Tonight I turned to my "new" (gently used from my very favorite used bookstore: McKay's in Manassas) Rachael Ray cookbook, "2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds."
Here at Cafe Groenhout, we love anything almond: banket, almond butter, almond pound cake, the list goes on and on and al-mond. (Sorry, sorry.) This recipe was easy to make and definitely within the 30-minute limit that Rachael promises. It's also packed with flavor and quite lovely when plated.
- 1/4 C plus 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 C dry white wine
- 2 scallions, very finely chopped, whites and greens separated
- 1 large egg
- 8 thin chicken breast cutlets, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lbs total
- 1/2 C sliced almonds
- 1/2 C plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp grated or ground nutmeg
- salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp EVOO or vegetable oil
- 1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed/snapped
- 1/2 C (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
- Place a baking sheet in the oven and turn the oven on low, 250 degrees.
- Combine 1/4 C of the cream, the white wine, and the whites of the scallions in a sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until reduced to 1/4 C liquid, 5 to 6 minutes.
- While the sauce is working, beat the egg with the remaining 2 tbsp of cream and add the chicken pieces. Combine the almonds, bread crumbs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until finely ground.
- Cover a plate with plastic wrap (this makes for easy cleanup after breading) and pour the almond and bread-crumb mixture onto it.
- Heat the EVOO, three times around the pan, in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. One at a time, remove cutlets from the egg mixture and coat in the almond crumbs, covering entirely. Add the cutlets to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side; transfer them to the oven to keep them warm. You may need to do this in 2 batches; don't overcrowd the pan.
- While the chicken cooks, bring an inch of water to a boil in a skillet. Reduce to a simmer, add a pinch of salt, and add the asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus to a plate.
- Take the sauce off the heat, add the scallion greens, then whisk in the cold butter a few bits at a time. Hit the pan with just a touch of heat if necessary. The sauce will be white and thick and the volume will triple. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Place a cutlet on each dinner plate, top with a few asparagus spears, then place a second cutlet on top. Spoon the beurre blanc sauce over the cutlets and asparagus.