creamy lemon rosemary chilcekn

By Samantha Gianulis – Apron Strings –

When spring returns, the senses of the Earth and all of its creatures awaken. –

Creamy Lemon Rosemary Chicken Over Rice  Recipe – Yummy Family Dinner! –

The lemon and rosemary speak of spring, the creaminess, casserole-feel of this dish resonates with the part of us that wants comfort food all year long.

Ingredients:

2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
2 slices of fresh lemon, any seeds removed

2 slices of bacon, diced
1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
1 sprig chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup sour cream
coarse grain salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon

In a pot, add rice, broth, garlic cloves, butter, bay leaf and lemon over high heat. Cook rice according to package instructions – bring to boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and cook until broth is absorbed, times will vary. Remove lemon slices, garlic cloves and bay leaf. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet that can go from stove top to oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat. When bacon is done, remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Pour off all but one tablespoon of bacon grease. Add olive oil to skillet.

Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Brown both sides of chicken over medium-high heat, about 4-5 minutes per side. Do not turn the chicken before this time, when it releases easily from the skillet without sticking, it’s ready to turn. When chicken has been browned on both sides, remove chicken breasts and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with white wine or broth.

Add rice, bacon, rosemary, and sour cream to skillet. Mix well with the residual brown bits, wine and pan juices from the chicken and bacon. Place chicken breasts on top of rice. Bake in oven and after 10 minutes, check the temperature of the chicken. It should be 165 degrees internally. Cook longer if necessary, in 3-5 minute increments until desired temperature is reached. Maintain the temperature of the oven by closing when checking temperature.

When chicken is done, squeeze lemon juice over chicken and rice.

THE SWEETEST SOUNDS I’VE EVER HEARD, AND TASTES TO MATCH

By Samantha

You can touch it – the sun touches the ground and melts ice, coaxes seedlings out of the ground, and tan lines begin to appear on little ball players.

You can see it – your garden is reborn after being blessed by winter rains, colorful fruits and veggies explode out of produce bins, and the blue sky is like an endless welcome banner…hello, knew you were still there behind those gray clouds.

You can taste it – those savory dishes of winter you don’t want to give up collide with spring vegetables and citrus to ease you into the prospect of a long, hot summer.
And you can smell it – the residual rosemary, mint or lavender on your fingertips, the first mown grass of the season, and the first hint of chlorine when a daring soul hops into a pool on a warm spring day.

You can hear it – birds chirp, fresh leaves on trees rustle in the breeze, and my favorite…the crack of a bat as it send a ball to the centerfield wall, or the pop of the ball hitting the inside of an infielders glove in a routine 6-4-3 double play.

 

The sounds and the tastes, those lure me the most in spring as I prepare for weeks with my children out of school. I can close my eyes and still hear, I can close my eyes and still taste, I can close my eyes and imagine, or look ahead to the next season and what joy it will bring.

I closed my eyes this morning and imagined my favorite sounds. I wrote them down so I would never lose them. I took a break from the rush and the clammer of everyday life to think about the beautiful things, to make sure none of this passes me by.

And then I tried to come up with a dinner menu to pair my list with.

The sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard…
1)    Breathy voice that says my name in the morning
2)    Rain falling outside
3)    The ball off my son’s bat
4)    A bath being run
5)    Dolphins doing that squeaking thing (echo-locating? if only I sounded so cute trying to round up my family)
6)    The kids when they giggle and have no control over it
7)    Bacon crackling in a skillet
8)    Waterfalls (in Hawai’i, or the temporary kind that spontaneously appear on the mountain and hiking trails near my home during a very rainy season)
9)    The sound of his truck pulling up
10)     Steel drums
11)     Vocalizations of hawks
12)     The jacuzzi bubbling on a summer night
13)     The pop of a cork coming out of a bottle
14)     Palm fronds in the breeze
15)     Coffee percolating
16)     The soft pads of puppy feet on hardwood floors
17)     Hooves of horses running on terra firma – or the Clydesdales at Christmas time with horse shoes on, slowly marching on gravel
18)     Waves pushing up off the bow of a ship
19)     Glasses clinking in a cheer
20)     The sing-a-long of holiday songs at school the day before winter break

 

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