|2 servings||calories per servings 730||protein serving 38 g||carbs per serving 49 g||total fat per serving 42 g|
Down-home Georgia girl Virginia Willis is also a French-trained chef, so she knows a thing or two about sauces. In her book “Lighten Up, Y’all,” she revamps a traditional Southern “smothered and covered” sauce (which is not unlike a French velouté sauce) by using a scant amount of flour and skinless chicken breasts, and by pan-searing, instead of deep-frying, the meat. Willis writes, “This is old-style cooking that is more down-home diner than dinner party, and great for a simple weeknight supper. I'm suggesting a crisp celery salad, bright with lemon, to accompany the chicken.”
|Nutrition Facts||/ Per Serving|
|Total Fat||42 g|
|Saturated Fat||12 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||49 g|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|
Prepare your mise en place: Zest lemon, and measure out 1 teaspoon. Halve and juice lemon, and measure out 1 tablespoon juice (reserve any extra for another use.) Thinly slice celery stalks; reserve leaves for garnish. Pick parsley leaves from two sprigs and set aside for celery salad. Pick leaves from remaining parsley sprigs and chop. Pick thyme leaves. Peel onion; cut into quarters through stem end. Grate one quarter, and thinly slice remaining 3 quarters. Peel and finely mince garlic.
Make the grits: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Add grated onion and cook until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add milk, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Whisk in the grits, reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the grits are creamy and thick, 35-45 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and chopped parsley. Taste, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper, and cover to keep warm.
While grits cook, prepare the chicken: Mix together flour and Seasoned Flour Spice Blend in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Pat chicken breasts dry, and place in flour, turning to coat on both sides. Shake off the excess over the bowl, and save for later use. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat add remaining 2 teaspoons cooking oil. When oil is shimmering add chicken and sear until brown on bottom, 1-2 minutes. Turn chicken and sear other side, 1-2 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Add sliced onions to the pan, and reduce heat to medium. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, 5-7 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 45-60 seconds. Tip all of the remaining flour-spice mixture into the onions and stir to coat and combine. Add 3/4 cup water and bouillon cube. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and add chicken breasts along with any accumulated juices, thyme leaves and bay leaf.
Nestle chicken into onions, and turn to coat. Transfer skillet to the oven, and cook until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a knife and the temperature reads 165° F when measured with an instant-read thermometer, 12-15 minutes.
While chicken bakes, make the celery salad: In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and mustard. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until dressing is creamy and emulsified. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Add chopped celery, whole parsley leaves and shaved Parmesan; toss to combine. Garnish with celery leaves. Taste and adjust for seasoning with kosher salt and pepper.
Spoon the grits onto warmed plates. Top with chicken, onions and gravy. Spoon celery salad onto the plate. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Chef and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Virginia Willis is the author of "Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South,” "Lighten Up, Y'all," "Bon Appétit, Y'all," "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all," "Okra: A Savor the South Cookbook" and "Grits." The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of "Seven Food Writers You Need to Know." Her legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French cooking a down-home feel and re-imagining Southern recipes en Français.Learn More...