Real Food for Real Life

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring is here...

Tuscan Chicken with Mediterranean White Bean and Romaine Salads

Spring is finally here and I have been so busy clearing the winter debris from all my planting beds.  While all the plantings are beautiful once the growth is fully under way, every spring I feel like I have been overly ambitious with the plantings- three days of clearing and I have so much more to do...
This is the path down the south side of my house, just to give you a clue of what I am up against.  I have the house, patio, and deck surrounded, most of the perimeter of the yard, and the random beds here and there.  It will all be worth it in another week or three :)

Friday morning, in anticipation of spending the day outside, and a very busy weekend coming up, I spent a little prep time in the kitchen  For dinner Friday night I got some chicken marinating in order to make Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken, and also threw together two quick salads, one being my Mediterranean White Bean Salad- I knew the lemony flavors would work well with the chicken (and did they ever :).  I also prepared some beef shanks for braising in anticipation of having them for Sunday dinner (it was supposed to be cold and rainy), and popped them in the oven while ventured outside to tackle more beds.  A note for those readers with children- Ben and I found the chicken to be absolutely delicious (the grilled lemon halves were an especially nice touch), but the little guy wasn't so sure and wondered (out loud) why I didn't just barbecue the chicken.   Ben and I enjoyed a bottle of Redwood-creek Sauvignon Blanc (2007), a perfectly wonderful and refreshing wine, especially considering the $6.99 price tag (we enjoy wine, but are certainly not snobby about it).

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

1 chicken, flattened (I used chicken leg quarters instead)
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tbs. minced fresh rosemary (I used 1 tsp. dried)
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Ina gives directions for flattening a whole chicken and grilling it under weights (see the link to the original above).  I kept it very simple and just put the chicken and all the marinating ingredients in a gallon sized ziplock bag; Ben then grilled it that evening on the gas grill and used no weights.  The lemon halves he charred and then finished up on the upper rack and they turned out perfectly.

The mailbox, before I cut away all the dead growth.
The mailbox after-
the clematis was already growing again under all the mess.
And tomorrow...Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks with Garlic Smashed Potatoes


  1. you sure have a lot of ground to cover, but i imagine it's fantastic when everything is in bloom. i planted red gladioli today, and onion and carrots. lovely chicken!

  2. It is beautiful when it is all in bloom. I'll post a pic or two from last year with the next post.


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