Just A Recipe This Week, But A Good One

I've already been cooking a bit for a big birthday party two days from now. Today the cooking is getting serious, and it does smell good in here. If you care to learn how incredibly deranged I am about cooking, you can review the menu 50th Birthday Party - Caribbean Theme.

So this week I'm just going to share a quick recipe that's unique and downright simple.

With warm weather already upon most of us,this recipe can be done on the grill or in the kitchen. Add some pasta (try this recipe from my website, Simple Pasta with Herbs) or rice, and you've got a complete meal.
1 large or 2 medium zucchini
1.5 pounds boneless chicken breast (skinless or skin on)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1/4 cup water
  1. Trim ends of zucchini and slice into paper thin slices - 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. They'll look like wide ribbons. If you have an adjustable blade slicer, such as a mandoline, this will take about 30 seconds. If not, try a cheese slicer. Last resort - very carefully slice with a large chef's knife. Trim one edge to make a long flat surface. Place flat end down on cutting board. Trim the skin from each side, then cut long slices down the length of the zucchini.
  2. Place zucchini strips into a large bowl.
  3. Cut each chicken breast crosswise into thirds. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. If grilling, add oil to chicken. If sauteing, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add chicken and 7-8 minutes, turning only once or twice. Keep heat high enough to allow the chicken to brown.
  6. Remove chicken pieces and cut each in half and immediately place in bowl with zucchini. Gently toss together. Cover with foil.
    • Note: if chicken is not cooked through fully, return to pan for another minute, placing cut side down.
  7. If grilling, add garlic and one tablespoon olive oil to a small pan, and place on a hot corner of the grill.
  8. Add garlic to pan keeping heat med-high. Stir for 1 min to soften garlic.
  9. Add wine and scrape bottom of pan to pick up any remaining browned chicken bits. Add water an continue to reduce. When liquid is reduced to about 1/4 C, pour sauce over chicken and zucchini.
  10. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Why this recipe is good:
  • Heart healthy. Just chicken breast and zucchini with a few simple flavors and very little oil.
  • Simple technique - a pan sauce made in this manner is surprisingly flavorful.
  • Unique look of zucchini - the ribbons make for a dramatic presentation.
  • Not cooking the zucchini - the heat from the chicken and small amount of sauce is all that's needed to wilt the zucchini. Raw or overcooked zucchini will kill a dish and this approach is easy and effective.

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