Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Creamy Chicken & Asparagus on Toast

First of all this is not my recipe, its from Rachel Ray's 365: no repeats book, but I tried it tonight and both Jordan and I loved it, we made a couple small changes which I put in the recipe below to make it more practical. I don't know if this will be a favorite with kids because it does have asparagus in it, but we loved having something that was a little different.

1 large yellow onion
1 T fresh Thyme
3 garlic cloves chopped
6 T butter
4 Chicken Breasts cut into chunks
1 loaf of French Bread
1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
2 T flour
1/2 c white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 c or half-and-half
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup of Gruyere cheese
2 T bread crumbs
4 Slices of good Ham, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400

In a skillet cook up 2 T of the EVOO, onions, thyme, garlic & some salt & pepper (I used fresh Thyme, but in the past I've substituted dried herbs to taste and its been just fine). Cook them until brown and then dump them into a bowl. Then put the rest of the EVOO in the skillet and start browning the chicken chunks, adding salt & pepper. While thats cooking split the French loaf in half and butter it and sprinkle some chopped (or dried) parsley on top and put it into the oven until it starts to become golden (about 5 minutes) -- I also pulled a little bit of bread out the center to make a depression for the future sauce before buttering. Remove the cookie sheet from oven, switch it from Bake to broil. Once chicken is done, dump back in the onion mix & add the white wine, broth, half-and-half, and flour. You'll have to mix it pretty well so the flour doesn't clump up, I added the flour first and that worked well. Bring this up to a simmer and then add all of your asparagus and continue to cook until the asparagus is tender and put in your chopped Ham and just let it cook a minute or so. Meanwhile grate the Gruyere cheese (mozarella or parmesan would probably be a fine substitute) and mix it with the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Finally take the chicken sauce mixture, fill up the two sides of the loaf and then sprinkle the cheese/breadcrumb mixture over the sauce and stick under the broiler until the cheese begins to melt & brown.

I timed this meal and from start to finish it took me 22 minutes to prepare, I served it with a fresh salad and this recipe probably makes enough to serve 4-6 if you have a side dish with it. I like it because it merely tasted different than the humdrum stuff I make a lot....don't worry if you don't have fresh herbs or if you need to substitute something, sometimes that even makes something better...comments please!


Brandon and Brittany said...

Jandee, this sounds SO yummy! I can't wait to get the ingredients so I can try it for myself. My children are pretty brave, it is my husband I worry about. (He doesn't like asparagus) It is times like these that I wish I lived in Utah so I could find things like Gruyere cheese... oh well. A quick question, I've never cooked with wine, I'm too chicken. Did you really use the white wine and if so should I be brave and do the same or just use chicken broth? Love you.

Jordan & Jandee said...

Chicken broth is a fine substitute,and I've used it when I'm out of cooking wine, but to be honest I use cooking wine all the time. I think it has a better flavor and all of the alcohol burns off anyway, plus it is less expensive for me because one bottle of decent cooking wine is 3.99 at my grocery store and I can just put it back in the pantry after I've used 1/4 a cup or whatever.... meanwhile chicken stock can be as much as 79 cents a can and I always end up just chucking the rest of the can before I can use it for something else.... you should give it a try. I really like Marsala wine for cooking too. And if you've eaten at any popular restaurant, ie Olive Garden, Chilis, Applebees, anywhere really you've already been eating sauces made with cooking wine!