Quite a bit of the food I cook has Asian influences. I particularly love Thai food but will definitely not turn my nose up at Chinese, Malaysian (Nasi Lemak has to be one of the best breakfasts around), Indian, Vietnamese to name just a few that I partial to. A good stir fry is such a quick and easy dinner to do after a day’s work and it manages to incorporate so many flavours if done well.
But one of the reasons I am blogging is to encourage me to get a bit more variety in my diet. That includes eating food that I perhaps wouldn’t have traditionally cooked. This Martha Stewart recipe for chicken with mushrooms looked interesting and pretty straightforward to make:
The ingredients I used to make this for one person were:
- 1 tbs plain flour
- 170g chicken breast cut into cutlets
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- ¾ tbs of unsalted butter split into ¼ tbs and ½ a tbs
- ½ tbs of fresh thyme leaves (I didn’t chop mine, I just stripped them off their stems)
- 115g of button mushrooms
- 1 tbs dry white wine (I just buy the cheap white wine in small packets for cooking – they are about 2 glasses worth and are not tasty enough to encourage drinking…)
- 1 tbs of chicken stock
- 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
The preparation time on the recipes seems a bit out of sorts to me. I am not sure if the preparation also includes cooking time as that is what the recipe seems to indicate. For me the preparation took about 10 minutes with the main time user being the thyme. Cooking time was about 20 minutes. My chicken took slightly longer than 3 minutes each side – probably about 4 minutes but I may not have made the cutlets as thin as they should be. The recipe came out to about 320 calories and I had it with a baked potato. The white wine and chicken stock are a bit of a pain being such small amounts. I should put some chicken stock in the freezer in an ice cube tray.
I have been having a bit of a dilemma about whether I should post recipes that don’t seem to work. I am not the world’s best cook and the recipe may not have worked out because of my cooking skills. Is it fair to criticise when the fault in the recipe may be me? Recipes may also not have worked because I am scaling them down – but I sort of have a sense when that happens for example the sauce is too sparse to properly cover food in the size of pan I have used and the meat gets a bit dry. One of the aims of this blog is to highlight dishes that do and don’t scale down well.
But I have decided that this is a blog of my experiences both good and bad and that people reading it will realise I am not a trained chef. So along that vein, I have to say this recipe is, as my mother would say, a bit of something and nothing. It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste good. In particular, there was too much butter on my mushrooms and they just tasted a bit greasy. The thyme was perhaps the best bit but not enough to redeem this. So I won’t be making it again.
However, as with all things there was a plus side to this recipe. I learnt what a chicken cutlet was and how to make one from a chicken breast. I haven’t seen them for sale here in Australia but perhaps have just not been looking for them. The cutlet did come out quite juicy with a lovely golden crust. I can see me cooking cutlets again using the method described here (as it was very quick) and adding a more exciting sauce. Maybe one with less butter and more salty flavours to go with the mushrooms – capers, olives? What would you add?