Satisfying Dinner on a Hot Day

Tonight I had to “fend for myself” for dinner, as that Jon is doing a presentation tonight. I decided to swing by Trader Joe’s, a store I very, very rarely go into due to its prep-food centricism and lack of truly organic, and local foods. It was near my van pool, however, and it turned out to be a quick stop.

I picked up chevre, three organic oranges, two chicken breasts (from a Washington State farm), mixed greens (California, possibly contaminated w/ E. coli, who knows!) and unrelated to my meal tonight, but tastey, Nori Maki snacks.) Here’s a close approximation of what I made:

Makes two servings.

Chicken Marinade:
2 chicken breasts, 1/4 in thick slices
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 oranges, zested and juiced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 oz chevre
1 bag washed mixed greens

1. Combine the balsamic vinegar, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a sealable container. After slicing the chicken in to 1/4 inch thin slices, add to container, seal and shake, and place aside for 20 min.

2. Zest the oranges, then slice and juice the oranges, put both in a blender. Add balsamic vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper to the mixture, and blend for abotu 10 seconds. Taste, and make adjustments. Pour into a cruet, and refrigerate.

3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet at medium high heat. Add chicken, and cook until mostly cooked through (this shouldn’t take too long, keep an eye on it). If a lot of liquid is in the pan, poor it off towards the end and let the chicken cook undisturbed for 2-3 min, or until it starts to brown. Stir the chicken in the pan to get the other sides brown, then set aside.

4. Put mixed greens in bowls. Slice and crumble chevre in equal amounts on top of the greens. Top with equal parts chicken. Finally, pour the dressing on the salad and enjoy!

I’m sure there’s a million ways to do this recipe better, and the above writing is an improvement on what I did tonight. All I can say is that what I ended up with was HEAVENLY on a warm summer evening. Adding some olive oil to the dressing while it’s blending will add a lightness and body to the dressing. I will try that next time (this idea isn’t unique, I stole it from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis.) Also, like in the aforementioned TV chef’s work, tossing the greens with the dressing before topping with everything else might also lead to a splended presentation. I do, however, like giving people the opportunity to dress their salad as they wish.

Happy eating! Stay chill out there!