Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Recipe: Basil Chicken

basil chicken recipe
Last Saturday at the farmers' market I was on the lookout for Saskatoon berries, which I figured I'd have to try whilst on the prairies. While BC fruit stands are ubiquitous at Edmonton markets, it was a little trickier to track down Saskatoons. Luckily I did find some at a Mennonite stand, which saved me a foraging trip to the River Valley (where they apparently grow wild).

Though I was warned that Saskatoon berries are pretty much just for baking, I've found that I really do like eating them straight. They resemble blueberries but taste milder and have larger, crunchier seeds (sort of like grape seeds) that provide texture without getting stuck in your teeth. Their taste reminds me of currants and is sort of familiar...like some kind of candy or wine I've had in the past but can't quite place. Anyways, I think they're definitely worth a try if you get a chance (FYI they may be called serviceberries depending on where you live)!
saskatoon berries edmonton
A couple stands over from the Saskatoons I was nearly as happy to find fresh basil. Basil probably ties with arugula as my favourite herb and I picked up a bunch before even considering what I'd do with it. For a day it served as a wonderfully fragrant air freshener in my kitchen, before I figured I'd better make something of it before it wilted in the heat. I've been getting home late and have eaten some embarrassingly lazy meals over the past little while, so I wanted to get this week off to a good start with some proper meal prep. With a box of chicken breasts in my freezer, I decided that basil chicken would be a good start.

I'm not sure that this chicken marinade really qualifies as a recipe, but I'll share it anyways because it was just so easy and delicious:
  • ~1 kg chicken breasts
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • ~6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of basil
I washed the chicken breasts and laid them out in a glass baking dish. I cut slits in them to optimize marinade exposure.
chicken breasts
I pulsed the lemon juice, garlic, and basil in my food processor (yay for finally using it for something other than hummus!) until it was finely chopped and well mixed.
basil food processor
I rubbed the chicken breasts with the marinade and placed the dish in the fridge to marinate for several hours.
basil chicken recipe
I baked the chicken breasts at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes (until its juices ran clear) flipping the pieces halfway through.
basil chicken recipe
While I had the oven on, I simultaneously roasted some broccoli, tossed in olive oil. I always forget how delicious roasted broccoli is -- and it's really no more hassle than steaming it!
basil chicken recipe
I've had three meals of basil chicken now and don't think I'll be getting tired of it anytime soon (good thing, because I have a week's worth). The garlic and basil combination is so fragrant and flavourful, and the lemon juice provides a nice tang.
basil chicken recipe
When I see how easy it is to meal prep simple recipes like this, I don't know why weeks go by when I don't cook in bulk...I'll just have to remember how great it is to not have to cook when I get home hangry at 6 pm!

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