Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts (that were shredded and eventually covered in Cream of Chicken Soup)

It is important for me to note that not everything I make is truly blog worthy --- BUT because this blog and my cooking adventures are a learning and growing process for me I wanted to share this experience with you. Apparently homemade gravy is not my forte. Otherwise the title of this recipe would be "Chicken Breasts with Pan Gravy" as it was supposed to be (to serve over my homemade noodles). But alas...I am no Rachael Ray, so instead I wound up with pan seared chicken and juice that refused to thicken into gravy even with addition of cornstarch. I didn't follow the recipe to a "T" because I added in several stalks of chopped celery, so maybe that had something to do with the fact that my pan was gravy-less? Regardless I just kept rolling with it and decided to shred my chicken and add it back to the pan and then serve the whole thing over the noodles. The result was a 7 out of 10 - fair.  Even my very supportive hubby said, "This one was lacking in the flavor department." It did not make enough to even out the ratio of noodles so I was left with a huge bowl of noodles and just a eentsy weensy bit of the chicken combo. What to do? I scrounged around in the pantry and grabbed up a can of cream of chicken soup, which I promptly poured over everything!! :) I didn't take a picture of the end product, but wish I would have. It was a good decision as it amped up the flavor of the noodles and kind of brought everything together. 

To sum up this cooking adventure, dear readers, I wouldn't exactly consider this recipe a misfire. It did have some redeeming qualities, was most definitely NOT the best thing I have ever made. In addition, it would not hurt my feelings if no one out there chooses to give this one a go for themselves. But if you do and you end up with lovely pan gravy, please kindly let me know what I did so wrong! :)
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts
Inspired by Rachael Ray Magazine

Printable Version 

Four 7 to 8 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast (I only had 3, another factor that probably led to this recipe's demise)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped (I used a whole onion)
Several stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used my hubby and my's most favorite wine ever, Tabor Hill Classic Demi Sec. I may or  may not have bought a case of this wine at one point) 
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
Lightly season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then coat with the flour, shaking off any excess.  In a large skillet heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving place to rest. Add the shallots and the celery to the skillet and cook until just translucent, about 4 minutes.
 Pour in the wine and cook, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until reduced and syrupy, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the chicken broth and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and any juices from the resting chicken. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. 
Shred the chicken with two forks and add back into the skillet, warming all the way through. Serve over noodles or rice. 

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