A) I have practically zero time for this blog.(unless I want to give up teaching or cleaning or cooking or outings with friends or singing on the worship team at church or reading or watching movies with my husband or playing board games with my kids, etc… which, I am unwilling to do!).
B) The technology afforded to me is old, slow and anxiety inducing, so I just as soon go write in my PAPER journal with my INK pen and call it good.
Yet, here I am. Compelled to share with you my musings and inspirations as of late. I guess that is just my personality. Some people are sporty and need the gym or team sports as an outlet. Some like an adrenaline rush and will go bungee jumping or sky diving to help them relax. Me? I must be creative. Almost all the time. Whether it is in the kitchen, in my writing, singing, or in helping my kids with some creative project, being hands on and creating something from nothing is so therapeutic for me.
Today,I would like to tell you about The Sunday Feast.
Growing up in a small city in Kansas, special Sunday dinners were the norm. Usually,mom and dad tried to feed us homecooked meals every night of the week(even if it was sometimes just tuna casserole or beanie weanies).Sundays,however,were just different. More of a production. Sometimes,mom would bring out the good dishes,and almost always a dessert. Dad would usually make his famous roast beef with mashed potatoes and green beans,or simmer a big pot of spaghetti sauce all day long,and serve it with noodles and salad.
When I moved to Texas with my kids and husband to be closer to my mother in law, we started recreating my beloved family tradition of special dinner every Sunday night. Every other Sunday, we have small group with some good friends from church.There are about 6 families,and we all have a potluck.There are around 20 children playing and grazing,while the parents talk,stuff their faces and study The Word. Such fun, inspiring and and delicious times!
On the off Sundays,my mother in law will come over and we will have dinner. I instill the help of my kids, and we make a big dinner that includes a dessert (and sometimes the good dishes!) We are usually in the kitchen from the time lunch is over after church until 6:30 when dinner starts! My kids have developed a love of cooking, since I started teaching them pretty much as soon as they could stand on a step stool, and see over the counter. It is something I cherish. I am so grateful for these times, bonding with my kids over creating great food.
About two months ago,I decided I have way too many recipes just sitting around my house, and that I would never ever in my lifetime be able to cook them all. So I am making an effort to try(a’la Julie Powell),and I am cooking through my archives to determine what recipes to keep,and what recipes to chuck.( I will tell you more about this next time!)
The following recipe is one I most recently cooked for Sunday Feast. I have made it only once before,and absolutely love it! It is Ina Garten’s wonderful, crispy version of Chicken Piccata. This recipe can be found in her “At Home” Cookbook. Have I mentioned my obsession with poring over cookbooks? I may have a problem. Ha!
For you foodie geeks, piccata is the Italian word for “escalope”,which is a French term for a very thin slice of meat. You can also use veal for this dish,however,veal is more difficult to find,and much more expensive. My son Gabriel had a brilliant idea upon tasting this dish,to use white fish in place of the chicken. I may just have to try that next time!
Most piccatas will have a lightly seasoned flour coating,that has been quickly fried in a bit of oil,and served with a beautiful lemon butter sauce. This has all that,and an extra couple of steps that will knock your socks off!
PANKO my friends. Panko is the key to push this over the top. Haven’t heard of Panko? Well,pull yourself out from under your rock and go buy a canister of this crisp, light,large breadcrumb, hailing from Japan! It is so versatile,and adds a crispness to this dish that is divine folks! (I hope I am not building this up too much).
I love how she cooks it in the oil for a couple of minutes,and then throws it in the oven to finish off,so you can make the sauce and your sides.Very efficient. I am nothing,if not efficient. Who am I kidding? It took me all day to clean my bathroom today. Multitasking isn’t what it’s cracked up to be ALL the time. I digress.
This dish is simple yet spectacular. Serve it with buttery noodles or potatoes,and a vegetable and you have a Sunday Feast! (don’t forget the dessert and good dishes!)
4 split (2 whole) boneless,skinless chicken breasts (kosher salt and freshly ground pepper)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups seasoned Panko
good olive oil
3 Tbls unsalted butter
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
sliced lemon, for serving
chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper and use a mallet to pound it out to 1/4 inch thick. (be careful not to beat it too hard or you will have chicken mush, instead of beautifully flattened cutlets). Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the flour, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper on a pie plate. On a second plate, beat eggs with 1 Tbls of water. Place bread crumbs on a 3rd plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour,shake off excess and dip in egg and bread crumb mixtures.
Heat 2 Tbls of olive oil in a large saute’ pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan while you cook the rest of the chicken.
Heat more olive oil in the pan,and cook the remaining 2 chicken breasts. Place them on the sheet pan,and allow them to bake 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
For the sauce, wipe out the saute’ pan with a paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 Tbls of butter and add the lemon juice, white wine, reserved lemon halves, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Boil over high heat,until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat,add the remaining 2 Tbls of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves.
Serve the chicken with the sauce,sliced lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
Eat delicious to live!:)
*I have a large family of six,and on Sundays my mother in law comes for dinner, so I had to double this recipe. However,I don’t think doubling the sauce is necessary. We had way too much leftover. It would be delicious tossed with pasta though so if you want to keep it for that use, go for doubling it!
**Ina Garten’s recipe does not call for capers. Traditionally this recipe does contain them. If you would like to add them to this recipe, I would start with about a 1/4 cup in the sauce. Add more if you wish!