Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicken Sautéed with Cheese & Milk

As I settle into my new “office” I can’t help but feel a sense of contentment that is altogether new. It’s not a real office, the type that comes in a 40-storey building made of glass and steel, with a million desks and phones with lots of buttons. It’s a home office, 2 desks and a computer tucked in the corner of our new den. I’ve been working from home for 5 years now and I’ve had 3 “offices” including this one. The first was a laptop on a dresser in my bedroom before I was married. When C and I moved in together, I had the whole second bedroom to myself. Now I share the space with our (ok, C’s) tv and shelves of our (ok, my) books.

Why does this feel different? Maybe it’s the little trill of permanence (or at least semi-permanence) that I feel in this, our first co-owned bit of concrete space. Maybe it’s the feeling I’ve had since we have moved in, even as the mammoth piles of boxes lay a mess at our feet, that this is really home. Maybe because, no matter how small and pigeonhole-ish, a space of one’s own is truly a magical thing.

It’s nothing fancy. As I mentioned, two simple desks, a computer, some shelves, a chocolate brown wall and matching sofa. Above me are my books (and cookbooks) that always manage to make me smile no matter how frenetic the day. Beside me is a window from where I can see the buildings across the street, the busy stream of people going about their business, and most importantly, some trees (a view of green in the city is always something to be relished).

The best thing about my little home office though is the unlimited access to homemade lunches like these (well, that and the dress code).

Chicken Sautéed with Cheese & Milk
(adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros)

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets
  • about 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large thin slices of fontina cheese (I used grated cheddar, but feel free to use whatever cheese you wish, I think gruyere or manchego might also be nice)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt

- Pound the chicken thigh fillets between two sheets of plastic wrap with a meat mallet until they are a bit thinner and of even thickness.
- Mix the flour with the paprika and dust the chicken in this mixture. Shake off excess flour.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and when hot add the four chicken fillets. Cook over medium heat until the undersides are golden brown. Turn and season the cooked sides with salt. When golden underneath, flip again and season the newly cooked sides.
- Put a slice of cheese over each fillet so it more or less covers it completely. Add the milk to the pan, cover, and cook until the cheese has melted and there is a bubbly, thickened sauce. Make sure the chicken is completely cooked but do not overcook.
- Remove from the heat but leave the lid on the pan until just before you serve it so the cheese carries on melting. Serve hot.

I’ve mentioned my love for Tessa Kiros before, and for Apples for Jam in particular. This is what Tessa describes as a homely dish. But not in a bad way. It’s gentle and reassuring…like a very familiar hug, or a well-loved blankie. She also says that this is the kind of dish she likes to call her kids down to after their bath…and I imagine I would too.

I substituted chicken thigh fillets for the chicken breast fillets in the original recipe and the addition of paprika is mine. This cooks up in no time flat, perfect for a busy day at the “office” :)


Anh said...

I too love to work from home. But sometimes I am just too distracted so no work get done, :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That dish looks so scrumptious! Yummy!



Zoe Gomez said...

Yay for new post ninang! Finally :D.

The French said...

Great. Now I'm hungry. And I just ate.

Can't wait to try:)

Anne said...

My kids would love this dish :)

MeetaK said...

congrats on the new OWN home office! i worked from home for 3 years but it's not for me. i need people around me lol! but you are right the advantage is most definitely home cooked lunches like these. awesome!

Koek! said...

Mmmm... Cheesylicious!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anh! My problem is the opposite! Since my work is right in my home I’m always tempted to check mail after hours and on weekends!

Thanks Rosa :)

Hey Zoe! Heehee, I know, finally! This dish is in the cookbook I gave your mom :)

Hi The French! Hope you like it!

Hi Anne! I’m sure they would :) Grownups too :)

Hi Meeta! Thank you! I know what you mean…sometimes I get stuck in my own little world here…I can go for hours without hearing the sound of my own voice!

Hi Koek! It is indeed :)

Manggy said...

Homely is *never* in a bad way, in my book ;) I love how the butterfat just surfaces and seems to say, "Oooh yeah. You want me."
Yay for a (hopefully permanent) home office!! :)

Ash said...

