I usually send Jen T. something for her birthday but this year I was forgetful so now that she’s in town I decided to make her a belated birthday dinner. I was driving into Austin today from Houston so I wanted to pick something that’s easy. I found a Giada recipe for Chicken Piccata. I’ve never tried making Chicken Piccata before so it’s also expanding my horizons. It’s pretty easy. The only change I made to the recipe was not put in capers. I bought pickled capers inadvertently. Oops. For sides, I just sauteed squash and zucchini. I liked it. Jennifer and Brandi didn’t complain and Jen wanted the recipe. I consider that successful. It’s always kind of unnerving to make something for the first time for people.
2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.
Banana Nutella Crepes
Then for desserts I made Banana Nutella crepes. I’ve made these a few times back when I was living with Alan. The batter makes approximately 18 crepes. Every time I make these crepes I call a bunch of people to come over to help eat. Nisreen and Nino and Jessica joined us for desserts. It’s an incredibly easy recipe. The only change I made was I sprinkled cocoa powder on top of the whip cream. It was delicious. Nutella is where it’s at.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 jar hazelnut chocolate spread
5 bananas, sliced
1 can whipping cream
Sift the flour with the salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the egg and egg yolk. Pour in the milk, slowly, stirring constantly and, when half is added, stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Beat well until smooth. Add the remaining milk, cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before using. The batter should be the consistency of light cream. Heat a well greased 6-inch skillet,. Add 1/4 cup batter. Tip skillet from side to side until batter covers bottom. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, turn and remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Spread a thin layer of chocolate hazelnut spread onto crepe and place banana slices down the center. Roll or fold crepe. Just before serving top with whipped cream.
All in all I spent 26 dollars and fed 3 people (4 if you include the leftover box I made for Alan) dinner and 5 people dessert.
I used to cook pretty often over a year ago when living with Alan because we had a lot of counter space. I loved it. But then I took a year off of cooking (I think I cooked maybe 15 times the whole time I was at my previous apartment) because I had a single sink and hardly any counter space. Now, Brandi and I have a full kitchen again, I plan on cooking more. Can’t wait.
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