I get stuck in cooking ruts all the time. I hate it. I’m not proficient enough in the kitchen to just wing it on everything. I do toss things together and pray like a freaking madwoman for them to taste good. But my cooking seems to run the gamut of meat loaf, roast, roast chicken, grilled pork chops, grilled burgers etc. I’ve been so antsy to try something new. Something with loads of flavor. Something that seemed difficult but really was very simple and easy.
First spend days scouring the internet looking for recipes for balsamic vinaigrette dressing/marinade. Keep thinking you saw a recipe in the book you’re currently reading (Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist), flip through the book repeatedly, looking at the recipes and finding nothing. Then decide you’ll just use a recipe you found online. But this necessitates a trip to the store for olive oil. Back at home you again flip through the book and hit pay dirt. Eureka! The recipe is found!
Cover and place in your refrigerator for 4 or more hours. Really the longer you let it marinade the better it will be. When your husband gets home have him fire up the grill, toss these puppies on it and sear them. Yes, cook them quick and hot.
Meanwhile, make more of the basic vinaigrette, make so much more you’re practically almost doubling the recipe…okay forget that…you are doubling the recipe. The good thing about the recipe (besides the way it tastes) is it doesn’t require you to refrigerate it.
While you’re waiting for the marinade to…welll….marinade, make a big salad with fresh spinach leaves, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes (halved), peas, onion, fresh mushrooms and feta cheese. Pour a little of the vinaigrette on it. Now remember: a little goes a long way. So be a little stingy, but not too stingy.
When the chicken is finished on the grill, cut into bite sized pieces. Or if it’s tender and juicy enough (and it should be), just tear it. Put it on your salad. And enjoy.
I’m telling you it’s better than any grilled chicken salad you could get at any restaurant. (My 10 year old said it was better than The Olive Garden…high praise indeed.) You can sit back and revel in the praise of your family. They will build monuments in your name. They will erect statutes to you and your salad. They will ask for it every night. They will deem it the perfect summer salad.
And you will say, “My work here is complete.”