I may not be a fan of cold weather, but if there’s one thing I can say in favor of the dog days of winter it’s that the comfort food is worth the chill. For me, soups, stews and nourishing whole grain dishes all rank up there with hugs and warm blankets. I simply love to bite into a warm hearty bowl of cold weather food. It’s the kind of goodness that thaws you from the inside out….
Chicken Marsala Pasta and a Virtual Potluck
Winter is the season for hot and hearty meals and menu-wise, it’s always been my favorite time of the year. The weather may be cold and grey, but the kitchen is hot and hoppin’. Soups, stews, and pasta dishes make a regular appearance at our evening dinner table. Warm, crusty breads with farm fresh butter are never far behind. Nothing compares to that soul pleasing feeling of being warmed from the inside out by a meal filled with comfort food goodness.
Chicken Marsala is one such cold weather favorite. Wine and poultry are soul mates; I’m convinced of it. Add in a handful of mushrooms and you can add it to my list of favorite holy trinities in the culinary world. I usually make the more traditional version of breasts over noodles, but I thought this go round I might stir things up a bit by twisting it into it’s own unique pasta creation. The result is nothing short of delectable.
Begin your comfort creation by mixing together a little flour, salt and pepper into a baggie or bowl. Toss in a couple cubed chicken breasts and get them get good and coated.
Warm up a pat of butter and a swirl of oil into a sauce pan on high heat. Add the chicken and cook until they start to take on a gorgeous golden brown color.
In the same pan, brown up a handful of mushrooms and onions. Toss in a tablespoon of the leftover flour mixture and coat the veggies well.
Time for a little wine. Add in a hearty pour of marsala and chicken broth. Heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Nom Nom. Now add in a squeeze of fresh lemon, a dollop of dijon and a pinch of rosemary.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and finish it off with a splash of heavy cream and a spoonful of Parmesan cheese.
Toss back in the reserved chicken and you’re ready to plate.
Grab yourself a bowl, dangle a healthy portion of noodles into the bottom and top with the finished chicken and mushroom sauce.
With culinary comfort like this warming my soul, winter is welcome for dinner at our house any night of the week.
This dish will be a part of the Gojee virtual potluck. Starting on Thursday, January 26, you can find this dish along with other potluck dishes fellow gojee contributors shared. Simply jump on over to gojee.com and enter “gojee potluck” into I Crave. You can also follow #gojeepotluck on Twitter. Hope you’ll stop by!
Chicken Marsala Pasta
Yield: 4 Servings (approx. 1.5 Cups each)
Total Time: 30 min
1/2 Pound Chicken, Cubed
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
8 Oz. Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Marsala Wine
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Lemon, Juiced (about 1.5 tsp)
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
In a medium sized baggie or bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper.
Add in the chicken and shake to coat.
In a large saucepan set to medium high, heat up 1 tablespoon of the butter and the canola oil.
Add the chicken to the pan, reserving 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture, and cook until golden brown on the outside with no pink remaining.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set to the side. In the same pan heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.
Add in the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and cooked.
Sprinkle the reserved flour back in the pan and stir to coat.
Add in the wine and broth and heat until sauce begins to thicken.
Stir in the lemon juice, dijon mustard and rosemary.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and add in the cream and Parmesan cheese.
Toss the reserved chicken back in and stir to coat.
Serve over freshly cooked pasta.
“Brinified” Rack of Pork with Onion Mushroom Pan Gravy
It’s the moment of truth. My first time ever cooking up a rack of pork. Was it a success? My answer is a resounding YES. Followed promptly by a “why the heck haven’t I tried brining pork before?” I honestly believe that this was the best piece of swine I have ever put my mouth too. It was tender enough to cut with a butter knife and the flavor. Well, let me just say that all three kids were practically begging for seconds and even thirds. Drew, my youngest, kept saying “more chicken!” despite my efforts to educate him on the cut of meat before him. He even cleared his plate of broccoli after I told him it was the only way to get a third helping. Alex gave it not one, not two, but one hundred thumbs up (who knew kids had so many thumbs?). And all three kids let out a whoop and a holler when I told them we would be having a repeat of the same dinner the next night (5 pounds of pork is enough to feed an army let alone a family of five.)
Tomatillo Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas
Less than a week until Halloween. My kids are practically busting at the seams with excitement. Nick, my oldest, plans to be Luke Skywalker, Drew is going to be a pumpkin, and my five year old? Well, he’s made the decision to be a marble. But not just any marble mind you – a rainbow marble. I’m sure you’re wondering how I’m going to achieve this feat. That’s good because I’m wondering a bit myself. I’ve come up with an idea to paper mache a rather large balloon, cut out a few holes for appendages and hope for the best.
Red Wine Marinara Sauce
Homemade marinara is one of those recipes I’ve wanted to try for some time now. There is just something to be said for good ol’ fashioned red sauce made from fresh tomatoes; no cans involved. This recipe is good – really good; and as we all know, good things take time. Once you put the love into the pot, I promise it will will reward you in spades. The best part is, this sauce can be fridged for up to two weeks and frozen for up to six months. It only gets better and once it’s cooked up it can lend itself to a delightfully quick weeknight meal. Serve it with meatballs to create a hearty spaghetti dish or spread it over pizza as a savory sauce. However you use it, I guarantee you’ll be happy you chose to make your own.
Before I jump to the recipe, I’m excited to announce a new partnership I’ve started with Sunbird Seasonings. Get ready for some delectable recipes in the upcoming weeks!
Simply Scandinavian: A Cookbook Review
Simply Scandinavian: Travelling Through Time with Finnish Cuisine and Nature is a well written, beautifully photographed cookbook that caught my eye from the moment I pulled it out of the packaging. The authors, Tero Kallio and Kimmo Saira, have broken the book out by season beginning with Spring and ending with Winter. The recipes range from simple to complex and many of the ingredients are quite unique. With chef driven instruction for everything from rheindeer carpaccio, to soup of moose and oven-baked cheese, to Vorschmack with potato salad and beetroot crisps, to rabbit sausages with Jerusalem artichokes, I’ll admit that I was drawn in and ready to cook almost immediately.