I didn't realize it was already time for my annual thumb grating culinary fiasco, but here we are again. While cooking this morning, I attempted to pull off the guard on my new microplane and ended up shredding my right thumb in the process. Last year was the left with a mandolin. It appears my thumbs are taking turns sacrificing themselves in order to give each other a break.
My sous-chef did much of the preparation on this recipe due to my wound. Handling raw chicken with an open cut isn't sanitary for the chicken or the cook, so I needed a spare set of hands. I was grateful for the help and he was grateful this recipe was easy.
My take on this dish is as follows:
While the dressing seasons the chicken quite nicely, the selling point of this recipe is the vegetable combination. It is bright and light as a side to the chicken. It was also welcome on Edmonton's first snow day of the season. If you've got a piece of fish you'd like to use, I would expect good results swapping out the chicken for your fish.
Adapted From: http://www.domesticate-me.com
- 1, 3lb chicken or chicken parts (I used 4 chicken breasts & modified the instructions to suit)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T salt
- 1 t pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced and 2 sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
- 4 large basil leaves
- 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
- 2 cups crimini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- fresh arugula or spinach leaves for serving
In another bowl, combine the onion, mushrooms and tomatoes. Pour a third of the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.
Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry. Pour a third of the dressing under the skin of each of the breasts. Place a lemon slice, a few slices of garlic and a basil leaf under each of the breasts (if you are using a whole chicken, visit the website for prep instructions.
Pour the remaining third of the dressing over the breasts. Rub the dressing all over the meat to coat it well. Place the breasts in an uncovered casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the breasts, baste them with the juices lurking in the bottom of the dish and cook on their other side for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the vegetables around the chicken, tenting the dish with foil before returning it to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven again (last time!) and place the vegetables and juices in a pan, simmering until the juices thicken. Once thickened, serve the vegetables and chicken on a bed of fresh spinach or arugula.