Holy cow, this was a great meal. Part of why I became a Rachael Ray fan in the first place was the fact that she had her recipes organized as menus, so I didn't have to come up with side dishes once I picked a main course. All of 30 Minute Meals 2 is set up that way, but lots of Rachael's later cookbooks have strayed away from that style. However, it seems that Rachael has gotten in the mood to create square meals again. This time it was Lemon-Garlic-Herb Chicken with Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus and Pesto 3 Bean Salad from her Food Network show.
This meal was just outstanding. It was full of veggies and nice lean chicken. That makes up for the prosciutto and all the cheese in the bean salad. The only major thing I would do differently next time is not add the extra salt at the end to the salad, since there is enough salt when you mash up the garlic. With my husband's help, I think this meal took about 40 minutes to make.
Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 to 1/3 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces [Save yourself a little time and buy the pre-trimmed ones.]
2 lemons, zested
1 teaspoon fennel seed [I hate fennel, so I skipped this ingredient.]
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped [You gotta go for the fresh herbs.]
3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs [We're not into thighs, so I just did the 4 breasts.]
1 pound asparagus spears
8 slices prosciutto
1 cup basil leaves, about 20 leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, 5 to 6 stems stripped of their leaves
A handful pine nuts, 3 to 4 tablespoons, lightly toasted and cooled
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed
Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high.
Fill a small skillet with about 1-inch water and bring to a boil.
Grate the garlic onto a cutting board and add a couple teaspoons salt, mash into paste with the flat of your knife.
Add salt to boiling water and cook green beans 1 minute then drain and cool under cold running water then reserve.
Reserve 1/5 of the pasted garlic, about 1 clove and add the rest to a shallow dish. To the garlic, add the lemon zest, fennel seed, chopped thyme, rosemary, parsley and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil and some black pepper. Stir with a fork to combine then add chicken pieces and coat evenly. Grill chicken 12 to 15 minutes until juices run clear.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.
Trim asparagus of tough ends. Add salt and the asparagus to the water and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove from the water and place into an ice water bath to cool. Once cooled, pat dry with paper towels, drizzle with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide the asparagus into 4 piles and roll 2 layered slices of prosciutto around each pile to form bundles. Grill 7 to 8 minutes until prosciutto is crisp and spears are tender.
Place basil and mint leaves in a food processor with the nuts. Add some salt and pepper and turn processor on. Stream in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil to form a thick pasty sauce. Transfer the sauce to a bowl. Stir in the reserved garlic paste and the grated cheese. Add the cooled green beans and the canned beans to the bowl and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning.
Remove chicken from the grill and squeeze the juice of 1 of the zested lemons down over the meat while still hot.
Serve 1 piece each chicken breast and thigh with an asparagus bundle and some bean salad alongside.