Y’all, buttermilk fried chicken is the BOMB. Crispy golden skin and moist insides are nothing to say no to. The colonel is right; fried chicken is finger-lickin’ good. Especially buttermilk fried chicken. But what’s the difference? Buttermilk fried chicken is soaked in buttermilk prior to […]
I wasn’t originally a fan of beets. Let’s just say they’ve grown on me. Especially since eating this gorgeous roasted beet salad. Beet salad might not seem like something you’d love to eat, but this roasted beet salad with honey lemon dressing is. The leafy […]
I’m back! Sorry for the break, but it’s amazing what a trip to Disneyland and a work-intensive Halloween costume can do to derail a blog. Luckily, we ate well enough that I didn’t miss Buttery Basics too much!
But after that Disneyland trip, I could definitely use a salad. Hence this gorgeous harvest chicken salad.
I think that the best salads are the ones that don’t taste like salads( like this one). This salad’s vegetables are tossed with herbs, caramelized, and covered in a lovely honey balsamic dressing. This salad still has greens, but I chose to use butter lettuce. If you’re not familiar with butter lettuce, it has a mild flavor and a soft mouthfeel. It feels like a small and cherished luxury to me, but romaine lettuce or spinach would be equally yummy.
With the butternut squash, Honeycrisp apple, and honey balsamic dressing, this harvest chicken salad feels like the best of fall all rolled into one filling, healthy delight. Enjoy!
For harvest chicken salad:
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- 1/8 cup salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 6 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 head butter lettuce (or romaine or spinach)
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, diced
For honey balsamic dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon mustard
Begin by brining the chicken. Place your chicken in a large bowl, add the salt, and cover with water. Cover the bowl and set aside for fifteen minutes. When the time is up, remove the chicken, pat with a paper towel to dry, and bake on a sheet pan at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until done.
Next, prepare the butternut squash by placing it in a large bowl and covering with olive oil, thyme, and rosemary. Toss to coat. Bake on a sheet pan at 425 F for 40-50 minutes, or until soft and slightly caramelized.
In the meantime, make your honey balsamic dressing by whisking all ingredients together.
When your chicken and squash are done, assemble the salad by heaping everything together and drizzling on the dressing (in an aesthetically pleasing way, of course). Enjoy!
This honey glazed challah is the best thing I have ever made. And I don’t say that lightly. Something about this combination of good fresh honey, tender inner dough, and the burnished outer crust of the challah makes my heart skip a beat. I was literally cooing to the loaf as it came out of the oven, and I’m sure it will happen again.
In case you’re not familiar with it, challah is a gloriously rich and eggy Jewish bread, often eaten around Jewish holidays. But it’s also perfectly fine for you to make challah to celebrate a random Friday.
A few notes: the quality of honey used in the honey glazed challah really does matter. You can use normal honey, but using good honey really improves the taste. Also note that you can adapt this recipe to be an unflavored challah; simply omit the optional thyme, the lemon zest, the lemon juice, and all but 1/3 cup of the honey. Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s fig and sea salt challah recipe.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1 cup good honey
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons flaky salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Zest of two lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons thyme, optional
First, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the honey in warm water. Stir in the yeast, and let it sit until foamy. Combine the yeast mixture with 1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup olive oil, and 3 eggs. Stir in the salt and flour, until the dough begins to hold together. Knead (by hand or with a dough hook) until smooth and stretchy: for 5-10 minutes. Move your dough to a large oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for at least one hour.
After resting the dough, tip it out onto a large floured surface. Roll the dough into four long strands. These will be the base for your challah braids.
To braid your challah, arrange the four ropes into a shape like a tight tic-tac-toe board. Arrange the ropes so that each is under one rope and under another rope (replicating the center of the shape in the image below). Take the four rope ends that are underneath, and jump them over the rope to their left. Take the other ropes and jump them over the ropes to the right. Tuck the ends underneath the dough.
(If you need to see it visually, I recommend this video about braiding challah. However, you just need to make it look somewhat organized, and you’ll be fine.)
Move your honey glazed challah to an oiled cookie sheet or a baker’s stone. Drizzle with the rest of the honey and sprinkle with thyme, if using. Beat your remaining egg until smooth, and brush over the bread. Allow the challah to rise for one hour.
Preheat your oven to 370 F. Coat your challah one more time with the egg wash before baking for 35 to 40 minutes. Check every ten minutes to see if the loaf is browning too quickly; if it is, tent it with foil. The loaf will be done when the inner temperature has reached 195 degrees F. Cool before serving. Enjoy!
Granola is not something I usually make, especially not honey thyme granola. But I have Daphne Oz’s The Happy Cook from the library this week (see the other recipe I tried from her cookbook here), and this was a recipe that seemed within my comfort zone. Around the time the scent of vanilla started to drift through the house, I knew I wouldn’t have anything to regret. I did adapt it to suit what was in my pantry. Luckily, this granola can be made with whatever you have on hand; the ingredients list is more like guidelines.
My final note on this recipe is that, while I liked the excuse to use some fresh thyme from my garden, I feel like it didn’t add much to the recipe. So I increased the amount of vanilla in the honey thyme granola from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. Feel free to play with the amount of vanilla; it’s hard to go wrong!
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups mixed chopped nuts: walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or pistachios
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
salt to taste
First, heat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
Mix oats, sunflower seeds, and nuts in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine olive oil and thyme in a small saucepan. Cook this mix over medium-high heat, swirling often, until thyme is fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. (The thyme may spit a little, which is fine.) Remove from heat and let the thyme oil cool and infuse for at least 10 minutes.
Mix honey, vanilla extract, and kosher salt into the thyme oil. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until covered. Turn out onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading granola fairly evenly.
Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. Finally, sprinkle on a few pinches of salt and let cool completely before packing into airtight containers. (I used a Mason jar, but Tupperware is fine.)
This honey thyme granola keeps for weeks, stored in a cool, dry spot. Enjoy with yogurt or honey!