I have found that I save a lot of time and money when I plan double duty meals for the week – especially when I need to buy special ingredients.
Last week was my birthday (27th…yikes!) and my office has this tradition where everyone brings in a treat to share on their own birthday. Hmmm…don’t you think someone ELSE should be making the birthday treats for your birthday instead of slaving over a hot stove yourself?? Good thing I like to bake, I suppose, because I had no problem making my own treat!
I made a cupcake recipe that, unfortunately, will not be blogged. Bummer! In the words of Randy Jackson – they were just aight for me. Everyone at work really enjoyed them and I’m sure I’m the only who noticed that they were mediocre but I was still slightly disappointed. I dropped an extra Lincoln at the store last week to get mascarpone cheese – an out of the ordinary ingredient that I thought would make these cupcakes extraordinary.
Well, it didn’t. Then I had 2/3 of a container of mascarpone left to use up! What to do, what to do? I found this recipe for Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Sauce and it was the perfect way to use up the rest – even though I technically had less cheese than the recipe called for. I had made pasta the night before, so I served the chicken up over brown rice instead. Very good and very simple. The cheese made for a tangy, creamy sauce and I’m a big fan of anything Marsala so I loved that flavor in the background too. Easy-peasy weeknight dinner! My changes are in italics to the original recipe below.
CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD MASCARPONE SAUCE (Recipe source: Giada De Laurentiis – FoodNetwork.com)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup dry Marsala wine
- 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese (I only had about 6 oz. and it was still yummy!)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish
- 12 ounces dried fettuccine (I used cooked brown rice)
- Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.
- While the chicken cools, melt 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Toss the fettuccine with 3 tablespoons of butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates. (I made the rice and only put in only 1 tablespoon of butter) Spoon the chicken mixture over top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.