I don’t know what it is, but so far this summer, I really feel like I have not been taking advantage of the amazing produce available this time of year. Seriously, that baked ratatouille I made recently has kind of been the highlight. I’m lucky enough to work somewhere that has a farmers market right outside my office door each week, so I really, REALLY have no excuse not to be enjoying as many fruits and veggies as possible!
Last Friday night, Joe and I decided to stay in and make something summery at home to remedy the situation. I opted to roast some bone-in chicken breasts, smothered in garlic, lemon zest and LOTS of basil. While they were in the oven, I tossed together a simple salad of fresh corn, tomatoes, chopped kale, avocado and even more basil, dressed with a zippy lemon and dijon vinaigrette. Despite the fact that it was 55 and misting outside, it was totally summer on a plate.
Green Chicken (aka Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Basil and Garlic)
Serves 2, easily
This chicken is so named because before you stick it in the oven, the herbs should cover it so fully that it looks, well, green. Once this starts cooking, your kitchen will smell amazing. Fair warning.
- 2 cups loosely packed basil (about two loose handfuls), cleaned and finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 bone-in split chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels.
Preheat your oven to 425°.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the meat and stir to combine. The mixture should be pretty thick with herbs. If it’s not, chop some more basil and throw it in.
In a baking dish, place the chicken skin side up. Gently loosen the chicken skin from the breast, then using a small spoon, stuff/spread some of the herb mixture underneath the skin. Using your fingers, move the herbs around under the skin until it’s coating most of the meat. Repeat with the other chicken breast, then pour and spread the rest of the herb mixture all over the top of the chicken. Go wash your hands. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes (this could take a bit longer if the chicken breasts are large). Half way through the cooking process, use a large spoon to baste the chicken with some of the juices accumulating in the pan. Roast the meat until a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast reads 160°. Remove from the oven, baste with the juices again, and let rest for five to ten minutes. Serve.
Summer Corn Salad
Serves 2-3 easily (probably more if you’re doing a light serving of this salad!)
For the dressing:
- 1 small shallot, skin removed and minced
- Juice of 2 small lemons
- 1 tbsp dijon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- – kosher salt and freshly pepper to season
For the vegetables:
- 2 cobs of corn, husked, de-silked and kernels cut from the cob with a knife
- 1/2 pint sun gold (orange) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 small heirloom tomatoes, diced
- small handful of kale, chopped (any variety of kale will work — lacinto or curly)
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
- 6-7 basil leaves (whatever’s left of the bunch), cut into a chiffonade or chopped
In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and gently whisk together until emulsified. In a medium bowl, combine all the vegetables, then pour in as much of the dressing as you’d like. Toss everything together and allow to sit while the chicken finishes cooking. Serve together.