Dijon Chicken

This recipe calls for a convenient and delicious bouillon called “Better Than Bouillon”. It comes in several flavors, but we keep the “seasoned vegetable base” in the house as a staple for its versatility in many recipes. You will WANT to get “lost in the sauce” with this dish! In our house, we like to slice the chicken breasts before serving, so the sauce covers every single morsel. My husband and I also like using this with fresh mushrooms! We add them in when the liquids are added. I also recommend serving this with baguette, mashed potatoes, or rice… anything to not let a drop of the sauce go to waste.20180627_161139


3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons oil, to saute

sea salt, and black pepper to taste

1 onion, thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 cups water

1 teaspoon “Better Than Bouillon” of your choice

1 cup dry white wine (I recommend a buttery Chardonnay, or a Sauvignon Blanc)

½ cup dijon mustard

5 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Heat the oil in a large saute pan, and pat the breasts dry with paper towels. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Once the pan is hot, saute each side until a golden crust is formed, about 5-7 minutes each side. Remove chicken and reserve on a plate.

Add sliced onion directly to pan, and saute until soft and translucent. While this is cooking, mix the water through dijon mustard in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Once the onion is cooked, and minced garlic and saute for a few seconds before pouring in the liquid mixture (this is the time we add the mushrooms, if using).

Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Add breasts back to pan, cover, continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Remove breasts from pan again, add butter to the sauce, and simmer uncovered for ten minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a bit.

Serve the chicken breasts whole, or sliced (we like to slice, then gently add back to the pan to soak for a few minutes before serving, the result is incredible). Either way, serve with a generous amount of the sauce, and enjoy!

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a favorite comfort food in almost every family. And every family has their own way of making it! My version is filling, but with a unique light freshness thanks to the dill and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You might be surprised to learn that my use of alphabet noodles is NOT at the request of my children, but at the request of my husband. Yes, you read that right. Our thirty-something-year-old family breadwinner, provider, and protector demands alphabet noodles in his chicken noodle soup. I don’t tease him about it though because I think he’s got a good point, and they add a fun and nostalgic twist to the recipe (shhhh, don’t tell him I’m giving him credit).20180620_131658


For this recipe, I am not providing exact quantities of water because every time I make it, the proportions end up slightly different depending on how long I simmer or boil, whether or not the pot is covered and for how long, and also simply due to the fact that different people prefer different consistencies. I love thick soups, but my husband and children prefer it when I make this soup with lots of broth and not much chicken. I will provide estimates that approximate our family preferences, but encourage you to adjust the amount of liquid to your personal preference.


3 chicken breasts

2 tablespoons sea salt (or to taste)

3-4 large carrots

1-2 large celery stalks

half a head of garlic

2 bay leaves

¼ to ½ cup alphabet noodles (we highly recommend Goya alphabet noodles)

about 5 stalks of fresh dill

1 cup frozen peas

1 large squeeze of fresh lemon juice


Place the chicken breasts, salt, and enough cool water to cover the chicken into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Depending on the size, and starting temperature, this can take between 10 and 30 minutes.

Carefully remove chicken and reserve on a plate to allow to cool completely, before shredding. If you use all three chicken breasts, this will be a very meaty soup. I usually only use half (approximately 1.5 chicken breasts), and reserve the other half of shredded chicken to make chicken salad sandwiches, another family favorite.

Peel the carrots, slice lengthwise, then slice crosswise into thin half-moon shapes. Add to stock pot. Peel and finely chop the garlic, add to stockpot. Add bay leaves to stockpot. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Slice celery lengthwise, then crosswise into thin pieces and add to the stockpot and cover and continue to simmer until the veggies are soft but not mushy.

Add the noodles and simmer for about 10 minutes. Finely chop the dill while you are waiting. Once the noodles have expanded a bit, this is a good time to eyeball the amount of liquid and add more water if you prefer more broth.

Add the shredded chicken back to the pot (and double check the amount of liquid to ensure it is at your preferred consistency), along with the chopped dill. Bring the soup back up to the simmer.

Add in the frozen peas, and bring back up to the simmer. Immediately remove from heat, and add fresh lemon juice.

Allow to sit for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to finish mingling off heat, then it’s ready to serve!20180419_152622

Last-Minute Scones

In our house, scones are our go-to tea party treat. Scones can be made as complex or as simple as you want, but we tend to stick with this quick and simple recipe that I can throw together at the drop of hat. Perfect for sudden play dates or suddenly whimsical afternoons when the girls start clamoring for hot tea and fine china. We usually omit dried fruits/berries from our scones because we prefer to use these as understated vehicles for clotted cream and homemade jam.20180605_164106.jpg


3 ½ cups self-rising flour, sifted to remove lumps

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ cup sugar

7 tablespoons cold butter

3 eggs

Approximately one cup of half-and-half or milk (better yet, use leftover cream from making clotted cream)


 

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Whisk together the self-rising flour, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut up the cold butter and add to the flour mixture. With your hands, crumble the butter into small pieces in the flour. Work quickly before the butter begins to melt. The mixture should be crumbly with no large lumps when you are finished.

Crack two of the eggs into a measuring cup, and pour in the half-and-half until the mixture reaches the 1¼ cup mark. Whisk together, then pour into the flour mixture. Carefully stir to combine with a rubber spatula until ingredients come together to form a sticky dough.

Carefully dump out onto a heavily floured work surface, and pat it out until is about one inch thick all over.

Using an approximately 2½ inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out the scones and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dip the cutter in flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the cutter.

Whisk the remaining egg thoroughly, and gently brush over the top of each scone.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotating halfway during baking time.

Remove, and allow to cool before serving. The scones should break apart into two halves when you gently pull and wiggle them apart.20180605_175545