Friday, August 20, 2010

Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

Can we talk cooking philosophy?  What’s yours?  Do you have one?  I used to be all about the next, best, greatest recipe (true it had to be somewhat easy, but still it needed to have some sort of wow factor).  Not so much anymore.  I’m going back to basics (me and Ina), except I don’t really have a back to go back to.  I started out cooking full speed ahead, never making the same recipe twice, dabbling in all sorts of cuisines and filling my pantry with Thai red curry paste, garam marsala, brown and yellow mustard seed, keffir lime leaves…and more, much more.  And while these things are all lovely, I was not developing a basic cooking strategy.  When faced with a simple chicken breast, I had to go find another next, best, greatest recipe to try.

No more.  I want to be able to cook with a handful of ingredients.  Because I am using lovely free range chicken, grass fed beef, and gorgeous organic CSA produce, it shouldn’t need a lot of fancying up.  This recipe from Real Simple, Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans is exactly what I am talking about.  Lovely, simple, flavorful.   AND I learned a fabulous technique, something probably all of you know, but I just discovered…roasting an orange and then squeezing it over the dish before serving!  How fabulous is that?!  I’m going to use this same technique with lemons and limes.  Love it! 

Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans (from Real Simple)

  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces (I used split chicken breasts)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme (I used a couple of teaspoons of fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, plus 12 whole cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 small navel orange, halved
  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 10-ounce package button mushrooms, caps quartered
  • Heat oven to 400° F.

    Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a roasting pan.

    In a small bowl, combine the thyme, red pepper, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.

    Brush the chicken with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with the chopped garlic and spice mixture. Arrange the whole garlic cloves and orange halves around the chicken. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

    Meanwhile, place the green beans and mushrooms on a baking sheet (I just moved over my chicken because I had room). Drizzle with the remaining oil and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Roast until the mushrooms are cooked through and the beans are lightly browned, stirring once, about 15 minutes.

    Divide the chicken and garlic among individual plates and squeeze the roasted orange halves over the top. Serve with the green beans and mushrooms.



    This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!


    Les said...

    This is my kind of recipe! Quick, easy with a dash of elegance.

    Someday, when I have more time to enjoy cooking, I'll begin to use some of the new cookbooks I've bought over the past year or two. For now, though, I'm going to work my way through my collection of favorite recipes. They're tried & true, which is just what I need as we head into the crazy retail season of the holidays. Yes, it's just around the corner!

    Lea Ann said...

    I agree with you. I went through this crazy trying everything new craz a couple of years ago. I'm now working on getting a good solid set of recipes in my database that are tried and true. You, Ina and me. :-)

    grace said...

    i won't lie--i see the word 'philosophy' and my eyes glaze over. i just don't get profound like that. so sue me. :)

    Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

    Mmmm, simply delicious. ☺

    Chanel11 said...

    I've never heard of roasting an orange before using it - must try that out

    As for my coking philosophy it pretty much sounds like your previous one, I think though that once I have kids I will be using a much simpler easier philosophy

    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

    I, too, have a friend who never makes the same dish twice. But what I see is that she is not developing any confidence as a cook, because she has not mastered a basic repertoire of dishes she can rely on. Practice does make perfect, and from perfect, you can go on to experiment and adapt the basic recipes to make them your own.

    Cathy said...

    I'm with you, Pam. When I use the best ingredients all I want to do is compliment their flavors in a recipe. Squeezing a roasted orange over the chicken sounds fantastic.

    June said...

    Good for you Pam! Simple is wonderful and just wait till you try those roasted lemons and limes...especially little key limes. Fabulous. As for me, I love creating new things in the kitchen until I have a string of failures. Then I head back to the tried and true for a while till I get my groove back.

    Kat said...

    Sounds simple enough to me! I love simple, but good. I will try this one. Thanks Pam.

    Marjie said...

    I love being able to just throw something together without a lot of fuss or fancy ingredients. This looks nice!

    elastigal said...

    I agree, I love Ina's books & Real Simple's recipes! Plus with two little ones, the simpler the better.

    dotblogg said...

    so simple and stunning. Just three ingredients and you've got a dinner:)
    The best ideas are the simple ones:)
    take care

    Mimi said...

    I'm all for simple and tasty.

    Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

    I love your 'orange trick'. I will have to try it for sure.
    another friday's favorite!

    5 Star Foodie said...

    We like to mix it up - a few times a week we eat something new and other times - our favorite basic dishes. This chicken with mushrooms & green beans is a nice one!

    girlichef said...

    What a beautiful dish of food...and a great philosophy ;)

    My Carolina Kitchen said...

    I'm all about simple today too Pam and I totally agree with you.

    I used to do fancy foods, but they tend to be too rich for me today. I remember loving a dish in Julia Child's The French Chef. It was "Supremes De Volaille a Blanc" - chicken breasts poached in butter with wine and cream and served over Risotto. We served it once a week. I can't imagine eating something that rich today.

    I like Les's philosophy - quick, easy with a dash of elegance.

    lostpastremembered said...

    You need to talk with my dearly beloved who moans that I never make the same thing twice... no matter how much he likes it. Well, that's just not true but you make a point about great ingredients not needing a whole lot of hoopla... moderation in all things!!! I am inspired.

    Chris said...

    I like the roasted or grilled citrus "sauce" at the end. I've done that with lemons and yes, it is fabulous too, you're going to like it.

    Bella Rum said...

    This sounds great and simple and no, I didn't know about the roasted orange.