Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicken and Tater Tuesday

Blackened Chicken
Farmers' Market Tater Salad

Can you believe we don't have a grill? I can't. I want one so badly, but we live in an apartment right now, and getting a grill is not very high on our list of "wants." In light of the fact that we don't have a grill, my very wonderful mother lent me her grill pan, so I could try out a few new recipes. I made this Blackened Chicken, from Cooking Light Magazine, last Tuesday. The recipe is actually for "Blackened Chicken and Grilled Avocado Tacos," but I skipped that second half of the recipe. The rub on this chicken is delicious, in my opinion, and it can be a last minute decision, since it doesn't require any marinating time (something that routinely trips me up when I'm cooking). I think the chicken would be great over a salad, too, so I would definitely make this again, just to have the leftovers for salad lunches.

The Farmers' Market Potato Salad is in this month's Cooking Light. It is a warm, roasted potato salad, which is the only reason I made it. We are slightly obsessed with roasted potatoes in this house. Anyway, it called for roasting fresh corn, but I roasted frozen corn instead (laziness kicked in), and it was great. I also sauteed the onions and zucchini for a lot longer than was called for, since we aren't fans of raw onions or zucchini. The verdict? Delicious. It's a dijon vinagrette, which I absolutely loved. This recipe was probably one of the best I've made.

Mom's grill pan did me proud.

Oooo la la. I love the grill marks.

This is a "make again" meal for sure.

Blackened Chicken
Overall, the flavor was great. However, there were issues with the new grill pan and our dinky stove top and only part of the chicken was cooked throughout. After I strongly considered another round of Salmonella (my first encounter was when I was 13 months old), I decided to try to reheat it on the new grill pan. In the process, I dropped it on the floor and taught our 2-year-old daughter a new expletive (well, actually it wasn't "new" to her, I'm embarrassed to say). The multiple amounts of reheating dried out the chicken and slightly detracted from the good seasoning. I really want to try this again on a real grill with the chicken pounded a bit thinner and me keeping the food off the floor.

Rating: 3 bowls of soup (would have been 4 but the experience sort of detracted from it)

Farmers' Market Tater Salad
When I first tried this, I thought that I didn't like it. It had a surprising mustard taste to it that I was not expecting. It's kind of like when you fill up a cup of water that had orange juice in it earlier that day, and you didn't know it, and your water sort of tastes like orange. It's not that it's bad, because you obviously liked the orange juice you had earlier, but it's not what you were expecting either. Once I got over that initial jolt, I realized that it was very unique in a good way. It was tangy and flavorful with a nice texture. I typically hate potato salad because it has one of the main ingredients that I don't eat: mayonnaise. But I will gladly eat this potato salad again. In fact, it was the best potato salad I've ever had. It tasted very good reheated the next day as well.

Rating: 3 bowls of soup

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