Thursday, April 23, 2009

CEiMB - Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Cous Cous

Craving Ellie in My Belly is a group that is cooking from and blogging about The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. Ellie's recipes are healthy and easy, and generally are winners at the dinner table. Last week, I got carried away with modifying the recipe, including leaving out the star ingredient. It worked out well, but I felt a little guilty.

This week was going to be different. I was going to make this dish (chosen by Marthe of Culinary Delights) without substitutions or omissions. I was excited about the recipe and couldn't imagine wanting to do anything different with it.

Then, I was taken hostage by aliens.

They liked their chicken breasts thick and juicy. They liked doubling some things, but not others. They were saucy, garlic loving aliens. They said they wouldn't hurt me if I followed their orders. This is what they made me cook:


They told me to start by heating a pan and adding some olive oil, followed by chicken breasts. Then they had me turn the chicken, and cook it on the other side. One of them stuck a probe in and it registered 160 degrees. So far so good. 


They gave me a plate for the chicken, then handed me a huge pile of roughly chopped garlic. It must have been 6 or 7 cloves of garlic. I sautéed the garlic, then added a mountain of spinach; it looked like two bags worth. One of them poured a little water in so the spinach would wilt a little faster. I had to put the wilted spinach on another plate. 


Then they had me add about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to get the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. More water, and a whole can of diced tomatoes. I protested these recipe modifications, but they got very angry so I thought it was best to go along with what they wanted. They told me to reduce the tomato mixture until about half of the liquid evaporated.


Mysteriously, they opened the microwave and pulled out fully cooked cous cous! Before I knew it, they had plated the chicken and urged me to taste it. 

Wow! Those aliens know their stuff! The reduced balsamic vinegar added a sweetness that counteracted the garlic. This was a great plate of chicken. I looked up to ask them a question, but they were gone. Maybe they were off to another kitchen, maybe even yours, to show off another easy, tasty weeknight dinner. If they come to your home, don't be afraid, they won't harm you.

But they also won't help with the dishes.

14 comments:

Marthe said...

More garlic never killed anyone!! I think that a little bit more garlic would actually be great with this dish! Thanks for cooking with me this week!

applecrumbles said...

We enjoyed this weeks meal as well, but skipped the couscous. We used Quinoa. Watch those little green men!

Jessica said...

Funny post! I love how you reduced your sauce down even more because it looks like it was so much thicker and tastier than mine. I was way too hungry at that point to keep reducing. And extra garlic is always a good idea, right?

Aggie said...

mmmm...your chicken looks great!! Loved this dish!

farah said...

Lol, you've got to love those aliens!! This looks great and i'm glad you liked it :)

Pamela said...

Cute post!! I love when those saucy, garlic loving aliens when they come to visit. I really enjoyed this and the leftovers, too!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

haha, adorable post! Your sauce sounds great, like a quick bbq sauce! I bet it was delicious with your garlicky spinach. I can never get enough garlic in anything. I make a caeser salad dressing that Nick says is downright offensive because of how garlicky it is.

Nicely done this week! And don't feel guilty about changing the recipe, that is what it's all about :)

What's for Supper? said...

Cute. This was a winner!

Peggy said...

Loved it. your version looks delicious.

leanne said...

The aliens steered you right for sure!

Sara said...

Your aliens seem to prefer much more humane "scientific tests" to perform on you than some others I've read/heard about (read: long metal tubes with oscillating and orbital prongs). Count yourself lucky.

Oh and your dish doesn't sound or look half bad either.

-- Nick

n.o.e said...

I think I may have been brainwashed by those aliens because I rarely pound chicken thin. Your changes sound good; sometimes it's just too hard to resist!
Nancy

pinkstripes said...

It sounds quick and delicious!

TourGuideJenn said...

Were the aliens "saucy" as in "liquid on food" or "saucy" like "cheeky monkeys" - or perhaps a little of both? I'm going to think seriously about this group - everything I've seen that you and others have made looks yummy (alien influence or no.)

Nice work (and cute plates!)