Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fall Dinner: Orange-Lavender Chicken with Parmesan Potatoes

Here is something from a few months ago...

You know those beautiful fall evenings when the air is a little crisp, you light a cinnamon candle, cook dinner and watch a movie with a loved one.....I just had one.
I will admit it, I am terrible about having really high expectations and I let life pass me by sometimes. For example, if Jeff and I plan to go on a date I have a unrealistic image of how the night should go...he arrives just on time with a rose, whisks me away to a wonderful dinner and we catch a inexpensive funny movie later, there is no traffic and the weather is just perfect...OK maybe I am not THAT bad but close. So this week I decided to consciously make an effort to no have let the pieces fall where they may. I relaxed! Amazing huh? So due to this relaxation and letting go of the desire to plan EVERYTHING....I had a great night. Jeff cooked his meal (even though I was sceptical of the ingredients) we ate later than I usually do (I ate chips so dinner wasn't such a rush) and everything just fell into place. So here is what resulted in me "letting go"...

We took the short walked in the cool crisp Autumn air to the grocery store. We had a rough plan, but let the images at the store help add to the recipes. Our total was under 20 dollars and we walked home. Jeff cooked up lavender-orange-tarragon chicken with carrots and I made Parmesan potatoes (recipes at bottom). Leave it to me to use potatoes and cheese...I am not surprised.
So this is where the story gets really good....we cooked in about 30 minutes and finished at the same time with our individual dishes....and then (Gasp!) we only had 2 pots to clean.  It felt like the Twilight Zone. Jeff and I usually can't keep it together in the potatoes are burning...his chicken is taking forever to cook and we are left with 10 dishes to clean (mine even have things burnt on them).

So we sat down to a WONDERFUL dinner. We were pretty surprised about how tasty the food was and couldn't believe that it came together so well. These dishes are seriously good! The colors of the food reinforced the fall theme. Have I told you that I love fall yet? Then we watched a fantastic movie, Milk.

Jeff's cooking base of  fresh orange juice, shallots, garlic, tarragon and fresh lavender
Now with the chicken breasts
The fresh lavender
Sparkling water to drink (to keep the Candidas at bay, I opted out of wine)
My Potatoes....MMMM Cheese!

Jeff's Lavender, Tarragon, Orange Chicken
-2 cloves chopped garlic
-2 cups chopped carrots
-1 cup chopped shallots
-2 tablespoons tarragon
-2 tablespoons lavender
-Juice of 1 orange
-2 chicken breasts
-Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee garlic, carrots, and shallots in a bit of olive oil and add half the tarragon, lavender, and orange juice. Clear room in the middle of the sautee pan for the chicken breasts and add the remainder of the tarragon, lavender, and orange juice while the chicken breasts cook.

Toasted Parmesan Potatoes
-5 little red potatoes
-shredded Parmesan (none of that powder stuff!)
-2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
-olive oil
-salt and pepper
Slice the potatoes and coat in olive oil and put in a microwave safe container. Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes, then stir and cook for 4 more minutes. Top with 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper to taste and a hefty layer of cheese. Bake in a glass container in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Then broil the potatoes on high for 5 minutes to slightly brown the cheese. Don't leave the potatoes unattended...the broiler will burn them pretty quick.

1 comment:

  1. Cheesy potatoes! Sound wonderful! I may have to try this!