toasters bake too

toasterI used to bake a lot before because I was inspired by my lola who’s the best baker there is. But baking never seems to like me back. The cakes I baked are heavy and flopped, and the cookies flat and hard. Now I seem to have a renewed interest for baking. But this time I’m inspired more by the rising prices of snack foods from the supermarket.

I do not feel comfortable shelling out hard earned money on preservative-laden biscuits and breads and feeding these to my children. One of these days I will be perfecting chocolate fudge brownies to give Monde and Lemon Square a run for their money.

I failed to include the refill of the LPG tank of the gas range in this month’s budget so I have to settle with the handy dandy oven toaster for now. It was time to cook dinner and I had already thawed chicken fillets without any idea what to cook with it. So to satisfy this baking itch, I decided to cook baked tarragon chicken for dinner. It’s a 30-minute meal that turned out to be pretty tasty. Time-pressed cooks might want to try this out. Recipe follows.

toaster-baked tarragon chicken

Ingredients:

10 pcs. chicken breast fillet
dried tarragon leaves
2 pcs. shallots, minced
10 pcs. baguio beans, diced
1/3 of a medium-sized carrot, diced
1/2 of a medium-sized bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. red wine
50 g. cheddar cheese, grated or sliced
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
4 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. cooking oil for searing
salt and pepper to taste

Rub tarragon leaves, salt and pepper onto the chicken. Sear chicken pieces in hot oil until browned on the surface. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake in the oven toaster for 10 minutes.

In a saucepan, quickly heat shallots and vegetables in some leftover searing oil and half of the butter, until partly cooked. Remove vegetables from pan.

Under low heat, glaze the same saucepan with red wine. Add the remaining butter and cheddar cheese until melted. Add the mayonnaise, milk and parmesan cheese, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sauce cool.

After baking for 10 minutes, remove chicken from aluminum foil and transfer to a lightly oiled baking pan. Top chicken pieces with the cooled sauce and use the remaining sauce for dipping. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken in the baking pan. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until sauce topping bubbles. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-5 persons.

This dish is probably better with cream-based pasta or rice pilaf.

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