Day four of Operation: Expand Horizons was a marginal success. I liked it; my husband called it "edible." Bon Appétit's Chicken Cutlets with Asparagus, Capers, and Shallots may not make it into our regular dinner rotation, but he tried something new and I'm OK with that.
Before plating the food, I wasn't sure how it was going to taste, but I knew that it sure looked pretty.
My normal method of cooking asparagus is steaming, so the broiled kind was new for me and I really liked it. The stalks were not tough at all. The shallots were really good with the chicken, and I was surprised at how mellow the flavor of the fennel seed became during cooking. I'm not normally a big fan of fennel seed or any licorice-type flavors, but it was quite good.
The mustard and caper sauce was really tangy and vinegary, too much so for my husband. I added a teaspoon of sugar and it was better. I knew he might not like it, so I served the sauce on the side.
The sauce called for fresh tarragon, which I have never used and could not find in the grocery store. Not knowing what tarragon tasted like, I took a guess based on the other ingredients and substituted fresh thyme from my garden. It seemed to work.
My oven rack was in the middle position, so broiling time was longer than indicated by the recipe, but that was better for me in that it reduced the chance that the shallots would burn while the chicken stayed raw on the inside.
I made some plain buttered egg noodles to go on the side.