Yellow Squash Challenge: Baked Chicken with Yellow Squash and Green Olives in Lemonade Vinaigrette
And all the people said, “Wow, it’s about time…”
Well, Erika posted her delicious looking squash recipe days ago, and I, as usual, am a tad tardy posting mine. However, if you’ll give this one a shot, I think you’ll agree it was worth the wait. (I say that a lot, don’t I?) I actually came up with this recipe about a week before I issued the challenge, when I bought a boatload of yellow squash at the farmer’s market (Pepper Place Saturday Market in downtown Birmingham. Yay!!!) and had to figure out what to do with it. The results were a hit, even the munchkins ate it, so I deemed it blog worthy. I think it would also be nice with a mix of yellow squash and zucchini, but I’ll leave that up to you…
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. sugar (or honey)
1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. of bone-in, skinless chicken breast
1 to 1.5 lbs. yellow squash, sliced into thin circles
1 medium Vidalia onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups of whole green olives, pick your poison
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (the good kind, NOT the kind in the plastic shaker with the green lid)
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chinese 5 spice
Make the vinaigrette first. Put the lemon juice, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and sugar in the blender and whizz it around until it’s all mixed up and the parsley is in little pieces. Now, with the blender running, slowly drizzle the olive oil in through that handy, dandy, little hole in the top of the blender lid. Et voila!
Now place the chicken in a large zipper bag and add about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. Squish it all about until the chicken is well-coated and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
While the chicken marinates, combine your spices – 2 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp. of paprika, tsp. of garlic, tsp. of cumin, and 1/2 tsp. of 5 spice – in a small dish. Mix them with a fork to make sure they’re well incorporated. Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees as well if you like.
Spread the sliced squash, sliced onions, and green olives in a 9 by 13 baking dish. Add about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette, about 1 tbsp. of the spice mixture, and all of the parmesan cheese and toss it up to combine.
When your chicken has finished marinating, take it out and place it on top of the veggies. Sprinkle it liberally (that means put plenty on there) with the seasoning mix, and bake it for about 45 minutes.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but make sure the chicken is cook all the way through before you serve it…
I served mine on a bed of lentils, made according to pkg. directions, except that I made them with chicken broth instead of water and added a tsp. of garlic powder and 2 bay leaves in while they cooked.
Finally, drizzle the chicken and veggies with the remaining Lemonade Vinaigrette to taste and serve. Yummy!
In case you were wondering…
Why do you drizzle the olive oil into the vinaigrette in a slow stream? Vinaigrette is an emulsion. That means it consists of tiny particles of oil suspended in another liquid. Remember, oil and water don’t mix, so it’s important to combine them as vigorously as possible to create the illusion of uniformity. Drizzling the oil into a running blender is the easiest way I’ve found to do it.