By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional
While I was raised a good southern boy and my go to comfort foods tend to be those meals that just make you want to unbutton that top button on your jeans and take a late afternoon nap, I have always tried to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
With my recent health problems, I have to say, that this has worked out quite well for me. I may have some heart and lung issues, but my cholesterol and other levels are more in line with a healthy 25 year old male than someone that is close to 50. I am tweaking my families diet and making the bulk of our meals as healthy and nutritional as possible. But, that doesn’t mean you need to cut out your favorite foods, lesson the amount and be strategic about how and when they are used.
- Fresh Baby Spinach
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Roasted Chicken Thighs, Bone In (1 per person)
- Green Grapes
- Mini Bagels
- French Fried Onions
- Onion and Chive Salad Dressing
- Walnuts, Chopped Medium
- Brie Cheese Wedge
- Pecorino Cheese Wedge
- Beer Can Chicken Seasoning
- Monterey Steak Seasoning
- Olive Oil
- Non-Stick Cooking Spray, Butter Flavor
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove your wedge of Brie cheese from the refrigerator and set aside, allowing it to come to room temperature. Cooking Tip: Allowing certain soft cheeses, like Brie, to come to room temperature, gives you a creamier texture while eating and also delivers the fullest flavor of the cheese. Cold tends to inhibit the flavor profiles of ALL soft cheeses.
- Next, prepare your chicken thighs for roasting. Cooking Tip: With a sharp pairing knife (that’s the small one), cut away as much of the fat as possible. It will be a nasty yellow color and is pretty easy to find on darker cuts of meat, like chicken thighs. Be sure to leave the skin on, as it helps keep your chicken thighs moist while roasting.
- In a small baking pan, spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray and place your chicken thighs, skin up, into your prepared pan. Brush the top of each chicken thigh with olive oil and then moderately, sprinkle your Monterey Steak seasoning over each thigh. Place on the center rack and roast for about 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through to a temperature of 165 degrees when measured with a cooking thermometer.
- While your chicken is roasting, prepare your mini bagels for croutons. First, separate your bagels into halves and then cut each in half, giving you 4 croutons. I suggest one mini bagel per person.
- Place your bagel pieces onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Generously spray your bagel pieces with the butter flavored, non-stick cooking spray and then sprinkle your Beer Can Chicken seasoning over each bagel slice. Place in the oven and bake for about 5-7 minutes, just until they are golden brown. Remove immediately and place onto a tea / kitchen towel to cool.
- Once your chicken is done, remove from the oven and place onto a plate to rest and cool. Once your roasted chicken thighs are completely cool, remove the skin and then tear pieces of chicken from the bones and set aside in a bowl for a few moments.
- Now it’s time to put your salad together. For each person, use a nice size salad plate or bowl that has a little depth. Add your salad greens in a 3 to 2 to 1 ratio, starting with the Baby Spinach, then the Arugula and finally the Fresh Basil leaves. Toss together until mixed evenly. Add a small drizzle of the Onion and Chive Salad Dressing, toss again until your greens are all lighlty coated. Then add your pieces of roasted chicken and green grapes. Lightly toss again.
- Finally, using your pairing knife, insert the tip into the Pecorino cheese wedge and twist slightly to create small/medium size chunks. Sprinkle across your salad. Next, use your fingers and tear small pieces of Brie and add to your salad. Cooking Tip: Almost all of your soft, gourmet cheeses have an edible casing and there is no reason to remove unless you find the occasional thick section on the outside edge. Finish preparing your salad by sprinkling your French Fried Onions and chopped walnuts across the salad and then placing your homemade, herbed croutons evenly around the salad.
- Enjoy his deviously, delicious salad as a meal unto itself or as a starter to any meal. Your friends and family will be dumb founded at how great it is.