Sunday, June 28, 2009

Welcome Home Father

My dad came home from a long exhausting trip to Europe. My mother and I figured that a delicious dinner would make him adjust to not only the time zone but the wonderful comforts of home. I made a stuffed chicken breast with goat cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. I had some leftover roasted vegetables from my Greek Feast and made a home made Caesar salad to go with it. My dad LOVES Caesar salad, I know that the dressing I make is tasty but I think my dad may be addicted to it and we might need to have an intervention sometime soon, jk. I was inspired by Giada on the chicken recipe, she uses pork though, and I added a few extras and made it way healthier, it's the summer after all.

4 skin on boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of light sour cream
1/4 cup of both light goat cheese and light feta cheese
1-2 tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves + 2 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
1/2 packed cup frozen spinach, thawed
zest of 1/2 a small lemon, bout a tsp or so
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes, add a full tsp if you want it a little spicier
1/2 tsp. of both salt and pepper
2 tbsp. of chopped Italian parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 toothpicks
3/4 cup of a dry white wine
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil for cooking

Preheat oven to 350 F. Take chicken breast and find the thickest part of it, take a boning knife and slice a pocked in the chicken breast, being careful not to poke through to the end or make a hole in the middle. The pocket should be about 3-4 inches long, and 2 or so inches deep depending on how big the breasts are. Combine the rest of the ingredients minus the toothpicks and white wine in a bowl and combine thoroughly. Then stuff the chicken breasts with the mixture and use 2 toothpicks per breast to seal up as best as possible, there will be stuff the oozes out but it will just make the sauce in the end taste yummy. Season outside of breasts liberally with salt and pepper.

Sear chicken, skin side down in oil in a oven proof pan on medium high heat for 5-7 minutes or so. Then flip and sear on other side for 5 minutes or so. Pour in white wine, and 2 thyme sprigs and stick in oven for 5 minutes or so, until chicken is cooked completely and there is no pink in the middle. Once chicken is cooked, take breasts out of the pan and reduce sauce for 3 minutes on high with the sauce rapidly boiling. Put the breasts back inside and coat with the sauce. Serve, garnish with a little chopped parsley.

3 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup of croutons, home made if possible, recipe below
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp of each salt and pepper
few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
juice of half a lemon, preferably Meyer lemon
1 squirt of anchovy paste, bout a 1/2 tsp.
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil

In a glass bowl that is big enough to sit on a pot as a double boiler, combine the egg, S + P, and Worcestershire. Bring a small pot with about an inch of water to a simmer and place glass bowl on top. Whisk egg mixture until the yolk has turned a light yellow and is slightly thickened, bout a minute or so. Then add everything but the olive oil and stir to combine. Then drizzle in the olive oil and taste dressing for seasoning. When ready to serve, place the lettuce, croutons, and cheese on top of dressing and toss. Serve immediately.
*if you're worried about raw egg in your dressing just add a little more lemon juice and Dijon mustard and you'll get a similar taste

Homemade Croutons:
1 cup of stale bread, chopped into pieces
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder

Heat olive oil up and then saute bread pieces. Add salt and pepper and flip once in a while making sure not to blacken the bread. Once pieces are a nice golden brown, take out and then season with garlic powder. Let cool before putting in salad.

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