I miss cooking so much. I miss sitting down on Sundays, planning out my menu for the week and grocery shopping. I miss actually having someone to cook for. I miss the process of cooking. One of my favorite things in the world to do is settle into the kitchen, turn on music and get to work cooking and baking. I mean, for several years I posted multiple recipe a week on my food blog and at one point I even took on a project where I cooked 68 recipes from Gourmet magazine when it was announced that the magazine was being shut down after 68 years in print.
These days I feel like I’m lucky to get a home cooked meal together during the week, it’s an even rarer occurrence that I get to try a new recipe. I have dabbled in cooking for the week on the weekends but I just don’t love eating the same thing over and over again throughout the week. I think my attachment to cooking dinner comes from being raised in a family where we sat down together every night for dinner. I carried that tradition on when I left home and now I am missing the routine. Nothing makes me sadder at night than getting home at 8 p.m. starving, opening the freezer and resorting to some sort of frozen Trader Joe’s concoction for dinner.
So this week I did something about that. I left work semi-early last night (before 7), went to the grocery and did a major restock ($100 worth of damage) and then promptly got to cooking when I arrived home.
It wasn’t a new recipe but a tried and true favorite that I haven’t cooked quite some time. This is brie and apricot chicken. I served it alongside a harvest grain mix (would have rather had roasted potatoes but didn’t have any!) and some green beans with sauteed baby portobello mushrooms and balsamic. I’ve been making this recipe for over five years and originally posted it on my food blog but it’s evolved from the original so I thought I would share it with you again here. It’s a definite crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love tender chicken, melted brie and sweet apricot preserves? It’s a relatively simple recipe and ready in under 20 minutes. Sometimes I also sprinkle slivered or sliced almonds over the apricots and brie but I didn’t have any on hand last night and it’s just as delicious without.
Brie and Apricot Chicken
(Adapted from the National Chicken Council)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher or sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6-8 slices of brie
4 tablespoons apricot preserves
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
Arrange oven rack to top third of oven and preheat broiler on high. Place chicken between two sheets of wax paper or in a gallon bag and gently pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove and season generously with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute for about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden colored and cooked through, it’s okay if it still needs a minute or two because it’s going to cook a little more under the broiler. Since the chicken breasts have been pounded thin, they will cook faster. Remove chicken from pan and place in a greased baking dish. Spread 2 tablespoons of preserves on chicken (I usually don’t measure – just eyeball and spread it on) and cover with slices of brie. Sprinkle almonds on top if you’re using.
Place under broiler and cook for about 2 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is cooked through. Make sure to watch the chicken while it’s under the broiler to be sure it doesn’t burn.
Yield: 2 servings
See, easy? Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I also bought ground turkey at the store last night. I’ve been craving burgers so I think I might do turkey burgers but let me know if you have any favorite recipes using ground turkey.
I was so excited to see organic Florida strawberries on sale for $3 at the store. Strawberry season makes me so happy because it’s the start of all the good produce to come later this spring and summer. I just love sweet, juicy strawberries that actually taste like strawberries (versus the ones you can get from god knows where year round that taste like nothing). Regular breakfasts lately have been Greek yogurt, fruit, granola or museli and sunflower seed butter because it’s easily portable to take to the gym.
Lunch yesterday was a homemade feta chive scone that I defrosted from the fridge and lentil veggie soup. The scone defrosted perfectly and tasted just as good as the day that I baked them!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy strawberry season? I would have to say that strawberry shortcake is my number one…followed by strawberry cupcakes!
Check out this recipe that my friend Josie posted for Red Velvet Strawberry Cupcakes…I WILL be baking these SOON! And how cute is her plate and styling?