We are so into comfort foods that I get really excited to recall some of my old favorites that may be coming back (some have, of course, but I’m hoping for the predecessor of this one).
Years ago, many dishes were prepared by highly trained and skilled waiters, right at your table so you were able to see what was involved in the prep, at least in the final stages. One of my favorite memories is of my mother and me going to Riverside to the Mission Inn, ordering a Caesar Salad and a club sandwich to share. The sandwich was fully made in the kitchen and the ingredients for the salad were all spread out in little bowls on the rolling table for the waiter to fix the dressing in front of us before he drizzled it over the salad greens; raw egg, anchovies and all! It was fantastic! Somehow it always tasted better there than anywhere else.
But I stray from what I was about to tell you (no surprise there!). One of the dishes most elegant restaurants served (and finished table-side) was Steak Diane. Thinly pounded steaks, quickly sautéed in butter, and a quick sauce of mustard, fresh chives and lemon juice, finished off with a flair: bandy or cognac set afire just long enough to burn off the alcohol but leave that wonderful aroma and flavor!
You can do this same recipe with steaks (filets I’d say cut about 1/2 to 3/4’’ thick – tell the butcher what you want them for and he’ll know what do give you). Chicken is a good substitute – much less expensive and healthier….this would make a lovely Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve dinner for you and someone special …. Or anytime special. This will paid well with broad noodles and a crisp white wine.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Cooking With Char!
- 4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or 8 tenders)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives or green onions
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp. brandy or cognac, optional
- 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
- 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
- 1/4 c chicken broth
Place chicken breast halves or tenders between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper and pound them to 1/2″ thickness. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste. (Tenders don’t need as much pounding as the breasts do.)
In large skillet, place 1 Tbsp. of olive oil plus 1 Tbsp. of butter and melt together over medium heat. Cook chicken over high heat until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes on each side. Don’t cook longer or they’ll dry out. Transfer to a warm platter and cover loosely with foil
To same skillet, add chives and lemon juice, brandy (if used), parsley and mustard. Whisk together until smooth and cook about 15 seconds whisking constantly. Stir in the chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining olive oil and butter until butter melts.
Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.