Pressed Chicken with Squash and Tomatoes

First of all, HAPPY THANKSGIVING  TO ALL!!!!!!!     I  hope you are stuffing yourselves with all sorts of delicious, decadent and delicious food.

Delicious, decadent and delicious is a good segue into this month’s Food ‘n Flix post with it’s over-the-top feasting.


This month’s  feature was tough to find.   I finally found a copy of Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? at our library but our gracious host for this round,  Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, actually posted it online for everyone.    Thank you because it was actually easier for us to stream it than to figure out how to set up our DVR (which is collecting dust).

I watch most of the Food ‘n Flix films by myself and I don’t subject The Hubs to them, because face it…a lot of them are chick flicks.   The only one I wish he had seen was Big Night because he really would have loved it.


But, since I needed his assistance in trying to stream it to the TV, we both set down to watch Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? one evening.    I had already prepped him that this was a movie from the 70s and it had George Segal in it.   (I think he always plays the quintessential goof ball.)


About fifteen minutes in, The Hubs said, “This is the worst movie I have ever seen.”

I responded with “Well, it’s kinda’ cute.”

The premise of the film follows:

Max is a portly, James Beard-like character, who edits a gourmet magazine called Epicurious.    The latest edition of the magazine features the greatest chefs and their signature dishes.   Mysteriously, the chefs begin to die in the fashion of their great recipes.    For example (spoiler alert),  the greatest chef of England is baked in a 450 degree oven like his pigeon en croute.    The Venetian chef’s specialty is lobster so of course he is drowned in his lobster tank.  The French chef is pressed in his own duck press.   The American pastry chef, Natasha, is about to be blown up by her own signature dessert, the Le’ Bombe Richelieu.   Her ex-husband, Robby the fast food giant, spoils the plot and soon the mystery is solved as to who is killing the great chefs of Europe and why.

Happiness abounds.

OK, it wasn’t the worse movie I had ever seen.   (That distinction,  my friends, goes to Dead Man’s Bounty.)  I obviously loved the food references and the 70s-era look to all the food styling for the magazine.   I also loved Natasha’s wardrobe, so vintage and chic.  There were a lot of subplots as well—rekindled love, unrequited love, Robby’s drive for a famous chef to brand his newest chain.    There was a lot of fluff, too.   Will I put it in my movie watching archives to revisit again?   Probably not.

After The Hubs set through the film, he did offer a good suggestion for this post—he said we should make Texas Burgers à la Robby’s fast food empire.    It was, however, too cold to grill out.   (I was going to mix some jalapeno relish into the ground beef and I still mean to do that.)

I was inspired by Moulineau, the French chef,  and his pressed duck.   Not having a duck press (what a contraption that was) or a duck for that matter, I ended up with a somewhat vintage Gourmet  magazine recipe that was fitting.


Pressed Chicken with Squash and Tomatoes
based on Pressed Chicken with Yellow Squash and Tomatoes from Gourmet, August 2008
Serves 2

2 chicken breast halves with skin and bone
salt and pepper
1 T.  extra-virgin olive oil
¼ c. white wine
1 small yellow squash,  cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1  t.  fresh chopped marjoram, divided

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.

Add chicken, skin side down. Cover with a round of parchment paper, then a heavy pot or skillet, followed by a 3- to 5-pound weight (such as two 32-ounce cans or a brick wrapped in foil). Cook 10 minutes, then remove weight, pot, and parchment.

Turn chicken over and re-cover with a clean round of parchment, pot, and weight, then cook until just cooked through, about 8 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm, covered.

Deglaze pan with wine.   Add squash, tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, and 1/8  teaspoon salt to liquid in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until squash is just tender and tomatoes have become saucy, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in any juices from plate and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken.

Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with remaining teaspoon marjoram.2013-11-20 18.41.08

Serve with a multi-grain rice.


From I love this drawing.

I made The Hubs watch A Good Year, too, from our last FnF posting and he got his iPad out about halfway through the movie.   I wonder what he will think about the December flick, Elf (hosted by The Law Student’s Cookbook).

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