Cucumber Chicken

When you mention sautéing cucumbers, you might get a lot of raised eyebrows, but this is a dish with a delightful dill flavor that will earn you raves in the kitchen.

In ancient times, the Greeks valued dill as much as money. Those who could afford it, flaunted their wealth by burning dill-scented oil. It's also considered a soothing herb, capable of producing sleep and easing digestive woes. It does not transplant well, so the best way to grow it is to throw a few seeds in your garden. They grow to 3 feet high and have beautiful, thin, feathery leaves. It's time to think about what we want to put in our herb gardens! Dill is a must.

This recipe for Cucumber Chicken will feed two people, and you'll need:

2 ea.               skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 ea.             cucumber
3 TB                oil
1/8 cup             dry white wine
2 ea.               shallots, chopped fine
1 cup              heavy whipping cream
2 TB               fresh dill
to taste           salt and white pepper

Peel the cucumber first, then with the handle of the peeler, run it down the inside of the cucumber and remove the seeds. Then cut it into medium slices. If your chicken pieces are too thick, give them a good pounding. Place your oil in a saute pan and heat it up. Brown the chicken on both sides. Drain off oil. Add wine and shallots, stirring shallots for two minutes until translucent. Add cream, cukes and dill. Cook until the cream has reduced some. Season with salt and pepper and voilĂ .

If you want to add a little more zing, here's a good trick. Pour a little juice from the dill pickle jar into your sauce as it cooks. If you'd like to try a "voluptuous" Chardonnay with this dish, try the smooth DeLoach from California. You use an eighth of a cup in the recipe and the rest is for you and your sweet Valentine. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.