Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tonight's Dinner Was a Winner

I've been cooking more than usual lately. The recipes I've picked out have been a little out of my comfort zone (usually "drop pasta in boiling water") and have generally been healthier. My expectations for tonight's dinner were pretty low -- it was a recipe I pulled out of Good Housekeeping Magazine. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be pretty great. "I want to eat this once a week," Lee said. Okay, that's a great sign! The ingredients may sound boring or unappealing but the flavor was truly fabulous; the dish also comes together easily. Just so you know, I don't like olives and only eat raw cauliflower dipped in ranch dressing (ha!) but I really, really liked this dish. I think I've said that enough so onto the recipe:

Chicken with Carmelized Cauliflower & Green Olives

1 head cauliflower (2.5-3 lbs.), trimmed and cut into 1.5-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1.5 lbs. chicken breast tenders, cut into 1.5-inch chunks
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/3 c. pitted green olives, rinsed well
1/4 c. packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus additional for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In 18" by 12" jellyroll pan, combine cauliflower, 2 teaspoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper until well mixed. Spread cauliflower in single layer on pan. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until cauliflower is golden brown.
2. While cauliflower roasts, in large bowl, combine chicken, lemon peel, 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Push cauliflower to one side of pan and arrange chicken in single layer on other side. Roast 10 minutes longer or until chicken just loses its pink color throughout.
3. Meanwhile, in food processor with knife blade attached, pulse almonds until finely ground. Add olives and parsley and pulse until almost smooth. With machine running, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil until it's fully incorporated, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add mixture to pan with hot chicken and cauliflower and stir until well combined. Transfer to serving plates and garnish with additional parsley. 

Lame photo (I was hungry and in a hurry to eat):
(No, I did not serve this to Nate -- I wanted to test it out first. He'll be getting it for dinner soon. The taste was mild enough that I think kids would like it. And see that paper in the upper left corner of the photo? That would be my jury duty summons. Doh!!!)

Serves 4. Each serving: 360 calories, 45 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 15 g total fat, 6 g fiber, 99 mg cholesterol, 660 mg sodium


Jen said...

It looks tasty! Does the cauliflower lose it's bitter taste when you roast it? And is the cauliflower a soft but still kind of crunchy after it's been rosted? Or is it soggy like overcooked broccoli?

Nikki said...

The cauliflower was almost sweet. There was crunch because I roasted it the full 25 minutes...not soggy at all.