Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Tuxedo Chicken

Tonight we had Tuxedo Chicken (p152), another one-dish main from Desperation Dinners. We had a little salad afterwards, but that wasn't really necessary.

This is a satisfying pasta dish, very similar to what I might make for a "brainless dinner." Melt some butter in a skillet and add some chopped onion. When the onion bits are a bit soft, add some skinless, boneless chicken breast halves that have been cut into strips. Stir these until they're no longer pink. Meanwhile cook the broccoli. The authors suggest microwaving; I cooked it in the pasta water. Remove the chicken from the pan. Stir in some sour cream (low-fat, not) into the pan*, then add some grainy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. (I used the Worcestershire sauce that was called White Wine Worcestershire when it first came out. Since the idea of wine seemed to offend many Americans, it's was relabelled as Chicken Worcestershire, or something like that. Same ingredients. It has a less assertive taste that the original sauce.) When the sauce begins to get a bit thick, stir in the chicken and broccoli. Meanwhile, boil up some pasta. (The authors suggest farfalle (bowties); I used malfalda corta, which I think looks like mini-lasagnas if your image of lasagna noodles includes curly edges.) Serve the pasta topped with the sauce. Enjoy.

*I now see that I was supposed to add some half-and-half too. We didn't miss this at all. There was plenty of sauce.

This wasn't a fantastic dish, but satisfying. If I were to do it again, I'd use some soft goat cheese instead of the sour cream. We've really come to like Chavroux (known to us as pyramid cheese because of the box it comes in) in dishes like this. Or on scrambled eggs. And other things.

Note: This recipe has a Time-Saver side-bar which suggests that when you're boiling a large quantity of water, you can put some in your big pot and the rest in another pot. When they're both at the boiling, carefully pour the contents of the smaller pot into the big one. Maybe saves a bit of time, but it seems like too much trouble.

Well, after using this book quite a bit, I'm beginning to think it may be going onto the recycle stack. I love the name, and enjoy the writing style and presentation, but the recipes are pretty ordinary as a whole. And, for me, there is too much reliance on prepared things like already sliced veggies that I don't have access to and probably wouldn't use if I did. There are a few good recipes here, e.g., Bob's Famous Fish (p279) (and this one, perhaps, with a bit of tweaking), but for the most part there's nothing that special here. If it stays on the shelf, it will be for affection rather than utility.

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their October cookbook. If you've got books on your shelf wanting to be used, why don't you choose one and join in?


  1. I have not heard of White Wine Worcestershire or Chicken! Sounds good, will look for it when I go to the store! This quick pasta dish is just perfect for busy weeknights.
    The time saver tip with the boiling water is very interesting!
    Glad to see that you have tried some recipes from this book and have decided whether you like it or goes to the recycle stack. Well, if you do send this book to the recycle stack, then you have space for one more new cookbook! :)

  2. If all the cookbooks in the house had to go onto their allotted shelves, they wouldn't make it. I've got a serious problem right now! Desperation has gone back on the shelf for now, since I've got a few more recipes on my to-try list. I do have affection for the book which make it hard to let go. But then, I can say that about 95% of my cookbooks.