Sorry for the two week silence and no blog posts. I’ve really tried not to talk too much about work here but my work situation has been so stressful the last several months, specifically the last few weeks, that I come home at night and don’t do much but lay around in the dark, watch television and eat take out or fried egg sandwiches. My weekends, which is usually when I do my cooking, have been a lot more of the same. I’m probably depressed but I’ll be changing jobs at the end of the month so I’m hoping things start to get better. Usually cooking calms me down and helps me to decompress but I haven’t even been up for doing that much. The only good thing that comes out of eating badly for two weeks and laying around is that finally I want something better to eat, something somewhat healthy and something that maybe includes a fruit or vegetable. So I finally got off my butt and made some food, specifically these Lemon-Braised Chicken Tenders and Cauliflower.
Frozen chicken tenders (yes, frozen) are mixed with onion and cauliflower before sitting in a lemon juice-chicken broth bath until mostly cooked. After finishing cooking in the oven, spinach and scallions are added as well as slightly sweet dates and nuts (I used pecans instead of pistachios). This is a truly unique mixture of flavors which all works together wonderfully. I’m shocked that I like cauliflower as much as I do considering I wouldn’t go near it as a kid. Or spinach. Or scallions. Or onions. Or dates. Hmm, who is that in the mirror looking back at me?
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add frozen chicken tenders. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to plate.
To the same Dutch oven add onion and cauliflower. Cook 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 30 seconds more. Add lemon juice. Stir, scraping up brown bit in bottom of pan. Add chicken broth and lemon peel. Bring to boiling; cover and transfer to oven.
Bake 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F). Add spinach and green onion; cover and let stand 2 minutes to slightly wilt spinach.
In a small bowl combine olives, dates, and pistachios. Spoon chicken mixture over cooked rice, if desired. Top with date mixture and additional lemon peel, if desired.
Overall Rating: Like It
Source: Better Homes and Gardens magazine