Chicken in an Herb Garden

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This was a really interesting recipe — I’ve never made anything like this dish, and it was really, really excellent. First, you pound out the chicken super thin and roll them up into what are basically raw chicken cigars secured with toothpicks. Then you poach them in white wine vinegar — something I’d never even thought of before. But it gives the chicken a really interesting note of acid. Then, you let the chicken sit overnight in a bath of olive oil and delicious fresh herbs, so the herbs infuse both the oil and the chicken. Pretty creative.

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The chicken is meant to be served at room temp which is important especially given that cold olive oil isn’t very delicious. This would also be a really great dish to eat in hot weather so you don’t have to heat up the kitchen.

TW’s Tips

  • There’s a fine art to pounding the chicken thin enough without making it fall apart at the edges. Layer between sheets of plastic wrap and pound carefully with a meat mallet.
  • Pick your favorite combo of herbs. Highly recommend sage and rosemary.
  • Don’t breathe in the vinegar while it’s cooking — not fun.
  • Crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment so you can sop up all the delicious, infused olive oil.
  • If eating leftovers, take out of the fridge and let sit for about 30 minutes before eating to come to room temp.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (2 lbs) pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, basil, thyme, rosemary, thyme, sage and mint

Directions

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Tightly roll them up lengthwise and secure with toothpicks at 1-inch intervals.

In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, 3/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the chicken and cook over low heat until just white throughout, 10 to 
12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a work surface and let cool slightly. Discard the toothpicks. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds.

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, turning to coat evenly in the herb oil. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature and serve with crusty bread.

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Herbaceous Beef Burgers

“Is that cheese oozing out of that delicious-looking burger?” you ask. Why yes. It is.

Which is reason #1 why you need to make these awesome “Herbaceous Beef Burgers” (recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray). You form the burger — beef with a mix of dill, parsley and chives, around a chunk of creamy goat cheese, so when you bite into the burger all of that melty goodness lies in wait inside. The herbs in the burger give it a great, fresh taste, and I love the unconventional burger toppers of cucumber and radish.

I made these burgers with my “Little Sister” through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It’s a pretty simple, straightforward recipe so it’s great for cooking with someone, and she loved the results! The honey mustard sauce is a great finisher.

TW’s Tips

  • More than 1/4 pound burgers are too big for me — I used about a pound of meat instead of the recommended pound and a half, which makes the burger look sadly small on the huge kaiser roll, but it’s more than enough for a filling meal.
  • I served this with potato salad and fresh corn on the cob from the farmers market — yum!
  • Add on tomato or avocado if you want more veggies involved.

Herbaceous Beef Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dill (a generous handful)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 4 ounce log goat cheese, quartered
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 crusty whole grain kaiser rolls, split
  • 4 leaves green-leaf lettuce
  • 1/4 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 thin slices red onion

Directions

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the beef, parsley, dill, chives and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 4 mounds. Press 1 piece of cheese into the center of each mound, then form a patty around the cheese. Drizzle the patties with EVOO and grill for 4 minutes on each side for medium.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mustard and honey; season with salt and pepper. Layer each roll bottom with lettuce, cucumber, radish, onion and a burger. Spread honey mustard sauce on the cut side of the bun tops and set into place.