I make: Roasted Chicken Breast

This recipe is one of my favorites and one that I make most often. It’s quick, easy and the chicken breasts always come out so flavorful and juicy. I’ve also used the marinade on chicken thighs and they’ve turned out just as delicious.

Adapted from The Fine Cooking, The Best of Chicken

(yields ~ 4/5 servings, 1 chicken breast each)
Ingredients:
1 pack of bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts (the ones I buy come in 5)
6 tbsp dijon mustard (I like to substitute 1 or 2 tbsp of honey truffle mustard if I have it available)
6 tbsp olive oil (I use Stonehouse Roasted Garlic Olive Oil)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
(Additional kosher salt/pepper before baking)

Directions:
1. Whisk together mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar until smooth. Marinade chicken breasts for at least 6 hours – for me, it’s usually about 8.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Bake chicken in the middle rack for 20 minutes. Baste chicken with its own juices.
4. Continue to bake for 10 minutes. Baste again.
5. Continue to bake for 10 minutes. Baste again.
6. Continue to bake for 10 minutes.

THAT’S IT!

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Bon appetit!

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I eat: Traif

Our experience at Traif could not have started out any worse. We arrived 30 mins late because I thought our reservation was at 8:30PM – it was actually at 8:00PM. The hostess offered us the bar since our table had obviously been given away and we accepted. As we were settling in and figuring out what to order, the hostess came by and said she would be able to move us to a table (outside in the patio area) if we didn’t mind waiting about 10 minutes. Even though it actually turned out to be more like 20 minutes, we were so delighted and grateful! The hostess was more than awesome 🙂 .. too bad I can’t say the same for our waitress.

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Amuse bouche – Moroccan lentil soup

Delicious and oh so comforting on a cold, rainy night.

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Seared scallops, butternut squash, huckleberries, pistachios, sage

The scallops were perfectly cooked and I loved the sweet and nutty aspect of the sauce.

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Crispy pork belly, cauliflower, peperoncini, romesco, parsley-garlic

Hmm, honestly, I don’t really remember this one. Not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose. The dish was just not memorable either way.

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Butterfish carpaccio, grapefruit, avocado, mint, sesame, soy

The avocado enhanced the creaminess of the butterfish and the grapefruit brought a refreshing element to the dish. YUM!

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Gemelli pasta, blue crab, fresh black truffles, braised leeks

I’ve read many complaints about this dish, specifically regarding the lack of crab. While I agree that there could have been more crab (who doesn’t want more crab?), this dish was one of my favorites. The crab was not the star of the dish, but I couldn’t have cared less because I’m a sucker for truffles.

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Joe’s chopped chicken livers, balsamic-bacon toasts, rosemary & shallots

LOVED. LOVED. LOVED this! The balsamic drizzle added a bit of sweetness and paired well with the chicken liver pate.

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Salt & pepper spicy white shrimp, golden pineapple, sweet potatoes

When I read salt & pepper spicy shrimp, I didn’t expect to see this; I was thinking more along the lines of Asian salt and pepper shrimp. Although I liked the shrimp itself, the combination of pineapple and sweet potatoes didn’t work for me.

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Seared foie, fingerlings, ham chips, sunny egg, maple, hot sauce

This dish reminded me of the foie gras loco moco at Animal (one of my favorite dishes EVER). It wasn’t as good, but certainly isn’t far behind. How can a dish with foie, potatoes and egg not be good?

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Sautéed veal sweetbreads, roast mushrooms, green garlic, spinach

By this time, we were so damn full, our buttons were about to pop off. I liked the earthiness of the mushrooms and green garlic, but the dish would have been much better had the sweetbreads been accompanied with something that would have provided a contrast in texture instead of spinach. Henry isn’t a big fan of sweetbreads because of the texture so even though I was already extremely stuffed, I basically finished the dish myself. oof.

We definitely learned the hard way that 8 dishes is wayyyy too ambitious! No regrets though, we had a great meal.

Verdict: 4/5
Traif
229 S 4th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

I eat: Cube Marketplace

For my 4th dineLA experience, I opted for lunch since we had just spent $$$$ on what will surely be one of the most memorable meals of 2010: Petrossian.

Since Cube was fresh in my mind after reading about it recently, I looked up their menu for dineLA and quickly began to salivate. Braised maple bacon and truffle burger? SOLD! We made reservations for a rainy Friday afternoon, which in retrospect, was a poor decision on my part since traffic is RIDICULOUS in all directions on Fridays + it was raining. We arrived at noon, 30 mins late for our reservation (we called to let them know), and the place was practically empty at that time. People began trickling in after we were seated and by the time we left, there weren’t any tables available.

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I knew what I wanted to order off of the dineLA menu, but as I was browsing through the regular menu, I saw mac and cheese and I just couldn’t resist. What can I say… I’m such a sucker for mac and cheese! After we placed our order, the chef sent out an amuse bouche of adelegger cheese, from Germany. Bold with a similar nutty flavor like parmigiano-reggiano. Our first courses were braised maple bacon (of course!) and spicy tuscan bean and sausage soup. The bacon (pork belly) was cooked properly and the celery root puree provided a nice balance to the sweetness of the maple. The soup took on all the great flavors of the sausage and the greens made me feel like I was actually eating, (gasp), healthy. The soup was so comforting, perfect for a rainy day. Our appetizers made us really excited for the rest of the meal.

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For our entrees, we ordered the truffle burger and the lamb panini. When the waiter took our order, he asked if we wanted blue cheese on our burger. He didn’t give us an alternative and I figured why not just try the burger as it was originally prepared: with blue cheese. I’m not the biggest fan of blue cheese since it is so strong, but I can tolerate it. When I took my first bite, I immediately regretted my decision. The blue cheese totally overpowered the entire burger; all I could taste was blue cheese. I found myself trying to scrape off the blue cheese in attempt to save the burger. I don’t feel like I can give an accurate review of the burger since I was so overwhelmed by the blue cheese. The lamb panini was .. ok. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. It tasted like really dry roast beef. In fact, it was so dry, the au jus didn’t even help moisten it much.

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My first impression of the mac & cheese was that it looked like school cafeteria mac and cheese (except for the garlic on top). It didn’t taste much better either. Plain, boring and seriously lacking in flavor. Although, I have to say, the balsamic was a nice touch. This was not worth $7.

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Our desserts were more enjoyable. We had the seasonal fruit cobbler duo (cherry and rhubarb) and pots de creme duo (butterscotch and valhrona chocolate). The cobblers were too sweet for my taste, although the ice cream did help cut the sweetness somewhat. I absolutely LOVED the butterscotch creme, but the chocolate creme was extremely bitter; it must have been >70% cacao.

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Overall, I was disappointed. I can see how others would like this restaurant, but the food at Cube Marketplace just didn’t mesh well with my tastes/preferences.

Verdict: 2.5/5
Cube Marketplace
615 North La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036