Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Sautéed Chicken Breast w/ Cream Sauce

This is one of my favorite ways to do chicken breast. It is so simple that I can make it when I come home from work and it has so many great flavors! The first thing that you need to make sure when sautéing anything, particularly if you want to make a pan sauce, is to use either a cast iron or stainless steal pan. Put away the non-stick pans! The reason is you can't develop a good fond in a non-stick pan because, well...it's non-stick. Fond is a french cooking term for base and it commonly refers to the delicious browned bits and caramelized drippings from meat or veggies that form at the bottom of the pan when sautéing or roasting. We use the fond to create a much more complex depth of flavor. Enjoy!

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablepoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 cup cooking white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and coated in flour 
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons italian herbs, optional

Remove chicken breast from packaging and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Lay the chicken breasts between a layer of saran wrap and pound thinly. Season the chicken breasts on all sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then dredge the chicken breasts in flour and pat off excess. 

Heat your pan (remember no non-stick!) over medium high heat. When the pan is hot add in your the EVOO, it should shimmer when added. Carefully add the chicken breasts to the pan and sauté 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove from pan to a cooling rack and let rest (Don't worry, the internal temp. will reach 165°F with the carry over cooking). 

You may need to add another tablespoon of EVOO to the pan, if you have enough don't worry about it. Add in the garlic and shallot and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. (It's very important to have all your ingredients, mis en place, ready for the pan sauce because the garlic and shallot will burn very quickly if you don't move quickly). Add in the white wine and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon (scrap all the brown bits off the bottom). Reduce the white one until almost fully evaporated, almost syrupy consistency. Add in the chicken stock and reduce that liquid by half. Remove your pan from the heat and add the butter in a few cubes at a time and whisk in until the sauce begins to thicken. Whisk in the cream and parmesan cheese until it has melted. Finally whisk in the herbs. You want to add your fresh herbs in at the end, off the heat because cooking them can destroy their flavor. Slice your chicken breast and drizzle the cream sauce on top. 

Don't mind the grease splatter on the Thermapen :)

One of the most important tools every...EVERY kitchen should have is a quality thermometer. Thermapen is the best hands down. 

"The Super-Fast Thermapen is a professional tool (originally designed for commercial kitchens, labs and manufacturing plants) that has become the top consumer cooking thermometer for home use. Its popularity among celebrity chefs, cooking magazines, top foodies, bloggers and competition BBQ teams has made the Thermapen into an essential tool in the best-equipped home kitchens and backyard BBQ rigs. 

Made by Hand in England, the Thermapen is faster and more accurate than any other cooking thermometer on the market. Competitors have tried to copy the Thermapen with mass-produced products made in China and have flooded the housewares market with slower, less-accurate knock-offs. However, when compared to true competing commercial thermocouple thermometers, the Thermapen is not only faster and more accurate, it's also less expensive! 

The Thermapen's speed and accuracy will reveal more about food and cooking techniques than you ever imagined. You'll learn that temperatures are always changing; a roast is never the same temperature throughout while cooking. If you want to know what's really going on, get a Thermapen

If you want to experience speed and precision (traceable to National Standards) and you're on a quest for culinary perfection, you will want a Thermapen  Add up the expense of wasted meats alone and you'll justify the cost of this professional tool. 

Thermapen an be used for virtually anything that needs to be cooked or chilled. Use it on meats, fish, casseroles, re-heated foods, breads, cakes, deep frying and candy. You don't have to have a Thermapen o be a great cook; however, more than one celebrity chef and several food writers have testified that a Thermapen ill make you a better cook...AND, you can choose your own color! Order one today."

They come in various colors and are the perfect thermometer for either the home cook or cooking professionals. I've owned several thermometers in the past and all of them have either broke, melted or a pain because you have to keep on calibrating them. Save yourself the frustration and money and just buy yourself a Thermapen!

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