I’ve been doing a lot of entertaining lately, and I really enjoy it! But I want it to be fairly easy, and I want to be able to prep it all ahead of time so that I can spend time with my friends as opposed to working while everyone else is relaxing. It’s more fun to sip rosé with them than cooking!
That Ina Garten again… she makes it so easy for me. I pulled two recipes from her How Easy Is That? book, which has a whole separate chapter for lunch options. They’re lighter, simpler and absolutely perfect for a quick lunch. I sliced up some bread, sprinkled on salt, pepper & olive oil and then broiled it for a few minutes. Chicken salad on a bit of arugala and served it. Easy, delicious and because I was able to prep it all in advance, I could enjoy the time with friends.
This chicken salad was so good, and I was able to make it the day before! I’d never thought to roast the chicken, but it was so good and so easy… just takes a little bit more time.
Mustard Chicken Salad
2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (3 pounds)
Good Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups small broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Discard the skin and bones and dice the chicken in large bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook fro 1 minute only, until crisp-tender. Drain, and place the broccoli into the bowl of ice water until cool. This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color. Drain well.
For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Add enough dressing to the warm chicken to moisten well. Add the tarragon, broccoli and cherry tomatoes and mix gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.
French String Bean Salad
1 1/2 pounds French string beans (haricots verts), both ends trimmed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute only. Time it carefully! You want the beans to be crisp-tender. Drain the beans and put them in the ice water until completely cool. Drain the beans again, dry on paper towels, and place them in a large bowl.
IN a small bowl, whack together the mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion.
Pour enough dressing over the beans to moisten them well, reserving the rest for another use. Toss with the dill, season to taste, and serve at room temperature. (If the beans aren’t served immediately, refrigerate them and add a little extra vinaigrette and a sprinkle of salt before serving.)