The more I cook, the more I come to believe that the simplest dishes are the most satisfying both to make and to eat. Of course, I have tried those recipes that seem to have a million steps, or that ask you to stuff something or roll something or layer something, or that require a trip to three different food stores, or that force me to make a sauce that needs 30 minutes of constant stirring. Making these recipes tire me out, with so many details to keep straight, and usually when I sit down to eat them, the payoff doesn’t equal the effort I put in. Those recipes never make it into my regular repertoire.
But the simple recipes always draw the most raves, despite — or maybe because of — the small number of ingredients required or the minimal steps involved to get to the final dish. Of course, these often include the classics like Marinara Sauce, but they also include many contemporary dishes that rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients. In fact, eating simply often equates to eating healthfully, and that’s satisfying too.
I didn’t do a lot of cooking this week, but the simple dish Chicken Roasted with Salsa — my own creation — was my favorite and most satisfying meal of the week (recipe follows at the bottom of this post). The recipe takes advantage of out-of-season tomatoes by first draining them, then roasting them with the chicken to bring out the most tomato-y flavor. The salsa marinates the chicken and keeps it moist while it is roasting, infusing it with juicy lime flavor. Aside from the little bit of oil used in the roasting pan, there is almost no fat in this recipe. I served this with Oven Fries.
Chicken Roasted with Salsa
Time to make: ~1 hour
What you need:
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- a few dashes hot sauce
- salt, pepper and cilantro to taste
- 2 boneless chicken breasts
- olive oil
- Place the tomatoes in a strainer and let strain for 30 minutes; layer the onion on top
- Mix the tomatoes and onion with the lime juice, hot sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Drizzle the chicken with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Place the chicken in a baking pan and spoon the salsa over the top
- Roast the chicken until the interior temperature reaches 160 degrees, 15-20 minutes