My cyber friend Pam at Sidewalk Shoes said recently that she considers a cookbook to be a good one if she makes one recipe from it that is stellar. Well how do you rate a cookbook that doesn't have a bad recipe in it?
That's the case with Idaho a la Carte, a cookbook that I brag about all the time. It was first printed in 1995 I assume as a fund raiser by the Beau Arts Societe' in Boise, ID and the big guy picked it up for me as a "trip gift" when he was in Boise in early 2003. Hit their web site here and order one from the Museum's shop before it's too late. Believe me, it'll be an amazing addition to your collection.
Last night's dinner was inspired by another exceptional recipe in the Poultry section that I'd been meaning to try forever. I used skinless, boneless chicken thighs browned to crunchy goodness then finished with a sauce of onions, garlic, mushrooms, red wine and a little tomato paste. Spiced with dried basil and red pepper flakes and finished with thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes and a dusting of parsley, I ruminated over whether to serve it with rice or pasta.
As you can see, rice won the vote last night but for sure we'll be eating the leftovers today with soft buttery noodles of some kind.It tastes unbelievable - like the best kind of chicken cacciatore only on steroids because of the extra wine and sun-dried tomatoes. I'll tell you one thing I know for sure...if I wasn't blogging and having to come up with something new almost every day, this would be on our weekly menu rotation. It is that good!
I made enough changes to the original recipe that I feel comfortable reproducing it for you here, but please by all means order a copy of the book. The money goes to a great cause and you won't be sorry!
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms & Sun-dried Tomatoes (from Idaho a la Carte)
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
All purpose flour for dredging
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil
1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic minced
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 -1/4 cups dry red wine
1-1/4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Heat large Dutch oven with cover over medium high heat. Add sun dried tomato oil and heat until shimmering. Cut each skinless, boneless chicken thigh in half. Season well with salt and pepper then dredge in flour. Fry in batches until well browned on all sides – approximately 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add onion, garlic, basil and red pepper flakes to pot and cook until onion is soft – about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another few minutes until mushrooms are limp. Add red wine, chicken stock and tomato paste, stirring to incorporate. Return browned chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot. Bring pot to a fast simmer, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove cover from pot, add sun dried tomatoes and continue to cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or until chicken is very tender and sauce has thickened. Garnish with parsley just before serving. Makes 4 large servings. Download Braised Chicken with Sun dried Tomatoes
Hint - to reduce the carbs, do not serve with rice but bring on the green vegetables, squash or a fresh green salad.