Honest Mary’s Inspired Chicken and Brussels Citrus-Herbed Salad

A genuine taste of spring itself in every bite– I kid you not. Inspired by Honest Mary’s, a farm-to-table restaurant in my local Austin, TX.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (Approximately 8 chicken thighs)
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 additional tsp olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 medium orange
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh parsley
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 8 cups raw baby spinach

Special equipment:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Serrated knife or kitchen scissors
  • Air-tight container
  • Parchment paper (for easy cleanup)
  • Skillet pan (or large frying pan)

Prep time:  6-12 hours for marination (including 2 hours for roasting)
Hands-on time: 20-25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Preparation:

I. Marination:

  1. Using a serrated knife or kitchen scissors, cut each chicken thigh into medium sized chunks, about 2-3 inches large.
  2. Combine the chicken, citrus juices, dried herbs, pepper, salt, and olive oil in a large bowl. Toss with a fork to coat, and seal with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6-12 hours. (***Note: the longer you let this marinate, the more tender and practically falling off itself it will be!)

II. Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. While oven is preheating, rinse and pat the brussels sprouts dry, then cut each sprout in half lengthwise using a serrated knife.
  2. Toss and coat the brussels sprout halves in the teaspoon of olive oil, and then place each half cut-side down onto a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lay each sprout half 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet so that they roast evenly.
  3. Roast for 2 hours. Once soft and pierceable with a fork, remove from oven and cool. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

III. Citrus-herbed Chicken

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is heated (test by dropping a small amount of marinade onto the pan: if it sizzles, it’s ready), place chicken pieces directly onto skillet and brown on both sides, 7-10 minutes each. ***Tip: for browned chicken, do this in batches– do NOT heat the entire amount all at once, or chicken will be crowded and will steam instead of caramelizing.
  2. While chicken is cooking, finely chop parsley and slice fresh basil leaves into thin ribbons. Plate bowls with equal portions of spinach leaves, and top with equal portions of parsley, basil, and reserved roasted brussels sprouts.
  3. Once chicken is adequately browned on each side, plate onto bowls, and enjoy.

Yasmine’s Notes:

I’ll be completely honest with you myself, everyone. First, this recipe is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Honest Mary’s. I’ve opted to recreate it just because their customizable salad that I ordered is just that delicious to me: a bowl of grilled chicken, spinach, roasted brussels sprouts, and two servings of their fresh herb blend– no sauce.

Second, that salad was so delicious to me, that in that very same hour, I vowed to my dear friend who introduced me to Honest Mary’s that I would find a way to recreate it. Except… at first, I had envisioned doing so exactly as they had made it— managing it myself instead of relying on them for their own recipe. (After all, it’s what I’ve been having to do for many, many, MANY other recipes already out there in the world: literally rework them to turn their concepts into the same happy idea, but instead, starch-free, dairy-free, and thus actually edible for me!)

But the good news is that I realized sometimes, I don’t have to ‘fix’ a recipe someone else has made. If and when it’s fine on its own, it is– and when that happens? I say celebrate it. It’s that much more of what you WANT to see in the world, coming from somebody else that for once doesn’t have to be you!! I thus don’t seek to reinvent Honest Mary’s recipe: their salad is theirs, which I thoroughly recommend you give a try when you can, and this salad is its own homage to it.


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