I've been known to go to extremes (for me) to find ideas for recipes. I actually watched the Martha Stewart cooking show, but only because my very favorite female vocalist of all time was the guest cook in Martha's kitchen. I didn't end up using Aretha Franklin's recipe, but she has her own wonderful way of telling you it‘s quick and easy to cook, "This is for women [and men] who have to work, and who are busy, and who just really don't have time, but just want to get down."
Probably the biggest barrier to cooking at home is the perceived or real lack of time. Home cooked food is tastier, cheaper and healthier than most prepared foods. A family of four could probably save a couple thousand dollars a year by cooking at home a few more nights per week rather than buying prepared foods or eating out.
Maybe you can try this. Roast enough chicken breasts for three meals. Freeze enough for two meals and eat one. Make enough dressing for three or four salads. Buy mixed lettuce greens at your farmers' market. At four dollars per lb it's cheaper and better than what you can find at a grocery store and a pound of lettuce leaves is enough for many salads.
One last note: we are working on a "printer friendly" button so those of you who get the HTML version of the recipe won't have to waste colored ink. Meanwhile, you can go to the link of the past recipes of the week that are regularly updated. These are all in black and white.
- 2 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (about 3/4 lb each)
- Mixed salad greens for four
- 1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored, then thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 Tbsp canola oil (I've been using half canola oil lately in dressings to make them a little lighter)
Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Rub them with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper them. Roast them for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 165°. While they are cooking, mix the first 8 ingredients of the dressing in a jar. Let stand for about five minutes, and then add the olive and canola oils. Shake until blended. Taste by dipping a leaf of lettuce.
Using only just enough of the dressing to make however much lettuce you used glisten, toss the dressing with the lettuce and sliced fennel. Distribute it on serving plates. Remove the bones and skin from the chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breasts into thick slices and arrange them artistically on the greens. Serve and enjoy knowing that maybe you froze some chicken for another busy night, you already have the dressing made and that mixed lettuce greens are always waiting for you at farmers' market near you.