With a half a foot of snow outside, it seems impossible that spring is coming. But it always does. It may drag its feet while we wait impatiently, but it will be here. Eventually.
And I will be ready.
Here's a quick recipe to get you in the mood. Just a recipe, folks. It speaks for itself!
Brown the chicken in a little olive oil and finish it briefly in the oven while you cook the vegetables and make the sauce. This step ensures the chicken cooks through perfectly, no pounding required. If you have a thermometer, be sure to test the centers for perfect results. Sweet spring onions look like scallions with fat, golf ball-size bulbs.
Chicken breasts with spring vegetables, mustard, capers and cream recipe
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound asparagus, bottom ends trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 large (golf-ball size) spring onion, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons well rinsed capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a baking sheet.
2. Sprinkle the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. On a large plate, spread the flour and dredge the chicken in it until well coated. Shake off the excess.
3. In a large skillet over medium high-heat, heat the oil. Brown the chicken for 3 minutes on a side, or until golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes for small breasts and about 7 minutes for thick breasts. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast should register 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, return the pan to the heat and add the butter. Add the leeks and asparagus, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peas and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. Place the chicken breasts on top and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
5. Add the wine and cream to the skillet and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the mustard and capers. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.