Things I should do but probably won’t (also known as New Year’s resolutions, if I bothered to make them):
-Stop watching Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.
-Stop being snarky to arrogant boys at parties.
–Knock all this off. For real.
-Exercise? Or something?
-Find something to wear other than my tweed shorts for once.
-Find a Spanish-language soap opera I like, so I can watch trashy TV without completely wasting my time (I’m looking at you, MTV). Why can’t there be a Spanish version of Jersey Shore? I really need to know how to say “Come at me bro!” in as many languages as possible. Culture, brah.
More seriously, I don’t make resolutions because I don’t see anything significant in January 1st than I don’t see on any other day. It’s not my jam; this is probably flimsy and terribly noncommittal, but I’m constantly changing my mind and setting new goals, hatching new ideas. I definitely did not know I wanted to start a blog this time last year, and here we are. I say, do what feels right on any given day. Be kind to yourself, and you just might find yourself hitting the gym, quitting smoking and spending more time with friends and family because that is exactly what you WANT to do.
…Such as eating healthy. That is what I want to do lately, and dinners like these are nothing short of heavenly: easy, delicious things that make you feel strong and smart and living the good life.
Making salad dressing takes more effort than opening a bottle, true. But, it’s worth it! This particular one has shallots for a savory base, plus minced apple for freshness and mustard powder for zing. Mix it up and smell the righteousness… Go right ahead.
Here’s some (angry no more) bird to fill you up in the leanest, meanest way.
This right here is a basic skill in your delicious repertoire: making basic sauces with chicken skillet drippings. You can get creative up the wazoo. White wine! Broths! Creams, if you’re feeling decadent! But for now, we’re doing delicious, tangy-sweet apple cider. And just a little butter, because, I dunno. We’re not masochists here.
Assemble and stare for a while. Taking this picture–I won’t lie, it was hard. I was hungry.
I mean, COME ON.
Perfect chicken and delicious salad.
Yeah.. This took no time at all.
Cider-Glazed Chicken with Apple and Pear Salad
(adapted from Bon Appetit Nov. ’11 )
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Granny Smith apple
1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
5 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 cups mache (lamb’s lettuce) or mixed greens of your choice
1/2 red pear, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a small slice from the apple and mince it–you should have roughly a tablespoon. Mix it with the shallot in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, along with the mustard. Set mixture aside for about 10 minutes, then whisk in 3 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides–about 4 minutes, then transfer skillet to oven and roast until cooked through, about 12–14 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep it warm under foil. Return skillet (don’t get rid of the pan drippings and browned bits) to medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add cider and boil until liquid is reduced by half, 2–3 minutes; then, add remaining 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Remove pan from heat, add the butter and season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to the pan and coat well with the sauce.
Thinly slice remaining apple and pear and transfer to a medium bowl. Add greens and vinaigrette. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and mix well until dressing is incorporated. Divide salad and chicken among two plates; spoon any remaining sauce over chicken.
Serves two. (Note that the original recipe calls for twice as much chicken, and thus serves four; I halved only the chicken, which means lots of salad and lots of sauce.)