Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce - made June 18, 2014, modified from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Doesn't this look so nice and colorful with the sundried tomatoes and the basil? Such a nice summertime dish. Too bad I screwed it up. I like to think it wasn't my fault but of course it was. For one thing, I skipped the whole breading and frying of the chicken breasts. Instead, I repurposed a couple of chicken breasts from the Crockpot Beer Chicken. Since the sauce from that recipe was virtually tasteless, I decided to make a different sauce for the remaining chicken. Hey, they were organic, free range, pampered chickens; I wasn't going to let them go to waste. There was no point in frying breaded chicken for it so instead I just made the sauce and poured it over the already cooked chicken.
But something went wrong. The most likely culprit is I didn't have heavy cream. Technically I did but it had expired the day before. For a brief (mad) moment, I considered using it because, really, didn't they allow some kind of grace period with those use-by dates? What was a day? But in the end, sanity and fear of harming myself with dairy-gone-bad prevailed. So I substituted whole milk instead of using the heavy cream. That might've been a mistake. For some reason, instead of thickening, the sauce began to both clump and go runny. Oops. I can't explain why and I don't know enough about cooking to offer a plausible reason. I've got to think it takes some kind of talent to make a sauce that was both clumpy and runny - for you real cooks, bet you can't do that! I still ate it since it was already made and the flavor was there, just not the consistency of the sauce I would've liked. So if you want to make this, I'd suggest being a little more faithful to the recipe than I was. And hopefully it'll turn out for you. Add another one to my laughable forays into cooking.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin with a meat mallet
3 tablespoons butter 
1 clove garlic (1/2 teaspoon minced)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate, shallow bowls. 
  2. In skillet, heat butter to medium heat. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. Cook chicken in butter, on both sides, until juices run clear (about 10 minutes). Remove and keep warm.
  3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and sun-dried tomatoes; boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat.
  4. Add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Stir sauce and cook until heated through. Remember that for a thicker sauce all you have to do is cook it longer. 
  5. Serve chicken with sauce poured over the top.

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