Saturday, September 26, 2020

Cuisine & Screen: Home Edition, Part 22

We are certainly swinging into more autumnal temps lately! I'm ready for some non-90 degree days, but I can do without the 40 degree mornings already. Fall DOES mean pumpkin though, and if you're a pumpkin fanatic like me, it's a very exciting time. Trader Joe's is stocked to the brim with new, seasonal items for fall, including this Speculoos Cookie Butter Beer that I couldn't resist trying. It was sweet, but surprisingly smooth. The spices were nice and not too overpowering. If you like interesting beer and love Speculoos, I recommend trying it out!


CUISINE

I was never a fan of Chicken Marsala, until I had good chicken marsala. Most restaurants cook the chicken to death and drizzle it with a too-thin sauce, so it has never been my bag. Then I found a recipe and made it at home and it opened my eyes to the beauty of this dish. I'll probably still never get it in a restaurant, but I make this at home quite frequently now. Unfortunately, as you've probably come to realize, I've become one of those home cooks that doesn't measure like she should and is vague with instructions. I'll do my best to tell you how I make this dish, but you can also find recipes online if you want to be more precise.

-1 TB olive oil
-2 chicken breasts (I prefer skin off but if you want crispy skin, by all means, get it with the skin on!)
-1 small shallot, diced
-8oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
-1/2 cup or so chicken stock
-1/2 cup or so Marsala wine
-1/4 cup or so white wine
-a few sprigs of thyme
-1 bay leaf
-dash of heavy cream
-cooked pasta or other starch to serve
-Parmesan cheese to garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Pound your chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap until they're about 1/2" thick and season with salt and pepper. Sear your chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side, until a nice brown crust appears. They won't be fully cooked, but remove them and put on a plate for now.

Using the same skillet, add your shallot and mushrooms and let cook a few minutes. Then pour in your stock, Marsala and white wine. Let this come to a boil and add your thyme and bay leaf. Continue to let this simmer, and add your chicken back in. Use a meat thermometer to tell when the chicken is done. The sauce will thicken and reduce, so feel free to add more liquid if things look a little too thick. When the chicken is done, remove the herbs and add a dash of heavy cream. Serve over pasta or any starch of your choice, and top with shaved Parmesan!

Chicken Marsala

SCREEN
From Dusk Til Dawn (1996) - I'm a big Tarantino fan, so this film has been on my list for a long time. It wouldn't be a Tarantino film without a few bloodbath scenes, and you don't have to wait long for the first one, which pops up about 5 minutes in. Q and George Clooney star as thieves on the run, heading to the Mexico border when an unassuming family get involved. What begins as an engrossing story with great character development kind of fizzles into a silly sci-fi tale with vampires. Big fan of the first half of the film.

Captain Phillips (2013) - This movie gives me anxiety! The film does a great job of making you feel as if you're truly there, with Captain Phillips (played by the always lovable Tom Hanks) and his Somali captors. Barkhad Abdi gives an incredible performance and was nominated for an Oscar for this, his first film ever. You'll want to look away, but you won't be able to. It's a thrill.

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