Our Valentine’s Day Dinner

For our first Valentine’s Day together (last year he was 6,000 miles away in Paris), Skyler surprised me with flowers and my favorite dinner. He made chicken piccata, fettuccine with homemade alfredo, and asparagus. It was absolutely delicious!

For the chicken piccata, he used a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis that seemed pretty quick and easy, found HERE and at the bottom of this post. He cooked the chicken in a skillet and let it simmer in the capers and lemon juice a little longer than the recipe called for, so it was extra flavorful. It was the best chicken piccata I’ve had and next I would make it exactly the same.

Skyler assigned me to the asparagus. I used some of the leftover lemon juice from the piccata and drizzled it over the asparagus after I cut off the ends. We put a little water and butter in a skillet, put the asparagus in, covered it up and let it steam for about 4 minutes. I turned off the heat but left them covered so they would cook a little longer and stay warm. I didn’t add salt or pepper and it still turned out tasty (probably from the butter).

I don’t think Sky used a recipe for the alfredo sauce. He heated up butter and milk in a nonstick pan over medium heat and assigned me to “keep stirring!”. He shredded parmesan cheese and slowly added it to the milk. I kept stirring. I think he also threw in some salt and pepper. Then he mixed in the fettuccine. The sauce turned out amazing. It wasn’t gritty or too rich, just creamy and delicious. We plated and ate our delicious romantic meal together.

For dessert, we had puff pastry waiting to be used so we made apple turnovers. I peeled Granny Smith apples and Sky cut them up and sprinkled brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on them. He heated them up on the stove with some butter until they were tender. He cut the pastry dough into quarters and divvied up the apples. We experimented with adding cheddar to a few of them (delicious, by the way). Then we sealed them up, sprinkled sugar on the top and cooked them at 400 until they were golden brown. I think it was about 15 minutes, but I can’t remember. We had the turnovers with vanilla bean ice cream. There was some left over apples, so we threw them in the Magic Bullet and made applesauce!

Everything turned out great! Which is good because our next post will be about when recipes don’t turn out.

Giada de Laurentiis’ Chicken Piccata:

Ingredients
2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

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4 thoughts on “Our Valentine’s Day Dinner

  1. This sounds like a wonderful meal. The recipe for chicken piccata really caught my eye since I can’t eat dairy…the butter is easily worked around…and Italian recipes that don’t use cheese are rare. Thanks for a great post!

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