Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Three Meals with Blue Apron- Part 3

Sadly it's the third installment and final meal in our Blue Apron box. I have been so impressed by the quality of the food in these pre-planned meal boxes, and the step by step directions are so precise and easy to follow literally anyone can turn out a chef-quality meal at home. Not one of these meals took more than 30 minutes to prepare. I didn't spend a single minute grocery shopping or planning. They did it all for me! With these meal packages, there is absolutely no reason to visit a drive thru ever again.

Today's recipe is very French-inspired and features two things I truly love- chicken and lentils. This recipe is unique in that is features two salads- the lentils are tossed with vinaigrette and served as a warm salad, along with a fresh salad of arugula and radish. So French! Lentils are so good for you, protein packed and with the chicken breast you've got a healthy and filling meal. The box came with three fresh radishes for the salad, but I still had a couple watermelon radishes in the fridge that needed to be used soon, so I used one of those in place of two of the radishes in the box and snacked on the extras while cooking.  Let's get started.

The ingredients are:

2 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
1/2 cup French green lentils
3 cloves garlic
1 scallion
3 radishes
2 oz arugula
1 lemon
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons verjus blanc*
1 teaspoon lentil spice blend**

*Verjus blanc is a unique form of grape juice used for cooking. It's similar to an alcohol-free wine. Blanc is a white grape juice.

**Lentil spice blend contains ground thyme, ground bay leaf, mustard powder, ground white pepper

Cook the lentils- Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Using your fingers, inspect the lentils for any pebbles; discard the pebbles. Rinse the lentils and drain thoroughly. Once boiling, add the lentils to the pot of water and cook, uncovered, 24 to 26 minutes, until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to pot. Set aside in a warm place.

Prepare the ingredients- While the lentils cook, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice, separating the white bottom and green top. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and roughly chop the garlic, cut off and discard the ends of the radishes; thinly slice into rounds.

Make the vinaigrette- While the lentils continue to cook, in a bowl combine the mustard, half the white bottom of the scallion and the juice of all four lemon wedges. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper.

Cook the aromatics- While the lentils continue to cook, in a medium nonstick pan heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium high heat until hot. Add the garlic, spice blend and remaining white bottom of the scallion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seonds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the verjus blanc and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to one minute or until the verjus has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl, wipe out the pan.

Cook the chicken- while the lentils continue to cook, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In the skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin sides down, and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Finish and plate your dish- To the pot of cooked lentils, add the cooked aromatics and half the vinaigrette; stir to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the salad, in a large bowl combine the radishes, arugula and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the remaining vinaigrette (you may have extra vinaigrette) to coat the salad. Gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the finished lentils and salad between two dishes. Top the lentils with the cooked chicken. Garnish the chicken with the green top of the scallion.

Doesn't that look fantastic? The watermelon radish slices added pretty color and I served the chicken sliced rather than a whole uncut piece of meat. I made this one evening that The Chef was working so the second plate I combined everything and tossed to make a protein packed salad for lunch the next day. It was perfect at room temperature. 

If you hate shopping but LOOOOVE eating healthy and beautiful food, I highly recommend you check out Blue Apron. It's exceptional quality and huge time savings make it a great option for busy people. I hope you check it out.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free with no expectation that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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