Everyday for the past week, I've been waking up early and spending the next couple of hours hiding under my covers because I just don't want to get up. The weather is dreary--no, Paris isn't really a city where it's nice even if it's rainy and cold--and the prospect of dragging my casts around all day isn't really of the amazing type. Actually, the only thing that makes me get out of bed is breakfast. I'm not talking about french toast or pancakes, or even a nice warm croissant. I mean a bowl of cereal. You know why? First of all I love cereal, but it's mostly that grabbing handfuls of it, putting it into a bowl, and adding a little milk is simple and quick. Simple, quick, and satisfying is exactly what I've been going for lately.
Obviously, breaking my key in the front door lock yesterday night doesn't belong to any simple or quick category, and isn't really satisfying either. Truthfully, it's everything but. So I decided to leave those words to the food category, and went out for a falafel salad after the lock was fixed. You didn't really think I would go before it was fixed and leave the door wide open because I was craving falafels that much, did you? That would be knowing me too well...I'm kidding, really. (Full disclosure: my parents read this blog.)
Anyway, noon came rolling around today and I opened the fridge to see what could be made without breaking my newborn wrists (at least I hope they are, deep under all that plaster). In front of me was a chicken breast, some pre-sliced fennel, and reduced-fat crème liquide. I didn't think twice--after all, I was hungry--put the fennel in my bamboo steamer and got the chicken cooking. Without really knowing what I was doing, I added some cream, mustard, basil and lemon juice and let the whole thing simmer for another couple of minutes. Along with the fennel and topped with some sumac*, it was pretty darn good. Very good, actually. The fennel brings an interesting contrast to the creamy spiciness of the sauce and the result is packed with taste.
Maybe I should have broken wrists more often so I end up with more delicious and simple meals like this one. Or not. I'll pass, but this is one dish that I'll definitely be making cast-free.
* Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that you can use like salt, but it has the added benefit of having a lemony taste as well. It really livens up any dish.
Creamy Mustard Chicken with Fennel
1 chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
1/4 c. crème liquide
1 TB Dijon mustard
2 TS chopped basil (fresh is best, but I used frozen)
1 TB lemon juice
pepper to taste
1 TS sumac
Steam fennel until tender.
In a non-stick pan, cook chicken until opaque troughout on high heat with salt and pepper. Turn down heat to medium, add cream, mustard, basil and lemon juice.
Let simmer for 5 minutes, and add fennel. Cook for another minute or two and serve immediately, topped with sumac.