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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Tender bits of dark meat chicken braised in a savory sauce with leeks, mushrooms and artichoke hearts? Oh yeah you betchya.

In a word? Yum.

We had frost this morning when I woke up and the whole world was covered in a glittering, sparkling sheen of tiny ice crystals. I haven’t seen frost since I moved away from Humboldt County. You don’t get frost in LA, at least not that I’ve ever noticed. But here, well, you get frost in September and I think this qualifies as “the first frost” because all my Johnny Jump Ups were dead when I went out front this morning. It’s the kind of weather that begs for savory, slow cooked dinners. And it just so happens, I had a savory, slow cooked dinner in mind. My dear friend and dietary inspirer over at Love.Thrive.Eat made this the other day. It sounded so good that I had to run right out and get some chicken and mushrooms so I could make it myself.

I’ll just go ahead and say it now. It is impossible to take a good picture of this dinner. It is quite possibly the least photogenic meal I have ever made.

chickeninthepot

This recipe, unsurprisingly, comes from Against All Grains by Danielle Walker. She seems to be everyone’s favorite paleo chef at the moment, and it’s well deserved. AAG is the cookbook I run to the most often these days when I need a guaranteed-yummo-but-easy dinner idea and it has not steered me wrong yet. I should add that my mom just went out and bought her own copy since I took mine with me when we moved up to the Mountain. It became Mom’s favorite go-to cookbook while we were living with her. All the other paleo cookbooks I brought were “please keep this in your room and not in the kitchen” but I don’t think Against All Grains left the kitchen counter even one night for the 3 weeks that we were there unless she was reading it on the couch. Mom doesn’t care about eating paleo, she just likes good food. For my mother to like and buy a cookbook is kind of a ringing endorsement.

I’m giving you my version of the dish here written with the adaptations I made – you’ll need to get the cookbook for the original recipe. I was missing things and had to sub a few ingredients and I also changed some amounts. The author gives you other options for things to use in the original recipe, so you have a choice of ingredients. Get the cookbook.

6 TBS clarified butter
1 package chicken drumsticks, one package chicken thighs, about 3- 4 lbs.
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 lb slice crimini mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 TBS coconut flour
1 13 oz can artichoke hearts (drained)
1 large leek, cleaned thoroughly and sliced into coins (my addition)

Preheat your oven to 375.

Put your Dutch oven on the stovetop at a medium heat, and brown your chicken pieces in the butter, with the salt and the paprika and pepper added. Set them aside when they are browned and toss the mushrooms, garlic and leeks into the butter mixture that is simmering in the pot. Brown those for a minute, then add the chicken broth, vinegar, honey and coconut flour. Cook that on the stovetop at medium for about 10 minutes, then throw your chicken back in the pot along with that can of artichoke hearts. Put the lid on your Dutch oven and stick that sucker in the oven for about 45 – 50 minutes. Normally I’d cook bone in chicken a little longer, but if you’re using a cast iron Dutch oven, it will concentrate the heat and the cooking time will be perfect. If you are using a glass dish or casserole, you might have to adjust a little longer, so take that into consideration.

chickenontheplate

This dish was incredible. It tastes so good. Oh my gosh I can’t even say. Slippery soft little bits of leek braised with velvety artichoke hearts, savory mushrooms and the perfectly cooked chicken just slipped from the bone. YUM. This is the kind of dish that demands you open a really good bottle of wine and linger at the table with good friends. This, my friends, is Company Chicken. This is the chicken you will make for your lover, your best friend, your mother in law, or just yourself because you are awesome and you deserve it. The kicker is that it’s practically no work at all, so your friends will think you’re a flippin’ genius in the kitchen, you will get kudos, compliments and accolades, and you will have spent the bulk of the cooking time with your feet up, drinking a nice up of tea. It’s also pretty inexpensive. Barring pantry staples like spices, vinegar, honey, and the coconut flour which I always have on hand, I spent about $18 on this dish. There was enough for at least 4 people to have a nice dinner with good appetites, or for two people to eat very well for two nights running.

Rumors that I chased the juices around with a spoon on my plate and finally gave up and tipped the whole thing up so I could savor every last drop are completely not exaggerated. It happened. I confess. It took every ounce of willpower I had to not stand over the pot and slurp the stuff up with a spoon. I did warn the Captain that it might not survive till he comes home from LA, but since I love him, I will throw myself on the chicken and make it again so he can try it.

I think that next time I’ll remove the chicken and veg from the pot at the end of cooking, and reduce the sauce a bit to make it thicker and more gravy like before serving. I didn’t make any side dishes with this. Just that glorious chicken and braised yummy things on my plate. It was perfectly satisfying, the only problem was that the sauce was a little thin to chase around with a spoon and that’s why there are rumors of plate tipping. And, er, plate licking. This chicken would be fantastic over wild rice, (or even a regular potato dish for non paleo folks) and you wouldn’t need more than a simple green salad to tie the whole meal together if you were serving it to company. Maybe throw down some poached pears in wine for dessert and you’ve got the perfect Autumn meal.

