chicken

Butter Chicken

by Anne Maxfield on August 5, 2019

Accidental Locavore Butter Chicken PlatedSince I posted this Butter Chicken, it’s become a favorite.

We love Chicken Tikka Masala and lately I’ve come across a couple of recipes for Butter Chicken, a close relative (or the same dish depending on who to believe).

I think the big difference is that Tikka Massala is marinated in yogurt, while Butter Chicken can be made on the fly.

The two recipes I was looking at were from both ends of the time spectrum—one was ready in about 30 minutes, the other was in a slow cooker and took 5-6 hours. I opted for speed.

Butter Chicken

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime and cilantro for garnish

Accidental Locavore Butter Chicken CookingIn a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of butter. Working in batches, add the chicken and brown on all sides. It doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through. Set the browned chicken aside as it’s done.

Reduce the heat to medium and add another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften—about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, cumin and cayenne. Stir to combine and cook for about 45 seconds.

Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes and add the cream.

Bring back to a simmer and add the chicken. Cook for 10-15 minutes on a low simmer.

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Garnish with lime and cilantro, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Easy and delicious! Frank liked this so much, he requested that I make it again the other night.

Both times I’ve used boneless skinless chicken thighs since I’m not a white meat fan and served it over basmati rice. If you soak the rice before you start prepping everything, and start cooking it after the chicken has browned, your timing should be perfect.

We’ll have to start stocking cans of tomato sauce and pints of cream and soon I’ll have to figure out what a good veg would be to serve with it. Any ideas?

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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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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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RealEats

by Anne Maxfield on June 4, 2018

Accidental Locavore RealEats SalmonIf “cooking” a meal from Blue Apron is too much work for you, or you’re challenged for good take out or delivery, RealEats might be just what you need.

It’s a weekly meal delivery service, with a rotating menu of about 18 entrée choices. They’re all single portions, which is great if you’ve got a family that has mixed food preferences. You can feed them all something they’ll enjoy at the same time and only have one pot to deal with.

If you can boil water, you can cook everything RealEats has.

All the food is based on a sous-vide technique, or for those of us old enough to remember—boil-in bags.

You plop the vacuum sealed bags in a pot of boiling water for up to 6 minutes. Open the packets, plate them, et voilà, dinner.

All the ingredients are responsibly sourced and non-GMO.

Accidental Locavore RealEats UnpackedThey offered me my choice of 4 meals to try. Since everything on that week’s menu looked pretty good, I left it up to them to pick.

I got a cute box on my doorstep a couple of days later, with a bunch of plastic pouches nestled in an insulated pouch surrounded by ice packs. They’re very conscious about their packaging, keeping it to a minimum and everything is either recycled or recyclable.

RealEats sent us Beef Bourguignon, Honey Soy Salmon, Harissa Chicken Bowl and Farrotto. Each meal consisted of about 3 separate pouches (about a dozen pouches total) all labeled with what they were and how long they needed to cook (if at all).

I was surprised that someone hadn’t thought to color-code all the labels (think Garanimals) so you could put the ingredients for each dish together without having to read the label. And you have to have refrigerator space (which if you don’t cook, you probably would have) for all the packets.

Accidental Locavore RealEats BeefBeef Bourguignon was tasty, flavorful but with no real taste of wine. The beef was nicely cooked and went well with the roasted Cipollini onions. The only disappointing note was the mashed cauliflower and white beans. It was a great accompaniment for soaking up the sauce from the beef and onions, but there was a flavor in there that neither of us were crazy about.

Next up was the Honey Soy Salmon. The ginger carrots that accompanied the fish and brown rice were nicely undercooked, with a little crunch to them and a lot of flavor. The salmon was cooked all the way through, which left it a little dry. I’ve gotten used to salmon being served slightly undercooked so that might just be my personal preference. The brown rice with it was flavorful, but also a bit dry.

Accidental Locavore RealEats FarrottoWe were both surprised by the Farrotto. It was one of the new vegetarian options made with farro cooked in the style of risotto with spring vegetables and topped with a mixture of Parmesan cheese with some red pepper flakes tossed in. It was by far our favorite dish, and one we would definitely order again!

The last dish was the Harissa Chicken Bowl. It was one I was hoping they would send because it sounded great—grilled chicken with harissa is always good by me. The chicken was perfectly cooked—hard with chicken breasts, but there was no spice or hint of harissa. The roasted sweet potatoes were sadly undercooked—okay for carrots but not potatoes, except for one morsel that was nice and tender. The brown rice was dry, but greens were good.

Accidental Locavore RealEats ChickenI’m thrilled to know about RealEats because it’s a great option for when you know you’ve got a tough week coming up and don’t/won’t feel like cooking. It’s also good for families where everyone eats something different, people who for whatever reason can’t cook, anyone looking for portion control, it’s a fun way to add variety and unfamiliar ingredients to your repertoire and maybe the most important? You’ll have an immediate answer to “what’s for dinner?”

 

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