Friday, March 02, 2007

Don't quit your day job, Katie

Katie Couric's Lemon Chicken Recipe
Today's Kitchen Cookbook Copyright 2005

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 lemons, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pound chicken breasts with meat pounder to a uniform thickness. Dredge lightly in
flour, shaking off excess.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and oil until it sizzles. Add
the chicken breasts and sauté, turning once or twice until cooked through and juices run
clear. Remove chicken and set aside.
3. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute until the mixture boils. Boil?! Boil what? - there was hardly any liquid and fat left in the pan.
4. Add lemon juice to the chicken stock and whisk into sauté pan. Now there was way too much liquid in the pan. Reduce heat to a simmer.
5. Return chicken to pan to heat through, thickening sauce to desired consistency.
Season to taste with salt and ground white pepper.
6. Serve the chicken on a bed of Basmati rice, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices. I used Uncle Ben's.

I was hesitant to buy this cookbook but when I saw that it was an IACP Cookbook of the Year finalist in the compilations catagory, I thought maybe I was missing something. It is a visually stimulating cookbook, with lots of photos of the food and also the Today Show stars and guests. There are interviews with those people also. The recipes don't jump out and grab me - either they're too complicated or contain ingredients I have to avoid. This recipe seemed about my speed but it was almost a disaster.

It started off okay, I dredged the chicken in flour and sautéed it. That's when the trouble started. Although it seemed like too much fat in the pan when I started the chicken, there wasn't much left when I added the flour. That was possibly my fault for cooking one extra piece of chicken but I doubt I could have 'boiled' the flour even if I had only cooked 4 breasts.

So I quickly added the liquid, trying to do it slowly to keep it lump free but I didn't succeed. There was just way too much liquid yet I don't think there was an error in the chicken broth amount because it did thicken properly. When I added the chicken back in, it was basically looking like a pot of soup and the coating on the chicken pretty much dissolved into the sauce.

I had to play with the sauce to make this passable. It was very tart so I added a tiny bit of sugar, tried to reduce it down, then added an extra pat of butter. The sauce was fine over rice (thank God I used white and not brown rice because the rice saved this meal) but the chicken was sub-par. It was pretty much naked by the time it came out of the sauce and the sauce just didn't do for the chicken what it did for the rice. This dish looked absolutely nothing like the picture which showed a golden brown and crispy chicken with a spoonful of a darker looking sauce over it.

That was definitely the biggest disappointment of the week - the only disappointment of the week, really. Oh well, sometimes you get a dud. It just kills me considering how many other recipes I have for lemon chicken. And the lemons were 79 cents each!

Blast From The Past: Oven-Fried Lemon Marinated Chicken from November 2006. I think this is more of what I was expecting with today's recipe but as you can see today's recipes pales (literally) in comparison.

Question of the Day: Do you watch Katie Couric? Last time I flipped by her on the nightly news, she looked evil - her eyebrows were 'angry'. Botox gone wrong? I hope it relaxed by now.


DancesInGarden said...

No. I do not watch her. I cannot stand the Today show. It is so monotone, and all that fakeness upsets me in the morning.

Sorry about the bad recipe! When I make something that doesn't exactly wow us, and ask Dh what he thinks, if is answer is "Was it hard to make?" - I know to take it off the list ROFL.

Anonymous said...

I think the last time I watched Katie Couric, it was when she was doing that colonoscopy special. I thought she was pretty brave to do all that on TV but then again, it got huge ratings.

I always thought it was just me when a recipe doesn't turn out. Glad to know it happens to everyone sometimes. I can usually count on even a tried and true recipe going wonky if I'm having company.....just feeding my family? it turns out great. I have some kind of genetic flaw. LOL

Unknown said...

I watched her on the Today Show but don't watch her now. Eh...

I almost bought that cookbook, maybe I'm glad I didn't.

Randi said...

I made something lemon too last night, I only paid 50 cents a lemon. I dont watch Katie, I'm not usually up that late.

Jackie said...

I actually saw the show where she made this chicken and took notes while she talked. My recipe differs from what is published all over the web. This is a very tasty dish if made right.

To make it the right way....
After cooking the chicken and setting aside do the following:

With the burner on med heat, sprinkle flour over the pan drippings and mix in. It will look dry. Slowly stir in the chicken broth in a little at a time so that it absorbs the flour. Stir in the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens (about 20 minutes). Add the chicken and heat through, then season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.