Surprise!  I didn’t grill tonight!

I wanted to make the Israeli Haimishe Farfel because I still really didn’t know what it was, but thought it would go better with a saucy dish rather than a grilled dish.  Yeah for me.  I was right.

The farfel is like big dried breadcrumbs.  Think Stovetop Stuffing  or something along those lines.  But it’s just the crumbs – no seasoning of any sort.  I followed the basic package instructions (because I still wasn’t sure what it was) using the leftover grilled spring onions from Sunday, and fresh parsley and herbs from the garden.  Now that I know what to expect, I’ll season it a bit more next time around.

The chicken was a variation on a Bon Appetit recipe from about 15 years ago, I think.

Chicken Breasts with Leeks and Mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast with skin (about 3/4 pound), halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • the white part of 2 medium leeks, sliced, washed well, and patted dry
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 8 Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon drained bottled capers, chopped
  • fresh lemon juice to taste

In a shallow bowl stir together the flour, the paprika, and salt and pepper to taste and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. In a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it sauté the chicken, turning it once, until it is golden brown. Reduce the heat to moderately low and stir in the leeks, the mushrooms, the wine, the broth, and the thyme. Cook the mixture, covered partially, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and transfer the chicken to a platter. To the skillet add the olives, the capers, and the lemon juice and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Serve the chicken topped with the leek mixture.

I used boneless, skinless breasts, used green pimento-stuffed olives, and green peppercorns, ‘cuz I didn’t have any capers. (There very well may be some in the cabinet, somewhere, but right now they are so packed…..) I also took the chicken out of the pan and sauteed the leeks and mushrooms, added the liquids, put the chicken back in, then followed the rest of the recipe…

The farfel was actually pretty good once I started mixing the leeks and mushrooms with it.  The chicken itself was great.  I like the flavor a simple flour coating gives to sauteed chicken.  And asparagus is always good.

The last of the ice cream brownie cake for dessert tonight.

I may have to make Trevor’s grandmother’s banana cupcakes tomorrow night…