Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chicken Cutlets with Raspberries, Lemon Rice & Green Beans Gremolata + Valentines Day Dessert Ideas

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
Printable Recipe

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
Printable Recipe

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.

Lemon rice: 
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
Printable Recipe

1 pound French green beans, trimmed
Kosher salt
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.

For better viewing, click photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday , & Food on Friday at Carole's Chatter.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  


  1. A wonderful dish. So colourful and refined tasting.



  2. I'll bet this is an amazing meal with those flavorful (and pretty) raspberries! I've been craving rice and the lemon sounds like a very nice addition Sam:@)

  3. Would you believe that I pulled out the original Silver Palate cookbook yesterday for an afternoon read/inspiration? Your plate looks delicious!
    And the desserts--all of them--are perfect for a Valentine!!


  4. I always love your colorful dis
    hes..Isn't it funny years later your mom's rice cooking method is recommended..she knew a good thing!
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and Meakin:)

  5. Looks like a great meal to share with your valentine.

  6. Sam, I love raspberries but I never considered pairing them with chicken cutlets. I'm usually not a fan of sweet with my meats but this is interesting. Love the desserts especially that beautiful tort! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  7. That dinner looks perfect, Sam. I forget about The Silver Palate. Every once in a while I just pull it down from the shelf, just for inspiration. Your turn today!

  8. Great dishes all Sam.Happy V day to you and Meakin. Maybe he will take you out to dinner!

  9. Not only a beautiful meal but healthy and delicious as well. I have never tried cooking rice other than the way they tell you on the package. Next time, I'll try your mother's version! Happy Valentine's Day, Sam!

  10. Oh my Goodness this is gorgeous - I've got people coming over on Valentines - and guess what - this is dinner!!! thanks:)) and Happy Valentines Day!

  11. Sam, your meals are a cross between a painting and a symphony. Artistry, perfect balance, and sheer delight (not to mention the mix of flavors).

  12. what a great combination of flavors and textures and colors. This looks like one amazingly special dinner.

  13. So flavourful, colourful and pretty, and I always love your way of plating. Uncle Ben’s rice is very popular over here too.

  14. This looks delicious, now if only I could eat raspberries, sadly they do not agree with me. Just love Crème Brulee though minus the berries. Have a good weekend Diane

  15. I hope you and Meakin enjoy your Valentines day Sam. I know it will be delicious!!

  16. Great suggestions, I think I might make a batch of cream brulee on Saturday. The last one that I made I didn't have enough eggs and had to use whole eggs (not just the yolks) and it really wasn't too bad.

  17. The raspberries make this the perfect valentine Day dinner, Sam, and I'll never say no to Chocolate mousses for dessert!

  18. Wow, those desserts are beautiful Sam, but you know me, I'll take that chicken dish. I love the idea of serving it over lemon rice. Yum.

  19. Lots of nifty recipe ideas today, Sam! Raspberries with chicken? That's brilliant. I LOVE raspberries...what a yummy recipe.
    I'm dieting for a few months, so actually cooked ahead for the blog...but you know me, chocolate is not high on my list of favorite desserts at any time, except when the kids are around, then they're a must.
    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, filled with love!

  20. Nothing says Valentine like a good chocolate mousse. Love the recipe.

  21. Hi Sam,
    What a lovely meal this would be, everything looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you a Valentine Day filled with Love!
    Miz Helen

  22. Sam, your green beans look delicious and the recipe is a must try! That Crème Brûlée got my attention also! Yum, perfect for tomorrow! Happy Valentine's Day to you and your husband!

  23. I love raspberries in just about anything. I love that you have them in a main dish and dessert too!

  24. What a wonderful menu! Hoping that you and Meakin celebrated in style!

  25. You always show the most beautiful dishes. The chocolate mousse and the Crème Brûlée make me so envious – I’d love to dig in but even if I place a spoon really close to my computer I can’t get to your desserts …..

  26. I want Valentine's dinner at your house Sam! It looks amazing!

  27. As always, I will be making this. (I make a lot of your recipes, Sam). Love chicken paired with berries. And I will also make a note to do this come summer when my raspberry bushes are overflowing. Love them with the beans. And one of these days - when I eat carbs again - I will try your mother's rice cooking method! That chocolate tart is calling me....

  28. Although we chose to dine out this year, your entree for chicken with raspberries is a keeper for future menus! Love the addition of gremolata Sam! Lemon in rice always wins in my (cook)book! I'd like to invite you to stop over (when you have a moment) to a special tribute to you and others on my blog.

  29. Thanks for visiting my blog! That was nice of you. This meal looks amazing. I especially love that creme brulee. Yum. I have a plan to make a lemon zest gremolata for asparagus this spring, too!

  30. Everything looks so delicious I have to go back and look again :) thanks for the visit and I am your newest follower! xo

  31. Dear Sam, What a beautiful dinner.
    I hope that your was beautiful. xo Catherine


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