Saturday, February 21, 2009

Put this one in your back pocket

to pull out when you need an incredibly fast, easy, delicious chicken dish, pronto. It's chicken with rosemary sauce from my Best of Cooking Light cook book, but I wasn't able to find it to link to on Cooking Light's website. So I'll type it out here for you, just because I love you (it's that good! I would feel mean if I didn't share this with you!).

Once again, delicious food isn't always pretty:

See? Yuck. Put some green on that plate. Chicken with rosemary sauce, brown rice, and baked winter squash sounded really healthy when I planned it. On the plate? It doesn't look so great. But it sure tasted good!

Chicken with Rosemary Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side (with the big chicken breasts I buy at Costco, this needs more like 5-7 minutes per side, just cut into it to make sure it's no longer pink). Add green onions, wine, and rosemary; cook 30 seconds (stirring, to deglaze the pan with the wine). Stir in broth, cook 2 minutes. Add half-and-half; cook 2 minutes.

Now, some recipe notes because I've made this one at least a dozen times, so I'll share my experience.

  • First, I know there are some of you (wink wink) who don't like to cook with wine. If I remind you that all the alcohol cooks out and you're just getting the flavor, would you consider trying it? No? I didn't think so. But that's okay. I've made this when I was out of white wine, so I just substituted with the equal amount of chicken broth. Still delicious. None of that sublime, subtle fruity wine flavor, but I'll leave it alone now, promise.

  • The reason this is such a go-to dish for me is because everything on the ingredient list is a staple for me. I love rosemary, so I make lots of recipes with it, so I almost always have some in my fridge. And unlike most herbs, it's very hearty and will actually last in your fridge for weeks, seriously. Mine has been in there for 3 weeks now and it's still perfect. Cream is also a staple because, oddly, so many of my Cooking Light recipes call for just a little of it, or a little half-and-half. But I never buy half-and-half, because you can always make cream into half-and-half (just literally half cream, half skim milk, you know that, right?), but you can't make half-and-half into cream. So I buy cream and because it also takes a long time to expire, I can usually use it up before I need to throw it out.
  • Green onions are not a staple for me, so I usually make this with red or yellow (or a shallot if I happen to have one), and I can't tell the difference.
  • When making it this time, I had chicken broth in the cupboard, but I also had about 1 cup of beef broth in the fridge, leftover from another recipe. Since you use so little in this recipe, I felt like it'd be a waste to open a whole new box of broth (I buy the big, quart-size boxes of broth rather than cans), so I decided to get crazy and use beef broth in a chicken dish. Guess what? I really couldn't taste the difference in the finished dish.

So to summarize: making it this time, I substituted red onion for green, beef broth for chicken, and more beef broth for the wine. And it still tasted as delicious as it always does. Obviously it's a pretty indestructable recipe, which is why you should have it in your repertoire!

One final note: if you are going to use wine, be sure to buy actual wine, not cooking wine from the grocery store. I have used that in this recipe, and it makes it WAY too salty. Cooking wine does have the wine flavor, but it also has tons of salt, and it's too much for this. So if you don't have real wine, just use the chicken broth.


  1. I just wanted to say that if you are wink, winking at me about the wine, it has nothing to do with the alcohol, I just don't like the taste! But I did buy the cream and rosemary today to make this.

  2. Thanks for the information about cooking wine. I didn't know the difference b/t drinking wine and cooking wine. It's just a little less embarrassing to buy the cooking wine. Wink. Wink. Renae