Monday, December 22, 2014

Chick-a-Boom-Boom-Boom Chicken

I opened the third door and there she was
And she whispered so sexy, hello-ooh
I tried to do the same
And impress her with my style
But why I said this
I'll never know

Don't ya jes' love it
Don't you jes' love it
Don't ya jes' love it

Good grief, that pose is soooo me!  Hand on my hip, the severe look on my face, the attitude in my body language.  Incipient lawyer, indeed.  Maybe a med mal case as that's my client, the future doctor Elliot Morris.

I am starting a new series of blog posts tentatively called Six Degrees of Separation and Consanguinity, dealing with the lost and found status of family members.  It is a topic that has been on my mind and in my heart for a number of years.  I'll probably start publishing the posts once the Travelblog series is completed.  From paradise to family dysfunction - don't tell me I never take you folks to interesting places!

When I was planning to make the stir-fry earlier this week, I picked up both pork and chicken breasts to use as the protein.  Having changed my mind in the time it took us to drive from Publix to our house, I figured that when the time came, I'd know exactly what to do with those two lovely chicken breasts.  Well, the time came and this is what I did.  This is delicious, just slightly spicy, and the right balance of chicken to sauce.  My boys don't seem to care if I serve any side dishes with the entrees, but I was thinking these ingredients might pair well with couscous.

Best of all, this is a dish that works well for a mid-week dinner.  And if the kids don't like the very slight bite from the hot giardiniera,  I'm guessing the recipe would work well with the milder version.

Chick-a-Boom-Boom-Boom Chicken

2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
About 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 cup white wine
1 - 16 oz. bottle of hot giardiniera, drained (I use Mezzetta brand California Hot Mix)
1/4 cup whole, pitted Kalamata olives, drained and cut in half lengthwise
1 - 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
4 tablespoons half-and-half

Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Granulated garlic
Whole dried oregano
Emeril's Essence

Heat the bacon fat and the butter in a large frying pan over high heat.  Add the sliced onion and season well with the salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, and Essence.   Cook the onion, stirring fairly frequently, until it starts to brown.

Place the chicken in a ziploc bag.  Add the flour.  Shake the bag so that all of the chicken is lightly dusted with flour.  Add the chicken, with any remaining flour in the bag, into the pan with the onions.

Brown the chicken on all sides. Add the white wine and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.  Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Remove the cover and stir in the tomatoes.  Raise the heat to medium, and cook just until the sauce begins to thicken.

Add the giardiniera and the olives and cook for another 10 minutes, adding a bit of white wine if necessary to keep it from drying out.  Lower the heat all the way down and begin adding the half-and-half one tablespoon at a time. Stir well after each addition.  Once you add the dairy, do not allow the sauce to bubble.

Happy Hanukkah!

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