I think our “Grilled Chicken for People Who Hate Grilled Chicken” recipe has been the breakout dish of the season. And not only in your house as so many of you have mentioned — but in mine, too. I’d say we’ve served up some version of it at least once a week since June.
Which troubles me. I’m worried that it might become the Maque Choux of 2010. Maque Choux was this crazy delicious summer stew I found in Gourmet. It’s made with chicken and sausage and sweet corn, and if you haven’t ever made it, you should definitely remedy that matter as soon as possible. (Especially since fresh, sweet corn is disappearing rapidly.) When I met Maque Choux, I fell hard. We spent practically every Saturday night together for six weeks in the summer of 2002. With friends, with family, over candlelight. And then — you know how it goes — we flamed out. I look at Maque Choux’s photo now and feel nothing. Nothing except a deep sense of sadness and loss. We were so close once. What happened??
We overdid it, is what happened. And I am determined not to repeat the mistake with this year’s love story. Hence the big dollop of watercress sauce next to the grilled chicken. The vibrantly green sauce can be whirled in a blender with just about any leafy lettuce that is about to wilt (I’ll bet you have some in your fridge right now) then spooned over the chicken (or used as a dip, should the kids be wary). It’s just enough of a spark to keep things interesting.
In a skillet, saute 1/2 shallot in olive oil and a little butter over medium heat. After a minute or so, add a large bunch of watercress (or any other leafy salad green like spinach, arugula, bibb) and saute until just wilted. Remove from heat and let cool. Add to a blender along with a heaping teaspoon of Dijon mustard and about 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Puree until blended, adding more broth as necessary to achieve desired consistency. (I like mine to be more soupy than gloppy.)
PS: So sorry about the tomatoes in this picture. The photo was taken a few weeks ago when the heirlooms were still heavy, deep red, and aromatic. I’m already feeling summer tomato withdrawal — only about 48 weeks to go til I see one again.