Savory Summer

There seems to be an excited energy flittering around the farmers market on this cool morning. The humidity has fallen, much to my surprise. A score of vendors flank Merchants Square, adorned in a festive medley of summer produce and garnished with the tantalizing smells of nearby cooking food.

Locavores relish this sort of close-to-home adventure, peppered with a hint of spontaneity. We’re investing in our community, meeting the people who are feeding us and supporting them and enjoying the freshest produce possible.

Canvas bag looped over my shoulder and money beginning to smolder in my pocket, I unfold a small paper list. A brief glance over my meal plan reminds me of my intentions and I step forward to begin. I’m making pan seared chicken breast with a white wine cream sauce, sauteed green beans and whipped bleu cheese russet potatoes – and I’m going to show you how.

Chicken with White Wine Cream Sauce
Serves 2
This is a complete meal featuring the chicken and sauce as well as two sides. Vine & Dine - August 2014
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For the beans
  1. 2 T butter
  2. 3 Cups snapped and washed green beans
For the mashed potatoes
  1. 4-5 medium sized red skin potatoes
  2. 1 T milk
For the chicken
  1. 2 chicken breasts
  2. Coarsely ground sea salt and white pepper
  3. 1 T butter
For the cream sauce
  1. 2 T butter
  2. 2 T flour
  3. 1/4 Cup milk
  4. 2 T Sauvignon blanc (White Wine)
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 2 T fresh chopped parsley
  7. Ground sea salt and white pepper (optional - for sprinkling)
For the beans
  1. Wash beans with cool water, snap off tops and break beans in half
  2. Place a 10" skillet over medium heat and melt butter
  3. Add snapped green beans to skillet and saute over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, tossing frequently with tongs
  4. Once the beans are done (cook to your desired tenderness), remove from the pan and set aside for serving.
For the mashed potatoes
  1. Over medium-high heat fill a medium-sized stock pot half way with water and bring to a rolling boil
  2. Wash and quarter potatoes (skin the potatoes before quartering, if desired)
  3. Carefully add potato quarters to boiling water and turn heat down to medium, allowing to boil for 10-12 minutes
  4. Remove potato quarters from water using a slotted spoon and place into a mixing bowl
  5. Gently pour 1 T of milk into the bowl with the potatoes and using a hand mixer on a low setting, begin to beat the potatoes into a mash, increasing the speed of your hand mixer as you go to create a fluffier mash potato.
  6. Set the mashed potatoes aside for serving
For the chicken
  1. Grind sea salt and white pepper coarsely and sprinkle over both sides of raw chicken breast
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a 10" skillet
  3. Once the butter has coated the pan, add in the chicken breasts and cook over medium heat, flipping occasionally until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F
  4. Once your chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove from heat and place each chicken breast on a separate plate with a serving of green beans and mashed potatoes
For the cream sauce
  1. Over medium-high heat melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan
  2. Once butter has begun to foam gently, turn the heat down to medium and add in flour and whisk briskly to combine
  3. Very slowly drizzle in milk, whisking constantly as you do this. The sauce will begin to thicken as you whisk - the less milk added, the thicker the sauce, the more milk, the thinner.
  4. Once all of the milk is incorporated, continue whisking and add the Sauvignon Blanc
  5. Once your sauce is to a desired thickness, add in the minced garlic and chopped parsley, whisking to incorporate these final ingredients and then spoon warm sauce over plated chicken breasts.
  1. * Make the cream sauce last so it's warm and easy to drizzle over the chicken - the cream sauce starts with a basic roux.
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