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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Platinum Chef Challenge 6.5

PCC 6* brought a new element to the game: the host chooses his or her favorite from the entries, and that person becomes the next Ingredient Master/Host. Last time, Cara selected Kate of Paved with Good Intentions, and she chose the following 5 ingredients: lemon, rosemary, leeks, cream, and capers. I jumped right into the challenge (as typically the wheels start turning as soon as I hear the ingredients!), determined to be done early. I made a wonderful looking dish of tilapia cooked in a parchment pouch (a la Alton Brown) that was SO BLAND with some slightly undercooked potatoes.
Exhibit A: But it looks so PRETTY going into the pouch!

...and coming out of said pouch!

... and I even made blue garlic!

So, it was back to the drawing board. I switched things up and went back to my faithful standby - chicken. With a quick search at Cooking Light for a lighter cream sauce (which I halved in my recipe) and a few favorite ingredients in mind, I was on my way! The sauce came out perfect - creamy and I knew I wasn't killing my waistline with it. The olives really made themselves known without overpowering, and played nicely with the rosemary/thyme. We loved it! (And, I was thrilled to use my new olive pitter!)

PCC6.5 Creamy Chicken and Pasta**

~1 Tbsp butter
~3 Tbsp olive oil
~roughly 1/3 cup cornstarch for dredging chicken
~about 2 tsp crushed rosemary
~about 2 tsp crushed thyme
~3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
~2 cloves garlic, minced or otherwise pulverized
~1/2 can artichokes (about 5 hearts) quartered
~1 leek, outer leaves removed, sliced down the middle and rinsed, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
~1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
~about 1 Tbsp capers
~roughly 15 Kalamata olives, chopped
~juice of 1/2 lemon
~1/6 cup flour
~1 1/8 cups skim milk
~1/2 cup white wine
~1/4 cup cream cheese (1/3 less fat)
~6 ounces of your favorite pasta, cooked and drained.

1. Heat butter and 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Combine cornstarch with rosemary, thyme, and some salt and pepper. Dredge chicken strips in cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess before adding to skillet. Brown chicken a few minutes on each side, then remove from pan and keep warm.
2. Add remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan and heat. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add artichokes, leeks, mushrooms and lemon juice, saute for a few minutes until vegetables being to soften.
3. Place flour in a small bowl. Add milk and wine, whisking until combined. Add to skillet, scraping loose bits from the bottom. Add olives and capers, simmer about 5 minutes, letting sauce thicken. Add chicken back to pan and allow chicken to cook through, 5-10 minutes.
4. Add cream cheese to skillet, stir to melt and combine. Add cooked pasta, mix thoroughly, and serve!

*So I had last round as #6, and having two #6's will mess me up so I am calling this round 6.5 :-)
**I am well aware of my distinct lack of naming skills.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I'm sad the tilapia didn't come out - it really was beautiful!