Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chicken Marsala & Blondie Bars

I figured while my Dad was here visiting and painting, I would at least make him his favorite meal. So on Friday, we had chicken marsala with penne and we watched the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics.

 
Chicken Marsala
 
Ingredients:
  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Marsala Wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Shallots (optional)
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Stock
  • Pasta (or veggie) of your choice
  • Sandwich bags for the chicken
  • Meat Tenderizer


I started out with all my ingredients, and made sure to put down some towels/cutting boards to save my counter tops for the first step of any good chicken dish -- tenderizing the chicken. I placed the chunky chicken breasts in some freezer bags and used the meat tenderizer above to flatten them out one by one. I placed the bags of chicken in between two towels otherwise the tenderizer forms holes in the bags and you end up using about 10 unnecessarily.

I then used two wide rimmed bowls and poured milk into one of them and a flour mixture into the other. With the flour I added garlic and onion salt. On the chicken, I added fresh ground pepper and sea salt to both sides. I dredged them in the flour mixture and transferred them to the hot saute pan with a liberal amount of olive oil.


Here they are -- cooking away! Be sure to have some paper towels on hand, this process is quite messy, but totally worth it for tender delicious chicken. *Note: I opted not to use shallots and mushrooms because my Dad doesn't like either of them. He likes his food very plain.


I started cooking a bit early and since we didn't want to eat right away, I tossed the finished pieces into my oven-safe corningware and let it bake at 175 degrees for a few until Jimbo came home from work and the opening ceremonies were ready to begin.


While the chicken was in the oven, I started my sauce. I used the pan that I cooked the chicken in to use all those flavors. I immediately poured at least a half a bottle of marsala wine into the pan. I brought it to a boil to allow the alcohol burn off. After about 5 minutes or so, I added a good amount of chicken stock - maybe a cup and a half (depending on how much sauce you want). I was making 4-6 servings, so keep that in mind. I also added some sea salt, fresh ground pepper, some more garlic salt and a drizzle of EVOO.

I allowed the sauce to simmer for almost an hour -- basically killing time for everyone to be home and ready for dinner. However, about 15-20 minutes prior to serving, I took the chicken out of the oven and added the pieces to my sauce to get all the flavors working.


I sadly don't have a photo of my actual dish, but I made some mezze penne on the side because penne is my Dad's favorite. As the sauce was cooking, I kept adding some sauce to the plain penne on the side. By doing that, it not only kept the pasta from sticking (and getting cold), but it also allowed for some flavor while it was just sitting on the counter.

I recommend making this dish with either pasta or a veggie such as broccoli or asparagus. It is delicious!
 
 
And that's not all!!!! If you want to try a healthier dessert option, check out this 'blondie' recipe Lindsey sent over. It sounds crazy, but she swears it's delicious! Let me know what you guys think!
 
Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars
 
Ingredients:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave (I mixed syrup & honey)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 2 tbsp for topping
  • Sea salt (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 8×8 pan with cooking spray (I filled 6 muffin tins and then a little pan)
  3. Add all the ingredients except chocolate chips to a food processor, then process until batter is smooth.
  4. Fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, then sprinkle 2 tbsp of chocolate chips on top
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.
  7. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt!
 
Enjoy!!!
 
xo,
Shaz