Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken with green olives, lemon and garlic... Couscous... Asparagus with Brown Butter Shallot Sauce

I needed something to prepare quickly. The natives were restless and hungry. I opened my fridge and the following items just jumped out at me. It helps that I had just done a major grocery shopping and shows the importance of a well stocked pantry. I created this as I went along and am beyond thrilled with the results!

As I was in a mad rush to get the food on the table... I didn't "plate" my dinner beautifully so my pictures will not do this meal justice... I would normally serve the chicken on a platter, couscous in the middle, then the chicken would have been arranged around the couscous and the olives would have been placed strategically around as well. Instead, I Dumped and Served. The result was delicious none the less. Since I created this as I went along my measures are approximate, so feel free to tweak it as you like.

To make the chicken:

I used 5 chicken breasts. (1 per person)
1 jar of Spanish olives
Juice from 2 lemons
2 XL cloves of garlic
A dash of sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil

Trim the chicken of all fat and cut each breast in half.
In a pan add 2 to 3 Tbs of olive oil and turn heat to high.
When oil starts to get hot, add chicken and a dash of sea salt.
Let chicken brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, turn over, brown other side 3 to 4 minutes.
Add garlic, another Tbs of olive oil if needed and move chicken around so that each piece gets a good amount of garlic. The lemon juice and olive oil will start to brown. With a rubber spatula scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan and rotate chicken so that each piece absorbs the liquid. (This will add a lovely golden color to the chicken.)
Add the olives from the jar and half the juice.
Place a lid over the pan and simmer, on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. There is enough juice at this point to keep the chicken from drying out.

To make the couscous:
In a separate pan add water and bring to boil. Then add couscous (I use Near East) and cook per directions on box.

To make the Asparagus:
While asparagus is cooking, take 1 medium shallot and chop finely.

In a small sauce pan place 2 Tbs of butter over medium heat until butter melts and starts to turn brown. As soon as it turns brown, remove from heat immediately. Add shallot and add about 1 tsp of olive oil. Keep warm.

In a large saute pan, fill with a few inches of water. Bring to boil. Add asparagus and cook about 4 to 5 minutes. Asparagus should be firm to the bite but not tough. When done remove from water. Place on a plate and pour Brown Butter Shallot Sauce over asparagus.

Remove chicken from pan and place on a large plate or platter. Be sure not to leave any of the delicious juices behind!

Serve immediately.

This meal takes no longer than 30 minutes start to finish!

No comments: