Sunday, January 9, 2011

Balsamic Chicken and Surprise South Beach Mashed "Potatoes"

Dinner was light--but filling! To go with oven baked balsamic chicken, there was sugar snap peas with tomatoes, cole slaw, pickled vegetables, and a creamy delicious mashed "potato" made from cauliflower.  Both recipes for the chicken and the cauliflower come from the South Beach Diet book.

Balsamic Chicken (adapted from the South Beach Diet Cookbook)

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less
1 teaspoon salt, more or less
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4-6 tablespoons white wine, optional
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Marinate the chicken, preferably overnight. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Mince the rosemary leaves (I didn't do it and  I think it would have tasted better without the big leaves of rosemary). Mince the garlic. Combine rosemary, garlic, pepper and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Place the chicken in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and rub with the herb mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 10 hours.

Bake the chicken. Preheat the oven 450˚F (200˚C in my convection oven). Spray a heavy roasting pan with cooking spray. Place the chicken in the pan and bake for 10 minutes (7 minutes in the convection oven). Turn the chicken once. If the dripping sticks to the pan, stir in 3-4 tablespoons water or white wine (if using).

Make pan drippings. Bake about 10 minutes more (7 minutes in the convection oven) or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 160˚F. If the pan is dry, stir in 1-2 tablespoons water or wine to loosen the drippings. Drizzle the vinegar over the chicken breasts.

Serve. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate or serving dish. Stir the liquid in the pan and drizzle over the chicken.

Surprise South Beach Mashed "Potatoes"(adapted from the South Beach Diet Cookbook)

4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 1/2 heads)
1 ounce butter (tastes better) or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1 ounce fat free half and half or fat free milk
salt and pepper to taste

Steam or blanch the cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Puree in a food processor, adding the butter or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and the half and half or milk. Season with salt and pepper.

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