Thursday, November 19, 2015

Braised Chicken With Autumn Vegetables

Autumn is my favorite season.  It is the culmination of the growing season.  It is the time that the farmers bring their produce out to fill the roadside stands that are so abundant in my area.  Each stand has a special something that the one a mile up the road doesn't have.  Some have corn, some have potatoes, some have squash.  Well, they all have squash...and apples.

This season, on my forays to the stands, I was drawn, like a bear to honey, to Pryputniewicz Farm in Paris Hill, NY.  It was almost decadent!  The brussel sprouts still on the stalk, potatoes (the best ever), broccoli, wagon loads of squash, and mounds of cabbage.  Picked up a bit of all.  Spent one entire day blanching and freezing the sprouts.  The next day went to blanching and freezing a boat load of broccoli.  And Monday was a day of shredding cabbage into a large crock to make sauerkraut. (A post for another day) Even put up some kvass and pickled beets because they looked to good.

Once the haul is in and taken care of, it is time to partake of the goodness that was gathered.  I wasn't going to post this meal, but it was so delicious that I had to do something, just so I would remember what went into it.

I used Blue Apron as the inspiration for this meal.  In my weekly box I got some chicken breasts, a sweet potato, and brussel sprouts.  I looked at the recipe and decided that it wasn't what I wanted tonight.  I tossed the little chicken breasts into the freezer, grabbed a generous breast purchased at a local grocer - Chanatry's - along with a bag of the sprouts that I had put in the freezer a week ago, and a lovely squash...yellow and green on the bottom right of the wagon.  And, in the back of my fridge was a quart of apple cider from Old McMarley's Apple Farm.  What follows is the result of this bounty!

You will need:
2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts
3 1/2 cups apple cider
chicken demi glaze
1 vidalia onion
1 jalepeno pepper (optional)
3 cloves of garlic
1 winter squash
almond flour
pork rinds, pulverized
Brussels sprouts
coconut oil

You might want a salad as well - but for that you are on your own.

Once you have gathered your bounty together in one place begin by preparing the apple cider reduction.  It is so simple...

Grab a wide, shallow pan, like a saute pan, pour the cider in, and bring to a simmering boil.  Ad the demi glaze, salt, pepper, and a pinch of rosemary and let it reduce to a syrupy consistency.  Taste it once it is syrup, to make sure it is seasoned to your liking.

While the cider and heat are working their magic, prep the meat and veggies.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the onion and large dice.  Quarter and deseed the jalepeno if you are using it and slice.  Mince the garlic. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks.  Place the almond flour and pork rind into a large Ziploc bag along with salt and pepper to taste.   (Again, taste it to make sure it is seasoned to your liking).

Toss the chicken with the almond flour mixture and set aside.

Place the squash and sprouts on a foiled lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin. Dot with coconut oil and pop in the oven.

In a large skillet, melt about 2 tsps oil and saute onions and peppers until caramelized, remove to a bowl and set aside.

Just before the squash is done, work the chicken...

Add a bit more oil to the skillet and saute the chicken until just done - you don't want to over cook it or it will be dry, dry, dry!

Remove chicken to large plate and keep warm.

Pour cider reduction into skillet and deglaze the pan.  Add onion/jalapeno blend to skillet and stir.

Now plate your dish!

On each plate put a ring or two of squash, a few sprouts, and the chicken.  Drizzle the cider reduction over it all and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chorizo Tortilla With Arugula Salad

Mexican food is one of my favorite things.  I love the complex flavors, the spice, the heat.  About a year ago I decided to go Paleo and thought I would have to say goodbye to my favorite food.  But, whit a little imagination and actually letting go of my "Mexican" food rules, I was able to bring those flavors to my table.

Here is what is going on tonight's plate.

Chorizo Fritata

7 oz chorizo
1 Leek
1 large jalepeno pepper
1 dozen eggs
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Prep:  Thinly slice leek, including as much green as you can.  Half and deseed jalepeno pepper and thinly slice.
Combine eggs with coconut milk, salt and pepper.

Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place first three ingredients in a large cast iron skillet and saute over medium heat until chorizo is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Turn off heat and pour eggs evenly over mixture in skillet.
Place in oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Meanwhile, prepare salad.

Arugula Salad with Guacamole Dressing

1 Ripe Avocado
6 Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbs White Balsamic 
1 tbs Coconut Water
1/2 Lemon (for zest and juice)
1/8 tsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
pinch Salt
4 cps Arugula

Wash and spin Arugula.
In large bowl, mash avocado.  Large dice tomatoes. Using zester or vegetable peeler, remove peel from the lemon, avoiding white pith; mince finely.  Remove seeds from lemon and squeeze juice over avocado.  Mix everything except arugula together.

When Tortilla is done, plate your dish and enjoy!