Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What?! No Bread?!

I am a dunker.  A mopper and a dipper.  If there's sauce or dip and something to dunk, I'm a happy lady.  Imagine my consternation when I realized that we had no suitable bread for dipping into tonight's sauce.  And then imagine my surprise when I realized that, really, dinner was just fine without the bread.  I may have to take to my bed at this shift in my universe.

But before I do, let me tell you about dinner.

(Thank heavens you're probably not here for the photography.  On the camera display, I couldn't tell that the center mushrooms so resembled slugs crawling across the chicken...)

I had grand plans of a chicken and mushrooms dish, with mustard greens and mashed potatoes on the side.  Sadly, with the headache that ate Manhattan, I had to scale my plans back some.  The mashed potatoes: out.
The greens: in with the chicken and mushrooms.  It actually turned out pretty good, so I wanted to pass it on.

I'm a bit new to mustard greens, but I love them.  They are this curious mix of peppery and bitter and sweet, and I think they smell amazing, both raw and cooked.  While you could absolutely substitute your favorite greens here, I hope you'll give the mustard a go.  As you can see, I hope to have plenty of them in the garden this spring!  (You can probably also see that nothing has sprouted yet!  But it's only been four days, so I'm being patient.  Kind of.)

Chicken with Mushrooms and Greens
by Me

3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb chicken cutlets, or chicken breasts halved horizontally; pound to an even thickness
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp butter
1 lb mixed mushrooms (or whatever you want, really), halved
a few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves chopped, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch mustard greens, stems removed, chopped roughly into bite sized pieces

1.  Preheat oven to its lowest setting (mine is 175).  Heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and Italian seasoning.  Cook chicken until browned on one side, about three minutes.  Flip and repeat.  Place chicken on a sheet pan and place in oven to keep warm.  (If using thin cutlets, keep a close eye on them so that they're just browned, otherwise they'll dry out in the oven.)

2.  Add remaining oil and butter to pan; add mushrooms and cook until browned all over, about 4-5 minutes.  You might want to do this in two batches if your pan isn't large enough to hold the mushrooms loosely.  You don't want them to steam.  Add thyme through lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to soften. 

3.  Add chicken broth and greens; bring to a bubble.  Reduce heat, return chicken to pan, nestling into sauce.  Cook until greens are wilted and chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

(I still say that bread to mop up the little bit of sauce on the plate would have been brilliant...but this was good just as it was, too.)

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