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Friday, September 27, 2019

Curried Chicken Breast with Zucchini

It is with a strange sense of both wistfulness and relief that I anticipate the waning of the garden every fall. I love harvest season, but it brings with a constant pressure to eat and preserve every little bit of produce while I still have it. So the relief is a lessening of that pressure, but it comes at a cost, of boring winter food. 

We're facing a probable freeze next week, with a number of baby zucchinis still on my plants. Two of them went into this fairly easy, low carb dinner. I usually add a starch (pasta, bread, or rice), and sometimes another veggie for my picky eaters who don't like zucchini unless it's in a sweet bread. 





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Curried Chicken Breast with Zucchini


Modified slightly from https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3209-curried-chicken-breast-with-zucchini

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lbs)
~4 T olive oil, divided
salt
pepper
2 small zucchini, about 1 lb
2 teas curry powder
1 T unsalted butter
2 T fine chopped shallots
1/2 c chicken broth
2 T heavy cream

Turn the chicken breasts on their sides and cut in thin pieces of meat that will cook faster. Then add the chicken to a large bowl and coat with ~1 T oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper.

Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the zucchini and curry powder to the bowl with the chicken and stir with your hands to coat everything evenly.

Heat oven to 200F and prepare a dish to hold the zucchini and chicken that finishes early.

Heat ~1 T oil over medium high heat in each of two large, heavy skillets: I use a cast iron and an all clad, because that's what I have. Add the chicken in one layer to both skillets, then place the zucchini in between the chicken.

The original recipe said to brown one side for 3 minutes and then turn the heat down to moderately low and cook the other side for 5 minutes. The timing on this seems way off. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to cook the chicken to 165F after I turn the heat down for the second side. Turn the zucchini occasionally until browned and softened to taste. Move the chicken and zucchini to the warm oven as it finishes.

Then, use one skillet to make the pan sauce. Pour off the fat, and add the butter. Add the shallots. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring to get the flavorful dark bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the broth; reduce to about 1/3 c and then stir in the cream. Bring to a boil, then add the chicken and zucchini pieces back to the skillet and turn them to coat. I wanted more sauce last time, so I might increase the amounts for the pan sauce next time.


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