Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First post-op meal a success!

She would be loathe to admit it, but my roommate has been giving me attitude about the lack of home-cooked food around here during my post-operative convalescence. So I ventured bravely into the kitchen today to try and prepare a proper dinner. I had a package of half-frozen chicken thighs in the outside fridge to contend with, but what to do with them that didn't require a lot of cut and chop? Once again, I turned to Pinterest for something easy and tasty. I found a recipe claiming to yield THE BEST CHICKEN IN THE WORLD! I don't know about that, but it was really scrumptious, and super-simple.

Maple Dijon Chicken
(Source: Witty in the City, via Pinterest)

You can use 4-6 boneless skinless breasts, but I used eight bone-in thighs that I sprinkled liberally with black pepper and granulated garlic (as is my way). Mix together 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup real maple syrup, and two tablespoons rice wine vinegar. Poor that over the chicken, turning the pieces to coat, and bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes, flipping the chicken in the sauce once halfway through cooking. When it's done (=165 degrees), sprinkle with a little chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried--it's winter!). Serve the chicken with some of the pan sauce spooned over each piece.

When I make this chicken again--and you can bet I will--I'll make pasta or rice on the side to soak up even more of the yummy sauce! But I had a hankering for potato salad, despite the difficulty that I would have in using a peeler with my recovering hand. I also had a desire for a really lemony, garlicky hummus (because I saw Kathy Najimy make some on Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off). So in flash of  what turned out to be culinary brilliance, I asked myself why the two couldn't be deliciously combined? As it turns out, they can!

Hummus Potato Salad

3 lbs. peeled waxy potatoes, cut into chunks, boiled in salted water until just tender, then cooled
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (or 2, for the faint of heart)
4 scallions, ends removed and cho
1/2 bunch fresh parsley,  stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1/2 cup prepared vinaigrette (I used a champagne variety--something light in flavor)
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne, optional
salt, to taste

Combine the cooked and cooled potatoes with the chickpeas, garlic, scallions and parsley in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the prepared vinaigrette, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, black pepper, and cayenne (if using). Pour the dressing over the rest of the ingredients in the big bowl, stir gently to combine, and add salt to taste. Serve immediately at room temperature or chilled.

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