Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine Dinner Re-visited

Hubby and I do not go out for dinner on Valentine's Day.  We learned a few years ago that we find it too stressful to try to fight the crowds and the food is generally overpriced.  So, we usually try to make it out another night and have dinner at home on Valentine's Day.    This year, since Hubby was sick (yes, he caught what I had last week) I made dinner. 

And yes, he cooks.   I'm keeping him.  

The kids also have so much fun setting the table all fancy and enjoying this Love Feast as a family.   

I made Chicken Piccata and a Mixed Greens Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts.  The chicken has a lot of butter but it's yummy and the salad balances it all out! 


Here are the recipes.   The Chicken Piccata is an old standby of mine.  Hubby loves it with veal. Add two kids to the mix and chicken works just fine, thank you!  ;)

Chicken Piccata
  • 3 large Chicken Breasts - pounded out thin to make them very tender
  • 1 shallot - minced
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • Lots of butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Flour - I used whole wheat pastry - enough to coat chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • 2 tbsp Capers
  • 1 container of fresh mushrooms -cleaned and sliced
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • 1 package angel hair pasta

Pound out the chicken with a kitchen mallet and cut in half to make pieces smaller.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and dredge in flour.  

In a large skillet heat on medium-high the olive oil and about 1/4 cup of butter - enough to fully cover the bottom of the pan.  Saute shallots and garlic.  Add. chicken and brown on each side.  You may need to turn down the heat here.  Especially if your garlic starts to burn.   Remove chicken from the pan when browned and set aside.

Squeeze lemon juice, wine and chicken broth in pan.  Add mushrooms and capers. Turn heat back up until the sauce is simmering and let it simmer until mushrooms are cooked and the sauce reduces to about half.  Add chicken broth if you find it reduces too much and you need more broth. 

Add chicken back to sauce to warm up.  I usually turn down the heat here and cover the pan for a few minutes while I cook my angel hair pasta.

Cook angel hair pasta for 4-5 minutes.  

Drain pasta and place on places.  Use a slotted spatula or spoon to distribute chicken and mushroom/capers evenly on top of each pasta.   

Turn  heat off on the sauce and add about 1/4 cup of butter to the sauce until melted.   Evenly distribute sauce over chicken and mushrooms and serve. 

Mixed Greens with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts 
Okay, so I totally eyeballed this recipe and did not measure a bit.  But for you, I tried to put it into a recipe.
  • 4-5 cups of mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar (or less depending on how tart you like)
  • 2 TBSP Honey (more if you want it sweeter)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (sometimes I toast these in the oven)
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • Blue Cheese (optional)to taste.  I can't use this right now, so I didn't put it in mine.  
 Mix your dressing - I usually do this in a jar with a lid and shake shake shake. Toss with rest of ingredients.  Chill or serve immediately.  

There you go - gourmet dinner right in your home!

This post is linked to What I Learned This Week  (even though she is talking about boycotting my favorite tv show LOL) and Tasty Tuesday

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The Real Me! said...

I just printed out that recipe. Sounds delish! And I hope your husband was able to enjoy your meal. Being sick is no fun!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great family night - and the food looks great!

We don't usually do anything either, but we did go out to dinner the Friday before, and I was happy to eat a meal that was hot and that I didn't have to cut any little ones food.

Hope your huz is feeling better!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

that is so funny you said that Kim! At dinner, I got a little sad when I served everyone, cut up the kids food and then everyone was finished before I'd even taken my fourth bite. I was like, "Hello family - remember me?!?"

Melinda said...

Totally fancy - but looks so easy! We always stay in for Valentine's as well - but I know I'll have a nice date later on when the restaurants aren't so crowded!

jen@odbt said...

Looks delicious! I'm bookmarking the recipe. We actually went out with some friends. I think this is the first time in a long time.

The Chubby Dove said...

Both look sooo good. I'll have to try them.

Hope your hubby is feeling better!

Sherri @ Design2Shine said...

Looks yummy! Hope he is feeling better. Yep, we opted not to go out either. My Valentine cooked Saturday night for me and I cooked Sunday...so it was a double treat!

Kim said...

Ooh, the chicken looks yummy. Think I'll have to try it!

Hope K feels better soon.

April said...

Yummy! I love chicken piccata and make it here too. I agree with you and love to stay home on V day. My hubby made ME stuffed shells even though I was supposed to do the cooking!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Oh April - I'd love to know any differences in yours. I always love to tweek my recipe. And I went back and edited the word Piccata. Thank you for the proper spelling!

Such The Spot said...

I've always wanted to try chicken piccata. Thanks for the recipe!

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