Every once in a while the cover of Bon Appétit cries out “buy me, buy me”. And since I’m inundated with recipes from all sorts of magazines with unfortunately no fool-proof organization system, I try to avoid buying yet more magazines. Also unfortunate is the fact that sometimes it takes me up to a year (in this case two!) to try the recipe I actually bought the magazine for. Sound familiar? This was the case when I snagged a copy of Bon Appétit in June of ’09 with the enticing headline “15 Dishes in 15 Minutes”. Who could resist? Well, finally, I’m happy to report that I made the Herbed Balsamic Chicken with Blue Cheese, whose delectable picture was used as the cover art for the article, and it was delicious. The original recipe suggests an arugula salad as a side, but to me this recipe really just needs to be one big salad. I adapted it by swapping out the arugula for baby spinach and adding a balsamic-olive oil dressing along with walnuts and dried cranberries, which are not necessary but added a subtle sweetness nonetheless.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (found in the spice section of supermarkets)
1 2 oz. wedge bleu cheese
a small handful dried cranberries and chopped walnuts
1 bag baby spinach leaves
First, place chicken in a large Ziploc bag. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some ground black pepper in a small bowl, then add to the bag. Chill for at least two hours.
Remove the chicken from the bag and season with the Herbes de Provence, another 1/2 teaspoon salt and more ground pepper. Grill over medium high heat on a grill brushed with oil (the vinegar tends to burn otherwise) until done (about 6 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Meanwhile, prepare the salad by tearing off the woodsy stems of the spinach and drizzling with a little balsamic dressing. I used a leftover tomato marinade but you could reserve some of the marinade (before adding the chicken!), add a tablespoon olive oil and a small dab of Dijon mustard and whisk. Add the cranberries and walnuts. When the chicken is done, top with a slice of the blue cheese, which will melt ever-so-slightly, and place on the salad.
The next day, I sliced the chicken and made more a chopped salad out of the whole thing and it was even better this way. If you love blue cheese like I do, enjoy!
Recently I heard Gwyneth Paltrow calling to me from the cover of said magazine. Hopefully I will manage to report on her recipes in a more timely manner.