The following originally appeared on 4/22/09 at Exit 51.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious. Remember that fable about the tortoise and the hare? What was the moral of that story? Right, fastest isn’t always best.
There are countless examples of how we have become a society that minimizes the value of being leisurely; no need to enumerate them here. The point remains that we pride ourselves on how much of anything we can cram into as little time as possible. It’s sad when you think about it. Because that thinking touches every part of our lives, including how we eat.
If faced with the option to either commit several hours to preparing dinner at home or popping through some random drive thru as you multitask through a day, which are you going to choose? It’s ok, you can tell me. I know that the easy answer is the drive thru. But is it always the best answer?
Looking at what I’ve been cooking lately, I’ve got my fair share of recipes that will never end up on 30 Minute Meals. These are strictly weekend recipes for when I have the luxury to spend an hour, or three, on a dish. But do not think that all that time is actively spent at the stove. Please, have you met me? I would never suggest such a thing.
I can think of plenty of better things to do with three hours…like settle in and read a book, or work my way through all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls dvd’s, or indulge in a leisurely nap on the sofa. If I’m “hard at work” on dinner, I think that excludes me from simultaneously tackling other chores like laundry and cleaning.
Now, I understand not everyone can make that choice. But if you can, I hope you will. At least once in a while. And if you do, maybe you can dine on this slow motion dinner.
I got this recipe from a Wegman’s magazine. I’ve made a few modifications so that it is more in keeping with our South Beach living. I liked the results, but think that maybe the chicken needs to be completely naked. The skin made the juices a little too greasy for my taste. I also let the dish stay in the oven for a second hour, with the heat turned off, because it wasn’t convenient to eat dinner when the timer went off. Just make sure that your lid is on tightly and there is enough liquid in the pot so that the chicken doesn’t scorch.
- 1 pkg (about 3 lbs) Chicken (Split Breasts with Ribs, Drums and Thighs)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp chopped shallots
- 2 pkgs (4 oz each) gourmet mushroom blend
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- juice of one lemon (2-3 Tbsp)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in large pan on medium; add chicken. Brown lightly on all sides. Transfer to clean platter; set aside. Discard all but 1 Tbsp oil.
Add shallots; cook, stirring, 1-2 min. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, 3-4 min.
Add wine; cook, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan. Simmer 3-5 min, to reduce liquids by two-thirds. Add chicken stock, return chicken to pan, and bring to simmer.
Cover; place on center rack of oven. Braise 1 hour.
Remove pan from oven. Stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.