Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pesto-Yogurt Chicken

It's been almost a year.  An entire year at my new job.  A full loop around the sun living with boyfriend.  And it's nearly my anniversary of doing a double-river commute through Manhattan.  Whenever I tell anyone where I live and where I work (my commute being from New Jersey to Long Island) they gasp, wince or give me a look of pain.  Everyone feels sorry for me and my long commute, but I have learned so much in this past year.  I have also read A LOT of books (and cooking magazines!).

What have I learned?  Having the right attitude about being a commuter is half the battle.  Being positive and relaxed about my commute helps to make the days go by easier.  It can also be a lot of fun if you look at it as a casual observer. 

Commuting has the inevitablity of being very predictable.  Here are a few things you can always count on...

~ Someone is always late.  Inevitably, at almost any time of day, there will be someone running through Penn Station to catch a train.

~ That guy next to me is in a hurry.  How can I tell?  As soon as the track number for his train is called, he takes off running.  Usually swearing out loud if it isn't on the track he's standing near. 

~ When I need to be at a 9:00 meeting, the trains will conspire to make me late.  Always.

~ Trains can be late for a wide range of reasons.  Each more ridiculous than the last.  The LIRR is often prone to "rain conditions," "heat conditions," "police activity," "wind conditions," "signal problems," and my favorite "DELAY."

~ The Starbucks near the ACE subway has a shorter line than the one in the center of the station.  Don't tell everyone my secret!

~ People riding peak trains are quieter than those riding off-peak trains.

~ The person who sits down next to me thinks their headphones contain the extremely loud "music" to their earbuds.  The "music" is terrible.

~ If there is only one train line that is delayed, re-routed or cancelled, it will be my line.

Are you a long time commuter or are just starting out your weekly treks to work? What have you learned in your time on public transportation?  Do you find yourself a magnet for talkative types?  Does your train always have a few empty beer cans rolling around?  Does your bus driver think he knows your name?

If you're not a commuter, enjoy the quiet solitude of your car.  And don't pity us commuters, we read a lot of books.  Or take a lot of naps, try doing that in your car!  Wait, don't nap while driving.  It'll be better for everyone.

One Year Ago: Baked Pasta Casserole

Pesto-yogurt sauce
Inspired by Easy Everyday

I always have a container of Greek yogurt sitting in my fridge.  It's useful in so many different recipes and I reccommend getting yourself a container of plain yogurt as well!  This pesto yogurt sauce can be used to marinate chicken or you can toss cooked new potatoes in it for a tangy side dish.
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp basil pesto
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients and use!

Pesto-yogurt chicken
Inspired by Easy Everyday

This dinner was very fast to put together.  I left boyfriend a note to put chicken in a bag with the sauce an stick it back in the fridge.  That way the chicken was marinated and ready to go in the oven when I got home.  The sides you see on the plate are simple glazed carrots and sauteed spinach.  While I went with chicken legs this time, I would definitely use chicken breasts next time around!

6 Chicken legs
1 batch pesto-yogurt sauce

Toss chicken legs in pesto-yogurt sauce and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate. 

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil, then parchment paper.  Place chicken legs on top, being sure that they aren't touching.  Bake for 30 minutes, turning over halfway through cook time.  You want the meat to reach 165 F.
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