Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken, Corn, Tomatoes & Blue Cheese

I have a couple more arugula summer salads to share. I eat arugula on a daily basis! ūüôā Loaded with toppings, this salad was hearty and delicious. I didn’t grill the corn but may next time. When fresh corn is really sweet, I prefer to eat it raw.

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and modified the proportions. I also dressed the salad with my favorite Mustard Vinaigrette.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • olive oil, for grates
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 to 4) or chicken cutlets
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ears corn, husks and silks removed
  • 12 oz to 1 pound arugula or wild arugula, about 3 bunches, thick stems removed
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled Stilton or Gorgonzola (I used Trader Joe’s Cave Aged Blue Cheese)
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice, for dressing
  • 2 T olive oil, for dressing
  1. Heat grill to high; clean and lightly oil hot grates.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill until opaque throughout. Let rest 5 minutes; cut into strips. (Grill corn at this point, if desired.)
  4. Cut off tip of each cob. Stand corn in a wide shallow bowl; using a sharp knife, slice downward to release kernels. Discard cobs.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil; season with salt and pepper. Alternatively, prepare this Mustard Vinaigrette.
  6. Add arugula, tomato wedges, crumbled cheese, sliced chicken, and corn. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Za’atar Chicken Schnitzel with Israeli Salad

I made all of these saut√©ed chicken dishes months apart, but it seems right to share them at the same time. ūüôā

My Austrian sister-in-law has traditional schnitzel with freshly made mayonnaise and cucumber salad for dinner every Christmas Eve. It is absolutely delicious. I loved this Middle Eastern variation.

This recipe was adapted from Bringing it Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons with Mindy Fox. I substituted chicken thighs for chicken cutlets and cooked the dish in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Perfect.

This schnitzel would also be wonderful served as a sandwich in a pita with hummus.

Yield: Serves 4

For the Israeli Salad:

  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tsp sumac, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Schnitzel:

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 1/2 T za’atar
  • freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken cutlets, about 1 pound
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon wedges, for serving

To start the salad:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, parsley, and mint.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the schnitzel:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place an ovenproof platter or a baking sheet int he oven to warm.
  2. In a wide, shallow bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tsp salt, and a generous pinch of pepper.
  3. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and a pinch of salt.
  4. In a third shallow bowl, combine the panko, za’atar, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Place each piece of chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin, gently pound each piece of chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Pat the meat dry and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper.
  7. Dredge in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess.
  8. Dip in the eggs, letting excess drip off, then gently press into the panko mixture to completely coat.
  9. Transfer the chicken to a large plate.
  10. Heat the 1/2 cup of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. (I used a cast iron skillet over medium heat.)
  11. Fry the chicken in 2 batches, turning once, until cooked through and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  12. Drain each batch on paper towel-lined plates, season with salt, then transfer to the platter in the oven to keep warm.

To finish the salad:

  1. Add the 2 T oil, lemon juice, za’atar, sumac, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper to the vegetable mixture.
  2. Toss to combine.

To serve:

  1. Serve the schnitzel with the salad piled on top (or vice versa!) with lemon wedges on the side.

Chicken Meunière

Did I mention that I was feeling the need to transport myself to France? My mom and brother were just there on a special trip. Those of us left behind were trying to feel better by eating some French food. ūüôā

I actually made this dish as an afterthought… I knew that I wanted to make Pear Clafoutis for dessert and wanted a suitable main dish! Like Clafoutis, (post to follow…), this is an elegant weeknight dish. They were a perfect match.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. We ate it with roasted asparagus, lemon slices, and brown Basmati rice. Lovely.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins (about 12)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (approximately) all-purpose flour, panko, or cornmeal for dredging
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4¬†tablespoons unsalted butter,¬†separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  1. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. (I used cast iron.) While it is heating, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and place the flour, panic, or cornmeal in a 8×8-inch baking pan or pie dish.
  2. Place the oil and 2 T butter in the skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot and the butter has melted, dredge the cutlets in the coating, turning them a few times and pressing them down so they are well covered. After you dredge each, add it to the pan.
  3. Cook until the chicken is nicely brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn. Cook 2 to 4 minutes until the chicken is firm to the touch (lower the heat if the coating begins to scorch).
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 T butter over medium heat until it is nut-brown; set aside.
  5. When the chicken is done, drain it briefly on a paper towel, then transfer to a warm platter.
  6. Drizzle with lemon juice, and top with half the parsley. At the last-minute, pour the browned butter over the chicken, add the remaining parsley and serve.

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Chicken Parmesan with Chicken Thighs

Growing up in the DC metro area, I didn’t eat a lot of chicken parmesan. I am surrounded by it in New York! You can eat this classic Italian-American dish pretty much anywhere and everywhere. It is served at every casual function. (not to mention eggplant parmesan!)

