During the holidays, many of us will spend a night or two in someone else’s home. When someone opens their home to you, it is important to find a way to express your gratitude. My favorite way to thank friends for their hospitality is to cook them a fabulous meal (and to clean it up too!). It alleviates some of the stress they take on as the hosts and is more thoughtful than a small gift or card. Here are my favorite “thank you” meals to prepare for others. They are pretty easy and SO worth the time and effort!
Chicken Marsala and Angel Hair Pasta
This recipe is my very favorite. You can actually make it ahead of time and stick it in the oven when everyone is ready to chow down.
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds fillet and pounded thin)
1-8 0z. container of fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup of flour, for dredging
1/4 cup olive oil
4 slices of prosciutto, chopped
1 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
On a cutting board, fillet each chicken breast and trim off any fat. Place two pieces of chicken at a time between two pieces of parchment paper as seen in photo below. Pound with a flat mallet, until the cutlets are about 1/4-inch thick. Set aside and repeat until all the chicken is pounded thin. Put some flour in a shallow dish. Season each side of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet lightly on each side with flour.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is nice and hot, brown a few cutlets at a time for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden. Once the chicken is brown, place the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a rim, or a glass casserole dish. Continue until all the chicken is browned.
Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, sauté for a minute or two until browned. Add the mushrooms, season with a little salt and pepper and sauté until they are nicely browned on each side. Turn up the heat and pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a minute so the alcohol cooks off. Then add the chicken stock and the butter. Allow it to cook for a minute or two. Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover with foil and place in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
**Tip: Double the sauce recipe, it makes it that much better!
Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
This is a great way to get picky eaters to eat…and enjoy green beans!
Toss desired amount of green beans in olive oil, salt, pepper, and two cloves of minced garlic. Place on baking sheet and roast at 425 for 15 minutes – stir them halfway through. Add your desired amount of Parmesan and a pinch or two of fresh tarragon and place back in the oven until the cheese has melted (about 5 minutes). Serve immediately and enjoy!