Monday, June 8, 2009

Chicken Lickin' (Or Make These NOW!)

I am going to post two chicken recipes here - I know, SO boring! I don't make a lot of chicken for that exact reason and because it is not my favorite protein. But in the last two weeks I have made these recipes and they are delicious. So delicious, that I wish I had made more than enough for the four of us. Of course, I don't EVER have all of the ingredients on hand for any recipe, so there is a fair amount of substitution which I will detail (sort of). And in case I haven't said it before, I LOVE SMITTEN KITCHEN!

The first dinner, I had a hankerin' for a roast chicken (right, like that ever happens) so I decided I needed to make it. Went to Smitten Kitchen and found this beauty, Zuni Cafe's Roast Chicken and Bread Salad. Before you start this, read the whole recipe through (one of my many cooking downfalls!) So the day I was going to make it, I didn't because I had not salted it ahead of time...and I know from my turkey cooking at Thanksgiving that salting ahead of time makes everything that much better. So, we tried again the next day! Deb is so nice to have shortened the recipe up a bit and I made some of my own shortcuts, but if I can say one thing about this dish...DO NOT MAKE IT WITHOUT THE SALAD! It was the best part. Of course I did not have the following salad ingredients: dried currants, scallions, arugula, frisee or red mustard greens. Instead I used golden raisins, red onion and spinach. I did not plump my raisins. I did a quick saute on the onions and the garlic and I toasted the pine nuts with the bread. I also added a squeeze of lemon into the dressing because I thought it would be nice! The most important and delicious step of this recipe is the very last one "Drizzle and toss with a spoonful (or more) of the pan juices" from the roasting chicken. Oh. My. Gosh. This was the best part, it made the salad so savory and yummy that we could not stop eating it. The kids ate a little but didn't want more and I didn't care because that meant more me!

The second chicken recipe is a far less complicated one, Chicken Milanese and Escarole Salad. Super good and quick week night dinner. Would be better if I had a hood in my kitchen, but I don't let it stop me. My tips: 1. Make the pickled onions. They are delicious and add a nice zip to the salad. Even Stella ate them and loved them! 2. Use whatever kind of greens you have - I used mixed greens because that is what I had. 3. I did not make the hazelnut pecorino portion of the recipe, I used a simple lemon-honey vinaigrette which is my favorite wine-friendly dressing (lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper).

So, make these if you can and seriously make the bread salad - so good!

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