Sunday, September 28, 2014

Modified Chicken Bryan becomes Chicken Brianna

Chicken Brianna
A few weeks back I made a version of the (many) Chicken Bryan recipes out on the internet. I really loved how it came out, and so did my husband. I was going to make a repeat of the recipe, since we really loved it, and then got thinking of other things that would be good in it, and decided to follow the spirit of the recipe, but change it slightly. Since it is most certainly not Chicken Bryan or even my "Mock, Mock Chicken Bryan", I called it 

"Chicken Brianna."

Things I kept were: 

  1. The method. Cooking the chicken and setting aside till the end, cooking the onion and garlic and adding in the other condiments, wine and butter to make the sauce. 
  2. Serving the dish over fettuccine noodles.
  3. The use of sun-dried tomatoes and capers.

Things I added or changed:

  1. I added bacon and used fresh thyme instead of basil.
  2. I added marinated artichoke hearts, and pine nuts.
  3. I used no goat cheese. 
  4. I cut the chicken in cubes before cooking it.

Closeup of my Chicken Brianna
I will say the flavors were just as stupendous as the Mock, Mock Chicken Bryan. I think the goat cheese would have been good here also, but I already had added in the bacon, artichokes and pine nuts, so I left the added calories out, though Chevre or Montrachet would taste wonderful here too. While this dish does take dedicated time to make, it is only about 50 minutes to an hour in total. Easy to whip up from scratch. Coordination is the key. Doing prep work while one thing is cooking, doing a little mixing, etc. Set a large saucepan with water over medium heat to slowly come to boil for when needed. Heat a large skillet  while cutting the chicken into cubes. Fry the chicken cubes, turning in between chopping onion and garlic. Once onion and garlic are in the pan, prep the other ingredients, thyme, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes. Measure capers and pine nuts. Having a plan makes it work easily.

Chicken Brianna

serves 2
2 slices thick sliced bacon, or 4 ounces bacon
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, in 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1 large onion, chopped
2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4 - 5 sun-dried tomato halves (oil packed), in chiffonade slices
1 (6 - 7 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pine nuts, optional
1 teaspoon nonpareil capers
8 ounces fettuccine (or linguine) pasta
1 tablespoon salt for pasta water

Slice the bacon across into 1/4-inch wide bits. Place the bacon in a large cold skillet and heat to medium, cooking the bacon to desired doneness. Remove bacon to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. If the bacon was very fatty, remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and keep aside in case needed later.

Set a large saucepan of water to boil (for the pasta).

Set the chicken pieces into the hot pan and begin cooking them, turning as needed to get all sides browned and the chicken cooked through. Once cooked, remove the chicken pieces to the plate with the bacon. If there is still sufficient fat in the skillet, add the onions and begin sauteeing, lowering the heat slightly so the onions get caramelized and golden and not burnt. Add more fat if needed so the onions do not stick. Once onions are almost done, add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the garlic is slightly cooked and very fragrant.

If the pasta water is boiling, add the tablespoon of salt and then add the pasta, cooking according to directions on the box. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, scoop out 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta in a colander and briefly rinse with water so the pasta does not clump until needed.

Once onions and garlic are golden, add wine to the skillet and raise heat to medium high. Cook quickly to evaporate the liquids just slightly. Lower heat. Add in the butter in small bits, stirring until each piece is melted before adding the next. This will make a thin sauce for the noodles. If the wine has evaporated too much, add in a little of the pasta cooking water to make enough liquid for the sauce.

Now add in the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato strips, pine nuts and capers and stir. Add in the chicken and bacon and mix. Add the fettuccine noodles and mix well before serving. 

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.