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Ten Flavor Chicken

December 9, 2009

At my wedding shower, my bridesmaids presented me with a box of recipes collected from the guests in attendance.  This simple gift has become one of my most treasured possessions and is an invaluable tool for me in my kitchen.  Even though my wedding shower was just about 4 years ago, I am still searching through the recipes and trying new ones all  the time.  This recipe comes from Vicki Williams and was touted as “Our family’s favorite!” on the card.  After a successful run here in my kitchen, it is sure to be a family favorite as well.  I’m still trying to figure out which of the ingredients contribute to the “ten flavors,” but whichever they are, they work fantastically well together.

Ten Flavor Chicken

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 stick butter, margarine, or 2 T. olive oil (I went for the butter)

3 cloves chopped garlic (I used only one clove because garlic doesn’t agree with me)

1 small onion, chopped

1 bunch scallions, green & white parts, sliced thin

1 Tbsp. soy sauce (I choose reduced sodium)

2 Tbsp. dry sherry (I used white cooking wine as I don’t usually stock sherry)

1/4 tsp. dry ginger

1 15 oz. can sliced stewed tomatoes, undrained

(1 can chicken broth – See note below)*

You will also need:  Two eggs and about a cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs.

1.)  Pound chicken to an even thickness.  (If you purchase the thin-sliced chicken as I did, you can skip this step).  Beat two eggs, dip the chicken in the eggs and then dredge in the breadcrumbs.  Panfry in some oil and remove to a casserole dish.  Arrange in a single layer.

2.) Melt butter in a clean pan.  Saute garlic, onions and scallions until translucent.  Add soy sauce, ginger, sherry, tomatoes and chicken broth, if using.  Simmer 10-15 minutes.  Pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.  (I did desire it, and it was an excellent decision!)

3.) Bake 20 minutes, uncovered in a 350 F oven.

A lovely winter dish.

The chicken and sauce can be made ahead and kept separate until you are ready to bake it.  Add more oven time if your items are cold.

*Use the broth if you would like to “extend” the recipe.  I misunderstood and put it in anyway and I think it was a nice touch and kept the chicken very moist.  I have a lot of the sauce leftover and can use it on pasta or in another dish.  I think if you omitted the broth, there sauce would have a stronger tomato flavor.

While I was cooking this recipe, I was not sure how well the flavors would come together.  I was also worried that the chicken would come out mushy, after having sat in all that liquid.  Much to my surprise, the flavors worked beautifully together and the liquid kept the chicken very moist, while the crispy crust remained unaffected after the baking.  The first intelligible comment I heard after my husbands first bite was “Wow – this is really good!”  If that’s not a rave, I don’t know what is!  The best way that I can describe this dish is a lighter, grown-up version of chicken Parmesan.

The one thing that I noted while preparing this recipe was that the salt levels could get out of hand in a hurry.  I use plain breadcrumbs and season them in-house (no salt).  I also stock and used in this recipe low sodium chicken broth, low sodium canned tomatoes, and low sodium soy sauce.  Even with these lower-sodium choices, I still felt the dish was seasoned properly.  If you are someone who is watching their sodium intake, I was advise making the same choices for this recipe.

Obviously, we had some leftovers as this dish can easily serve 6-8 people.  We plan to cut the chicken into cubes and serve with the sauce tossed in some fresh cheese ravioli.  While I served the chicken with some whole grain rice and steamed French-cut green beans, other options that would work well for the side would be couscous, pasta, spinach or even corn bread.  Please enjoy our newest family favorite!

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