Cooking Thin

Cooking Thin

Roasted Chicken and Fennel with Lime and Parmesan

Recipe courtesy Kathleen Daelemans
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 skinned, boneless chicken breast
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
Coarse grain salt
Cracked black pepper
2 limes, juiced
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Preheat the broiler.

Pour only enough olive oil (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) on a cookie sheet to prevent the chicken and the fennel from sticking. Place the chicken breast in a single layer on the sheet pan. Place in the broiler for 7 minutes.

Remove and add the fennel in a single layer and brush both sides with the olive oil. Season fennel slices with salt and pepper on both sides. Squeeze juice of 1 lime over the fennel slices and place under the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes.

Some of the edges may blacken slightly. Remove the fennel from the oven and using tongs or a spatula, and turn over each slice of fennel. Top with the Parmesan. Place back under the broiler for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.

Allow fennel to remain in the pan until ready to serve. Do not refrigerate. This is wonderful served at room temperature. Just before serving, squeeze remaining lime juice over fennel slices.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Light Pan Sauce and Braised Celery

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing, recipe follows
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup Madeira
2 cups chicken stock
Braised celery, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound, with the flat side of a meat mallet to 1/4-inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels.

Place 1 ball of mushroom stuffing along 1/2 of each chicken piece. Tuck the short ends in and, starting at 1 long side, roll up the chicken into a tight cylinder. Fasten with toothpicks. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the stuffed chicken and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in the oven. Bake until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Alternately, cover the skillet and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add the shallots to the pan juices and cook, over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the Madeira and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, return to a boil, and cook, until reduced by half, about 6 minutes.

Add the chicken and any juices to the pan and cook until the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. Serve with Braised Celery.

Mushroom Stuffing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces assorted mushrooms, stems trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons dried fine bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are wilted and begin to caramelize. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook, stirring to loosen any browned bits in the pan, and until the liquid has almost all evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the mushrooms to the bowl of a food processor. Add the cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, and oregano, and process on high speed to a thick paste.

Transfer to a bowl and divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each into firm balls and use to stuff the chicken breasts.

Yield: about 1 cup

Braised Celery:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 head celery, ends trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons lightly toasted chopped walnuts

In a large, non-stick skillet, add the olive oil, onions, garlic, and celery. Add the chicken broth, Vermouth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, turning once, until the celery is tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and transfer the celery to serving plates. Spoon a little cooking liquid over each serving, and sprinkle with the parsley and toasted walnuts. Serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Medium