Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekly Preview: Roasted Chicken, Saffron and CSA

This is a time of transition for me and I realized I need to take some steps to retain a sense of familiarity. The Plan is back. For those of you new readers, I made it a goal months ago to plan our meals by the week. I highly recommend this for anyone who struggles with meal planning. Prior to this, I was trying to plan dinner at 3:00. This led to spending more money on food and not always making the healthiest decisions. Without further adieu, this week's plan:

Monday: Take out.
Okay, I know, I know. I just went on about how this can help with meal planning and making healthy decisions. Reality? I have a lot of work to get done today and I need to grocery shop and Manatee is away on business. I will be good tomorrow but today I need something hot and fast. That being said, take out for me is steamed chicken and vegetables with sauce on the side from the local Chinese place. I will make my own brown rice at home, if I want rice. No oil, no gummy sauces that gave you gut rot. Most Chinese places have a diet menu and if they don't, most will make you a steamed dish with no sauce if you ask for it.

Tuesday: Roast Chicken for les paresseux from Dorie Greenspan's "around my french table." 
Sounds fancy, right? It translates to Roast Chicken for the lazy. That's me. Well, actually I'm terrified, not lazy. I have never roasted a chicken before. This was one of my NYE goals and I am determined to brave through it. This is also an experiment for me. I grew up in a household where the only time we had roasted chicken was when we bought a rotisserie one at the store. This is sharp contrast to my mother-in-law who once butchered a chicken because she wanted to have it for dinner that night. In terms of my cooking, chicken has always been skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I have made chicken legs a few time but that always made me nervous. The idea of having to face a whole chicken, bones, skin and all? I kind of want to hide under the table.

Though I am terrified, I have a sneaking suspicion that it's easier than I think. I also would really like to serve it to my mom and mother-in-law on Sunday. They both love chicken and it feels fancier than serving chicken breasts.  I want to do a test run so I can sleep the rest of the week. I will definitely post before, during and after this cooking adventure. 

Wednesday: Paella.
I am going to adapt a recipe from Betty Crocker's "300 Calorie Cookbook." I am super excited to use my saffron threads. It will be my first experience with saffron and making any kind of paella.

Thursday: Chicken tacos.
I have to use up the shredded chicken some way, right?

Friday: CSA!!
This is the first week of our CSA and I am super excited. I will be doing posts centered on the CSA throughout the summer. Tune in Thursday and Friday for some CSA meal planning and recipes.
What's a CSA? Check out this previous posts on the beauties of Community Supported Agriculture.

Baking for the week: Berry-Cornmeal Pound Cake (courtesy of Martha Stewart). 
It's another test run for my Mother's Day meal. I don't have the anxiety as much as I want an excuse to have some around the house this week and to do some baking. As I always say, 'When the going gets tough, I get baking.' There is something really satisfying about starting with disparate ingredients and an hour later, having something totally different and totally appetizing. It's a great sense of accomplishment.

Hope you will check in throughout the week. If anyone has any tips for preparing roasted chicken let me know. I will be the first to admit that I don't know what I am doing but I am very eager to learn.

Happy eating!

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