The whole “theme” of my blog is getting a little hazy. It started as a discourse about the part of life between rising kids and retirement, but it turns out to be mostly about cooking and food. Maybe that’s what this part of life really is about. Not food itself, but slowing down and learning to enjoy the cooking.
Raising my kids was a joy, but it took up a lot of my time and energy. All that time spent running after kids and their kid “stuff” was handed back to me when they left home. At first I really didn’t know what to do with all the extra time and furthermore, I wasn’t sure what I liked to do just for fun anymore. Turns out, there are lots of things I enjoy doing . . . cooking just happens to be one of my favorites.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the delicious craft of cooking. We have to eat every day . . . so, with more time on my hands, why not make something fabulous? All I have to do is follow directions and then hopefully sit back and watch others ooh and aah. It’s fun producing something as good as, or better, than many restaurants serve. (Plus I get to eat it, too.)
I love cooking for my kids now that they’re adults with their own families. It makes me feel good to spend time doing things I didn’t have time to do way back when I was a too-busy mom of two busy kids. I’m going to make this for them next time we all get together. It’s deceptively simple and so delicious.
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The prep for this dish is so easy . . . salt and pepper the chicken and brown it in a little of the flavored oil the sun-dried tomatoes are packed in. While it’s browning, you combine the liquid ingredients and take a few snap shots of the chicken.
When it’s browned, you add the garlic for a few seconds then pour in the cream, wine and tomatoes. Reduce the heat, then cover to finish braising the chicken.
After a few minutes, you plate the chicken, add the chopped basil to the skillet and let it do its magic.
When it thickens a little, pour it over the chicken and serve.
Easy & Elegant
I simmered some baby green beans in a skillet with a little water, a Tbsp of butter, a little sea salt and several fresh sprigs of thyme leaves. When the beans were just tender, I put them in a serving bowl and sat them aside. Right after I finished the chicken, I rewarmed the beans in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and then placed a portion next to the plated chicken. I’ve also served this chicken with a side of basmati rice and a tossed salad. The juices are perfect with the rice.
What a tasty Sunday night dinner. And even better . . . Dana did the dishes. (I’m loving Part Three!)
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Braised Chicken in Sun-Dried Tomato Cream
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon oil from oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add white wine, cream and tomatoes and bring to boil. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plates. Add basil to sauce in skillet. Increase heat and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper; spoon over chicken and serve.