Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Chicken Pomodoro

I came across this recipe in Cuisine at Home magazine. I had never heard of chicken pomodoro so I wasn’t exactly sure if the recipe is similar to an authentic version of the dish or not. An internet search didn’t provide too much information, so maybe one of you can enlighten me!?!? In any case this is a really good dish. It is definitely one of those restaurant quality meals that your guests and/or loved ones will think you slaved away making, when in reality, it’s pretty simple to make. I served this with a side of pasta with a light tomato sauce.

The recipe calls for vodka, which kind of intrigued me.  I cook with alcohol all the time, but if you are not too keen on doing this I’ve read that you can substitute white grape juice for vodka. However, I’ve never tried it so I am not saying that it will work or that it will taste good.  If anyone has tried it or has other suggestions please share!! Anyway, be careful with the vodka…it is best to remove the pan from the heat and then add the vodka to deglaze the pan. Don’t forget to pound your chicken to ¼” thick to ensure even cooking. Also, I didn’t have any scallions on hand so I just cut up some fresh basil and used that to garnish.

Chicken Pomodoro

Source: Cuisine at Home

10-12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded into cutlets

Salt & Pepper, to taste

¼ cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup vodka

½ cup chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth)

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

½ cup tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp. heavy cream

Scallions, for garnish

  1. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and then dredge in the flour.
  2. Heat a sauté pan to medium high and add the oil. When the oil is hot sauté the cutlets until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (approximately 5 minutes per side). Remove chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Set aside.
  3. Remove pan from heat and deglaze with the vodka.  Return to heat and cook until nearly evaporated.
  4. Add chicken stock and lemon juice and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium high. Stir in the cream and chopped tomato and heat through.
  5. Pour the sauce over the cutlets and garnish with scallions.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
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Filet Mignon with Red Wine Balsamic Sauce

Need a recipe for date night? Want to impress company? Here is a really really easy recipe for filet mignon that tastes like it was made in a restaurant.

Every few weeks, I like to buy some really good steaks from the local farmer’s market.  Getting a good cut of meat is important and I’ve learned from experience that you can’t always get good quality at the grocery store. A butcher or farmer’s market is definitely the way to go….even if it is a little bit more expensive. Plus, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised to see that the prices aren’t even that much more so go ahead and treat yourself once in a while.

For my filet mignon, I always pan sear them and then finish them in the oven. I’ve found that this is better than trying to cook them completely in the pan. If you are not paying attention they can get burned or overdone. Searing to a nice brown color on both sides and then putting it in the oven is definitely the way to go! Also, I keep my steaks in the same pan for the whole cooking process so I don’t have as much to clean up. 🙂 If you do not have oven-safe pans then you will need to transfer the steaks to a baking pan.

For the sauce, you can use any type of red wine. I usually use Chianti because that is what I like, but I’ve used other kinds if I didn’t have the Chianti on hand. This sauce tastes great with pretty much any cut of beef and I’ve used it for a variety of dishes, but my favorite to use it with is the filets. Also, you can increase or decrease the amount of brown sugar based on your preference.

Ok….now make sure to try this and you will definitely be shocked at how good it tastes and how little work it required. But don’t tell your date or your guests that it was easy…you want them to think you slaved away making a gourmet meal! 😉

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Balsamic Sauce

2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1-2 tbsp. butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of steak.  Allow steak to sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes prior to cooking.
  3. Heat an oven-safe saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
  4. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.
  5. Transfer pan to oven and heat steaks to desired doneness, checking temperature of meat every 2-3 minutes. For a medium well steak the temperature should be between 153-157 degrees F. Remember, the temperature will raise 3-5 degrees more as it rests once it is out of the oven. I remove my steaks from the oven at 157 degrees F, which usually takes about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Once steak is cooked to desired doneness remove from pan and set aside, allowing to rest. Cover loosely with foil to keep from getting too cool.
  7. To the pan add the garlic and cook over medium high heat, stirring until fragrant about 30 seconds or so.
  8. Add the red wine to pan, scraping any bits of meat that are stuck to the bottom.
  9. Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a light boil. Simmer until sauce is reduced by about half (5-10 mins).
  10. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
  11. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in 1 tbsp. butter.  Taste sauce and add another tbsp. of butter, if desired.
  12. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.
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Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian dish. This is a really easy meal and great for a date night….especially if you’re trying to impress that special someone! Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes or pasta with a little olive oil and garlic. I usually serve it with lemon pasta (as in the picture) but most recently I made some roasted potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, and a bit of olive oil. The potatoes were just for my Hubby…I ate mine with some roasted asparagus with salt, pepper, garlic, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

A few things to remember:

Be sure to pound your chicken as evenly as possible. This ensures that the entire breast is getting done at the same time.

Make sure your pan is hot! Heat the pan first and then add the oil and allow that to heat up. Then you can add the chicken.

Although I’ve included estimated cooking times, the best way to get your meat tender and juicy is to use a meat thermometer (not to mention it’s safer…just say no to food borne illness!). Chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.  Forget the old “cook until juices run clear” motto! It is not safe….and if you’re like I used to be and tend to overcook your meat this will help ease your worries. (I would always cook the heck out of meat, especially chicken and pork, for fear that it wasn’t done and everyone would get sick!)

Chicken Piccata (2 servings)

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

garlic powder, to taste

½ cup flour

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. butter

¼ cup white wine

½ cup chicken stock

Lemon juice, from 2 small lemons

2 tbsp.  dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh, chopped

2 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained

  1. Prepare the chicken by cutting each breast in half lengthwise to make four filets.  Pound each piece to 1/4” thick, using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or bottom of a heavy pan.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. In a shallow dish or plate, combine the flour and parmesan cheese.
  4. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the oil. When oil is hot add 1 tbsp of butter.
  5. Dredge the chicken in the flour/cheese mixture and place in the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes and flip, cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and cover it with foil to keep warm.
  7. To the same pan, add the wine, scraping up any bits of meat that may be stuck to the bottom.
  8. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice. Turn heat up to medium high and allow sauce to reduce, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has reduced by at least half, remove from heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter until melted. Stir in the parsley and capers.
  9. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.
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