Sunday, March 30, 2014

Treat Yo Self: Sage and Apple Stuffed Chicken and Soy and Brown Sugar Marinated Flank Steak with Jicama and Apple Slaw

I really can't believe it is almost April.  And I also can't believe that it is March 30th and I am now finally just opening my windows and letting some fresh, spring air into my apartment.  Seriously. It's been ridiculous this season...and that's coming from someone who actually likes cold weather.



The place is clean, and I'm catching up with photos of meals I have stored on my camera.  Recipes I've been meaning to upload to the blog, but I've been incredibly busy with...well...life.  Or I'm so tired that when I come home, I make dinner or throw a freezer meal on the stove and then zone out in front of the TV on my couch or take Roux for a walk.


So back at it, I'm sharing with you one of my favorite recipes, and a new recipe I just made a few days ago and will be making again very soon.



Up first, an old favorite

Apple and Sage Stuffed Chicken Breasts
The recipe is a twist on an apple stuffed pork loin and I feel that the flavors go well together across proteins.  I love the sweet crunch of apple combined with the earthy and savory taste of sage.  Sage is a natural herb to pair with chicken, so I added a couple bits to a previous recipe I made and now have one of my favorite dishes

Ingredients
3 chicken breasts
2 golden delicious apples, peeled and small diced (you can use just about any apple you would use for baking)
1 large onion, small diced
2 celery stalks, small diced (use the leaves, too!)
1 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. sage (more or less depending on what kind of flavor you like)
1 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper
6 T. butter (divided)


Method
1. Heat 3 T. of butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and saute until translucent.  Add apple, garlic powder, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the apples are tender-crisp about 3 to 4 minutes.


2. Taste to ensure the apple/onion mixture is seasoned to your liking. Adjust if necessary and remove from heat to cool.
3. Pound out your chicken breasts until 1/4" thick.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides and spoon the cooled apple/onion mixture in the center of your chicken.  Tie with kitchen twine.
 

4. Heat remaining butter in a saute pan to high heat.  Add chicken breasts and allow to sear on both sides, getting golden brown.

5. Remove from heat and put in an oven safe casserole dish. Top chicken with any remaining apple/onion mixture.

6. Cook in a 425° oven for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.  Allow to cool before removing twine and serving.


I made the chicken with some roasted herbed and garlic potatoes; however, they were a bit too brown for me to want to post the recipe.  Next time.


The other recipe that I tried out ended up being so good the first time I had a go of it, that I'm going to throw it up here.  There will be a couple minor tweaks the next time I make this (grill the flank steak rather than cook it on the stove top, leave the slaw undressed and make a creamy ginger wasabi dressing to go on top, etc.)

Brown Sugar and Soy Marinated Flank Steak with Jicama Apple and Cilantro Slaw
I really don't need to go into details. It's slap-your-mama good.


Flank Steak and Marinade Ingredients
2 pounds flank steak
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 golden delicious apple, cored and quartered
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. soy sauce
1 c. water
3 T. chopped garlic
1 in. ginger, peeled and grated

Slaw Ingredients
1-2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium jicama, peeled and shredded
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 golden delicious apple, peeled and shredded
Juice 1 lime
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. rice vinegar
1/4 c. canola oil (grapeseed works, too. You just want a neutral tasting oil)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chopped (chop some extra for garnish, if you'd like)
Tomatoes, seeded and chopped (for garnish)
Scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)


Method
1. To prepare your marinade, add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, quartered apple and onion, ginger and garlic to a gallon size ziplock bag.


2. For the flank steak, trim off any excess fat or connective tissue and cut into 2 inch long sections.  Thinly slice, against the grain.

  

3.  Add sliced steak to your marinade, smush to combine and let sit in your fridge for a minimum of 6 hours.  I let mine hang out in the fridge and have a party for about a day.

4. When you're ready to cook your steak, remove from the refrigerator, drain all of the marinade off and remove the apples and onions.  Allow to rest and come to room temperature before cooking.

5. To make the slaw, add carrots, jicama, cucumber, and apple to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and prepare the dressing by adding the lime, ginger, sugar and vinegar to a bowl.  Drizzle in the oil while whisking Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Add dressing, a little at a time to the rim of the bowl, tossing the slaw to coat.  Your slaw shouldn't be weighed down with the vinegrette.  It should still be crisp.  As you let your slaw sit in the fridge and hang out, moisture from the veggies will be drawn out.  Adding too much dressing will cause your slaw to get soggy.  Right before service, add the cilantro and toss.

6.  To cook your steak, heat a saute or grill pan on high.  Add small batches of the flank steak to the pan, turning quickly to cook both sides.  Since your steak is so thinly sliced, it won't take long for the meat to cook. About 1-2 minutes each side.

7. To serve, heat up a flour tortilla and place your cooked steak in the middle. Top with the slaw,  more chopped cilantro, scallions, and tomatoes.



And yeah. It's pretty much ridiculously amazing. You're welcome in advance.


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