Rocky Mountain High

Several years B.C.S. (before Captain Sturm), my friend W. and I took a 10 day vacation trip out west. We opened the map and each of us took turns pointing out places that we'd like to see and then we created an itinerary that included most of those places. Our trip started by flying to Denver, Colorado where we rented a car and drove south to a little town called Buena Vista. We spent the night in a quaint little motel and the next day we headed out for our half-day white water rafting adventure. It was early May and when I called the rafting company a month earlier to make the reservations, I was told that May was a little too early in the season for them to be taking tourists down the river but we were in luck because on that particular day they were taking a group of potential guides down the river for training purposes and we were allowed to accompany them. It was a cool, crisp day and after we suited up in our wetsuits we spent the next several hours navigating class I, II, and III rapids on the Arkansas River. The scenery was absolutely, breath-takingly gorgeous - the rugged mountain peaks were covered with snow and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I took alot of pictures that day but the camera just didn't do justice to what my eyes actually saw.

Four exciting hours later, we were finished with our excursion and you cannot imagine how ravenous I was! I felt like the kind of hungry beast that was no doubt roaming the steep, rugged snow capped Rocky Mountains that stretched for miles in front of me. We drove a few miles down the road and stopped at a restaurant that looked like your average steak house. I was so hungry that I probably would have eaten almost anything put in front of me. The entree that I chose was a chicken breast covered with cheese and bacon. This wasn't something that I would have normally ordered - while I do love me some bacon, chicken and cheese, put them all together on a plate and it's just a bit much for me. But I was hungry...beastly hungry...bring on the chicken...smother it with cheese...throw some pork fat on there too kind of hungry. I don't know if it was because I was so exhaustingly hungry or maybe I had suffered a reaction to being exposed to thin Rocky Mountain oxygen, but honest to goodness that was the best meal I had ever eaten.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when I ran across a recipe called Chicken Lombardy from a source that I can't even remember now. The recipe as it was written became a staple in my catering kitchen and one day while preparing it for a catering job, I had to make some minor adjustments out of necessity for what we had available to use. As I tasted the revision, I immediately had one of those "When I bite into a York Peppermint Patty I Get The Sensation" moments. I was navigating Class III rapids down the Arkansas River. I was eating that fabulous chicken cheese bacon dish in the otherwise non-descriptive steak house restaurant in the quaint little town of Buena Vista in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

So, without further adieu, I give to you.......

* Exported from MasterCook *

Buena Vista Chicken

Serving Size : 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper -- to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter -- divided
1 onion -- sliced
6 slices bacon -- cooked and crumbled
1 cup fresh mushrooms -- sliced
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
4 slices Provolone cheese

Place chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper and flatten to 1/8" thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet. Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken lightly with flour.

Heat vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until chicken is golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and place in a baking dish, overlapping edges.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to drippings in the pan. Saute mushrooms and onions, about 3-4 minutes. Add crumbled bacon and sprinkle mixture over chicken. Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up browned bits. Add chicken broth and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Top each chicken breast with a slice of Provolone cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

A nice golden brown....

Gimme some cheese and pork fat, pleeze....

Take me back to that Rocky Mountain High....


Kristen said...

That sounds like such a dream vacation! How fun!


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