her recipes that I found online and it turned out pretty well.  It could use a few more tweaks but still pretty tasty for a first time recipe.

I have an abundance of rosemary and need to find ways to use it before the cold (whenever it comes in Houston) takes it away.  Holy, the many uses for rosemary.  I've used it with steak, with butternut squash, with chicken, with salad dressing, and on and on.  This dish combines the best of three things I'm loving - chicken thighs (hooray! for dark meat), rosemary and proscuitto (hooray! for proscuitto). 
I also made this for Hilda and Eric but cooked by quickly searing and then popping in the oven.  I don't think I have a preference on using the pan vs. oven.  I probably prefer to just use one so not to have to hassle with both.  Both tasted similar.  Again, I'll probably tweak this the next time I make it - use orange zest and juice instead of the olive oil, use different herbs (probably just as good with fresh thyme or oregano which I have now thanks to my friend Liz! Look at that trio of fresh herbs!), who knows, so many different ways to tweak! 

Chicken Wrapped in Proscuitto
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

4 chicken thighs, boneless
8 sprigs of rosemary (half minced and half whole leaves)
5 garlic cloves, half minced, halfed sliced
4 slices of proscuitto
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1/8 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth (you may need more based on your preference)
Dash of dried oregano
Dash of garlic powder

1. Make sure to wash and dry the chicken thighs. Cut off those excess fat pockets on the thighs. S&P each of the thighs.

2. In a bowl large enough to hold the all the chicken, pour the olive oil, minced garlic and sliced garlic, minced rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, lemon zest and juice. Mix well, add the chicken and coat each side of the thighs.  Let this sit for about 15 minutes.
3. Take the proscuitto out and lay each of the four slices on a board. Take a thigh and put a bunch of rosemary leaves, garlic slices in the middle, wrap up in a roll (as much as you can), and wrap the proscuitto around it.  4. In a medium high pan, sear each side of the chicken.  Don't worry if the middle is not cooked, you just want that crispy proscuitto.  Once seared, add in the chicken broth and cover the pan.  Let it steam cook until done.  

December 08, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Part 3: Orange Green Beans

Green beans are a staple at every holiday meal. We've gone through our fair share of variations: canned green beans with cream of mushroom soup, with and without those delicious crispy fried onions, fresh green beans with simple garlic, oil and S&P, to roasted green beans. One year, I made green beans with orange rinds and while it was good, it didn't absorb the orange flavoring as much as I would have like. This year, I tried to cut the rinds smaller and crushed them a little more to really get that orange flavor and I think it worked. 

While I'm a fan of canned food and veggies (my pantry is consistently stocked with canned corn and numerous canned tomatoes), I think this dish is best made with fresh green beans and during the holidays, these are bountiful and reasonably priced.  - 1.29 a lb, yes please!

Orange Green Beans
1-2 lbs of fresh green beans, clipped and washed
2 tbsp butter
1 small handful of chopped bacon
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Rind from one small to medium orange, sliced into strips
Juice and orange segments from that same orange
1/3 cup of broth and white wine (whatever portion you would like)

1. Make sure your green beans are cleaned and washed.  
2. Get all the bacon, garlic (in the pic below, only the rinds and everything on the right is for this dish.  Trust me, not using all that bacon!) and orange rind ready before you turn on the heat.

3. Add butter to a pan big enough to eventually hold the green beans and liquid. Add in the bacon and let it cook to ooze out that bacon goodness. Then add in the garlic, orange rinds and let those flavors mix togehter.  Yum! 
4. Add in the green beans, orange segments and juice. Give it a good mix. Add in a dash of S&P (a little less on the salt since you do have bacon).
5. Turn the heat down to medium low and pour in the 1/3 cup of liquid. Cover and let this steam/cook for about 3 minutes. Then take the cover off and let it cook for another 3 minutes. Do a quick taste test and add more S&P as necessary.  If you had garlic powder, I'm sure a dash of that would be delicious too!

6.  It's nice if you let it sit a little bit so the flavors are really absorbed into the green beans.  I made this an hour before dinner started, took about 10 minutes start to finish and let it sit the remaining time. Enjoy!