Chicken Francese

Photo from Real Food Tastes Good

Tyler Florence isn’t the first person that comes to mind when thinking of easy recipes, but this one is an exception. It’s a great weeknight dinner, but elegant enough for entertaining. Original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 4 thinly sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
  • All purpose flour, for dredging
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs (2 is plenty)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, with rind, cut into the rounds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Put some flour in a shallow bowl and mix with salt and pepper.
  2. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.
  4. Dredge both sides of the chicken in flour, pat off extra flour, and then dip the chicken into the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off.
  5. When the oil is hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken to a large platter in a single layer.
  6. Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  7. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.
  8. I like to tip the pan to drain the oil before proceeding to the next step.
  9. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets.
  11. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

There are two recipes here – one by Americas Test Kitchen and an easier one by Bobby Flay. Depending on the amount of time you have, both are delicious.

Recipe by Bobby Flay

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Directions

  1. Preheat a nonstick griddle or pan,
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Brush the hot griddle with butter.
  6. Using 1/4-cup measureportion batter into pan in 3 places. Spread each portion into a 4 inch round.
  7. Cook until edges are set and first side is deep golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat until second side is golden brown.

Recipe by Americas Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 whites (I skip the extra whites)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (2% is fine too)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 4 teaspoons juice (I prefer 3 teaspoons juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil (only needed if sticking to pan)

Directions

  1. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Add ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla and whisk until just combined.
  3. Gently stir in butter.
  4. Using stand mixer fitted with a whisk (or a hand mixer), whip egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
  5. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute.
  6. Gradually add sugar and whip until glossy, soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer one-third of whipped egg whites to batter and whisk gently until mixture is lightened.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold remaining egg whites into batter.
  9. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using paper towels, wipe out oil, leaving a this film on bottom and sides of pan.
  10. Using 1/4-cup measure portion batter into pan in 3 places. Spread each portion into a 4 inch round.
  11. Cook until edges are set and first side is deep golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat until second side is golden brown.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

This is one of my favorite Ina Garten recipes. It is loaded with vegetables and full of flavor. This makes a great side dish, pot luck dish or meal on its own. It’s great cold or at room temperature, and holds up beautifully in the fridge. I modified the recipe slightly to reduce unnecessary oil. The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta
  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 pound feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425-F.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into long slices. Lightly brush or spray with olive oil. Proceed to cut into cubes and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl toss the bell peppers, onion, and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the eggplant and toss. (The reason I initially separate the eggplant from the rest of the vegetables is because it will soak up every bit of oil and prevent the other vegetables from getting coated).
  4. Pour all the vegetables back onto the sheet pan (two sheet pans may be necessary to prevent the vegetables from being over crowded). Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to the package.
  6. For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  7. Drain and transfer the orzo to a large serving bowl. Toss with the dressing.
  8. Add the roasted vegetables and toss. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pine nuts, feta, and basil.