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Chef Aida Mollenkamp and The Humane Table

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Chef Aida joined us  to talk about her new book Keys To The Kitchen.  She also demonstrated recipes for a Humane Table. 

Great recipes start with the right ingredients. As a chef, Aida choose ingredients that are natural, fresh, local and humanely raised because I think they taste better. Today, more than ever, it’s easier to have a “Humane Table” as humanely raised foods are becoming more accessible and affordable. Products certified by American Humane Association, the country’s oldest national humane organization, are now available in most local supermarkets and club stores and marked clearly with a seal – like this package (hold up Foster Farms chicken). Family owned Foster Farms is the first major chicken company to earn American Humane Certification from American Humane Association based on 200 stringent criteria covering living conditions, diet and natural behaviors.

Chef Aida Mollenkamp




Herb Chicken Paillard Salad with Creamy Mango Dressing
Makes: 4 servings / 3/4 cup dressing
Total Time: 30 minutes
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , about 2 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3/4 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For the dressing:
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
4 teaspoons plain yogurt
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
1/2 head red or green leaf lettuce, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces (8 cups)
3 ounces baby arugula (about 2-1/2 loosely packed cups)
1 cup packed watercress leaves
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil, mint, or chives
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Japanese cucumbers, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 medium avocado (optional)
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, chopped  for garnish

For the chicken:
Sprinkle a little water in four medium size resealable plastic bags, place 1 chicken breast in each bag, push out the air, and seal it. Use meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy pot or pan, and gently pound each chicken piece until about 1/2-inch thick and even throughout. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, drizzle the chicken with enough oil to just coat it. Stir together chopped herbs, lemon zest, juice with 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Rub the chicken and coat evenly with the herbs and seasonings then wash hands with hot water and soap. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet, you may have to cook it in two batches, and cook chicken until juices run clear when pierced, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Cover cooked chicken with foil while you cook the remaining chicken.

For the dressing:
Combine chopped mango, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender, cover and blend until smooth. Stir in a spoonful or two of water to help loosen the dressing. Taste and season, as needed, with salt and pepper. (Can be made up to 4 days ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.) 

For the salad:
Combine the lettuce, arugula, watercress, and herbs in a large salad bowl, toss gently and set aside. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and slice the chicken breasts into 1/2-inch slices on the bias. Divide the salad greens between four salad plates, top each with a scattering of onions and cucumbers. Slice the avocado into 1/2-inch slices and divide among the plates, and drizzle equal amounts of dressing on top of the salads, about 2 1/2  tablespoons on each salad. Top with the sliced chicken, sprinkle with peanuts, and serve.

Pineapple-Marinated Grilled Chicken Sliders
Makes: 12 sliders
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus 3 to 4 hours for marinating
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes 

For the chicken:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed honey
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 scallions, trimmed and minced
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 6
2 tablespoons Canola, Grapeseed, or Peanut Oil, plus more for grilling

For the sliders:
1/2 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rings
1 medium red onion, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rings
12 slider buns (such as King’s Hawaiian bread or Trader Joe’s mini burger buns)
1/3 cup good-quality mayonnaise
4 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 medium ripe avocado (optional) 

Combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, scallions, garlic, and pepper in a medium nonreactive bowl. Whisk until completely incorporated, add chicken, turn to coat in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Brush a grill pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil then heat over medium heat, brush the pineapple and onions with additional oil then grill until golden and grill marks are visible, about 5 minutes on each side. Quarter the pineapple pieces when done. Then set onions and pineapples aside on a plate. Meanwhile, cook the chicken until the juices run clear when pierced, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm and rest.

Meanwhile, split each slider roll then lightly brush the insides with oil before toasting on the grill surface (brushed-side down) for 1 minute. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and chile-garlic sauce in a bowl and stir until evenly combined. Slice the avocado into 6 slices on each half, cut crosswise (across the shortest length). To serve, spread each roll with a thin layer of the chile-garlic mayonnaise, slice each thigh in half, and top each bun with a piece of  chicken, and, as desired, pineapple, onion, and avocado, and serve.

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