Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Melissa's Chicken Saves the Day

melissa chicken5

I love to cook, I think you have figured that out by now.

But every once in a while I go thru a cooking slump, when I am just not inspired. I have to feel happy and excited when I cook, it's the creative juices flowing.

If the juices aren't flowing, then there is no food on the table.

Last night was one of those nights. Nothing sounded exciting, and takeout pizza was not an option again.

I decided to see what the fuss was all about with Melissa D'Arabian, the Next Food Network Star. She was cute enough, and certainly perky, let's see how her 4 step chicken holds up to its 5 star rating.

I have never used a recipe for chicken sautes, just add the wine, stock and lemon juice, some garlic and capers and there you have it.

So, it was going to be a different ball game this time, measuring out the cup of stock, the 1/4 cup of wine and the 2 tablespoons of butter.

I made Melissa's 4 Step Chicken. She didn't invent this method of sauteing, however, I like that she named it "4 steps". Because if you always follow this rule, you can make dinner with some liquid, aromatics, protein, and butter. You are set. You have a nice, rich pan sauce for chicken, veal or fish.

I stayed true to her recipe and followed it exactly, sauteing the red onions with fresh thyme leaves. I think the red onions made the dish, they added a nice flavor and pretty pink color.

Maybe there is something to measuring. I guess I will have to try that once in a while!

Melissa D'Arabian's 4 Step Lemon Onion Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half crossways (butterflied, cut all the way through) *(I used thinly sliced, boneless breasts)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine, optional
1 cup chicken broth
3 lemons, juiced
1 to 2 tablespoons butter

Season chicken with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Dredge the chicken in flour, add to the hot oil and saute until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest on plate tented with foil.

In same saute pan, over low heat, add onions and fresh thyme and cook until aromatic.

In a measuring cup, measure out wine, if using, and broth, and add the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high, and deglaze the pan with the broth mixture until starting to reduce.

Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Oh yeah, and since reading Marie's blog and Christo's blog, I got inspired to make cute Hasselback potatoes too. So, I am not a total dud!

The juices are flowing!


Ciao Chow Linda said...

Those red onions do make for a colorful dish. In general, I've liked all her recipes, although I've only actually cooked the individual gratin potatoes. I like your little "fanned" potatoes.

Maria said...

Love the fanned potatoes!

kat said...

Its good to know that her recipes are good & she wasn't just a cute face.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I have made three of Melissa's recipes, and they were quick, easy and economical. I missed this one, so I'll have to revisit it.
The potatoes-- and I've never met a potato I didn't like-- look scrumptious! I need to hone in on that recipe.
I'm so behind in reading blogs, so I've got a few more of yours to peek at.


Reginald@CeramicCanvas said...


Now I feel inspired. :)

Great job.


lisa said...

I hate the cooking slumps! It's always a relief when something finally sparks an idea.

Those potatoes look great! I've been wanting to try those for the longest time.

Karen said...

Measure??? Hmmm, maybe I'll have to try that, too! ;)

Bob said...

Looks great! I don't think I've ever measured for something like this either, I'll have to give it a shot. Heh.

Meghan said...

I love Melissa's idea for the 4 steps as well - it's a very versatile way to think about it. This looks fantastic! I saw her make it on her show, so I'm glad you liked it!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

The potatoes are very cute, indeed! Melissa's a really nice woman, with a great gig going.

Angelica said...

I love potatoes cut like that, in Sweden we call them Hasselbackspotatoes. We also sprinkle them with breadcrumbs before they go into the oven, that makes them even more crispy!

doggybloggy said...

damn _ I didnt know they were called a hasselback when I sliced the potato - yours are way cooler - I think a young waxy works best - overly spuddy and they dont fan out! Beautiful.

Elra said...

Wow, the chicken sounds so good, but what really get my intention is your red onion. It looks so pink and delicious.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

looks beautiful with all the red onion.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Did you say measure? What does that mean? I have the Rachel Ray syndrom, a handful, a palmful, a squirt, a drizzle and a pinch! How did you make those beautiful and crispy potatoes? Now I'm inspired to make those!

The Japanese Redneck said...

The chicken looks good, but I love how the potatoes turned out.


Colloquial Cook said...

Those potatoes are just way too cute.