Thursday, October 1, 2009

His and Hers: Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce

I first tried this recipe a couple years ago for my husband. The good news for him was that he loved it. The bad news for me was that it smelled delicious and I couldn’t try it. After a few times of suffering through the savory smells of making this dish, I wised up and made my own vegetarian version so that I could try it too. I used Quorn Naked Chik'n Cutlets and vegetable broth. I am so glad that I did because I was definitely missing out!

There are two key moments in the process of this recipe that I look forward to. The first is deglazing the pan with the white wine. It smells so good. The second is the addition of the saffron, which smells even better. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, but I’ve found it priced reasonably at Trader Joe's. I serve this over couscous that has been cooked in either vegetable or chicken stock.

Now when I make this recipe, I get two burners going with a pan on each. I make one version with chicken for him, and one version with the alternatives for me. We end up with a lot of food, but everyone ends up happy with this one!

Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce
(From Giada's Kitchen)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 pound chicken cutlets (scallopine)
* 2 shallots, sliced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Turn the heat to medium, add the shallot and the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the chicken broth and saffron threads, bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. Add the cream, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 1 minute to blend the flavors. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Additional: Cook 1 (10 oz.) box of couscous in vegetable or chicken broth. Serve chicken and sauce over couscous.

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