Watching the Oscars was the highlight of the year for us kids. Mom let us stay up, no matter that school was the next day or that it lasted too long. “C’mon Mom. Please. Please. It’s The Oscars,” we would beg until she gave in. The one big glamorous gala we looked forward to all year. Petty ladies with long gowns. Limos stretching out for miles. Tall handsome classy men opening car doors for the ladies. We clapped and screamed when our favorites won. We booed the bad guys.
The drama unfolded, bringing agony to many but ecstasy to an elite few. And mom made her best dinner for us all. We even wore our church clothes! And we got dessert – on T.V. trays, like everyone else in America that night. So, you see, it’s just not The Oscars to me unless I make something special. Something elegant. Something Cary Grant or Elizabeth Taylor might have eaten that night.
I give you the perfect Oscar dish, ironically with the same name as the little gold statue. Crispy sauteed chicken breast. Roasted asparagus spears. Lump crab meat. Perfectly warmed Bearnaise sauce. Perfect individually, it’s true. But when you stack them together all together . . . perfection on a plate!
This dish is definitely on my Top Ten Entrees of All Time list. Chicken is the perfect protein for this elegant dish. It doesn’t overwhelm, but adds beautiful taste and texture. I replaced traditional veal, and lightened up the sauce by making it with light cream cheese and just a hint of mustard and a tiny bit of heat. An elegant dish to serve for Oscar night – with or without tuxedos.
The key is you MUST get the chicken right. And, this method works perfectly. The perfect chicken breast. Crispy golden brown on the outside but tender and moist inside. Make this and your guests will rave until next year’s Academy gives Awards. And award you Best Home Chef in an Elegant Role.
And the Oscar goes to . . .
SIMPLIFIED ELEGANT CHICKEN OSCAR
4 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
Salt and pepper, as described below
3/4 all purpose flour, or similar textured baking flour of choice
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil, divided
16 stalks asparagus
4 ounces lump crab meat
8 ounces light cream cheese with chives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Dash of cayenne pepper sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss asparagus in 1 tablespoon of oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, pound chicken tenders between two sheets of plastic until about 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, to reach room temperature. Mix flour and cornstarch together. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add oil. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and place in pan with space between pieces. Press lightly with a spatula so that entire surface of chicken pieces are against the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn and cook the same way for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
In a small saucepan, heat cream cheese, mustard and hot sauce until bubbly. Add water as needed to make the consistency of a Bearnaise sauce.
Layer ingredients on four serving plates. Serve immediately.
— posted by Donna