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Rice with Duck Confit, Olives and Apricots

by Anne Maxfield on April 15, 2019

Accidental Locavore Duck Confit and ApricotsDuck confit and dried apricots are probably not pantry staples for most people, but it just happened that I had both hanging out in my kitchen so thought this was an interesting way to put them to use.

Rice with Duck Confit, Olives and Apricots

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 confit duck legs, skinned and meat coarsely shredded
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Spanish chorizo
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Accidental Locavore Duck Rice CookingPreheat the oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until softened, 5 minutes.

Add the tomato and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika and saffron. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add half of the broth and gently simmer until absorbed, 8 minutes.

Stir in the duck, chorizo, olives and apricots and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Bake with the skillet uncovered until the rice absorbs the liquid and is tender, about 16 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Duck Rice With ApricotsMy verdict: This was pretty easy, tasted great and end up like a paella. I used a spicy chorizo (which wasn’t terribly hot), but if heat’s not your thing, just go for the regular.

Next time, I might swap bomba for the arborio rice. Speaking of swapping, if you don’t have duck confit hanging around, shredding some chicken legs from a roast bird would probably work well too. And IMHO, adding some artichoke hearts would be a good thing.

If you’re one of those who like peas in everything, a handful tossed in would work too.

 

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Palestinian Chicken with Red Onions

by Anne Maxfield on March 11, 2019

Accidental Locavore Chicken Thighs PlatedSoon I’m going to have to watch how many dishes I make with chicken thighs, but this one looked really good and it seemed like an easy weeknight dinner.

  • 14 skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons ground sumac, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, coarsely crushed (1 tablespoon)
  • 1teaspoons salt
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large red onions, halved then thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Accidental Locavore Chicken Thighs Skin side up, use a sharp knife to slash the flesh of each piece of chicken against the grain a few times, then transfer the meat to a large bowl or Ziploc bag. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sumac, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well, using your hands to rub the marinade into the meat. Add the onion and toss with the chicken, then cover and refrigerate for 1–3 hours.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350°.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then add the chicken, skin-side up. Scatter the onion around the pan. Roast until the chicken skin is deep golden and its juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a paring knife at its thickest parts, 50–60 minutes.

Plate the chicken pieces and onion, sprinkle with the pine nuts, a little sumac, and the chopped parsley, then drizzle with any remaining roasting juices. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Chicken Thighs AsparagusMy verdict: This was just about as much work as I felt like doing on a busy (and snowy) Monday. Super easy and delicious! I’m out of pine nuts and forgot the parsley (as you can see from the photos) and it was still good. Pine nuts would give it a nice crunch, so they’ll definitely be added the next time.

Frank liked it, especially with the red onions.

There were some beautiful asparagus at the market so I tossed them in the last of the marinade and roasted them with the chicken for the last 30 minutes.

The recipe called for serving it on naan bread, but it was Monday, so I served it with some leftover basmati rice and that was fine. If you use bread, warm it on a clean baking sheet before serving.

 

 

 

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Salmon and Spinach Curry

by Anne Maxfield on March 4, 2019

Accidental Locavore Salmon and Spinach Curry CookingBecause Frank is not generally a salmon fan, I’ve been looking at this recipe from Meera Sodha’s Made in India cookbook for a while. Since cooking more fish is one of my 2019 goals, I took the plunge and started with salmon. Don’t be put off by the long list of spices–you probably have most of them. Serves 4.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar (I used dark)
  • 8-9 ounces ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound spinach leaves
  • 14 ounces skinless salmon fillets, cut into big (2 ½”) chunks

Accidental Locavore Salmon and Spinach Curry PanPut the oil into a large lidded frying pan on medium heat. When it’s hot, add the cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they start to release their aromas.

Add the onions and brown sugar and cook for 12-15 minutes until golden and caramelized. Stir in the tomatoes, put the lid on the pan and cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.

Add the ginger, garlic, jalapeño, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Stir to make sure the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After about 8 minutes the mixture should thicken and look paste-like. When it does, add the spinach, turn the heat down to low, put the lid back on and leave the spinach to wilt.

Add the salmon to the pan, coating it with the tomato and spinach sauce. Put the lid back on and cook for 5-7 minutes until the salmon cooks through. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Salmon and Spinach Curry My verdict: Frank gave it his highest praise (especially for salmon) “you can make this any time” and the fact that it was so good with only okay (January) tomatoes made me think it would be even better with truly ripe tomatoes (hello August).

Made in India has become one of my favorite cookbooks and everything I’ve made from it has been great. I’ll certainly make the salmon again and go on to some of the other fish recipes that have caught my eye.

I cooked the salmon for 6 minutes and it was perfect (medium rare). If you like it more well-done, go for 7 or more minutes.  I served it over basmati rice. Because it was what was handy, I used a mix of regular and baby spinach and cooked it until it just started to wilt.

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General (Sort of) Tso’s Chicken

by Anne Maxfield on February 18, 2019

Accidental Locavore General Tso ChickenIt’s funny, but as much as I love to eat Chinese food (and chicken), cooking Chinese is something I rarely do.

This changed recently when I was looking for something different to do with chicken thighs. Since I hate deep fat frying food this recipe appealed because it used a lot less oil and was easy.

Accidental Locavore General Tso ChickenGeneral (Sort of) Tso’s Chicken

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts, or a mix, patted dry, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 6 dried whole red chiles (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

Whisk cornstarch, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken to cornstarch mixture and toss to coat.

Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chiles and half the chicken (don’t crowd the pan), cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and a light brown crust forms, 5–7 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, Sriracha, tomato paste, ginger, 3 tablespoons water, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Transfer cooked chicken to a plate. If needed, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in skillet over high. Cook remaining chicken 5 minutes until it’s cooked through.

Stir in honey mixture. Return first batch of chicken to skillet, toss to coat, and cook until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 2 minutes.

Plate and garnish with scallions. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore General Tso ChickenMy verdict: I’ve made this a few times (with all thighs) and it’s delicious!

The original recipe called for roasting some green beans to go with it, but when did you ever get anything but (barely) steamed broccoli with General Tso’s?

Jasmine rice goes great with it and I’ve served bok choy and other Asian veggies alongside.

Usually I don’t need to add additional oil to the skillet, but you might.

If you buy tomato paste in a tube, you won’t be wondering what to do with most of an open can.

I’ve started adding the chiles to the first batch of chicken because the first time I made this, we didn’t think it was spicy enough. If you’re leery of too much heat, add them when you cook the second batch.

 

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