Cooking with vodka is new to me.
I remember the first time that I tried Penne a la Vodka. I had a difficult time describing the unique, rich flavour that the vodka added to the creamy tomato sauce. It was really amazing.This recipe includes a similar version of that sauce used on boneless chicken breasts.
I learned about vodka from a Ukrainian friend of mine who loves to drink it straight. They taught me that it is usually made from grain and in some countries made from potatoes. The best quality vodkas are made from grains. They also taught me how to make a dirty martini and how to savour the flavour slowly. Like most Ukrainian people they love to toast life with vodka.
I dedicate this recipe to my friend. You have taught me many cool things that I will never forget.
Smachnoho! as the say in the Ukraine which means “good eats” or Bon Apetit.
Makes 4 servings
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup (250ml) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. (30ml) canola oil
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 dried chili peppers
½ cup (125ml) vodka
1 cup (250ml) chicken broth
3 tbsp. (45ml) tomato sauce
1 vine ripened tomato, diced
¼ cup (60ml) parmesan cheese
½ cup (125ml) whipping cream
Trim chicken breasts of any fat. Season flour with salt and whisk to mix thoroughly.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge the chicken breast in seasoned flour and place in skillet. Cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium and add shallots, garlic and chili peppers to skillet. Cook until shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Add vodka and cook until vodka has almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add broth and tomato sauce and reduce by half again, another 4 minutes.
Finish the sauce by adding diced tomato, parmesan cheese and cream. Heat through, then return chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until done, about 5 minutes.
Recipe from The Ontario Table by Lynn Ogryzlo