Thursday, November 11, 2010

Almond Meal-Encrusted Chicken w/Roasted Butternut Squash and Sundried Tomatoes

I took a stroll around my new neighborhood this evening, and felt, for the first time since moving to LA, a beautiful fall breeze that made me almost miss Philly. For a second, I was brought back to multi-colored leaves tumbling onto Locust Walk, and felt a slight pang of nostalgia. But then the memory of drafts that turned into sharp chills at the snap of a mud-coated twig brought me back to the present. Boy, am I glad I don't have to deal with east coast weather anymore!

Given my leisurely mood and inspired by the lovely fall day, I decided to actually spend the time to cook something tonight. (Just to preface—this is maybe my 34th (or so?) attempt at cooking on my own, and certainly a first in my new kitchen.) I had some chicken in the fridge, along with a nice butternut squash, so I thought I would try and make a meal of it. (The sundried tomatoes were an impromptu add-in at the end, when I caught a glimpse of the jar as the fridge was closing.) Not a great photo, but quite delicious (by my standards) if I do say so myself :)

Here are the deets for my dinner tonight...

Roasted Butternut Squash: a modified version of one I found from the Foot Network
- 1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- ground cumin
* Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place butternut squash halves (flesh side up) in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over each squash. Season with salt, black pepper, and cumin. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes (or until the flesh is fork-tender).

Almond Meal-Encrusted Chicken: I was going for chicken parm, but seeing that I had no cheese, marinara, or bread crumbs, I made some substitutes. Actually, without the essential ingredients, this can only be considered a new creation...
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup almond meal
* Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slightly beat the egg, and add a pinch of salt if desired. Dip chicken in egg, then almond meal, coating well. Place chicken in a glass baking dish, and leave uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes (or until the chicken is no longer pink).

Spoon sundried tomatoes onto plate to garnish.

Buon appetito!

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