Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cucumber Braised Chicken Breast




Soooo...... miss me? Somehow, over a year has gone by since I posted anything to this, my little cooking blog. I haven't stopped cooking, and I haven't stopped taking pictures of my food, I just got out of the habit of writing things down. Since my last post, I've basically got a whole new life - I bought a house, I have an amazing girlfriend (who happened to come with an awesome dog), and I've got two nieces or nephews on the way. I hope to get back in the habit of posting something roughly every week. Now, to the food!

Today was the first pickup for the CSA we joined this summer, Bull Run Mountain Farm (http://www.bullrunfarm.com/). If you aren't aware, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join, you are buying a share in a local farm. You pay a lump sum up front and get a weekly share of the farm's crop for the season. It is a great way to support small local farms, be more aware of where your food is coming from, and get amazing produce that blows away the best grocery store food.

Tonight I made a sauce using cucumber, oregano, and garlic scapes from the CSA. I braised some chicken breasts in the sauce and made some brown rice and a salad to go with it.
Ingredients:
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Butter
  • Braising Sauce
    • 1 sprig fresh Oregano from CSA
    • 1/2 cup Cucumber from CSA
    • 4 Garlic Scapes from CSA
    • Paprika
    • 3/4 cup Half and Half
    • Kosher Salt
    • Black Pepper
  • Salad
    • Two kinds of lettuce from the CSA
    • Heirloom tomatoes (from a farmers market, not the CSA)
    • Fresh Basil from the CSA
    • Fresh Mozzarella
    • Black Pepper
    • Balsamic Vinegar
    • Olive Oil
    • Pickled red peppers
  • Brown Rice

Procedure:
This was a pretty quick, simple meal. I made the sauce by blending the ingredients until smooth. I started the chicken breast by seasoning it with black pepper and searing it in a cast iron skillet in butter. Once both sides were lightly seared, I lowered the heat and added the sauce. I braised the chicken for about 10 minutes, keeping it simmering and turning them halfway through. For the salad, I just washed the lettuce and threw on the other ingredients. I then served the chicken over a bread of brown rice.

Resulting Deliciousness:
This was a very nice, light and fresh meal. Cucumber is a very mild and fresh flavor and it came out better than I hoped. I figured the garlic scapes might overwhelm it, but the flavor was very balanced. I ended up adding some of the sauce over the chicken because the flavor didn't penetrate particularly far. The sauce definitely kicked it up a notch. The salad was great, very simple, very good flavors. All in all, a good, health, and quick meal.
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