Often, when I publish my menus for the upcoming week, I write about recipes I have found that I intend to make, but have never made before. I am often hesitant to include these recipes in the blog since I don’t have any idea how they will taste when prepared, if there are any flaws in the original recipe, etc..
Tonight I made a recipe from the August 2006 “Bon Appetit” that was absolutely wonderful. Divine. Summery. Fresh. Did I already say divine?! It makes good use of fresh produce, looks lovely on a plate, and is interesting to adults while appealing to kids. Here it is:
Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Country Ham and Summer Succotash
(from the August 2006 “Bon Appetit)
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion (I used red, for color)
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces haricots verts or slender green beans, trimmed cut into 3/4-inch pieces (I didn’t like the looks of the green beans I had bought, so I omitted them and increased the amounts of zucchini and corn)
- 2 small zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 ears of corn)
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 4 thin slices country ham or prosciutto (each about 6×3 inches)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sautee until beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Add bell pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, and garlic; saute 1 minute. Add beans; saute until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini; saute until all vegetables are crisp-tender, 4 minutes longer. Stir in corn; remove from heat. (Note: I saved time at the crazy dinner hour by prepping and packaging all vegetables in advance. I usually use little plastic thingies with covers to do this, and combine ingredients that are added together like the bell pepper, thyme and garlic, When I’m ready to cook, I’m ready to cook).
Cover cutting board with large sheet of plastic wrap. Arrange chicken, smooth side up, on plastic wrap, spacing several inches apart. Sprinkle with remaining 3 teaspoons thyme, then pepper. Place 1 ham slice on each chicken breast, trimming so edges extend slightly over chicken. Place another sheet of plastic wrap atop chicken breasts. Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound evenly to scant 1/2-inch thickness. Turn chicken over and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in each of 2 large, heavy skillets over medium-high heat. Divide chicken between skillets, ham side up, and cook until edges of chicken begin to turn opaque, about 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook until cooked through, 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat; cover.