I'm a big fan of trying new things that you've never done before. For the most part, I've done alot of story telling because that is my forté. Although I'm not a food blogger and never will be, it doesn't mean that I can't put a fresh spin on things and share a recipe or cooking experience. Today's blog will be a combination of story telling and recipe sharing.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is a wonderful ingredient that has received quite alot of press over the last few years.for its health benefits. So I sought a way to incorporate EVOO into my diet and stumbled on this wonderful recipe for Extra Virgin Olive Oil Chicken
The reason why I found it appropriate to share it here today is because we are at that time of the year again where we crave rich luxurious food. However, things like stuffing, cranberry, mashed potatoes, and butternut squash stew ain't cheap. But the nice thing about this recipe is that it did end up tasting really luxurious with only a few basic ingredients. I'm an amateur cook living in a country with limited resources and even then the dish beat all my expectations and I ended up with something that tasted luxurious with very little time and cost.
As someone who knows very little about cooking, I did my best to educate and prepare well. The two main keys to the success of this recipe would be investing in a good bottle of EVOO. That one was a little tricky so I had to do alot of research. It turns out that like wine, EVOO has a specific process it has to go through to be certified and there are certain signs to look out for when you are buying EVOO that will tell you that what you are holding in your hand is authentic.
Light actually affects the taste of EVOO so a true manufacturer is gonna put it in a tall glass bottle that is tinted slightly dark to reduce the effects of light on the oil. Also, a big key is looking on the bottle for a note that says less that .08 acid. The less the better. Here in Argentina alot of the bottles say less than .05 and I saw one bottle that is by a company that is family owned and operated that says less than .03. Also look for things on the label that say this brand has participate or won awards in EVOO competitions. Before this, I didn't even know that there were prizes for Extra Virgin Olive Oil quality.
The other key to this recipe would take less research but still be just as important. It would be the selection of the wine I was gonna use. At first I was gonna buy the cheapest available but after doing research, every forum told me that the general rule of thumb is to avoid cooking wines and only use something that you would drink yourself. As a beginner who knows little about he world of wines, I chose a Sauvignon blanc as it was stated to be one of the most versatile wines available and a great choice for an amateur cook.
Of course when you are doing something for the very first time, it is a given that mistakes will happen. One mistake I made is that I didn't buy enough chicken breasts. Chicken breasts tend to be priced higher because they are more desirable and healthier than other parts of the chicken. I got some on sale at the local supermarket but when I went to do my cooking and preparations, I realized that I needed more. So while i was setting something to boil, I raced down to the Carniceria (butcher shop) and came away with a beautiful piece of boneless, skinless, chicken breast.
***Note that although the house I am living in has a wine
bottle opener, I had no clue how to properly use it. At one point I had
the thing screwed half way into the cork and then had to run to my room
and do a search on YouTube for a video demonstration of how to open a
wine bottle :P
There would be another accident that happened during the cooking but it ended up being a happy accident. The recipe called for 300 ml of white wine and 300 ml of chicken stock. There are no measuring cups that I am aware off in the kitchen that I was using so I had to take an educated guess. I am guessing now that I ended up pouring 500 ml each of both wine and chicken stock. It wasn't a bad thing that I ended up with so much stock because the chicken breast ended up being super tender and well soaked in chicken stock and white wine. But even better was that later on when I was hungry but didn't want a full meal, I would just scoop out extra stock and put it over white rice and it tasted dreamy. I got more meals out of it than what was originally planned.
What I found out about wine is that after you open it, its best to use it within 3-4 days. As a single young woman who is not an avid wine drinker, after cooking the recipe with too much stock and wine there was about 250 ml left in the bottle for drinking. It was perfect for me because I had some with my meal and then paired it with brie goat cheese as you can seen in the pic I shot with instagram.
The 2nd time round trying this recipe things went so much more smoother and I even got creative with some extra ingrediants i had in the fridge. The day before I had spotted a 2 for 1 deal on Camembert goat cheese that i couldn't pass up. I like to take brie or camembert goat cheese with my tea. When I got home and tried the goat cheese, I realized why it was a 2 for 1 deal. The goat cheese was fast ripening and the store wanted to get rid of it. It hadn't gone bad but because of how aged it was, the flavor was too strong for me to enjoy with tea like I normally do.
Not wanting to waste good goat cheese, a quick research on the net revealed that Camembert can be thrown into soup with onions and stock. So the next day when I did this recipe, I threw most of the cheese in and it was an instant hit. That happy accident certainly contributed so much more to the success of the recipe than me accidentally breaking the cork in half while trying to open the bottle of wine....