Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsPine Nuts

MENU PLANNER

No Bones About It

August 10, 1995|DONNA DEANE | TIMES TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR

The best meals are those planned around the surprises you find at the market, whether it's a perfectly ripe tomato or, as I discovered on a recent shopping trip, boneless chicken legs. I found the chicken legs at Little Tokyo's Yaohan grocery store, where they come two to a package and are flattened ato resemble cutlets. What a great cut for a quick-cooking, inexpensive chicken piccata.

I found the chicken to be juicy and full of flavor when properly cooked, but it's important not to overcook it. Because the flattened legs are quite large, I cut them in half to make them more manageable for sauteing.

If you can't find boneless chicken legs in the display case at your local supermarket, ask your butcher to bone them or do it yourself.

I matched the chicken with a simple romaine salad and orzo tossed with basil, garlic and pine nuts, an easy dish that cooks in just 15 minutes. Dessert can be a simple cup of coffee ice cream topped with crushed coffee beans.

MENU

Chicken Picatta

Basil and Pine Nut Orzo

Romaine and Vegetable Salad with Olive Vinaigrette

Coffee Ice Cream with Crushed Coffee Beans

STAPLES

Salt

Pepper

Flour

Olive oil

Chicken broth

Lemons

Garlic

Onion

White wine vinegar

Dijon mustard

Coffee beans

SHOPPING

4 boneless whole chicken legs

1 (3-ounce jar) capers

1 (16-ounce) box orzo

1 (1-pound) package vermicelli

1 bunch basil

1 (2 1/2-ounce) bag pine nuts

1 head romaine

1 yellow tomato

1 red tomato

4 small balls buffalo mozzarella

1/4 pound kalamata olives

1 (12-ounce) jar caperberries

1 pint coffee ice cream

Game Plan

Morning of dinner: Prepare Olive Vinaigrette.

30 minutes before dinner: Put orzo on to cook. While orzo is cooking, prepare chicken picatta. While chicken and orzo are cooking, arrange salad greens on platter.

Last minute: Arrange chicken picatta on platter and serve with orzo. Spoon vinaigrette over salad.

After dinner: Serve coffee ice cream with crushed coffee beans.

CHICKEN THIGHS PICCATA

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 boneless whole chicken legs, cut in halves crosswise to make 8 pieces

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Flour

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon capers

Heat butter and olive oil in large heavy skillet until hot.

Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Place chicken in hot skillet and saute until golden brown on both sides.

Add chicken broth, partly cover and simmer until chicken is done through, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken to heated platter. Add lemon juice and capers to skillet and reduce until juices are slightly thickened. Pour sauce over chicken.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

330 calories; 403 mg sodium; 108 mg cholesterol; 23 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.02 gram fiber.

BASIL AND PINE NUT ORZO

1 cup orzo

1/2 cup broken vermicelli

1/4 cup butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup minced onion

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons minced basil leaves

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Saute orzo and vermicelli in butter until lightly browned. Add garlic and onion and saute until tender. Stir in chicken broth. Bring to boil, cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Stir in basil and pine nuts. Serve with chicken.

Makes about 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

262 calories; 403 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol; 16 grams fat; 24 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.34 gram fiber.

ROMAINE SALAD WITH OLIVE VINAIGRETTE

ROMAINE SALAD

Arrange romaine leaves in large shallow bowl or platter. Artfully arrange yellow and red tomato slices, mozzarella, olives and caperberries atop romaine leaves.

1 bunch romaine lettuce

1 yellow tomato

1 red tomato

4 small balls buffalo mozzarella

12 kalamata or black olives

8 caperberries

OLIVE VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in olives. Let stand until ready to serve. Makes about 1 cup. Add to salad and toss to combine.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

555 calories; 1,004 mg sodium; 66 mg cholesterol; 50 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 19 grams protein; 1.53 grams fiber.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Kitchen Tip

Caperberries are the preserved seed pods of the caper bush. They are much larger than capers--each is roughly the size of a small olive--and are filled with tiny seeds. Like the caper, which is the unopened flower bud of the same plant, caperberries come in a sharp-flavored vinegar solution.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|