Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicken Marsala with a side of Julia's Garlic Potatoes

My attempt at a  "serious" pursuit this week turned into a delicious meal last night.  Somehow I found being on task in the kitchen for a block of uninterrupted time to be therapy.  I have also been thinking about what I actually contribute here, which is usually just a random collection of thoughts.  Some bloggers are experts at sharing practical things or important information.  In that spirit, today I'm going to share a recipe that my family enjoys.  I learned how to make the potatoes because my dad loved Julia Child.  Her recipe for these red potatoes will be a hit every single time.

The official recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but here I've substituted legs due to the stock in my freezer.  I began by coating them in flour that was mixed with a teaspoon each of:

Minced garlic
Minced onions
1/2 t coarse ground black pepper

And frying them in olive oil. While the chicken sizzled, I quartered the day's harvest of red potatoes taken from our garden.  Once these were of uniform size and shape, I placed them in a pan with

3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
chopped fresh garlic to taste

The potatoes must be turned occasionally, but the addition of olive oil to the butter prevents the butter from over browning or burning.    The key is patience with these.  A steady, medium low temperature will produce the best results. I had some fresh rosemary from the herb garden and so added a sprig near the end.  They are ready when the centers are soft and the skins are wrinkly and crisp.  Drain them on a rack or on paper towels before serving.

While the potatoes are browning, sautee sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella) in a spoon of butter.  When they are beginning to soften, add a mixture of chicken broth and two teaspoons of flour for thickening.  Let that bubble and simmer until a nice sauce is produced.  Near the end, add a pinch of basil.  This sauce is nice served over the chicken breasts.  I did not use the Marsala wine because our store did not carry it.  3/4 cups are recommended if you have some on hand.  Just give the wine extra time to reduce.

I also love green beans, and so I heated these just before setting the table.  I would have loved to use fresh or frozen, but here again I needed to use what was on hand, straight from a can.

We also had some left over artisan bread and chocolate cake from our father's day dinner.  They made for a well rounded meal.

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