Chicken cutlets with raspberry make a perfect entrée for an intimate evening, such as Valentines’ Day. I’ve paired it with lemon rice and Ina’s green beans gremolata for an easy-to-put-together dinner. If you also have in mind a fancy dessert but want to be able to prepare it in advance, I have three suggestions for you, starting with a decadent chocolate raspberry tart if you want to continue the raspberry theme, recipe here.
Still on the thoughts of chocolate, the classic French chocolate mousse is always a winner, recipe here.
And of course you can never go wrong with Crème Brûlée, recipe here.
The chicken cutlets with raspberries recipe comes together very quickly by using thin cutlets, available in the poultry section of your market, saving you the time of pounding regular chicken breasts. Frozen raspberries work perfectly fine (no one will guess they are frozen, promise) for the sauce of red raspberries, but it’s nice to add a few fresh ones to garnish the finished dish. I always think rice is a nice addition to a dinner that contains a sauce. Lemon rice is an excellent dish when you need a delicate, fresh flavor with an important main course. And of course Ina’s green beans gremolata are so versatile and pair well with almost any chicken dish.
Chicken Cutlets with Raspberries
Slightly adapted from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso, serves 6
12 thin skinless, boneless chicken cutlets or 6 whole chicken breasts (12 halves), skinless, boneless, and pounded thin (1/4 inch)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed if frozen
1 knob of cold, unsalted butter
Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
A few fresh raspberries for each serving as a garnish
Sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the chicken, a few pieces at a time, in the butter just until browned on each side. Remove to a warm serving platter.
Pour the vinegar and wine into the pan to deglaze it. Stir in the raspberries and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and a knob of cold, unsalted butter and stir to incorporate into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and a few fresh raspberries for each serving. Serve with lemon rice.
My Mother’s Rice – method works every time
From My Carolina Kitchen by Sam Hoffer
My mother had a very easy but unusual way to cook rice and I’ll share her method with you. It always turned out perfectly, no lumps or sticky clumps, and no fancy cookers. She cooked the rice in lots of boiling salted water, the same way you cook pasta. Twenty minutes for white rice, 35 minutes for brown. After draining it well, she put the rice back in the pan, stirred in a pat of butter, and left it covered on the stove for up to twenty minutes before serving. Her preferred brand of rice was Uncle Ben’s converted rice and I’ve never used anything else, so I’m not sure how it would work with other brands. But I will add that this recipe has never let me down. Recently Cooking Light magazine recommended the same method.
Inspired by The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso, serves 4 to 6
Proportionally for every cup of uncooked rice from recipe above, stir in 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest to cooked rice after is has been drained. Let the rice and lemon zest mixture stand together, covered, for 5 minutes in the pan. Add some finely chopped fresh herb of your choice (flat-leaf parsley or dill) along with a pat of butter, check for seasonings and serve immediately.
Green Beans Gremolata
Slightly Adapted from Foolproof, by Ina Garten, serves 4 to 6
1 pound French green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (I used a mixture of toasted almonds, walnuts, and pistachios)
2½ tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.
For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and nuts in a small bowl and set aside.
When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Add the beans to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through. Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.