The first shower invitation for the upcoming bridal season just came.
Winter winds may still be howling, but before you know it, the calendar will be dotted with bridal showers and weddings.
Want an easy gift suggestion? “The Newlywed Cookbook: Cooking Happily Ever After,” a cookbook Roxanne Wyss and I wrote (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014) is ideal.
The recipes, often targeted for just two servings, are scrumptious but without a lot of time-consuming fuss.
How about a peak into one of the recipes in the book? Winter Chicken, Artichoke and Fennel Cassoulet, a recipe from our cookbook is sized for just 2 to 4 servings.
Winter Chicken, Artichoke & Fennel Cassoulet
Winter Chicken, Artichoke and Fennel Cassoulet really is a perfect dinner on a cold night. The fennel, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichokes create a modern flair, but the beans and chicken mean the dish offers classic, comforting flavors.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered
1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 16-ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or minced fennel fronds, for serving
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 5 minutes or until well browned. Turn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until well browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the fennel and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken broth, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Heat until the liquid boils, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, skin-side up. Pour the artichoke hearts and beans over the chicken.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside and a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley.
Source: “The Newlywed Cookbook: Cooking Happily Ever After”
▪ Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before cooking to ensure better, more even browning.
▪ Bone-in pieces of chicken add to the flavor in the dish. If you wish to use boneless skinless chicken breasts, you may do so. Cook as directed, but reduce the roasting time to about 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside and a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees.
▪ Have you ever cooked fennel? This flavorful plant has stems that look somewhat like celery, fronds that can serve as an herb, and a bulbous end that is cooked and served as a vegetable. For this dish, cut off the stems and leaves to mince for the garnish or to use in another dish, and use just the bulb end. Trim away any tough or dry outer leaves from the bulb, then cut the bulb into quarters.
Kathy Moore is one of two cookbook authors and food consultants who make up the Electrified Cooks. Her most recent cookbook is “Slow Cooker Desserts: Oh So Easy, Oh So Delicious!” “The Newlywed Cookbook: Cooking Happily Ever After” was introduced last year. She develops the recipes for the “Eating for Life” column for The Kansas City Star and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. She blogs at pluggedintocooking.com.