Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spicy Garlic Chicken with Lemon Glaze

I’ve been away from blog-land for a while. The first week of this month was spent visiting my parents, then we returned to the farm to a very cold house. Because of a snowstorm, our electricity had been out for four days and the downstairs rooms were at about 45 degrees, the upstairs around 38 degrees. I’ve always (good-naturedly, mostly) complained about how cold our old farmhouse is in the winter, but I never will again after recently walking through rooms and seeing my breath!

Of course, frozen pipes were my main concern. We have 2 small electric fireplaces on the main level which we would turn on for a few hours a day, but this would only result in the temperature rising a few degrees. It was enough, I guess, because the water pipes never froze.

Oh, I should mention that since my MIL is visiting her daughter, Jack and I were able to use her apartment for three days. Unfortunately, the complex does not allow pets, so we had to sneak Spooky in and out (we couldn’t leave him there alone or he would give himself away to the neighbors!). Luckily, the apartment is on the first floor, with a door right next to the reserved parking space, so it wasn’t too difficult.

It has snowed every darn day since we returned—8 days! We felt, at times, as though we were taking our lives into our hands as we drove the hilly roads to the farm and back to our “temporary home”. Because we both work from home, there is never a need to leave during bad weather. We stay put. So this experience was especially nerve-wracking!

I am proud to say that we lost almost nothing from either of the refrigerator/freezers or from the big freezer. The day we returned, we took everything that was in the refrigerators, boxed it all up, and put the boxes on our enclosed porch. We also took the frozen items from those units and packed them, with ice packs, into coolers and stored these in the (unheated) smokehouse. The next day, Jack emptied recyclables from a clean, 55-gallon trash can, and we layered everything from the big freezer with snow, then buried the can in a snowdrift. Had this long of a power outage (6+ days) taken place any time other than January or February, when there was enough snow on the ground to bury our “Eskimo freezers”, we would have lost everything.

The absolute joy of being back in my own home, cooking in my own kitchen, is incredible. Unfortunately, because we have been doing a lot of shoveling, both Jack and I have been experiencing some very sore muscles over the past few days. Yesterday, though, we took a break and last night I felt well enough to actually cook a meal.

Not that we haven’t been eating. After I cleaned out the big freezer and took and inventory of everything I was putting in there, I found several meals which I had frozen last fall and promptly forgotten about. So these got us through 4 dinners.

Yesterday, I made the first (of many more to come) recipes from my new cookbook, CuisineLite. There were so many positive reviews of this publication on the Cuisine At Home forums that I had a difficult time choosing. Based on what I had on hand, I chose Spicy Garlic Chicken with Lemon Glaze.

I altered the recipe only slightly. I increased the size of the chicken breasts, used a different kind of hot sauce, and increased the panko crumbs a little. Also, even though I decreased the amount of chicken (because the recipe made 4 servings), I kept everything else the same. These changes are reflected in the recipe below.

This was a great meal! I never realized how wonderfully the flavor of lemon went with some sort of spice (in my case, habanero pepper sauce). The chicken was crunchy outside, tender inside, and that delicious glaze added just the right amount of flavor. I started some fingerling potatoes roasting in the toaster oven first, then started the rest of the meal a little later. It took less than 30 minutes to get the chicken prepared and on the table (including steaming the broccoli). This recipe will become a staple for us.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spicy Garlic Chicken with Lemon Glaze

adapted from Cuisine Lite, a publication of August Home Publishing
Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast halves – (2 pieces)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup panko
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon habanero pepper sauce
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine lemon juice, honey, Tabasco, and lemon rind for the glaze in a small bowl and set aside.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Stir together panko, garlic, and oregano in a large dish. Dredge both sides of chicken in panko mixture, pressing panko firmly into the chicken..

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; sauté until cooked through, about 12 minutes (to 160 degrees internal temperature). Remove chicken from skillet.

Add lemon-honey mixture to the skillet and reduce until syrupy (less than a minute).Return the chicken to the skillet, flipping the pieces once to coat with glaze. Serve.

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Per serving: 329 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat; (18% calories from fat); 41g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 99mg Cholesterol; 390mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates