Patio Dinner for Two (Chicken Kiev, Toasted Barley, & Green Beans in Garlic Black Bean Sauce)

1 Sep

It’s finally starting to cool down in the evenings here in Dallas.  I can once again eat dinner outside on my IKEA patio bistro set and take advantage the balcony view of the pool and courtyard.  With some candlelight, the ambiance is almost as pleasant as a romantic restaurant, except here you can be barefoot and in your pajamas.  The menu for this patio dinner is your basic chicken, grain, and veggies combination.  The chicken kiev is buttery and rich, the barley earthy and simple, and crunchy green beans with just a bit of zing.

chicken-kiev.jpg

Chicken Kiev

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1/2 lb each)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
dash of black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp parsley
2 oz pepper jack cheese, cut into 2 strips about 1 1/2 inch long
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp of oregano, garlic salt, and a dash of black pepper in medium plate to make breading. 

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, parsley, and remaining oregano to make the herb butter filling.

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap.  Tenderize/flatten with a mallet gently until each breast is about 1/4 inch thick.  Divide herb butter mixture between the two breasts, and lay a strip of the jack cheese on each chicken breast.  Roll up the chicken breast (short edge first), folding in the sides as well, to enclose the butter/jack cheese filling.  Secure with toothpicks.

Roll each chicken breast in plate with breading until evenly coated all over.  Spray all over lightly with cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Serves 2

Toasted Barley

3/4 cup barley
14 oz can vegetable broth
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Heat dry barley in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly until barley is lightly browned

Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until barley is soft.

Remove from heat and drain.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 2 to 3

Green Beans in Garlic Black Bean Sauce

1/3 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1 tbsp black bean sauce
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt

Heat small frying pan or wok over medium high heat.  Add oil and garlic to hot pan and saute garlic for about a minute.  Add in green beans, black bean sauce, and salt and stir fry another 4 to 5 minutes or until desired doneness (I like my green beans a little crunchy).

Serves 2 to 3

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