07 June 2009

Sunday Cooking: Creamy Basil Chicken

I do love to cook; it's just that I'm lazy. There I said it.

Sundays (and public holidays) are when our helper gets her day-off. In the past, we would take the kids and dine out or order in. While it was fun and easy to go out and eat or to just order take-out, it gets pretty tiring over a while. Plus, home-cooked food beats take-out any day. This year, I've decided to make more of an effort and actually prepare our meals myself. After all, it's only one day a week that I'm left to my own devices and I get to putter around in the kitchen.

I have a few old trusted recipes that I rotate. I also have my friend Joanne's website to fall back on (Week of Menus), the Pioneer Woman's recipes, as well as a host of other great recipes that I can find online.

While I do plan ahead to this one day of cooking, sometimes I wing it and let what we have left in the fridge dictate what I'll be making for the day. I hate it when I have to throw away barely used items all because they've gone past their expiry dates.

Anyway, I wanted to make Pastor Ryan's Chicken Tikka Masala, but I couldn't find masala in the spice section of our supermarket. I have whipping cream and basmati rice that are going to expire in a couple of weeks. I have fresh basil (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE basil!).

My online search came up with this recipe for creamy basil chicken at cdkitchen. I decided to use the directions for yellow rice included in Pastor Ryan's recipe and use the creamy basil chicken in lieu of chicken tikka masala.

It turned out super yummy and best of all, both Josh and Zoë loved it! That, for me, more than anything else, determines whether or not a recipe is to be repeated another time.

They loved the yellow rice, because it's a departure from the white rice that they are used to. Instead of green peas (because I didn't realize that we didn't have any left), I used frozen wild blueberries. That turned out to be the best thing. The darkness of the blueberries was a great contrast to the yellow rice and some of the blueberries that got squished gave parts of the rice a bluish/purplish color, which the kids found intriguing. As for the chicken, well, let's just say that not. a. single. speck. of rice nor chicken was in their bowl when they were done. So yes, I am feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Here you go. This is a very easy recipe. It took me less than an hour from prep time to finish. Simple, easy-to-find ingredients. Oh, have I mentioned that it's really, really yummy?

Creamy Basil Chicken

¼ cup milk
¼ cup bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or chicken fillets)
3 tbsp butter
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 jar (4 oz size) sliced pimento peppers, drained
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped basil
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1) Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with bread crumbs.
2) In skillet over medium heat, fry the coated chicken in butter, on both sides, until juices run clear. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
3) Add broth to skillet, bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and pimentos; boil and stir for one minute. (I skipped the pimentos.)
4) Reduce heat. Add Parmesan cheese, basil, and black pepper.
5) Simmer until heated through. Pour sauce over chicken to serve.

Yellow Rice
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter

1) Throw all ingredients into rice cooker. Cook.
2) When rice is cooked, add in 1-2 cups of frozen green peas and gently stir in. (I didn’t realize that we ran out of green peas, so I just used frozen wild blueberries instead. I’m pretty sure you can use frozen mixed veggies as well. Or even raisins!)
3) Cover rice cooker again and keep warm for another 8-10 minutes.

Have a great Sunday!


ModernMom said...

Just popping over from it's a Beauty Filled Life. Love the looks of this recipe (I'm not the most confident cook lol) and I'm enjoying your blog!

Veronica Lee said...

Looks really yummy!! I love yellow rice !!

Is that 'Wong Keong fun' in cantonese?

Buckeroomama said...

Haha, Veronica! I just did a 'Google translation' and it does seem that turmeric IS "wong keong fun."

Wanda said...

Hmmm.......sounds wonderful. I'll try it.


Jennifer said...

Lazy? You and me both! But this recipe looks irresistible! I have some basmati rice that I need to use too! Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

That looks chef prepared to me! And, if the kids at all of the chicken, that says a whole lot!!!

Jenjen @GottaLoveMom said...

So yummy...Sundays for me is rest day from cooking..
Enjoy the rest of the week!

Leslie said...

YUMMMO that looks great!

Tess said...

We just had chicken tonight but it didnt look like that! Yummy!

Joanne Choi said...

looks totally delish. May have to try and take your idea and post it on the blog. My kids love anything with sauce on rice.

Lindy said...

Here was the conversation between me and my 13 year old stepson this past weekend.

Me: I hate to cook.
Him: I hate food.

Although this looks really good, I don't think I could do it!

Heather said...

Wow, that looks delicious! I'm going to have to try this...thanks for sharing! I can relate to the whole part where if the kids like the recipe then it's a keeper...toddlers can be so picky when it comes to what they will and will not eat.

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