Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"The Avocado Lovers' Cookbook" - Chicken Breasts in Creamy Avocado Sauce

Date I made this recipe:   June 3, 2013

The Avocado Lovers’ Cookbook by Joyce Carlisle (purchased at Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores)
Published by:  Celestial Arts
© 1985
Recipe:  Chicken Breasts in Creamy Avocado Sauce – p. 91

If you’re like me (and of course you are), you likely record a lot of TV shows and then take great pleasure in zipping through the commercials, right, because who has time to watch all that.  But live TV puts the kibosh on that tactic and so I found myself watching Subway (sandwiches) commercial for avocadoes this past weekend.  Apparently, and this is good information to have, May is avocado month.  I had no idea.  I can tell you with complete confidence, having been told by a local TV meteorologist, that May is Severe Weather Month but he failed to mention a word about avocados.  I’m sure it was an oversight on his part.

So there I was, watching endless Subway commercials (and I mean endless) telling me I should get a sandwich with delicious avocado filling and I thought “Shoot, I’ll just grab my very own avocado cookbook off the shelf and do it myself.”   And I did.

This book cuts to the chase:  we have a brief history of avocados, tips on buying and using them (with pictures illustrating how to peel, slice and dice) and then we move directly into recipes.  The previous owner of this book was kind enough to dog-ear a few pages of interest and I decided on the Chicken Breasts in Creamy Avocado Sauce in less time than it took Subway to play their commercial.

If any of you watch the Food Network show, Chopped, you know that the judges are especially hard on people who fail to incorporate the four (secret) basket ingredients in a dish.  I think this recipe showcases how avocado can be blended into a delicious sauce and so…I win!  But other recipes gave me pause:  Avocado Chiffon Pie (shudder); Avocado Cheesecake (ummm…no?) and Avocado Ice Cream.  I was already aware that Avocado Ice Cream existed but just because it exists, doesn’t mean I have to make it, right?  Right!  And so I did not.

If I have a complaint, and I really don’t, but if I did, it would be that the non-secret ingredients – white wine, onions and celery – almost overpowered this dish (another Chopped no-no) but hey, this wasn’t a cooking contest and we used the avocado (and cheese – love that) and it was all good and easy to make.  Case closed, avocado month celebrated (albeit a few days late).

Chicken Breasts in Creamy Avocado Sauce – serves 4
4 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Flour (for coating chicken)
½ cup butter (divided)
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic
½ lb mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
1 avocado, mashed

Pound chicken breasts until flat and tender.  Dredge with salt, pepper and flour.  Melt ¼ cup of butter in a large skillet.  Saute chicken breasts until evenly browned on both sides.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Place remaining butter in skillet.  Saute onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms until tender.  Slowly add flour, then stock.  Cook until thick.  Stir in wine, avocado and cheese.  Heat through.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish, pour sauce over and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

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