A bona fide kitchen disaster tonight.
Jill and Kevin gifted us with a subscription to Cooks Illustrated for Christmas, and tonight was our first attempt at a recipe from the magazine this year. Shane devoured the latest issue one night before bed, and was very excited to try several recipes – including their new-fangled method for pan-seared chicken breasts, complete with a lemon and chive pan sauce. Following the recipe, I boned the chicken breasts and baked them in the oven for about 30 minutes at what my oven claims was 350 (just realized it was supposed to be 275 – first problem). The breasts were then brushed with a slurry of butter, corn starch, and flour and placed in the waiting cast iron and then WATCH OUT.
Almost immediately the kitchen filled with smoke, and I alternated between turning the breasts with the tongs and running around opening windows. And yes, it’s 25 and snowing tonight. As soon as the chicken was done, the cast iron skillet was relegated to the front porch. I put the pan sauce together, and we sat down to eat, having discovered that the roasted carrots were not anywhere close to being done. At least they weren’t on fire.
The verdict? Overcooked (my fault) and not at all the golden, tender breasts advertised. The flavor was good, though, and we sopped up the pan sauce with the Avalon International beer bread that we’re so into right now. If I were to visit this particular recipe family again, though, I’d save a bunch of time by just grilling the chicken breasts and making the delicious sauce, albeit slightly less delicious absent the pan drippings.