Tuesday Night -- Mix up your Marinade
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- Juice of 3 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup of lemon juice) and the lemon rinds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Place ingredients in a zip loc bag large enough to hold 6 chicken breasts and refrigerate.
Rinse, pat dry and wrap your chicken breasts in plastic separate from the marinade and refrigerate.
Sixth -- Prepare your Chicken Breasts
Remove chicken breasts from refrigerator and discard the marinade. Take the chicken cutlets from the marinade and place on your grill or in your grill pan. Discard the marinade. You should turn the grill pan on high to get it heated up and then reduce the heat to medium high. You know the pan is ready when you sprinkle a couple of drops of water on the pan and they jump and sizzle across the pan. Place the chicken breasts in the pan smooth side down. Thinly cut chicken breasts will take two minutes and regular chicken breasts will take 4-5 minutes on the first side. Flip them over. (If you are doing this on a grill, move them away from direct heat as well at this point. Note that may need less time on a grill so watch the chicken carefully so you don't dry it out.) Thin cut breasts will take another 2-3 minutes and regular chicken breasts can take as long as 7-10 minutes to cook thoroughly depending upon their thickness (and your method of cooking).
When the chicken is done, take the pan off the heat and cover it with a lid or a baking sheet (that's what I do when I don't have a lid that fits properly). If you are using a grill put them on a platter and tent it with foil.
Fourth -- Get all of your Greens Ready
- 2 large bunches of fresh basil
Tear leaves from stems and rinse one at a time. Thoroughly spin dry and set aside.
- 1 small head of raddichio
Slice the raddichio crosswise into thin strips. Rinse in a salad spinner then thoroughly spin dry.
Rinse in a salad spinner then thoroughly spin dry.
- 1 heads of Belgium endive
Remove outer leaves , rinse the bulb under cold water and pat dry. Cut crosswise into 1/2 in pieces.
We are recommending that you prepare the marinade the night before because some people (like me) are not at their best first thing in the morning.
When I make a similar dish, I do it a little differently. I eliminate the thyme and add 2-3 slices of red onion. I also add 1/4 cup of gin and if I have them around 8-10 crushed juniper berries.
Remove the marinade and breasts from the refrigerator and add 1/2 tsp salt and a couple of twists of fresh ground black pepper. Place the breasts in the zip loc bag with the marinade. Seal, turn over once (mush it around) to coat the breasts and return to the refrigerator. Head off to work (or your errands for the day) and forget about your chicken until you return home.
Second -- Make your Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine all incredients in a tightly covered container, shake vigorously and set aside. Do not refrigerate.
Time to make Dinner
First -- Get Your Pasta Water Ready
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. As soon as it boils reduce to a simmer until you are ready to drop in the pasta.
Third -- Ambrosia
Clean one pint of strawberries, cut off the tops and cut them in half. Peel, section and cut in half two oranges. Toss the strawberries and oranges with 1 container of lemon yogurt and refrigerate.
Fifth -- make your Basil Pesto
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- cleaned and dried basil leaves
Pulse in a food processor 2 - 3 times until everything is chopped.
Slowly pour olive oil into the food processor while it is running. The pesto is going to be a little bit runny at this point which is ok.
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Take the lid off of the food processor and add all of the cheese. Process just until blended. The pesto should have thickened up from the cheese. I taste the pesto at this point to see how much, if any, salt is needed and I season it according to taste. Remember add a very small amount at a time because once you put it in you can't take it out.
Return your pasta water to a boil and cook the penne according to the directions on the box. When done, drain and toss with basil pesto.
I noticed that Mimi's approach is a little more complicated than mine. I put everything but the olive oil in the food processor at the same time. Then with the machine running I add the olive oil until I get the consistency I am looking for. Then I test it for saltiness. I almost never add salt, if I don't like it I add more cheese. Parmigiano reggiano cheese when it is first cut from the wheel has a creamier consistency. As the cheese ages it becomes harder and saltier. That's why you need to taste your pesto.
Although this is my recipe and we did include it, now I am thinking that making the pesto is too much work for this menu. If you want you can just eliminate it, increase the amount of salad you serve and include garlic bread instead. That's what I did and it was really good.
I'd serve the pasta (or garlic bread) family style and plate the chicken and salad in the kitchen.
Slice up a banana into the fruit. Add about 1/4 cup coconut. Gently stir and spoon into serving glasses or bowls, decorate with a little more coconut.
Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and Sue
What to Eat Wednesdays
I am always tempted to peek at the side that is cooking to see how it's doing. Don't do this! Be patient. Once you place the chicken breasts on the grill leave them alone and allow a crust or grill marks to form on the smooth side of the breasts. If you disturb them while the crust is forming they will stick and you will just have a mess on your hands.
Ambrosia was the first dish I ever made in my 7th grade home economics class. We made it with "Dream Whip" a powdered dessert topping that I thought was just heavenly.