BUT… Wow! None of it is this good!! This is the perfect indulgent recipe for absolutely fabulous chicken parmesan. Simple and fresh-tasting sauce. Made with boneless skinless chicken thighs too- I think that is the secret to this incredible version. Comfort food at its best. ūüėČ We ate it with pasta and roasted asparagus. This recipe was adapted¬†from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. As Melissa Clark says, “hearty, gooey, and satisfying.”

For the Simple Tomato Sauce:

Yield: about 5 cups

  • ¬ľ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¬ľ teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  • 2 sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon coarse¬†salt, or to taste
  • ¬ľ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden. Add chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. Mash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down. Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.

For the Casserole:

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 10)
  • ¬Ĺ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 to 3 cups panko bread crumbs, as needed
  • coarse¬†salt, as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 5 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¬Ĺ pound fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • noodles¬†for serving, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken thighs between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap. Using a kitchen mallet or rolling pin, pound meat to even 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  2. Place flour, eggs and panko into three wide, shallow bowls.
  3. Season meat generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Dip a piece in flour, then eggs, then coat with panko. Repeat until all the meat is coated.
  5. Fill a large skillet with 1/4-inch oil. Place over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry cutlets in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  7. Sprinkle one-third of the Parmesan over sauce.
  8. Place half of the cutlets over the Parmesan and top with half the mozzarella pieces.
  9. Top with half the remaining sauce, sprinkle with another third of the Parmesan, and repeat layering, ending with a final layer of sauce and Parmesan.
  10. Transfer pan to oven and bake until cheese is golden and casserole is bubbling, about 25 minutes (on convection) but up to 40 minutes (in a standard oven). Let cool a few minutes before serving.

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Fried Chicken Biscuits

IMG_7668

This dish is the ultimate in comfort food. Definitely a special occasion meal- my excuse was Valentine’s Day dinner. ūüôā It’s a 3-inch buttermilk biscuit slathered in honey butter, filled with fried chicken, and then sprinkled with hot sauce. I modified the recipe to “lighten” it‚Ķ ever so slightly… (Wasn’t it healthier because we ate it with green salad?!?) I substituted chicken thighs for chicken cutlets (our preference), used 1/2 the suggested amount of honey butter, and saut√©ed the chicken in minimal oil versus frying in 1/2-inch deep oil. The recipe was adapted from Pies-N-Thighs¬†in Brooklyn, NYC, via Bon Appetit. My brother is a huge fan of this restaurant! A perfect meal with Whoopie Pies for dessert.

Yield: 4 to 5 Servings (4-5 biscuits)

For the Fried Chicken:
  • 1¬†cup¬†buttermilk
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon¬†kosher salt
  • ¬ľ¬†teaspoon¬†freshly ground black pepper
  • ¬ľ¬†teaspoon¬†cayenne pepper
  • 4¬†skinless, boneless chicken cutlets OR 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into cutlets (about 1¬Ĺ lb. total), pounded to ¬ľ‚ÄĚ thickness
  • Vegetable oil (for saut√©ing or frying; about 1/2 cup to 2¬Ĺ cups)
  • 2¬†cups¬†panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Honey Butter:

  • 1/4 cup¬†(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†kosher salt

IMG_7660

For the Biscuits:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons¬†baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons¬†kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon¬†baking soda
  • 2 3/4 cups¬†all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 3/4 cups¬†(1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cups¬†chilled buttermilk
  • 1¬†large egg, beaten to blend

For Serving:

  • 4 or 5 Pies-N-Thighs Biscuits
  • Hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  1. Prepare the Chicken: Combine buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag, turn to coat, and chill at least 3 hours.  DO AHEAD: Chicken can be marinated 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
  2. Prepare Honey Butter: Mix butter, honey, and salt in a small bowl until smooth; set honey butter aside.
  3. Make the Biscuits:
    • Preheat oven to 375¬į. Pulse baking powder, salt, sugar, baking soda, and flour in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the texture of coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
    • Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Mix in buttermilk with a fork, then gently knead just until a shaggy dough comes together.
    • Pat out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1¬ľ‚ÄĚ thick. Cut out biscuits with a 3‚ÄĚ biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps once.
    • Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush tops with egg. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes (on convection) or up to 30‚Äď35 minutes.
  4. Pour oil into a large skillet, preferably cast iron, to generously coat the bottom of the pan to saut√© or to a depth of ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ to fry, and heat over medium-high heat until oil bubbles immediately when a little panko is added.
  5. Meanwhile, place panko in a shallow bowl. Remove chicken from marinade; season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in panko, shaking off excess. Working in 2 batches and maintaining oil temperature, fry chicken until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. (I cover the pan with a splatter screen to decrease the mess.) Transfer chicken to a paper towel‚Äďlined baking sheet to drain.
  6. To Serve: Split biscuits and spread one side with 1 Tbsp. reserved honey butter. Build sandwiches with biscuits, chicken, and hot sauce.

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