Chicken with Paprika Cream Sauce

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So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I was going to be posting some healthier recipes for us? Well, this is not one of them. It is absolutely delicious though, and worth every calorie. The chicken is tender and delicious, but the sauce makes this dish! It’s hard to go wrong with heavy cream.

Me + bowl of paprika cream sauce + stretch pants = happy girl

Chicken with Paprika Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup minced onions
1 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper. Add two chicken breasts to the skillet, or as many as will fit without touching. Cook until the chicken is golden-brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for another 3 minutes or so. Reduce the heat to medium, if needed, to prevent burning. Your chicken most likely won’t be cooked through at this point (if the chicken feels soft when you press on the top, then it’s still pink in the middle), so cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 3-5 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (it should feel firm and the juices should run clear). (Note: the lid creates steam inside the skillet which cooks the inside of the chicken much faster.)

Safety warning: Keep the lid level (don’t tilt it) when you take the lid off the skillet; otherwise the condensation on the lid will drip down into the hot oil in the skillet and cause the hot oil to splatter.

Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet, keep warm, and repeat the above process for the remaining chicken breasts. Once all of the chicken is cooked, remove it to a plate and keep warm.

Turn the heat down to low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add the onions, paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes or until the onions soften, being careful not to burn the paprika.

Add the chicken broth to the skillet and turn the heat up to high. Be sure to scrape up all of the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil over high heat until the liquid has thickened and reduced by at least half. Add the heavy cream and boil until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and turn to coat. Serve the chicken over rice with a generous spoonful of sauce. Enjoy!

*adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

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Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

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Broccoli and cheddar cheese is a classic combination, and this Broccoli Cheddar Quiche is as good as it looks! Even my oldest daughter devoured it without the usual strong-arming it takes to get her to eat her broccoli. I’m picky about the egg-to-milk ratio in quiche – too much milk makes the filling too “soft” and too many eggs turns it into an omelet – but the ratio in this recipe is perfect. I hope you agree! 

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and well drained
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup milk (1%)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 frozen pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (reduce heat, if needed, to prevent burning). Stir in the broccoli, and remove the skillet from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks, cream, milk, salt, and pepper.

Press 1 cup of the shredded cheese into the bottom of the pie crust, making sure to cover the entire bottom of the crust. Mix 1/2 cup of the cheese into the broccoli mixture and then add the broccoli mixture to the pie crust. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pie crust, and then top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the center of the quiche no longer moves, when the quiche is gently jiggled.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes. No, really. If you cut into the quiche too soon, it won’t set properly and you’ll be left with runny quiche (yuck). This quiche tastes even better the next day, so it’s a great recipe to prepare in advance. Enjoy!

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Chicken with Wine and Mushrooms

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This recipe produces perfectly browned chicken smothered in a rich sauce made with red wine, cream, and mushrooms. Chicken thighs are used because they stay moister than chicken breasts. The key to creating a rich sauce with complex flavors is to slowly reduce it . . . your patience will be rewarded!

Salt and pepper
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a shallow bowl, mix some flour (about 1/2 cup) with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the chicken with a bit more salt and pepper, and then dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and sauté, turning once, until deeply browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, or medium-low, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Turn the heat up to medium, add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, until the mushrooms begin to soften. Add the red wine, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Boil gently for about 4 minutes.

Add the cream, and reduce for about 4 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the chicken back to the skillet and continue to simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until the sauce is reduced.

Serve the chicken and sauce over rice or pasta, or with a crusty piece of bread, and some tender veggies.

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Alfredo-Pesto Linguine with Chicken

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In the mood for really amazing pasta? This recipe is restaurant quality, without the restaurant price. The combination of parmesan, cream, and pesto make a heavenly sauce that is to die for (not literally, I hope, but those of you with high cholesterol should probably skip this one . . . did I mention the sauce has butter too?). You can lower the fat a bit by substituting half-n-half for the heavy cream, but the sauce won’t be as thick.

This is an excellent dish to make for a special occasion, or if you want to impress your dinner guests. The recipe below will make about 4 servings.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Black pepper
1/2 pound linguine pasta
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons prepared pesto

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt the butter in your largest skillet, over medium heat. Stir in the cream and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the skillet from the heat and gradually stir in the parmesan cheese. After the cheese is added, put the skillet back on the heat and reduce the heat to low or medium-low (don’t let the sauce boil). Stir in the pesto and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until thickened.

Add the linguine and cooked chicken to the sauce and toss gently to coat. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese and a big green salad. Enjoy!

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