As promised, the recipes from now on will be those suitable for a man on the “Dad’s Diet” (copyright 2021).
The chicken is coated in a sexy mixture of herbs and flour and is light but tasty. The grapes are put in at the last minute so they still hold their texture and body. The Mandarin salad is there because there are no potatoes or other vegetables in this dish. It’s a filling, tasty dish that comes in at 250 calories per serving! That’s right, almost half what a regular meal should be, yet it appears and tastes gourmet. Of course, the serving is smaller but the mix of meat, fruit, and vegetables (in the salad), creates a sense of fullness despite the caloric intake being extremely low. Heck, you could have two servings and still be okay for the average dinner!
1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless). You can replace it with 4 thighs but you’re adding skin, so calories go up slightly).
1 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, thinly diced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp allspice
(if you don’t have the above spices in stock, don’t worry, it’ll still taste good. If you have basil, paprika, or parsley, use that. Remember, spices will be your saviour when trying to “spice” up dull meals when dieting, so go to the store and stock up!)
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups white seedless grapes
parsley for topping (if you have it)
We’re going to carmelize the onions (they appear to be burning but don’t worry, you didn’t read it incorrectly)
Heat the butter over medium-low heat in a heavy ovenproof skillet (makes sure it’s ovenproof-a cast iron one is perfect)
Add the onions and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onions are a deep golden color (and a little burnt), remove them from the pan and set them aside in a dish.
(While onions are cooking, skip to the salad and make that)
To make the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, chili powder, thyme, allspice, and black pepper (about 1/2 tbsp) in a small dish. Cut the chicken in half lengthwise, then half crosswise, so that you have 4 2-3″ pieces. Dredge each piece in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
In the same pan as the onions, heat the oil. Add each piece of chicken and fry for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip over and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate (if it’s not fully cooked, don’t worry, it’s going in the oven to finish).
Turn the heat down and let all the old cool off. Add the wine. It will bubble (this is called glazing). Add the broth and simmer (low heat) until the mixture is thickened slightly. Add the onions and chicken to the pan and then place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Remove it from the oven, add the grapes, baste with the sauce, and then bake for another 5-10 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with the salad (and maybe one glass of white wine… since you had to open the bottle)
2 tbsp finely chopped onion (a shallot if you have one)
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper (couple of shakes each)
1 head of lettuce, torn into small pieces
3 oranges, peeled, white pitch removed, fruit segmented
4 ounces soft goat cheese or feta, crumbled
(if you don’t have oranges or orange juice, use canned mandarin oranges. They’re already sliced and you can use the juice. Have a couple of cans in the cupboard handy.)
- Make dressing in a bowl by combining onion, vinegar, juice, mustard, and sugar. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper
- Make salad by tearing up lettuce. Add orange segments. Toss with dressing. Crumble cheese on top and serve.
(A regular serving of this salad is 182 calories which is why I suggest you use a 1/2 serving (about one handful), to keep the total meal caloric count down. If you are still hungry after the meal, have more salad, not more meat.)
This and other recipes are suggested for men following the Dad’s Diet strategy (copyright 2021). They are also served at the Artichoke Hart restaurant (New York Fried, copyright 2016) and sometimes served by 5-star chef London Cartwright (Menu of Passion, copyright 2017).