To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Garlic-Sunflower Chicken, with a side of Garlic Roasted Veggies

Let it be said: poultry is awesome.

I was afraid of chicken for a long time, mostly because of my terrible fear of e-coli and death. The key to healthy poultry (which is, by the way, one of the best meats - ever - if cooked properly) is taking the time and care to be safe and clean. These rules apply to messing with any raw meat:

1) Clean your counters and your hands before unpacking the meat.

2) Make sure that your cutting board is clean.

3) If you can, use one specific cutting board for meat, or for each type of meat. There are some nice, inexpensive sets you can get from Williams-Sonoma and Bed, Bath, and Beyond that have little pictures on each cutting board, denoting whether it's for fish, chicken, beef, or vegetables.

Now. All that out of the way, here's another yummy chicken dish for your savoring pleasure.

Garlic-Sunflower Chicken
(3 servings)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic-sunflower mix (Remember this? I made it for the bass dish. I still had a bunch leftover, in a sealed container in my fridge, so I used about a quarter of it here)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
5-8 button mushrooms, sliced in threes
1 handful spinach, shredded with knife

[Garlic-Sunflower Mix: Now take 1 cup of sunflower seeds, 3 tsp salt, and 3 tsp garlic powder and blend together in a food processor until all powdery and delicious smelling.]

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Rub sunflower-garlic mix all over the chicken. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken and sear. Then turn it over and sear the other side.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies and mix them in a small bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil. Now, if you're using a baking dish, spread these olive oil mixed veggies over the bottom of your baking dish. I used my brand new La Creuset - happy sigh - but you can also use a baking sheet with lips if you're really stretched for tools.

When both sides of your chicken breasts are nice and scorched, remove the chicken to the rectangular baking dish and rest them on top of the veggies; next place the baking dish into the preheated oven (on a low rack) to cook through; this should take about 15 minutes.

When finished, plate your chicken and strew a little of the spinach/tomato/mushroom mix over top prettily. You can serve this with a side of veggies or brown rice.

Speaking of veggie sides... This is what I did and it was quite tasty. :)

Garlic Roasted Zucchini and Cauliflower
(3 main dish servings, 6 side dish servings)

1 zucchini, sliced into 1 inch slices, then halved
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves roughly chopped garlic
1.5 tbsp jarred, pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
~15 cherry tomatoes

Preset oven to 400 F.

Slice cauliflower into one inch slices and mix in a bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and pour the cauliflower out onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, on the top rack.

Meanwhile, chop the zucchini into 1 inch pieces, then halved. Set aside.

Chop garlic, olives, and tomatoes.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet you just used to sear the chicken, add the garlic and olives and olive juice. Saute for about 2 minutes.

Next, add the slices of zucchini. Stir.

Remove, the now roasted cauliflower from the oven and add it to the skillet. Stir until the cauliflower has a chance to soak up all the other flavors in the skillet - about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and presto: veggies as a side.

You can also serve over pasta or brown rice as a main dish in it's own right.


  1. Yes, indeed. I recommend a dessert of breathmints. :)

  2. Note: This was how I used my leftovers for this dish - quick and easy.

    Throw about 1/4 cup egg whites in a heated skillet and scramble. Cut up the remaining chicken and add that, plus the veggies and tomatoes, to the skillet. Mix it all together until the chicken's nice and heated up with the eggs. Throw it on a plate - ta da! Chicken leftover brunch! Low-fat, high-protein, awesome.