So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.
So my lunch for the week: Dijon Chicken, Sour Cherry Couscous, and Goat Cheese with Beets Salad
First the chicken. I made a visit to my favorite butcher in the city, Esposito's, and got 10 chicken thighs. I had them cut it at the joint for me. I left the skin and bones on for flavor. Once home, I dried each piece with a paper towel then tossed them generously with salt and black pepper.
I put the chicken aside and prepped the other ingredients. Going clockwise from the top left, I had some homemade chicken stock, white wine, dijon mustard mixed with heavy cream, thyme, and chopped shallots and garlic.
Recipe Courtesy of Serious Eats Recipes and Kerry Saretsky
* 3 tablespoons light olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
* 10 chicken legs
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 4 shallots, diced
* 3/4 cup white wine
* 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
* 6 stems thyme, plus extra for garnish
* 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
* 1/2 cup cream
1. In a wide, heavy-bottomed pan, heat 3 tablespoons light olive oil on medium-high heat.
2. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper, and pat dry with paper towel. Sear in the hot oil until golden-brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
3. Pour out the hot chicken oil, and lower the heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon fresh light olive oil to the pan. Add in the shallot, and then the garlic 1 minute later, and sauté just until translucent and fragrant—two minutes total from the time the shallots went into the pan.
4. Pour in the white wine, and raise the heat to medium-high. Reduce the wine—it will bubble the chicken bits up from the bottom of the pan, and reduce by about half. Then add the chicken stock and 6 stems of thyme. Then, nestle the chicken back into the pan in a single layer. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot, simmering for 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, remove the cover from the pot, and allow the chicken to simmer a further 5 to 10 minutes uncovered.
6. Take the pan off the heat. Again, remove the chicken from the pan. Whisk in the cream and the mustard until the sauce is homogeneous. Then strain. Toss the chicken with the Dijon sauce, top with fresh thyme, and serve right away with crusty bread and a salad.