I've fallen into a pretty good routine through my unemployed weeks. Generally Monday is my cleaning house day. I'll do the laundry, vacuum and dust the apartment, run boring errands and cook the fanciest meal of the week. By Tuesday I've run out of task-oriented things to do and tackle projects that have been sitting around for a while. I'm talking scrapbooking, closet organizing, de-cluttering.
By the time Thursday comes, I'm starting to get a little bored at home. I usually will jump on my bike and head to the local park for relaxing and reading in the sun. Thursday usually also means I've run out of fruits and vegetables and a Whole Foods run is necessary.
Here is one of the dinners I made on a Monday night. Monday is 'fancy dinner' night and requires a little more prep and planning. This spice-rubbed chicken takes a lot of spices from your pantry. You'll wind up making more spice rub than you actually use. Just store it in an air-tight jar and make this chicken again!
Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Dijon vinaigrette
Adapted from several sourcesFor Vinaigrette
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a screw-top container and shake it up!
1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 chicken breasts, skin on, boneless
Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Rub about 1 tablespoon spice mixture onto the top of each chicken breast. Grill chicken for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. (I had really fat chickens, so I grilled them for 5 minutes on each side, then tossed them in the 400 F oven for 15 minutes).
Remove chicken from the grill (or oven) and drizzle with some of the Dijon vinaigrette. Tent the chicken with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen
2 pounds russet potatoes
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Dash of nutmeg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Peel potatoes and slice to 1/8-inch thickness. Combine milk, cream, nutmeg and mustard in a large pot and add potatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and let bubble for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut the clove of garlic in half and rub an 8x8-inch baking dish with the clove of garlic. Coat the dish with the softened butter and transfer the potatoes and cream to the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Top with chopped parsley and serve!