Do New Year's Resolutions Have You Eating Lots of Boring Chicken and Salads...A Grilled Chicken
A big thank you to the Pollan Family and Apatoff-Besen Family for supplying me with delicious recipes for foods that are typically thought of as bland and boring. In both cases I've seen people go back for seconds (and thirds). Even a picky eater like my 10 year old niece loved the chicken (such a compliment). My 3 year old ate a few pieces, which for a new recipe that doesn't contain cheese makes me think your child might try it too.
First let's talk about how much time it takes to get this meal on the table. For most, it will require prepping a portion of it in advance if you want to make it on a weeknight. And here's why: The salad has pomegranate seeds and a homemade dressing. The chicken must marinade for at least 20 minutes and unless you buy thin chicken breasts (usually called chicken cutlets), they will need to be cut through or "split" in half like in this tutorial. Since I usually strive for "good enough" for weeknight meals, I only split them and didn't pound as the directions instruct. Do what you have time for. The MAIN tip to remember is when you're cooking chicken in a pan you want it thin or it will take FOREVER to almost NEVER to cook. And it's frustrating.
Let's move on to the POMEGRANATE...If you don't want to buy pomegranate seeds, the fastest (and cleanest) way to de-seed a pomegranate is to cut an "X" at the top of the stem with a sharp knife. Fill a large bowl with water. Place the pomegranate in the water-filled bowl and pull it apart. Then remove the seeds while in the water, which keeps the juices from getting everywhere. I still recommend wearing an apron or a shirt that can survive the rouge pom seed spray.
When you get home from the grocery store make the chicken into cutlets and toss them in a gallon bag. Try not to think about it, just do it. You'll be glad you did later! The marinade takes 5 minutes to make. De-seeding a pomegranate takes no more than 8 minutes even if you're a novice.
I highly recommend adding The Pollan Family Table: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals cookbook to your collection. The recipes are healthy without giving off a "diet-like" perception. Their desserts are fantastic and it's helpful they have a chapter devoted to vegetables and sides. The recipes are solid across the board and they also give instructive tips that can be applied to cooking in general.
I usually tout the healthfulness of foods, but the post is getting long and I know most of my readers don't have a ton of time. But in brief, you are getting a dose of healthy monounsaturated fat from the avocado and extra virgin olive oil and antioxidants from the fruit. I used less olive oil than the original dressing because the salad contains feta and avocado (2 fats to provide the flavor).
To Good Health and Meals,
Grilled Herbed Chicken
4 chicken cutlets (4 ounces each,1 pound total), pounded to ½ inch thick
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
8 sprigs Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (optional, but adds a clean and fresh flavor)
STEP ONE: Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper.
STEP TWO: In a wide, shallow dish or gallon sized plastic bag, mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with the garlic, wine, and thyme. Lay the cutlets in the marinade and turn to coat. Top each cutlet with 2 parsley sprigs, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours.
STEP THREE: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, make sure to coat the ridges of the pan in oil with a pastry brush or paper towel. When the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the chicken cutlets and cook undisturbed until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve as is, or cut into slices and use to top your favorite salad.
Apple Pom Salad
3 (5 ounce) packages salad (arugula, spring mix and baby spinach)
1 large apple, chopped in bite sized pieces
1 cup pomegranate seeds
5 ounces feta cheese
1 avocado, chopped
Rich's Salad Dressing
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (ideally aged)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 shallot, finely minced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (original used 1/2 cup)
STEP ONE: Whisk together first 4 ingredients, then keep whisking while slowly adding oil. Put in fridge for a bit for flavors to settle.
STEP TWO: In a very large bowl toss salad mixes, apple and pomegranate seeds. Pour dressing over top. Top with cheese and avocado. Toss again.