This following post is actually about a non-visit during my recent stay in New York. Despite my having a full week to sight-see, explore, eat & drink and meet folks along the way – there just wasn’t enough time to patronize all the Greek restaurants of note.
Upon my return from New York, I’ve even received invites to “check out” some other noted Greek eateries in the NYC scene. Is New York City in my 2009 plans? We’ll see.
Periyali is a Greek restaurant in the Grammercy/Flatiron district of Manhattan and it’s been around since 1988…a veteran by any restaurant’s standards!
The next best thing to visiting a restaurant is buying the book, no? With over 300 pages and tons of recipes in between, the cookbook offers up an array of Greek dishes that touch upon all the food categories and it makes Greek food approachable for even some you just discovering what a wonderful cuisine we have.
Today’s dish is one of those “I want a classy meal, it’s a weeknight, I’m tired from work and I want that restaurant-type of dish served to me” kind of meal.
The cookbook’s title for this dish is “Seared & Braised Breast of Chicken With Leeks and Lemon Cream Sauce”. I had no leeks and even if I did, the leeks would be out of proportion with the chicken breasts.
I opted to sear some scallions but in hindsight, spears of asparagus would also work very well here and I’ll be on the lookout for some the next time this dish is on my mind.
Another sub I made was to omit the lemon juice and use some of my flourishing lemon thyme in my indoor herb garden. The recipe has no herbage and although tarragon would have worked well here, thyme is a Greek herb and the lemon thyme gave the dish that fresh citrus flavour and the bottom-end woodsy falvour that only thyme can give.
Finally, I halved the wine, stock & cream amounts and my hunch was right…there was just enough sauce for 4 plates.
4 bunches of scallions, greens trimmed and reserved
1 cup of chicken/vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. of lemon thyme
(may sub. some lemon juice w/ thyme)
1 bay leaf
4 chicken breasts, pounded into paillards
flour for dredging
1/4 cup olive oil for frying
1/ 2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
thyme for garnish
- Either pound out your chicken breasts into thin paillards or if you have 2 thick chicken breasts, carefully cut the breast into 2 thin chicken breasts (making 4). Rinse and pat-dry your chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper and dredge in all-purpose flour.
- In a large non-stick skillet orver medium heat, add the white part of the scallions and sear on both sides until a nut-brown colour has formed. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate with absorbant paper.
- Now sear and brown your chicken breasts in the same oil until golden brown (1 1/2 -2 mins.) on both sides and reserve.
- Discard the oil and place your skillet back on medium heat and add the wine and and simmer for 1-2 minutes while scraping up the brown bits.. Now add your cream, stock, bay leaf and lemon thyme and and gently bring to a boil. Carefully add your chicken breasts back into the skillet and simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until your sauce has thickenend enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add the reserved green parts of the scallions and mix into the sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and discard the bay leaf.
- Spoon some cream sauce onto the bottom of each plate and then lay a row of scallions on top, followed by the crowning chicken breast. Garnish with some lemon thyme and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve with some rice pilaf.
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