Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Parmesan Chicken with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The heat here in South Florida is what one would call "oppressive." This being the case yesterday, I was in the mood for a light dinner. I settled on parmesan chicken with a mixed green salad on top. I also made broccoli cheddar soup. Usually I don't like soups in the summer, but this one is light enough to enjoy.

Parmesan Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1 c. flour
2 eggs, beaten with a bit of water
salt and pepper

Pound the chicken breasts to thin them out a bit. In three seperate plates arrange the following: eggs, bread crumbs and parmesan, and flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour first, then the egg mixture, and finally the bread crumbs. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Place chicken into the pan and allow to brown on each side, about 7 minutes total. Remove chicken and place onto paper towels, or a baking rack to drain some of the grease. Sprinkle with a bit more parmesan.

I plated the chicken first, then added a simple mixed green salad on top. The salad had a lemon vinegrette dressing contianing 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I topped off the salad with a bit more parmesan.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch of broccoli
1 1/2 c. beer (I used Blue Moon)
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used Irish cheddar)
4 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a heavy pot or dutch oven. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add the beer and allow it to simmer until the alcohol has cooked off. Meanwhile prepare the broccoli: cut off the florets, trim the stalks and cut into disks. When the alcohol has cooked off, add the broccoli, stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until broccoli is very tender.

At this point, remove the pot from the heat, add the cream, and blend the soup with an immersion blender. Once smooth, add the cheddar and cream cheeses. Blend mixture again until smooth. Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately.

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