Monday, July 6, 2009

Saffron Chicken, Boiled Lemon and Green Bean Salad

Saffron Chicken

After all my naughtiness this weekend, I needed some food to bring me back to the right side of things. Actually, in terms of food, we weren't that bad at our barbecue. I discovered that I do enjoy grilled corn on the cob (especially if it is basted with Ponzu) and grassfed bison burgers are my new favorite food. However, tequila should not be consumed straight as if sipping on water. Before we headed out for all the merriment, I caught a repeat episode of Ellie Krieger's show. I tell ya, watching Food Net is almost painful these days so watching this show was like a breath of fresh air. Ellie may not have the most exciting personality, but she does have fantastic recipes. Once again the green beans were looking mighty fine at the farmers market today and since Raul is no longer able to gift me with lemons, I picked a bunch up at the market. The idea of boiling a lemon was a little strange to me, but I like how this recipe turned out although, I would have preferred a stronger punch from the saffron...maybe two pinches next time. The chicken marinade is very flavorful and it pairs well with the sweet dressing. The boiled lemon rind adds a nice tang with just a slight hint of bitterness that isn't at all unpleasant. I could have scarfed all of this down myself in one sitting, but I am giving half to my friend to prove that it IS possible for me to share the things I make.

Saffron Chicken, Boiled Lemon and Green Bean Salad

Saffron Chicken, Boiled Lemon and Green Bean Salad
(Adapted from Ellie Krieger)

Makes 2 servings

1 lemon, preferably unwaxed
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste, divided
Pinch saffron
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
Extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces boneless chicken thighs, pounded to 1/2-inch thick
8 ounces green beans, washed and trimmed
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper

Prick the lemon in 3 or 4 places with a fork and place in a small pot with 1 teaspoon of salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the lemon is very tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, mix the saffron, mint, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Pour the marinade into a sealable plastic bag, add the chicken and let it marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Steam the green beans for 4 minutes and set aside to cool. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Preheat a large skillet or grill pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Set aside to cool. Cut into bite-sized chunks.

Slice the ends off of the lemon and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp. Slice the peel thinly and then again into 1/4-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, lemon, green beans and thyme. In a small bowl combine the rest of the lemon juice and the honey, whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

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Diana said...

Haha, I have trouble sharing the things I make for myself too! I get so annoyed when my roommate comes into the kitchen when I'm cooking and steals a bite out of my pan. Grrr!

Creative Classroom Core said...

Looks like a really healthy and delicious meal. Love the colors!

Chef Fresco said...

I hear ya about the weekend, I'm feelin' it too! This recipe looks great! I've seen a lot w. saffron lately and really need to start cooking with it.

Faith said...

I love the color that the saffron gives the chicken. When I first looked at this dish, I actually thought it was beautiful!

Anonymous said...

oh, this looks so clean and delicious! And haha, me, I like to FORCE other people to try my food!

Esi said...

Diana - that would drive me insane! Wait till I am done...then you can try all you want, lol.

Ben - it was pretty brutal yesterday, but I am feeling much better.

Susan C said...

Surfed over here after seeing your comment on Steamy Kitchen. All of your recipes look unique and delicious.

Unknown said...

i was totally wondering aobut the boiled lemon too! glad to know it's tasty :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

This really does look wonderful. You've made a meal that's not only healthy and's also beautiful.

lisaiscooking said...

Interesting step to boil the lemon. I wonder if she was trying to make it similar to a preserved lemon with less sodium or something? And, I agree completely about watching Foodnetwork these days!

unconfidentialcook said...

Never thought of boiling lemon--very interesting. Looks so good and healthy!

unconfidentialcook said...

Never thought of boiling lemon--very interesting. Looks so good and healthy!

Juliana said...

This chicken dish looks terrific...boiled lemon...looks so refreshing and great for summer. Yummie!

Kerstin said...

So gorgeous and nutritious! I'm finally enjoying tequila again, after over doing in one too many times in college :)

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Love beans, can't wait to have fresh beans at the grocery. I usually just cook them with onions. Great idea to serve with chicken.

Maria said...

Very pretty dish. I love the bright green beans!

Marta said...

It's so hard to be "good" around holidays that revolve around food... oh wait, I think we've made ALL our holidays revolve around food! tough times! This looks like a nice, cleansing, recipe... one that I'm sure I'd like not to share as well ;)

Pearl said...

that must've been delicious!

Sharon said...

I agree with you about Ellie. A little boring, but great food. I love this recipe!