Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Cooking with Jamie Oliver

Emi hit up the library again to find some new cookbooks for us to peruse. One of the books she picked up was Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver. I haven't had a chance to go through it yet, but did try one of the recipes Emi picked out. It was super easy. I'm talking easier than a crockpot easy. So for any one out there in need of a simple and easy, yet tasty meal this one is for you.

The recipe was called Chicken Breast Baked in a Bag with Mushrooms, Butter, White Wine, and Thyme. I changed it up a little.

What you'll need:
  • 4 - chicken thighs or you could do 2 chicken breasts, I prefer thighs
  • 1 handful of dried porcini (didn't have these and it still came out great)
  • solid amount of mushrooms torn up, I used crimini (some chopped, some whole) and one chopped up portabello mushroom. If you can find them I would use chantrelles.
  • 1 large wineglass of white wine - I used a chardonnay, but I'm sure anything on hand works
  • 3 large pats of butter - I used 3 chunks of Emi's homemade truffle butter
  • 1 handful of fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 shallot diced - not in the original recipe, but was a good addition
  • salt and pepper
  1. Using aluminum foil, make your bag by placing 2 pieces on top of each other (about as big as 2 shoeboxes in length), folding 3 sides in and leaving 1 side open. I added a third piece in the end to make sure it was fully sealed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. This is optional, but I think would create a crust and seal in a better flavor. I didn't do this, but will next time. Salt and pepper the chicken generously and heat a pan on medium high heat with 1 T of olive oil. Once hot, brown the chicken skin side down for maybe 3 minutes at the most.
  4. Then mix everything together in a bowl and place in the bag with all the wine, making sure you don't pierce the foil.
  5. Close up the final edge, making sure the bag is tightly sealed and secure on all sides, place into a roasting pan.
  6. If cooking chicken breast, I wouldn't recommend browning the meat and only cook it for 25 minutes. With a bone in chicken thigh, which I cooked, you'll need about 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and place on a big plate. Break open the foil and serve.
  8. Jamie said you could vary the recipe with grated parsnip, smoked bacon, and red wine.

Before I sealed everything up. In the end the mushrooms were the highlight of the dish. They soaked up the butter, thyme, and wine beautifully. Make sure you don't skimp on the mushrooms.

The finished product. This photo doesn't really do this dish justice. It was super easy and very flavorful. The only thing lacking was a little bit of salt and pepper, which I added in after, however I think if I brown the chicken in advance that might help a little.

This was a great recipe because the ingredients were simple and the steps to making it were simple. All you need is chicken, some white wine, mushrooms, butter, garlic, and thyme. I can't wait to try a variation of this dish with something different like fish.

I'm looking forward to reading through the rest of this book. The recipe seemed pretty healthy and I'm interested to see what else he has to offer. Random side note, but I just read the back of the book and at the time he wrote this he was only 26. Pretty impressive all that he had accomplished at still a very young age. By the way thanks Carmen and Jamie for getting me interested in learning more about Jamie Oliver!

- Kyle

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