Friday, February 13, 2009

Log Cabin Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I wonder if you'll be able to tell as you read this that I am currently beaming with pride. You see, the whole purpose of my picking specific recipes to make every week is so that some day I'll be a great improvisational cook with dozens, no, hundreds, of techniques at my fingertips. I'll be able to make up a delicious, healthy, well-rounded meal that actually requires a bit of technique and skill, without relying upon a written recipe.

Well, exhibit A, my friends, is Log Cabin Chicken. I call it that because, well, it seems like something you'd eat in a log cabin. I'm thinking Vermont. I'm thinking snow outside. I'm thinking this paragraph makes it totally obvious that I'm a lawyer married to a film editor.

I got the idea for combining beer and maple syrup as the basis for a yummy chicken recipe from the Food Network Magazine. Apart from that, this meal is my own creation. I made some tasty skillet cornbread to complete the picture, and if you really want the recipe for that too, I'll be happy to e-mail it to you (or post it at a later date). But the cornbread is the background for this slightly sweet, rustic chicken breast and caramelized bursting-with-flavor brussels sprouts. I hope you like it.

Log Cabin Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 2


2 tablespoons EVOO, plus 1 tablespoon EVOO
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 large cloves of garlic, smashed under the flat side of a knife, skins left on
a dozen brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 large chicken breast, cut in half horizontally to make two thin pieces
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup lager
3 tablespoons real maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Place the brussels sprouts, garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs in a baking/roasting pan. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO, and season with salt and pepper. Toss around to coat. Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally, until brussels are fork tender.

2. After the brussels sprouts have been cooking about 10 minutes, put a heavy oven-proof skillet on the stove top. Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat. While it heats up, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and dredge lightly in flour, shaking off the excess.

3. Cook chicken breasts over medium heat, about 4 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Mix together the maple syrup and beer in a separate dish. Remove skillet from heat and pour the beer/maple mixture into it, over the chicken. (Stand back, as it might cause a bit of drama in the skillet). Scrape up the browned bits to incorporate them into the sauce.

4. Reduce oven to 400. Flip the chicken over so both sides get a chance to bathe in the beer/maple mixture. Place the skillet in the oven with the still-roasting brussels sprouts. Cook about 5 minutes.

5. Serve chicken alongside brussels sprouts and roasted garlic cloves. Discard rosemary. Spoon a small amount of sauce over the chicken. (It will be quite liquidy, so don't drown the chicken in it.)

Now gobble it up, imagine you're in Vermont, and enjoy! And yes, you can eat the garlic cloves if you so desire, just pop them out of the skins first.

1 comment:

  1. And so you should be beaming with pride - congratulations! You have really made the grade with this one being your own recipe and it looks delicious. Yes, please do post the cornbread recipe sometime too. Thanks.