Monday, January 12, 2009

Company Dinner

Once in a while I will come up with a recipe from scratch, without any help, on my own. Sometimes those recipes turn out okay, sometimes not-so-much, and sometimes they are really great.

A few weeks ago, the muse of delicious food was clearly sitting on my shoulder. This recipe is easy, quick, and makes a weeknight supper seem special. You could easily serve this when company comes over and impress everyone.

(Does anyone else remember that term from childhood books? I seem to remember reading some book that MUST have been written in the 50's about a girl named Betsy* who got married and when she and her husband moved in together after their honeymoon, he invited his boss over, and Betsy was so glad that her mother had taught her to "make one good chicken dish for company - that will become your company dinner." WTF, right? Somehow that stuck with me. Scary.)

Anyway....this could be your company dinner. It's definitely going into my repertoire.

Dena's Company Dinner (aka Dijon-Caper Chicken Cutlets)

- Chicken cutlets (as many cutlets as people you're serving -- ie, 2 cutlets for 2 people.) (A note about cutlets: you can easily make your own, or ask your butcher to cut them for you: just take a boneless, skinless chicken breast that has been in the freezer for ~15 minutes and slice it in half, horizontally and length-wise. Ie, hold your knife parallel to the cutting board and run it through the breast to make two much thinner breasts.)
- 1 cup (or so) good quality dry white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 tbsp (or so - can you tell I eyeball this recipe?) dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp-ish lemon juice
- capers to taste (lately I've been using caper berries, which are delicious!)
- 2 tbsp-ish olive oil

Salt and pepper the chicken cutlets on one side.

Heat the olive oil in a not-nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Let it get good and hot and shimmery. Then add the cutlets to the pan, salt-&-pepper side down. Once they're in the pan, don't move them! You want them to get a nice little saute crust. Meanwhile, salt and pepper the side facing up.

Let them cook for about 3 minutes per side, depending on how thin they are and how hot your stove gets. Check on them when they're done with the second side by cutting a small slit to make sure they're cooked through.

Cook them in batches if you need to -- you don't want to crowd the pan!

When they're cooked through, remove them from the pan but don't turn the heat off! Add the wine and begin scraping up the fond (aka the yummy brown bits at the bottom) with a spatula as you deglaze the pan.

Let the wine reduce a bit, then add the lemon juice and mustard. Stir and whisk together; let simmer for a minute or so. Add capers, then turn off heat.

Pour sauce over cutlets and enjoy a gourmet meal. Delish.

I like to serve these with Winston's Roasted Cauliflower or sauteed kale and some roasted baby potatoes.

And oh yeah! This is National Delurking Week! Please come out of the quiet readership and leave a comment! :-)

* OMG I found the Betsy book. Best part of the review: "But as Betsy discovers, marriage isn't all candlelight, kisses, and roses. There's cooking, ironing, and budgeting as well--not to mention forging her career as a writer! For Betsy, the writing part comes naturally, but cooking is another matter. It's even harder than algebra--and much messier." Good god. Where did I find this to read?


  1. ALmost like Chicken piccata, but healthier. Makes me hungry!

    PS Also wanted to let you know that I moved my blog to instead of hosting it at wordpress.

  2. OMG! I love Betsy! I read all these books, that's how I learned about middle america!. this chicken sounds amazing - but how do you roast kale?

  3. No pressure for posting, but just want to make sure you're okay. I've been meaning to write you a note for the last week or so.


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