A Fancy Monday Night Dinner
It feels like it’s been quite a while since I’ve shared any sort of recipe on here, but I’ve finally got a couple of good ones to tell you about! Part of our Christmas gift from my grandma was a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated magazine. It was such a thoughtful gift that will absolutely be put to great use over the next year. These two recipes I am about to share were both pulled from that magazine, and I actually stuck to the recipes almost perfectly! Typically I change at least a few things from every recipe I work with, but I wanted to actually follow the directions this time and see how they turned out. And I am so glad that I did, because we had an absolutely delicious dinner last night.
I must be honest – this dinner took me well over two hours to make. They were not the easiest recipes, but it was really fun to have a fancy dinner for no real reason on a random Monday night.
Late in the afternoon, I prepped everything I could. I chopped up onion, garlic, potatoes, and broccoli, salt and peppered the chicken that Chris had cleaned and sliced the night prior, and pulled out all my ingredients. Once I was finished with that, I got to work on the oven roasted french fries.
Typically I always make “fries” the same way – chop up a potato, toss with olive oil and a ton of spices, and bake in the oven until super crispy. This recipe was very different. All it involved was thick cut potatoes, cornstarch, water, oil, and salt at the end. You tossed the cut potatoes in a mixture made from water and cornstarch, laid them out evenly on a baking sheet lined with oil, and flip/bake/flip/bake a bunch of times until they reach the desired consistency. At the end you toss with salt, and that’s it! It sounds simple, and it is for the most part, but you really have to watch them while they are cooking to make sure they don’t over cook.
While the fries were cooking, I started on the chicken. The chicken was cooked both by sautéing it and baking it in the oven and then simmering it a bit in the sauce at the very end. As you can imagine, I used just about every dish in my house. By the time I had everything out on the counters and had started cooking, my kitchen looked like a disaster-zone. This picture doesn’t even do it justice. Chris got home from work and tried to hide his alarm at all the clean up we would need to do later. 😉
It was way more intricate than this, but essentially the chicken breast pieces get dipped in the flour, then you sauté them, and place them in the oven to bake for a while. While they are baking, you make a sauce mixture of sautéd onion, garlic, chicken broth, lemon juice, and lemon pieces. At the very end once you add the chicken back in, you mix in butter, capers, and parsley.
While this was all going on, I also made some protein balls! I used to make these all the time, but forgot about them for a while there. Super simple – oats, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, and dark chocolate chunks at the very end. I never even measure out the ingredients. I just pour it all into a bowl and play with the proportions until I achieve the desired consistency. Once everything is all mixed together, you just roll it into little balls and freeze them. They are such a great snack to boost energy throughout the day that is tasty, yet healthy.
We both thought our dinner turned out at a restaurant quality! It was SO delicious and paired perfectly with the fries and garlic roasted broccoli I served on the side. We have been pretty basic in what we eat lately, so I loved mixing it up. It doesn’t look the prettiest, but it was one of the tastiest meals I have had in a long time.
Chris and I have also gotten very used to eating our dinner sitting on the floor in the living room at our coffee table while we watch TV, but we actually acted like grown-ups last night and used our kitchen table! Look at us go. 😉 It was really nice to catch up on our days and have that time together that we don’t always get over a delicious, *somewhat* healthy meal together. But later in the evening as we were laying on our separate couches watching The Following, we did have some chocolate peanut butter ice cream that we had picked up over the weekend……
I’ve actually got quite a busy day ahead of me, with work, a dentist appointment, and a workout/dinner date with one of my girlfriends. So I am off to start getting things done, but I hope you have a fantastic Tuesday coming up!
What is the best recipe that you have made lately?