We had paneed chicken the other night, my absolute favorite way of having chicken breasts, which were on sale so Brian picked up a bunch. He was nice enough to slice the breasts in half, hammer the areas that needed hammering to even out each piece, and then breaded and sautéed them. All I had to do was make some tarragon cream sauce, which he loves. In fact, anytime I'm craving that chicken dish I just have to mention the sauce and he's more than willing to handle making the chicken.
I also tried making a pilaf using 1/2 cup of orzo pasta and 1/2 cup of jasmine rice. First, I cooked a couple of thinly sliced garlic cloves in butter for about a minute. Then I added in the pasta and rice, and browned those for about 5 minutes, stirring often so nothing burned. Once they looked sufficiently brown, I added some dried thyme and warmed that up. Then I added in 1-1/2 cups of homemade chicken stock I'd made recently. Brought that to a boil, reduced to a simmer, put the top on and reduced the heat to simmer. Cooked the rice for 20 minutes, then moved it off the heat and waited 5 minutes. Then I added a little bit of salt, freshly grated black pepper, chopped fresh thyme leaves and minced parsley to the rice, about 1/4 cup of each I guess. I put the top back on and served the pilaf after letting it sit for about 5 minutes to let the herb flavor settle in.
Boy, did it turn out good. I'd made the chicken stock a couple of days before and had yet to freeze what I hadn't already used. It was really a nice stock, too, as I roasted the chicken carcass I had from that 11.5 pound chicken I'd bought before Christmas, along with an onion I peeled and cut into wedges and a couple sticks of celery. Roasting the carcass and the veggies not only gave a nice flavor to the stock but it was a lot darker than my regular chicken stock. Laughed, as I had the perfect amount of stock left to use in my pilaf AND my tarragon cream sauce -- things NEVER seem to work out so perfectly for me even though I always have boxed chicken stock in the pantry along with Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Chicken Base in the fridge to supplement or stand in for homemade stock.
Definitely will make that again, as I'm always looking for a nice side dish that doesn't need gravy or sauce like plain rice or pasta would. We've been having a hard time finding orzo in the local grocery but Brian recently said he ran across a bag of it in a box of "extras" we had in the laundry room that wouldn't fit in the cabinets -- this was our old "pantry" before I made the pantry in the tiny room housing our gas water heater. I didn't want to use it all up at once so figured I'd try using some of it in a pilaf. I'm going to have to try to order it online so I can have a few pounds on hand.