Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Chicken with Corn and Lemon

My new place of residence is Gyöngyös, Hungary, about an hour away from Budapest. I'm the only native speaker out of eight English teachers at Berze Nagy János Gimnázium. I teach 24 classes a week, including one group of ninth graders who I see everyday. They have two students who don't know any English, plus a few who have already taken it for five years. The teaching has been okay so far--more details to come in later posts.

Gyöngyös completely lives up to my hopes for its culinary resources. Four days a week, farmers come in and sell their fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk, and mushrooms at prices that are cheap even for Hungary. Butchershops are plentiful, and a lot of them sell what my dictionary claims is mutton. This is unusual in Hungary, where sheep are usually used here for cheese and wool and not eaten. There are also several butchers who only sell poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, and goose). Parmesan cheese is tough to come by, and the selection of olive oil is limited, but at least I can have goose fat again.

Chicken with Corn and Lemon

  • A chicken breast (i.e., two fillets)
  • Kernels from one leftover ear of corn
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tbs. or so of butter
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

Heat olive oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Dry the chicken breasts and put salt and pepper on them. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan and cook it till it's just done (10 minutes or so), turning the heat down if necessary. When the chicken is done, move it aside. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pan cool. Add the butter, corn, and a bit of salt and cook, stirring, until the corn darkens. Pour a tiny bit of water--one or two tablespoons--into the pan, turn the heat up, and stir to deglaze the pan. When most of this water has evaporated, turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and some more pepper. You can also add the chicken back into the pan if it's cooled off too much. Serve the chicken with the corn sauce.

This was really good. More butter would probably improve it. I also think it would work fine with raw corn kernels.

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