This looks way way too good!!

Gattina said...

we got to be creative when looking for a space for an "office"... once we had one under a stair, and one inside a closet :D :D

Midge said...

How I envy you: I wish I could work at home! (More time for cooking / baking / chocolate-making!) Kudos on the move and the new home office.

Your chicken-cheese dish reminds me of this pork and mushroom cheese casserole I posted a while back. Despite the heat, these dishes are still so comforting!

Mary Miller-Duke said...

This looks divine! Will be adding it our menu next week!

Vote for Starry Night by #33 in the Ultimate Sprinkle Contest (link via name).

reyna said...

looks good!... yummy!

Junglefrog said...

Haha... that all sounds so familiair! I have been working from home now for three years and well yes, the dress code is fabulous as well as the possibilities to sneak out from the desk and make myself a gorgeous lunch (or bake something in between)

Shalimar said...

Love Thissa Kirros and there is a similar cretan dish with this... you cook the chicken with your fave yoghurt.

Btw while writing my latest post I have been thinking of you because its BREAKFAST ;-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Manggy! You really get this rich sauce which has thickened in places…love to put it on my rice! I imagine it would be equally yummy on potatoes :)

Thanks Ash! I really loved it :)

Hi Gattina! I know what you mean! Not even to say where we need to stash all the files!

Hi Midge! Working at home produces a different kind of stress…sometimes it leaves you less time to do things because it’s so easy to continue working during what would otherwise be considered non-working hours! Also, when the heat is this unbearable I really miss someone else footing the electricity bill ;) I’m sure mushrooms would be wonderful with this!

Hi Mary! Thanks! Hope you like it :)

Thanks Reyna :)

Hi Junglefrog! Over here work-from-home also saves us from horrific traffic (the traffic here is nuts!) :)

Hi Sha! Cooked in Greek yogurt…oh my! Sounds divine! Will check out your breakfast post now!

Pixie Cakes said...

That looks mouthwatering. :D i love your blog by the way!

veron said...

Now, I can't wait to try this. The title of the recipe itself sounds intriguing and the picture has me drooling!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pixie Cakes! Thank you for a sweet comment :) Glad you like it!

Hi Veron! It's simple but oh so comforting...hope you like it!

Heidi Leon Monges said...

I can see the Tessa Kiros love is universal ;-D this is one of the recipes I want to try out. Is so simple yet so marvelous. I think I will prepare this for diner tonight!.

In fact, I love the whole book.


ChichaJo said...

Hi Heidi! Yes, she is so easy to love :) I love this book too and read it over and over, heehee! It seems to have a calming effect on me :) Hope you like this!

Katrina said...

Ooohhh...that looks sooo yummy and comforting! The oil floating on that sauce glistens in just the most come-hither way. I would SO have to eat that with rice, or maybe potatoes (though rice sops up sauce much better). And it sounds really simple to make. I'm just always nervous about cooking chicken, because how do you know when it's cooked through, without cutting it open?

ChichaJo said...

This is really comforting and yes it'll go great with some rice :) Nice also because it's a one pan dish! I guess it takes practice to know when it's done (more like repetition!) but thigh fillets are pretty easy because they are so thin and are more "forgiving" when slightly overcooked as opposed to breast fillets. But if you are really not sure go ahead and cut a part open a bit to check! I still do sometimes :)

nathan tancula said...

heyyyy I just made this but i used havarti cheese instead. Oh and make sure u switch to a clean pan when u do the milk part cus the taste of oil with milk is gross.

SQUEEZE lemon on top when done too. It was amazing

ChichaJo said...

Thanks for the tips Nathan :) Glad you enjoyed it!

Pat said...

I tried this recipe for dinner and it was so good! My husband loved it!

ChichaJo said...

Glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed it Pat :)

Little Miss Honey said...

Tried this recipe today... I love the outcome... Can't wait to experiment with different chess.. I tried the cheddar & mozzarella mix.. I want to cook this again for my hubby...

Maria @ Foodpix said...

Yummy! Can't wait to try it...
Thanks for sharing