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chicken tarragon
Grilled Tarragon Chicken Breasts

primavera salad
Pasta Primavera Salad

 

Menu Plan for the week of May 3, 2013:  Sunday's Recipes

Grilled Tarragon Chicken Breasts
Pasta Primavera Salad

Cooking time:  35 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       Tarragon and chives are the first herbs ready to use in the spring.  The salad doubles or triples easily for the first cook-out of the season.

Grilled Tarragon Chicken Breasts                     Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
     Tarragon is a great herb for chicken, and a classic pairing in French cuisine.  When basting with a marinade, stop about 5 minutes before taking the meat off the heat, and turn the meat a final time to make certain the marinade is cooked.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 tbs snipped fresh chives       substitute 2 tsp dried
2 tbs snipped fresh tarragon   substitute 2 tsp dried
2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs honey

Mix all ingredients except chicken, whisking well.  Pour over chicken and let marinate 10 - 15 minutes.  Cook on barbecue grill for 8 - 12 minutes per side or until done (test - take a peak), basting with marinade. 
OR
sauté in nonstick skillet for 8 - 10 minutes per side until nicely browned and done, basting with marinade.  Serve.

Pasta Primavera Salad                                     Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    This is a colorful salad for spring.  I used white asparagus, as that is more common here, and both yellow and red tomatoes. 

6oz (175gr) asparagus
2oz (60gr) mangetout, snow peas
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) cherry tomatoes
1/2 avocado  
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbs fresh tarragon
1 tbs fresh chives
1 cup small pasta - elbow macaroni, penne, rigatoni
Vinaigrette:
1 tbs Dijon mustard
3 tbs salad olive oil
2 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar

Cook pasta according to package directions. 
Vegetables: Trim and cut asparagus into 1 inch lengths.  Cut pepper into matchsticks.  Trim and cut snow peas in half.  Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over high medium high heat.  Add vegetables and stir-fry for 2 - 3 minutes until just crisp-tender (longer if you prefer, but, remember this is a salad!).  Remove and put into a large bowl. 
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to vegetables.  Cut avocado, remove pit.  Remove half of avocado from shell, cut into cubes and add to vegetables.  Snip herbes and add. 
Vinaigrette: Whisk together mustard and vinegar.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking until thick. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat (tongs work well).  When pasta is done drain, rinse lightly with cold water and add to salad.  Toss to combine and serve. 

Note: To store a cut avocado, leave in the shell, sprinkle with lemon juice, wrap tightly in cling film and store in the fridge, cut side down, on a plate.  Use within 2 days.

Cooking Schedule: 30 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small bowl (used 2X), whisk, large bowl, dish for marinating chicken, large skillet, pot and colander
for pasta, medium skillet or barbecue grill for chicken

Put water on high heat for pasta
Snip all herbs, divide
Make marinade
Spoon marinade over chicken, set aside
Light / turn on barbecue grill if using
Make vinaigrette
Trim, cut asparagus
Cut pepper

Trim, cut snow peas
Cook pasta
Cook chicken
Sauté asparagus, pepper, snow peas
Remove vegetables to bowl
Add herbs to vegetables
Cut cherry tomatoes, add to vegetables
Turn chicken
Pit avocado
Sprinkle lemon on, wrap, half of avocado
Cube half of avocado, add to vegetables
Add vinaigrette to vegetables, stir gently
Drain pasta, rinse, add to vegetables, stir
Remove chicken, slice, serve