Saffron Chicken & Herb Salad

FRIDAY

Saffron Chicken & Herb Salad  |  Artisan Bread with Butter & Chives

I put this dinner on the menu over a week ago…in the midst of my new-found love affair with Jerusalem, A Cookbook {by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, 2012}.  Simple, straightforward & healthy, it appealed to me on all of these levels.  But today, I thought to myself…”Why in the world did I put a salad on the menu for Friday“?  Friday is supposed to be fun {Happy Hour and all that}…can we please stop thinking about our carb:protein ratios!

Reluctant, I followed through with this dinner out of obligation.  I had all of the ingredients {after all, it was supposed to be last night’s dinner but we ended up eating out last night instead} and I HATE waste.  But I put off starting dinner tonight as long as I could {I was searching out laundry to be folded…yes, that desperate}.  I just couldn’t get excited about this salad today.  Dutifully, I started plugging away at the recipe shortly after picking up the children from school.  It all began with the orange syrup.  As I sliced the juice-filled navel orange into wedges, measured out the beautifully-red saffron threads, and the wonderfully, rich & thick raw honey my interest started to awaken…

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The orange syrup, simmering on the stove & releasing the softest citrus scent, convinced me to start preparing the herbs {the most time consuming task of this recipe}…

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Yet, charged with the momentary task of fetching Michael from the ferry this evening, I still had visions of sneaking off to some restaurant for an indulgent, end-of-the-week, dinner served to all of us as if we were visiting royalty.  At home, Michael took a conference call and I resumed my dinner duties.  At this point, the oranges had reduced into the most sweet-smelling syrup/fruit combination.  In the food processor, the cooked orange became the most beautiful sauce…

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While the orange was cooking away, I placed the chicken thighs {I substituted boneless/skinless thighs for the chicken breasts, called for in the original recipe, because we prefer the rich flavor of chicken thighs over breasts} into a bowl with olive oil, sea salt & freshly ground pepper.  The chicken thighs, seared first on the stovetop and then finished in the oven, were ready in 25 minutes and removed to a cutting board for slicing …

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At this point, I was hooked into dinner by the smell of the roasting chicken thighs but it got even better when I tossed the warm chicken with the orange sauce…

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And then adding all of those wonderful herbs!  The salad turned out better than I could have imagined…

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We fortified this evening’s dinner with a fresh bread…

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Layered with Irish butter and snipped fresh chives from the garden {wrapped in foil and toasted in the oven for 20 minutes}.  And now, the finished dinner plate…

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You know those parties that you dread attending?   The ones you try to avoid but end up having to go to because of obligation.  And you go…and have THE BEST time!  You can’t explain it, but maybe it is because you have little to no expectation, and then you are knocked off your rocker by how FABULOUS it all is.  Well, that is this salad for me tonight.  In fact, every member of this family finished their dinner…NO leftovers!  Seriously, despite my trepidation, this salad is AMAZING!  Dinner party worthy {use chicken thighs for the rich flavor}!

I followed this recipe from Jerusalem, A Cookbook {by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, 2012}.  Check it out…I think you will love this cookbook!  {Yes, I really do believe that…I get nothing for this endorsement}.

And yes, it is Friday.  Time for another sunset…once again, this evening’s sunset is compliments of Beverly Jacobs Equine Massage.  Enjoy….

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Enjoy your weekend & I hope you, too, have some unexpected surprises!  See you back here on Sunday…

K-Initial1

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