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1. Finally cook the delicious looking dishes you bookmarked in cookbooks a long time ago, but never got around to making before. Make sure you eat them off of vintage china.
2. Create your own sumptuous dishes from your own imagination and coax them into being over the course of many hours. Like a slow cooked, velvety rich stew of coconut broth braised lamb with sweet potato, garden tomatoes, and kale.
3. Read stacks of library books while things are cooking.
4. Give all the cats extra brushing and slip them double salmon treats twice in one day.
5. Visit your art supplies and get to know them again.
6. Take long naps while the sun is shining in your window and kitties snore on cushions nearby.
8. Make ginger spiced applesauce with organic apples.
9. Sit outside and chat with hummingbirds while you drink strong cups of smoky black tea.
10. Revisit your ipod and listen to music you haven’t heard in years because you can’t stream Pandora anymore.

I may have to add:
11. take long walks to balance out the sumptuous meals.

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I love projects! I love to do lists! I love planning projects, executing projects and sometimes I even like to finish a project. And today I came up with a kind of fun one for the new year.

I bought a blank recipe book at Borders on my birthday, intending to sit down and use it to organize all the random slips of paper currently falling out of my cookbooks. I thought I’d transfer some recipes off my computer and into the book as well, since I’ve got literally hundreds of recipe pages bookmarked and sometimes it can be hard to find what I’m looking for. I have 3 years worth of Cooking Light magazine under my coffee table and I’ve never made a single thing from one of them. I’ve got about 10-20 basic meals that I sort of rotate through because they’re easy, and that really gets dull.

And then it occurred to me!

I have not made most of those recipes that are bookmarked. Most of those slips of paper are not recipes that I’ve actually tried, just ones that I’ve saved because they looked good. I’d really like to throw the @!#!@ magazines away and clear up some space.

So here’s the project. It’s the Fill My New Recipe Book project. Over the course of 2010, I am going to try at least one of those recipes a week. I’m also going to try to cook at least one new recipe from one of my many unused cookbooks each week, but school is starting up again soon and I don’t cook every night during term, so I’m not gonna commit to any more than that.

I am thinking that I know some people who probably collect recipes and cookbooks like I do. I would like to invite you to join me in the project. Hop online, go down to Borders, buy yourself a blank recipe book, and embark on a journey of yummy with me.

The rules are:
1. Any new recipe is eligible for this project. Cook’s choice. It can be dessert, savory, simple or complex, as long as it is new and something that has been sitting around in a bookmarks folder, old magazine or index card that falls out of your Joy of Cooking every time you go to look something up.
2. You can’t have made this specific recipe before.
3. You have to blog your food adventures in a weekly wrap up post. Pictures make it more fun, but just telling is ok. Sources are helpful, original blog post links, edition/name of magazine you got it from, etc.
4. Mods are totally acceptable, just note them when you blog.
5. The point of this is to delete clutter and create order. SO…
a. If you hate the recipe, you must delete the bookmark, throw out the index card or magazine page immediately.
b. If you love the recipe, you must write the recipe in your book, then throw out the index card, page, slip of paper, or delete the bookmark. If it is in an existing cookbook that you own, you don’t have to put it in your recipe book.
6. You do have to make a minimum of at least one recipe per week, but you can make as many as you like in a given week beyond that. There is no limit.
7. You can’t enter a recipe into your recipe book until you have MADE IT. To enter it beforehand is cheating. The exception to this rule is if it is a ripped up stained card that you got from your Grandma that you keep losing and you love the recipe SO MUCH and you’re terrified of losing it, so you put it in the book and toss the card (saying farewell to her handwriting if she’s passed and thinking for a moment of how much you love and miss her) and YES this is a total out for me because I already did this with a couple of recipes. As well as a few bookmarked ones that I haven’t made yet but intend to make first thing so that I am within the rules which I hadn’t thought of until just now. Ahem.

At the end of 2010, you will have what, at least 52 new recipes in your repertoire, or at least you will have some new recipes in your repertoire and ordered a few emergency last minute pizzas. You will have fewer bookmarks, fewer scraps of paper, and less clutter.

It will have been, hopefully, mostly yummy.

So I invite you to join me! C’mon, it’ll be fun! Drop me a comment so we can be mutually supportive!

PS: And yes, the Basket of Shame thing from last year is still going strong and I’d like to report that while I haven’t finished everything in mine, I did finish a few things. And other participants have managed to finish even more. Sweaters, lace, fair isle, big things, little things. We’re on Ravelry and growing! You can join us anytime.

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