Tuesday, September 21, 2021

What’s for dinner? Marinated chicken breast with roasted garlic risotto, and crispy Brussels sprouts!

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Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Marinated chicken

I feel like I am constantly trying to find something new and different to make for my family for dinner. My husband is a “vegetarian” but, he really only avoids red meat and my two year old goes through “picky eating” phases where it feels impossible to get him to eat anything healthy. So, I am quite often alone at the dinner table and occasionally it’s not that bad. Last night, I decided to make chicken breast in a way that I hadn’t before. I paired it with a roasted garlic risotto kit that I had bought and some fresh Brussels sprouts, air-fried to perfect crispiness. This meal would ultimately turn off my two-year-old, be completely consumed by my husband, but only partially consumed by me.

Ingredients for the meal

For the chicken
  • 2 whole chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
  • 1.5 cups of Apple Thyme Vinaigrette marinade
  • Large ziplock bag
  • Platter to hold it in the fridge
For the risotto
  • 2 ¼ cups of water
  • Roasted garlic risotto packet kit
  • Additional grated parmesan cheese (if desired)
  • Additional unsalted butter (if desired)
For the Brussels sprouts
  • 2-3 cups cleaned, destemmed, and halved Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The chicken breast

I began by prepping two large chicken breasts (which is more than enough for the three of us). I removed any excess fat and other pieces that I like to remove before I do anything else. Once both breasts were prepped, I placed them into a double zipper-lock plastic bag, poured in the apple and thyme vinaigrette marinade, zipped the bag shut and placed it flat on a dish in the fridge. Every other hour I would flip the bag to the other side to allow for even marinating.

Marinated chicken

After about 4 hours of marinating, I pulled the bag out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to begin to warm to room temperature. I set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and retrieved my small roasting pan. After the chicken sat out for about 10 minutes, I dumped the contents of the bag into the roasting pan, including the marinade. I put the lid on top and set the whole thing into the oven. I set the timer for 45 minutes and began prepping the rest of the meal.

The risotto

The risotto

I waited to start the risotto until there was about 20-25 minutes left for the chicken cooking time. The risotto came as a packet kit that I had bought from the grocery store. It included the arborio short-grain rice, seasonings and sauce mixture. All I had to do was pour 2 ¼ cups of water into the saucepan, add the contents of the packet, and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Near the end of the risotto cooking process, the packet suggested adding two tablespoons of freshly shaved parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I did both!

The Brussels sprouts

The Brussels sprouts

I had bought a microwavable steam bag of Brussels sprouts from the grocery store but, I do not like to cook them this way. More often than not, there are a couple of Brussels sprouts that are beginning to go bad and should be removed from the bag, so I begin by sorting through the usable sprouts and the unusable sprouts. I then cut the stems off of the usable sprouts, remove any loose leaves and proceed by cutting each sprout in half. Once all of the usable sprouts are halved and placed into a deep bowl, I drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper before tossing them several times to ensure they are coated evenly. I then add them to the air fryer and allow them to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Marinated chicken breast with roasted garlic risotto, and crispy Brussels sprouts!

The end result

The Brussels sprouts were perfectly crispy in my opinion. Some of the loose leaves may get extra crisp but no one turns down free chips! the risotto was deliciously creamy and fragrant. The chicken, on the other hand, was a little too much for me and I didn’t finish it, though it was supremely moist and tender!

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