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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Francais & Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables

I just finished our shutterfly scrapbook from our trip to Thailand.  That means only one thing, it's time for another vacation!  This is how it usually works out, although not all the time.  We went to Saint Kitts in 2009 and I still haven't finished putting the photos in the album.  I blame myself.  I should have done one of those fancy shutterfly bound books, but I got prints.  I was somehow thinking I had lots of time on my hands and I could scrapbook.  Those photos are still sitting, unbound, inside of the book I plan on putting them into.

Generally, boyfriend and I are pretty terrible at pre-planning our vacations.  We booked out flight to Thailand, exactly one month before we left.  Last year, we planned out cross-Europe adventure a mere ten days before heading to England.  I've been on several "surprise" vacations that I had the evening to pack for.  Our trip to Costa Rica was so close, I did one of the worst jobs packing in my entire life. 

This time is different, I took charge and booked our spring vacation two whole months ahead of time.  In the weeks since, I've bought a new bathing suit, stocked up on sunscreen and looked at excursions.  At the end of April, we're heading to Puerto Rico and setting sail on a week long cruise!  The only problem now, it's so far away!  I have to wait six more weeks before going on vacation?  There is something to be said about last minute planning!

One Year Ago: Sugar Crisp Cookies
Chicken Francais
Adapted from The Cooking Light Cookbook

In trying to decide where to go on vacation, France came up in the discussion.  We spent a short amount of time there last fall and I enjoyed it immensely.  I'd wanted to go to Paris all my life, since I started taking French lessons in middle school.  When I came across these two recipes, I decided that the flavors would bring me to France, while I pack my bikini for the Caribbean.

3 eggs
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 cup white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Several dashes of Tabasco sauce (to your desired heat level)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts
Olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup white wine
Juice from 1 lemon

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  Whisk together first 8 ingredients.  Place flour in a shallow dish.  Dredge chicken breasts in flour, dunk them in egg mixture and add to the pan.  Cook on one side for about 4-5 minutes and flip over.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Remove chicken from the pan and continue cooking remaining chicken breasts. 

Once all of the chicken is cooked, clean out the skillet, removing any loose bits.  Melt butter in the skillet, add white wine and lemon juice.  Cook sauce for 15 seconds before adding chicken back to the pan.  Cook chicken for 1 minute on each side.  Plate the chicken and pour remaining sauce over the top.

Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables
Adapted from The New Food Processor Bible

While I was cutting up the vegetable for this side, someone asked me if they looked like a bunny rabbit.  Yes, there are lots of  vegetables in this dish, but it's so delicious!  Be a bunny, eat lots of root veggies!

4-5 Parsnips
4 large carrots
2 medium, white sweet potatoes
1 fennel bulb
Olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried French thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Peel parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes.  Cut into1/2-inch cubes.  Trim top off of fennel bulb.  Cut into quarters and remove the center root, slice thinly.  Place all vegetables on a baking sheet and add olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley.  Using your hands, toss vegetables to coat. 

Roast vegetables for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
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