Oh what a week. I was away for work for the early part of the week leaving my husband to deal with the CSA box. While it was easy for him to pick it up and put it all away, starting to make his way through the veggies on his own wasn’t so easy. I came home to find that he had eaten the strawberries (can’t blame him — they were insanely good) and the tomatoes, but there was still a TON of lettuce, a bunch of spinach, and the green onions. Did I mention that I got home on Wednesday and therefore only had three days to cook and eat all of it before our next box comes? Right. Who has time to work when there are veggies to be cooked?!
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I made a quick trip to the grocery store on Wednesday just to get a few things. I spotted a great sale on bone-in chicken breasts. While I try to eat only local chickens, I can’t afford to exclusively do so. I went with the deal and became the proud owner of 10 chicken breasts.
I also want to mention my herbs. After five days out of town, I came back to see my herbs growing like crazy! I had to think about how long I had been gone — judging by the growth of my herbs, I would say about 4 weeks. Dinner on Wednesday needed to include: chicken breasts, spinach, and herbs.
Let’s start with the easy dish: the spinach. Good spinach will be dirty. It grows close to the ground; it should be dirty. I like to rinse it, trim the ends and chop it, and then rinse it again just to be sure all of the dirt is off. It might take more than that to get it clean. My favorite way to cook spinach is to heat a little olive oil in a pan, toss in the chopped spinach, and drizzle with balsamic. Then you just toss it around until it all wilts. It is great like this — plus, you can still taste that it is spinach. I hate when it is so overcooked and drown in other flavors that it doesn’t taste like spinach anymore.
Herbed Roasted Chicken Breasts
This isn’t really a recipe so much as an explanation this very simple technique.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
I cut an assortment of herbs from my container garden: chives, basil, parsley, rosemary, marjoram, and a few arugula leaves and blossoms. I don’t know how much of each — some. Enough. I minced them all up really well and added two large cloves of minced garlic and the zest from one lemon. I put the herbs, garlic, and zest into a bowl and added some olive oil to make it like a paste.
Take the herb paste and rub it underneath the skin on each chicken breast. Make sure to pull the skin back over to cover all that yumminess you just put on the chicken. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken. I did this right before I cooked it — if you have the time and the foresight, it would be better if it marinated for a while.
Just like with a whole roasted chicken, place the breasts in a pan (I used my glass casserole dishes) upside down and give a little drizzle of olive oil. Roast them in the 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then flip the breasts so they are skin side up. Continue roasting for another 25-35 minutes or until the temperature in the center is 155-160 degrees.
I removed the chicken from the bone; just follow along the bone with your boning or paring knife. Then slice. If you want to remove the skin, go for it. Just make sure you get all that herby goodness that was under it.
This was delicious! The herb flavor really got into the chicken. And it was so juicy! Yes, this meal took about an hour from start to finish but it made for leftovers.
I sliced it all up and made chicken salad. About three spoonfuls of yogurt, two spoonfuls of mayo, and a pinch of salt worked great. The chicken had so much flavor as it was. I added those green onions from my CSA and served it on top of the lettuce. That made dinner on Thursday night super easy and I now have lunch for Friday. AND all of my CSA veggies are being eaten!