Braised Chicken Thighs with Collards and Mushrooms
This could easily be a very economical company dish—but it’s good for your lonesome as well as for your family. Chicken thighs really are very economical to buy and frankly, though I know they are dark meat and have skin, I feel are much better tasting than your almost tasteless skinless chicken breasts—which by the way have become terribly pricey. Collards are so good for you but if you insist, you can use kale, spinach or some other kind of green. You can also introduce carrots in this dish to give it some color jazz. I really like this served over rice or some pasta, however the scales were not kind to me this morning and our fresh corn is in, so that’s the way I had it—sided with an ear of corn. I used my large cast iron skillet for this and it was perfect for the cooking of this dish.
- 8 chicken thighs with skin
- 1-8-oz basket of mushrooms
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves—cut in half
- 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar or red wine but I like the vinegar and save the wine for the drinking
- 1 Tblsp. butter
- 3 cups chicken broth
- S&P to taste
- 1 bunch of collards (or some sort of similar greens) washed well, rough chopped and include the better part of the stems also rough chopped.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400.
- After having rinsed and pat dried the chicken thighs, brown them over medium high heat in the skillet. When they are nice, crisp and brown, remove them to a platter.
- Add 1 Tblsp. butter to the skillet and over medium heat brown the mushrooms until they become moist and glistened; add the garlic and keep on stirring. Then add the vinegar or wine and keep simmering till the liquid is reduced by half. S&P to taste.
- Place the chicken thighs back in the skillet and add the chicken broth. The broth should ALMOST reach the top of the thighs, but it should NOT cover the thighs. You want them to remain crispy.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the thighs). At 45 minutes, test the thighs to see if they are done because you don’t want them to dry out.
- When the thighs are done, take the skillet out of the oven, remove the thighs to a warm platter. Place the skillet on the stove top over medium heat and add the greens. The collards will take longer to cook than spinach. The collards take about 10 minutes of cooking where as if you use spinach, that should take just a couple of minutes. Just to make sure everything is equally heated, you can add at the last minute the thighs back to your pan and finally after the thighs are really warm, place the mushrooms and greens on top of each thigh and keep on a low heat for several minutes more.
Chicken Marengo Recipe #2—A More Authentic Version?
Once again, I am telling the historical tale of this dish because I think it’s so cute and the outcome is so delicious. Napoleon and his traveling chef, Dunand, were the men who made this dish famous. After the battle at Marengo (Piedmont, Italy), Napoleon demanded from his chef a quick meal—imagine this after a treacherous journey over the Alps in mid-May. Cooking legend has it that even in these hinterlands, Napoleon’s forever challenged chef found a chicken, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil and crayfish. He cut the chicken up with his “saber” and made a dish very much like this recipe. Reportedly being thoroughly French, Dunand also added a dash of cognac from Napoleon’s flask. Napoleon liked the dish immensely and since he won the battle, considered Chicken Marengo lucky. So he asked for it often just as Dunand had originally made it. My other recipe is a bit less time consuming to make, however, this one is really excellent and worth the time spent. This dish will be cooking for a total of 1 hour—stove top.
- 1- 2 ½ lb. chicken cut up
- 1/3 to 1/2 C. flour laced with pepper, salt and a splash of cayenne (to dredge the chicken pieces)
- 2 Tblsp. olive oil (if you need more, go for it and same for the butter)
- 2 Tblsp. butter
- 2 or 4 Tblsp. chopped/minced bacon
- 1 peeled carrot-chopped fine
- 1 stalk of celery-chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove-chopped fine
- 1 small shallot-chopped fine
- 2 or 3 LARGE tasty fresh tomatoes, cut into CHUNKY pieces or 4 plum tomatoes cute into Chunky pieces (you can use canned if you drain the whole tomatoes and cut them in Chunky pieces)
- 1/2- 3/4 C. dry white wine in which 1 ½ -2 Tblsp brandy has been put. (Once again if you think you need more wine, go for it.)
- 1 Bouquet Garni (I made mine from fresh parsley, some fresh rosemary and fresh French tarragon and a bit of crushed bay leaves. Place these in a good sized piece of cheese cloth which you can form into a small bag; tie the bag with kitchen string or non-flavored dental floss so that your herbs stay enclosed. Place the bag into the stew and discard it before serving.)
- 8 or so poached shrimp and 8 or so whole button mushrooms also poached. (These should be poached in a chicken stock/white wine, stove top, at simmer, for 3-5 minutes or till shrimp are pink and mushrooms are somewhat tender. You don’t have to use both ingredients—it can be one or the other. And if you wish, you can poach them together. Furthermore, if you have access to crayfish, all the better.)
