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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Three Kids/Three Things

The bebe rolled over for the first time yesterday. Mavis was home with the two younger kids while I was teaching choir at Number One's school. She was playing on her mat while Number Two watched Sesame Street and Mavis was in the adjoining study. She suddenly got fussy, and he turned to see that she'd gotten stuck on her tummy and didn't know how to turn back. She's done it a few times since. Aw, she's growing up!

Number Two is getting more excited about words, even occasionally recognizing them in print. Today as we were getting ready to leave a playgroup, he saw a sign and said, "That says 'Stop'!" which it did. Well, he actually said something more like "Gnat say ''Top'!", where the apostrophe before the T stands for a nasal exhale--how he commonly deals with esses in consonant combinations.

And finally, Number One keeps all my faithful and dedicated readers in mind. Last night, midway through dinner, he said, "This is new--shouldn't you take a picture of it?" He was right, it was something I haven't blogged about, but there wasn't really enough left on the plates to justify taking a picture. The recipe was one I originally found in the NYTimes when I lived in New York, from Marian Burros's "Plain and Simple" column (I think--I'm too lazy to go downstairs and dig it out). She originally served it with basil mashed potatoes, and I went for our old standby orange and green mashed potatoes (with the last of that purple kale, and shallot instead of onion) instead. The recipe might have originally included a small amount of white wine, but I don't remember for sure and in any case I didn't have any one hand, so this is how I made it last night.
Lemon-Thyme Chicken

boneless skinless chicken breasts (I made four, which was one too many, but they almost always come two to a package)
flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging (optional if you're trying to reduce carbs or just lazy)
olive oil or butter or combination
salt and freshly ground pepper
medium shallot, chopped fine (ping-pong ball sized)
few sprigs thyme (I popped leaves off before adding to the pan; Marian originally left them on and then removed the stems before serving)
juice of one half-lemon
zest from about half the half-lemon
1/2 C chicken stock
few blobs of butter (maybe a tablespoon total)

Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness (usually about a half-inch), and dredge in seasoned flour if using. Heat oil/butter/both in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add chicken in a single layer (if you didn't dredge it in flour, season with a little salt and pepper now). Brown on both sides, then remove from pan (or, if it's not too brown and you have a big skillet, stack it all on one side). Add shallot to pan and sauté until translucent and starting to brown, adding thyme leaves or sprigs halfway through. Add lemon zest and juice and chicken stock and scrape up browned bits. If you removed the chicken from the pot, or if it needs a tad bit further cooking, flip it in sauce to coat and let simmer a few minutes until done. Then add blobs of butter as you remove the pan from the heat, correct seasonings and serve.

Number One really liked the flavor of the sauce, so I suspect I'll be getting a request to fix it again soon. I successfully planned menus for most of this week (yay me!). Saturday we had beef and broccoli stir-fry, Sunday a veggie risotto, then the lemon chicken. Tonight will be buffalo burgers, tomorrow or Thursday pan-roasted pork tenderloin and couscous salad, and Friday I'll make mac and cheese for the kids while we go out. I'm still missing one dinner, hm.

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Blogger Swizzies said...

That chicken sounds yummy...and easy. My favorite combination. :-)

Do you make vegetarian stuff ever? What is your favoriate meatless dish or meal? I'm going (naturally not purposely) less and less for meat, so looking now for new ideas besides living on yogurt and cheese and salami and pretzel bread.

February 28, 2008 at 2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would make more meatless stuff if the bebe had a better tolerance for dried beans. Last night we had soft tacos, and I used the last leftover lemon chicken because of the bebe's legume issues (remember I had an extra breast?), but everyone else had canned refried beans. We also had a veggie risotto a few days ago. Tomorrow the boys will have mac and cheese while we go out. This time I have some ham to toss in, but more often I don't have any meat in it.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I'm sure I've posted here about the red lentil dal with coconut milk, that's veggie. And about half the time when I buy fresh ravioli (a favorite lazy meal) none of them have meat (though lately they've had chicken sausage ones that the boys really like).

But I have been trying to cut back on meat and red meat in particular, so hopefully you'll be seeing even more veggie recipes here.

February 28, 2008 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Hevansrich said...

oh dear, I feel like I've eaten more red meat in the past few years or so than I ever did before... not good i'm sure but I sure do love it...mostly in stir fry, curries, or beef medallions not giant cuts, but, it is so delicious. But your chicken sounded so good, as do so many things you talk about making (they just for some reason seem unattainable to me)
I love the step by step prep photos you've done for some dishes in the past...

also, i'm so glad I got to meet your kids in person, even if just briefly, over the holidays, it makes your descriptions come so much more alive!!

February 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Swizzies said...

It seriously took me at least two minutes to figure out what you meant by "remember I had an extra breast?" I was picturing the Good Old Days when you showed me your flowered bra right after we'd met, and I was trying to recall a third breast. I was wracking my brain trying to recall some surgery or third nipple at least.

Only then did I realise you meant the lemon chicken. LOLOL...

February 29, 2008 at 4:16 AM  
Blogger Hevansrich said...

if JA had an extra breast, we'd remember it from her engagement photos gift to Mavis....

February 29, 2008 at 8:47 AM  

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