The Richmond Register

September 12, 2012

Substitute chicken breasts for beef

By Frank Kourt
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — When you’ve got a craving for beef, nothing else will do.

But living with someone who always prefers chicken over beef, I’ve become adaptable, and have found, to my delight, that boneless, skinless chicken breasts may be substituted for beef in any number of dishes with a very satisfactory outcome!

The recipes below are traditionally made with beef, in my house anyway, but I have experimented and found they can be quite tasty in their own right by using the ever-versatile boneless, skinless chicken breast.

The Keshy Yena, a traditional dish of the Dutch West Indies, is a little complex to make and may seem to contain an odd combination (dill pickles, olives, raisins, et al), but, trust me, it provides one with a unique burst of flavors with each bite.

The fajitas will give you an authentic taste of Mexico, and the chicken stroganoff is simplicity itself to make, with its reliance on canned goods.

If you find these tasty, you too may want to experiment with substituting chicken in some of your favorite meat dishes.

A willingness to experiment is, after all, the hallmark of a good cook!

Keshy Yena

Ingredients:

3 lb. Edam cheese

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1/3 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

1T catsup

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 green peppers, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. finely sliced mushrooms

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

2 large dill pickles, finely chopped

1/4 cup whole seedless raisins

1 cup whole green olives with pimentos

1 can condensed mushroom soup

1/2 cup water

Preparation:

Remove the rind from the cheese and slice it into thin strips, lining the bottom and sides of a 3-4 quart, oven-proof casserole dish with the slices.

Coat the chicken in the flour, salt and pepper, and, in a large fry pan, melt 1/2 cup of the butter and cook the beef until brown.

Add the wine and cook for about three minutes, then remove chicken/wine mixture and put aside.

In the fry pan, melt remaining 1/4 cup butter and sauté peppers, onion and mushrooms until the mixture is soft.

Add tomatoes, red pepper and salt. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is cooked down and mixture becomes thick.

Add the pickle, raisins, olives and catsup, then add the chicken/wine mixture and blend well.

Stir in the soup and water, blending thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into the casserole, grating any remaining cheese on top.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for one hour. Bring to the table and stir well, scraping the sides to assure all the melted cheese is blended into the mixture.   

Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

2 T fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp. dried

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 T fresh cilantro (also known as coriander) or 1/2 tsp. dried

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 large onions, thinly sliced

2 large green or red peppers, thinly sliced

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 pack of large (burrito-size) flour tortillas

Preparation:

Mix the oil, vinegar, sugar and spices and pour into a large non-metallic baking dish or casserole. Stab the chicken all over with a fork and place it in some of the marinade, reserving a bit for basting.

Refrigerate and marinate for at least eight hours or overnight, turning the meat occasionally.

Broil the meat until it’s completely done, basting occasionally with the marinade.

In the meantime, sauté the onions and peppers in a little olive oil until limp.

When the chicken is done, remove to a platter and slice thinly.

Heat the tortillas in a 350- degree oven, or two minutes in a microwave on high, until just warm.

When ready to serve, place chicken strips and some onions and peppers in the center of the tortilla. Top with grated cheese and with salsa, guacamole, sour cream or a combination.

Fold the tortilla up and there you have it.

Chicken Stroganoff

Ingredients:

1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 3/4-inch thick

1/3 cup dry vermouth

1 large can chicken gravy (1-1/2 cups)

2 large onions, thinly sliced

2 small cans sliced mushrooms

2/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp. dry mustard

Preparation:

Cut the chicken into bite size cubes. Heat 3 T butter or margarine in a heavy skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken on all sides.

When the chicken is lightly, nicely browned, remove it from the pan and sauté the onion until it is transparent.

Add mushrooms, gravy, dry mustard, vermouth, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.

Put the meat back into the pan and cook gently, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Stir in the sour cream and heat gently, being careful not to let the mixture bubble after the sour cream is added, and heat gently for an additional 5 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.