- Black olives— combo of whole and rough chopped
- 1/2 Lemon to squeeze at the very last
- Croutons (optional)
- In a paper or plastic bag, shake the flour with the S&P and paprika; when well mixed, introduce your chicken pieces into the floured bag. Shake vigorously so that the pieces are floured evenly however not heavily—they need to be “lightly” doused.
- In a large heavy pot that has a good lid and on an oven top burner (medium-high heat) bring the oil and butter and some of your minced bacon up to a nice light sizzle (remove the bacon with a slotted spoon); introduce your chicken pieces into the oil/butter and turn the heat down to the point where your pieces are browning evenly, turning frequently, and are not burning. Golden colored is what you wish. Don’t crowd them so it may take several sessions to do this. As well, I would say it might take 2-3 minutes per chicken side to get them brown just right. Set them aside on a platter.
- Now, introduce the remainder of your bacon plus the set aside bunch and in the remaining oil, etc. in your pot, brown the veggies mentioned in ingredients 6-9. When they have softened somewhat (3 minutes or so) introduce the major portion of the tomatoes, however save about 1/2 C. for later); let the mixture simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
- Reintroduce your perfectly browned and golden chicken pieces along with your Bouquet Garni.;over all, pour your brandy/wine combo and let simmer very gently on stove top for 30 minutes— tightly covered.
- After 30 minutes, place the additional tomatoes on top (don’t stir but make sure that you have enough liquid collected and taste to see what you think); simmer gently, tightly covered, for another 25 minutes.
- For the last 5 minutes, top the dish with the poached shrimp and mushrooms and add the chopped and whole olives. Simmer well covered once more. Make sure the chicken is done (I’m sure it will be and FINIS—Napoleon would be delighted).
- Before serving (don’t forget to remove your Bouquet Garni), top everything with freshly chopped parsley, give a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon and there you are.
- Additionally, if you wish, you can place toasted croutons on top. Sometimes it’s fun to make your own shaped croutons (1-inch diameter) for a dish as this.
- This goes very well with rice and a light salad.
- Sounds like a simple peasant dish doesn’t it? Well, after you’ve made and served this, you’ll say: “I don’t think so” or maybe you’ll say “Peasant dishes are the best!!”.
- As always, from Margot, Bon Appétit.
Zivi’s Lapin au Vin
I do love this dish made with rabbit, however, you can easily make it with chicken.
- 1 large FAT PLUMP rabbit—cut up in pieces (or chicken)
- 1/4 C. flour
- S&P to taste
- 1/4 Tsp. Paprika
- 4 Tblsp. combination of butter and olive oil
- 1/2 onion—chopped
- 1 garlic-diced (optional)
- 1-2 C. chicken stock
- 1/2 to 3/4 C. hearty red wine
- 1-2 bay leaves
- Thyme, Basil or Rosemary to taste (optional)
- Wash and pat dry the rabbit. In a bag, place the flour, S&P and paprika, shake to mix well; put rabbit in bag and shake once again till rabbit is well coated.
- In a heavy such as a cast iron deep sided skillet or pot, heat the butter/olive oil; stir in the onion and garlic for about 4 minutes, over medium heat, till soft and glistening. Remove to a side plate.
- If you need more butter/olive oil at this point, add some. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the rabbit. Brown thoroughly on all sides over medium heat (about 5-8 minutes). Be sure your heat is not too high so that you are not burning the rabbit.
- Add the stock, wine, set aside onion and garlic and bay leaves and other optional spices if you wish and place a cover on the pot.
- Cook at a simmer for about 1 hour. Do check it every now and then to see if it might need more stock or wine.
- I serve this with white rice and a nice fresh vegetable.
One Very Easy and Healthy Complete Chicken Casserole
Very often I don’t have any specific plan or recipe in mind however one always seems to pop up. Atkinsons’ had some very delicious looking and well priced whole (with bone and skin) chicken breasts which I had bought. That was my main ingredient. I also had bought some fresh California corn (2 ears for $1), fresh organic red chard and for an additional side goodie, some huge CA artichokes (2 for $5). At home I had some garlic heads, yellow onions, and one red and one white new potato. So, there you go————I took out my 13 X 9 Pyrex dish and below is what I came up with. I made it just for myself, but it’s a nice complete dinner for 4 and I envision a busy mother or dad being very happy to make something so healthy but yet so easy for the family—or even for guests because it did look very pretty. Also, it’s a fun dish to eat because part of it entails just using your hands. Be sure to have some extra bowls set on your table for discarding the artichoke leaves and corn husks.
