It’s about balance: A pasta paired with a healthy grilled chicken dish. A glass of wine with a vegetarian dinner. A day of beer, music and fried dough with friends. That’s what our “diet” is about. It’s being cognoscente of what we’re putting in our bodies, but not obsessing over the extra glass of wine or the crab ravioli with cream sauce ordered at a restaurant. It’s about living life, respecting our bodies and eating local, organic and seasonal when we can.
For Father’s Day, Austin decided to get Dad a Fitbit. I picked one up for myself at the same time. We had a post-work cocktail and neither of us had squeezed in our 10,000 steps yet. So, we took the dog on an extra long walk. We both hit our 10,000 steps and we didn’t feel in the least bit guilty as we poured a glass of wine while we turned the TV to The Bachelorette. After all, the World Cup game M was watching had just ended. Again, balance.
Anyway, that’s a long way to get to this “balanced” dinner. After the highly successful Peri Peri Chicken, I gave chicken breasts another shot. These marinated in a blend of herbs and whole grain mustard. I tried a trick inspired by my pulled pork before tossing the chicken in the marinade: I cut a series of shallow slits in the chicken. It made the thick middle of the chicken noticeably more flavorful.
The marinade was prepared in a large ziptop bag. Sorry about the poor quality photo. It’s remarkably difficult to take a picture of the contents of a bag. In here, whole grain mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Place the chicken in the bag and allow it to sit for several hours or overnight.
I tried another trick: oven grilling my chicken. I know…sounds like an oxymoron. DC has hit those swampy sticky days and turning on the stove and filling the apartment with smoke was the last thing I wanted. Knowing that this chicken wasn’t my only offering for dinner, I felt a little less inhibited when it came to culinary risks. So, I preheated the oven to 375, popped my oven proof grill pan on the stove, seared off the chicken and finished the dish in the oven.
One turn and 35 minutes later, I had perfectly marked, juicy, fully cooked chicken breasts ready to go on the plate. And, no smokey heat in the apartment. Win.
Check back tomorrow for a delicious garlic scape pesto pasta!
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Combine all ingredients, except chicken in a large ziptop bag or glass dish.
- Cut three to four 1/4" deep slits in the chicken. Add to bag. Shake to combine and place in fridge at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375. Heat an oven proof grill pan on the stove top.
- When hot, add chicken to pan. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes. Place pan in the oven.
- Cook 20 minutes. Flip chicken. Cook 10 additional minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.