Even though I had only two guests over the other night for food and wine, I will herein call my little gathering a "dinner party." I'm really not sure what the socially accepted rules are to call such a gathering a "party," but I've decided that I make my own rules on this blog! So it shall be.
There were so many foodie ideas going on in my head that I wanted to try, now that I had a captive audience at my disposal. I threw some ideas out to one of guests and got very, very nervous when every reply was "Ew" and "I'm not a fan." I wanted something light (to save room for the copious amounts of wine and CAKE we would consume), but also something easily identifiable, since this would be the first time I would be cooking for these girls. Then it hit me...
DEARED DRUNKIN' CHICKEN
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large (or 2 small) shallots, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups of vermouth or dry white wine
2 cups of chicken stock
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cidar vinegar
1 lb of fresh baby spinach
2-3 tbsp fresh basil, ciffonade
Salt and pepper, to taste
Halved cherry tomatoes, if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp each of butter and oil in a large skillet. Season both sides of chicken breast with salt and pepper, and place top-side down in pan. Cook until chicken is nicely browned, flipping only once. (Chicken does not have to be cooked through.) Place chicken in a large glass baking dish.
Meanwhile, heat remaining butter and oil in a deep saucepan. Add sliced shallot and cook until shallot is translucent. Add vermouth, chicken stock, mustard and vinegar to shallots, stirring occassionally, and boil until mixture reduces to half. Once reduced, immediately pour over chicken in baking dish and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
While chicken is baking, re-heat the large skillet. Add minced garlic and spinach, turning to wilt the spinach. (You may need to add a little more oil.) Season with salt and pepper.
To plate: Spoon out a portion of spinach in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Arrange cooked chicken on top of spinach. Place cherry tomatoes around the dish, if desired (I think the dish needed another color to make it pop!). Spoon broth on top of chicken and garnish with the chiffonade of fresh basil.
I served some Pinot Grigio to bring out the flavor of the vermouth in the broth.
The dish was lovely! Simple, pretty and full of flavor. The raw tomatoes softened up nicely when the hot broth was poured over the top. The perfect bite included a piece of chicken, some spinach and a tomato half!