LIGHT AND EASY CAME TO MIND ##CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON A BED OF GARDEN VEGGIES

I had a rather challenging and super-busy day. Lunch was a jerk chicken dish with spinach rice, steamed cabbage and of course, plantain. I grabbed this bite at a popular Jamaican restaurant called Golden Crust. It’s like a fast food eatery with home-cooked Jamaican meals. I made sure to get extra jerk sauce on the side. As expected, the food was very tasty.  I was quite satisfied.

Later on, returning to my nest, to tell you the truth, I was in no mood to sweat over a range. However, my palate nudged me and requested something else. Being the pleaser that I am, I granted its wish. You see, I had a few pieces of chicken tenderloin already defrosted at the bottom shelf of the fridge. Pan-seared tenderloin strips were on my mind along with  salad. So, I went to work.

I made sure to further slice my tenderloin a little thinner. With a dash of salt and black pepper along with crushed garlic, my tenderloins were seasoned. Instead of all-purpose flour, I lightly dusted my chicken in a little whole wheat flour. Then, they were placed in beaten egg solution in order to have the panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) adhere to chicken.

PREPPING FOR PAN-SEARING OF CHICKEN TENDERLOINS
PREPPING FOR PAN-SEARING OF CHICKEN TENDERLOINS (EGG WASH, PANKO BREAD CRUMBS AND FLOURED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS

Chicken tenderloins were browned for approximately four to five minutes in a combination of olive and canola oil. Excess oil from chicken was drained on paper towel. I still have a portion of cilantro. A few sprigs were finely chopped and added to a store-bought ranch dressing along with a squeeze of lemon to freshen dressing.

I served my chicken tenderloins with a garnish of cilantro and placed same on a refreshing bed of garden salad. This was made up of avocado, iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, scallion, and shredded carrot.

 CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON A BED OF GARDEN VEGGIES
CHICKEN TENDERLOINS ON A BED OF GARDEN VEGGIES

Guys, my palate and I were super-happy and well satiated.

HERB/CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN ON CARROT/GINGER SAUCE

It seems like guacamole was on my mind. Maybe because I had a couple of the main ingredients (cilantro and avocado) on hand. Never went there though. Instead, I prepped a combination of chopped avocado and cilantro and sprinkled with a pinch of salt and black pepper with a squeeze of lime. I placed that to chill in the refrigerator for a garnish.

My intention was to cook a roasted chicken with a crust of herbs (cilantro/thyme), bread crumbs and cheddar cheese. And that’s what I did. With the drizzle of  olive oil, my crust was ready to be administered on my chicken parts (legs/thighs) when the roasting was completed.

CRUST MADE UP OF BREAD CRUMBS, CHEDDAR CHEESE, THYME, CILANTRO, OLIVE OIL
CRUST MADE UP OF BREAD CRUMBS, CHEDDAR CHEESE, THYME, CILANTRO, OLIVE OIL

Chicken parts (legs/thighs) were seasoned with salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic from the previous night. Decided to cook my chicken in a cast iron skillet as it’s a great conductor of heat. So, after my skillet was heated stove top, a drizzle of coconut oil was added.  Garlic was removed from chicken parts and then they were dried with paper towel. Chicken were seared on both sides.

BROWNED CHICKEN PARTS READY FOR ROASTING IN OVEN
BROWNED CHICKEN PARTS READY FOR ROASTING IN OVEN

A splash of water was added to skillet along with thyme/cilantro. Chicken was placed in a heated oven on 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Chicken parts were turned once. Then, the herb/cheddar cheese crust was added to each piece. Skillet was then placed back inside oven for another five to six minutes under broiler.

CHICKEN PARTS WITH HERB/CHEDDAR CHEESE CRUST FOR COMPLETION UNDER BROILER
CHICKEN PARTS WITH HERB/CHEDDAR CHEESE CRUST FOR COMPLETION UNDER BROILER

While chicken was completing I did a quick sauce of carrot and ginger root.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT/GINGER SAUCE
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT/GINGER SAUCE

Carrots, a small piece of ginger(a little goes a far way) were chopped and placed in a small stock pot along with a sprig of cilantro and water for approximately 12 minutes. These were cooled and placed in food processor along with a dollop of sour cream, pinch of salt and pepper. This was pureed to a thick but runny consistency.

CARROT/GINGER SAUCE IN FOOD PROCESSOR
CARROT/GINGER SAUCE IN FOOD PROCESSOR

After herb/cheddar crusted roast chicken was finished,

FINISHED HERB AND CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN IN CAST IRON SKILLET
FINISHED HERB AND CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN IN CAST IRON SKILLET

it was served on carrot and ginger sauce with a garnish of avocado and cilantro.

PLATED DISH OF HERB & CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN ON CARROT/GINGER SAUCE WITH GARNISH OF CILANTRO/AVOCADO
PLATED DISH OF HERB & CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN ON CARROT/GINGER SAUCE WITH GARNISH OF CILANTRO/AVOCADO

Guys, the finished dish was amazing. All the flavors and spices came together in a very tantalizing way. By the way, I added a little Jasmine rice to the mix.(not in pic). After all, I had that beautiful bed of carrot and ginger sauce to soak up. The chicken parts were still crusty with the mix of cheddar cheese and cilantro. Nature’s butter (avocado) provided a smooth and velvety balance to the dish.