Saucy Chicken

While I’d love to make whole, roasted chicken often (I love the way the house smells as it’s baking), I usually don’t have time. Instead, I cheat a little (okay, a lot) by using skinned, boneless chicken thighs that are frozen. I always keep a bag of them in my freezer to have flavorful, lean, tender chicken at the ready. This recipe is a great use of them. Because they are small and flat, they cook a lot faster and there’s no carving or carcasses involved! 

Mad Hungry variation Chicken

I served this Saucy Chicken with, from top right, crusty bread, Swiss chard from our garden, Israeli Couscous, a squeeze from a lime wedge for freshness, broiled yellow and red bell peppers and a grilled jalapeno pepper leftover from the previous night’s BBQ. I drizzled the sauce over everything I could – yum!

Ingredients

 

4-5 Boneless chicken thighs, thawed
3TBS lemon juice
1 TBS butter
6 TBS olive oil + a little to drizzle in the pan 
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 smashed garlic cloves (put one aside)
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 tsp. chopped rosemary if desired

Directions

1. Drizzle a little olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. This is separate from the 6 TBS in the recipe.
2. Very carefully add the chicken (it will splatter so have a splatter-guard ready). Note, patting chicken (or any protein) dry before adding it to hot oil helps cut down on splattering. The wetter it is, the more it will splatter!
3. Brown the chicken on both sides and cook until done.
4. Remove to a plate and turn the heat down to low.
5. Add all of the other ingredients except the 1 clove of garlic and swirl the mixture with the chicken drippings, scraping with a spatula to loosen the yummy bits. By doing this, you are warming the sauce, just slightly cooking the garlic (overly-browned garlic gets bitter) and incorporating the sauce with those delicious flavors from the drippings. 
6. Add the last garlic clove and pour all of the sauce into a serving container or just a measuring cup if you plan to do the drizzling over everyone’s meal. The reason I add that last garlic clove at the end is to get the two layers of garlic flavor – slightly cooked and raw. 
7. To serve, drizzle the combined sauce over the chicken as well as over other sides such as potatoes, rice, polenta, couscous – whatever you served it with. It’s delicious with starches, veggies and some good, crusty bread to soak up anything left! 

 

 

 

 

Sneak peek at a new e-cookbook, “Iowa Farms, California Tables” By Edan Goode

You can take the woman out of the midwest (and plop her in Hollywood, marry her to a big-wig TV exec and expect her to wine and dine celebrities) but you can’t take the midwest out of the woman. Good thing because then there wouldn’t be the new cookbook by Lori Aronsohn, Iowa Farms, California Tables.

Inspired by the fresh, farm-to-table dishes of her midwest upbringing, Aronsohn set about recreating the meals of her youth with a contemporary feel and healthy bent. Recipes include sauteed vegetables with goat cheese and parmigiano-reggiano, turkey tetrazzini for busy families, snickerdoodles and strawberry pie.

The cookbook is presented in e-book form with beautiful photographs, videos and the ability to highlight contents and link to resources, such as a directory to locate sometimes hard-to-find items.

Arohnson was kind enough to share a few of her recipes with us:

No Regrets Mac and Cheese                                                                                                                                           

No Regrets Mac And Cheese

Make this as healthy as possible by using whole wheat or whole grain pasta and breadcrumbs.

Serves 4 to 6.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1 pound macaroni or penne pasta

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth

1 teaspoon mustard powder

2 cups shredded white sharp cheddar cheese

Cook pasta until almost done and drain thoroughly.  Spray a 2-quart baking dish with vegetable oil spray.  Mix Parmigiano-Reggiano and breadcrumbs.

In a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux.  Add broth and mustard powder and whisk thoroughly for one minute.  Reduce heat and add cheddar, stirring until incorporated.  Add cooked pasta and mix again. Pour into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with Parmigiano and breadcrumb mix.

Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

NOTE: For an even healthier variation, add up to 1 cup broccoli, green onion or zucchini to pasta before baking.

Reliably Perfect Roast Chicken

Baked in a clay cooker, this is a reliably perfect way to prepare a roast chicken.

1 free-range roasting chicken

1 lemon, juiced, rind reserved

3 cloves garlic, minced

dash of salt

pinch of pepper

Fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, rosemary, Italian parsley or whatever you have on hand.

Soak the lid of clay cooker for 10 minutes or as instructed by manufacturer.

Rinse chicken, pat dry and place in the bottom of clay cooker, breast side up.

Make a paste of the lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Rub paste on the breast and inside cavity of the chicken.  Stuff lemon rinds and your choice of herbs into the cavity of the chicken.  Lay a few herbs over the breast.

Place soaked clay cooker lid on top of cooker bottom and put whole cooker into a cold oven.  Set oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake 90 minutes.  Perfect!

Kale Chips

I first learned how beneficial kale is while taking a college course on nutrition.  But, when I tossed some into a salad in my student apartment and tasted the bitter, raw vegetable, I vowed never to eat it again.  Years later Cindy shared this recipe with me and I’ve changed my tune about delicious, nutritious kale.

Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

1 bunch kale, washed, separated into leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sea salt

Cut out center rib from each kale leaf.  Place leaf halves in a bowl and toss with olive oil.  Spread out on a nonstick baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve warm on absorbent paper.

WHERE TO GET THE BOOK:  Iowa Farms, California Tables retails for $7.99 for Nook and Nook App, $9.99 in versions for Kindle and Sony Reader and $12.99 for an iBook version which includes videos. For more information, visit http://www.iowafarmscaliforniatables.com.