Monday, April 5, 2010

Sauteed Chicken in a Honey Marinade Reduction. SO good!

Today was a rough day. The obnoxious neighbor's dog woke Eliana and me up at 6:45am. ARGH!
Then we went to a playdate and when we got home for her nap there was a crew from the county literally right outside our house working on the street. It was a parade of loud equipment and the loudest "BEEP BEEP" I have ever heard for 3 hours. I turned on the tv, the radio, a fan, her sound machine, and the space heater and still could not cover up the road work noise. So, after two solid attempts we gave up on a nap. This was tragic being that she was exhausted from the playdate and worn out from cutting 4 teeth at the same time. It ended up being a long and exhausting day for mommy and baby. The littlest things made her mad and she just wasn't herself. We put her to bed around 6pm but she's already been up crying 2x and it's only 9pm. I'm hoping she'll sleep through the night from here on and will let mommy sleep in at least til 8 tomorrow! Blasted teeth :(

Then I found out that although we'd been told a couple weeks ago that Eliana was accepted into the Washington Apple program for health insurance.....we even got her id card and benefits booklet, as of today she's no longer eligible! I was so ticked. Apparently they decided that our existing high deductible insurance is credible coverage. I find that ludicrous. How is a coverage that covers nothing beyond immunizations (at 80%) until you reach $5k considered credible???? If Elly gets sick and I take her in it's easily $200. X-rays, medication, all very expensive. And God forbid we ever have to go to the hospital with her it would cost a fortune. I am very displeased with the state of healthcare in our Country. It's sad, shocking, angering, and consistently frustrating that good, hard working people can't afford to go to the doctor, have a baby in a hospital, have needed surgery, get their eyes checked, etc. Let's change things people!!! Although I do think that Obama's plan has serious flaws, I also feel that we need to start somewhere. Republicans can go in this fall and change things around and fix issues, but in the meantime let's get something going! I guess I would say that we are all entitled to our own feelings about this, but until you consistently spend more on medical bills than you do on groceries (as I do), don't bother trying to change my mind about any of it. Whew!

With today being so exhausting and frustrating I decided to make one of my favorite dinners and would like to share it with you all. It's fairly easy (really!) and is a huge winner with whoever eats it :) The recipe is from my mom, I'm not sure where she got it. I've been making it since I was about 12ish but have really only perfected the reduction and carmelization process for the chicken in the last 5 years. Enjoy!

Ok, for this recipe you will need:

olive oil or coconut oil (for pan)
dash of lemon pepper
1/2 C Lea and Perrins Marinade for Chicken, will be right next to Worchestershire sauce in the grocery aisle (DO NOT use regular Worchestershire, it's totally different. I buy it at Red Apple or Central Market, Fred Meyer doesn't have it).
1/4 C honey (I usually fudge it to 1/3 C cuz I love honey)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds, optional

2-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts. I make 2 for Craig and I and have extra yummy sauce to put over the side dishes

Cut chicken into lengthwise strips about 1/2" thick. Preheat pan to medium heat. Add about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Add chicken strips, sprinkle about 1tsp lemon pepper (this gives it a little bite). Saute until chicken is about half way cooked (still pinkish). Drain the chicken and add the sauce. Continue cooking in the sauce on med heat until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the sauce and pan and place on a plate covered with foil.

Beautiful, right? It gets better!

From here you'll continue to cook the sauce in the pan over med to med-high heat. The goal now is to reduce our delicious sauce to a darker color with a thick texture. Smells good doesn't it!? I usually have to cook it at least 5 want it pretty thick to carmelize over the chicken.

Yum, so good! After the 5-10 minutes of reducing (don't burn it) it's time to add the chicken back in.

See the contrast in color from the first cooking til when the sauce is reduced? It should be a beautiful caramel color and pretty darn thick. Turn the chicken in the pan to coat with the sauce.

Ok, as long as your sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked, you're good to go! YUM-O!

Tonight I served it with Quinoa (the most perfect and delicious protein-filled non-grain that sort of tastes like a grain) and broiled asparagus.

I like to cook Quinoa in low sodium 99% fat free chicken broth, no extra salt needed. I did 1 C Quinoa with 2 C chicken broth tonight which is 4 servings so I'd have leftovers for tomorrow. Rinse the Quinoa and add to pot with chicken broth. Boil for about 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed.
The asparagus I put on a baking sheet and lightly sprinkled with salt and olive oil. I cooked at 375 degrees (ok, technically not broiling) for about 10 minutes. Really good!
The extra sauce is delicious over Quinoa, rice, etc.

If you need help give me a holler! This is a recipe you'll love for years to come :)

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