- 2 large whole chicken breasts, with skin and bone—rinsed and pat dried
- 1 large bunch of red or white chard, washed and rough chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 or 3 large new potatoes, thick sliced
- Olive oil and/or olive oil spray
- Fresh ground pepper to taste and salt if you wish
- Several generous squirts of one of your favorite hot sauce—I used a hot mango sauce
- 1 C. vegetable or vegetarian broth
- 4 whole heads of garlic
- 2 ears of corn, soft end slightly cut off, left in most of its shucking and soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375.
- Spray your 13 X 9 Pyrex dish with olive oil and layer first with the onion slices, then the potatoes, and last the chopped chard. Sprinkle some hot sauce over it and then pour the broth over it all. Then place one chicken breast at each end—on top of the greens, etc. Sprinkle the chicken with fresh ground pepper/salt and some more of your favorite hot sauce and place the whole garlic heads at each corner.
- Put the dish on the middle rack in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- After the initial 30 minutes, take the dish out, turn the oven down to 350, and place the two un-husked presoaked corn ears in the middle of the dish.
- Cook for half-hour more and everything should be done just perfectly.
- Take the corn out with gloved hands and remove the husks. Break each ear into two and place back on top of your dish. If you wish place a small pad of butter on each corn ear.
- As I said, I served this with a side of artichoke.
- As always, bon appetit
Roasted Turkey Thigh
One Serves Two
Who says that turkey is just for Thanksgiving. I love it year round. However, remember that if for a Thanksgiving dinner there are just 2 of you (or maybe even just your lonesome) this is a an easy turkey dish to make and have and still celebrate that turkey day without having to deal with the whole bird. But I divert. This is the day before spring and when I discovered this lovely 1.69 Lb. turkey thigh for $3.19 at Atkinsons’ the other day turkey sounded good to me so I bought it and had that evening a delicious and economical meal.
- 1 Turkey Thigh (or more if you are serving more than 2)
- 1/4 C. olive oil or butter if you don’t mind the extra cholesterol
- 1 Tsp. salt
- 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
- 2-4 cloves of garlic—peeled or unpeeled-whole or roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped in large hunks
- 1/2 onion sliced
- 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 4 basil or sage leaves
- 1/2 C. turkey or chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Olive oil spray an ovenproof dish to accommodate your thigh(s) and veggies.
- Place the veggies and broth on the bottom of your dish.
- Gently loosen skin from the thigh and spread some olive oil over the meat; then insert the spices and garlic cloves. Smooth skin back over and spread the rest of the olive oil over the thigh.You can also use your olive oil spray to do this instead of using the 1/4 C. olive oil. Now salt and pepper the thigh.
- Place the thigh in the dish over the veggies and broth.
- Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or till a meat thermometer registers 175 degrees.
- Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- I sided this dish with a ramekin filled with freshly made thick minestrone topped with Parmesan and a fresh salad. For desert, I served roasted pears.
- If you wish gravy, when you’ve removed the thigh and the veggies, thicken the drippings/sauce stove top in a pan over medium high heat with a bit of luke warm water in which you have well stirred a tablespoon or more of cornstarch.
For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting
Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.
Makes about 1/2 to 3/4 cupful
This is a really wonderful marinade to use in cooking pork dishes; but it also can be delicious used in various vegetable dishes and soups. I use several teaspoons in my Braised Celery and Julienned Carrots recipe as well as in my Creamy Greens Soup recipe. I warrant that you’ll find even more uses for it.
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 2 Tblsp. oregano
- 2 Tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 Tsp. black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tblsp. olive oil
- 1 orange—rind sliced off and chopped small; orange juiced
- 1 ruby grapefruit-rind sliced off and chopped small; grapefruit juiced
- 1/4 C. lemon Juice
- In a food processor, put ingredients listed above. The orange, grapefruit and lemon juice should add up to 1/2 cup total of juice.
- Process so nice and smooth but still chunky.
Chicken Ball Biscuit Stew
Serves 4 easily
The name for this dish may sound unique and it is; but I think that even though it is a bit more complicated in making than most of my recipes, the end result is worth it. It’s also very versatile and lastly, the “ball” part can be used for any recipe requiring meat balls and the ” biscuits” recipe for any other dish requiring a light and fluffy biscuit topping. You don’t have to serve this dish with the biscuit topping, but I find it awfully good. Also, I use the ground chicken sometimes, but the ground veal or lamb is even tastier. So, as I said, this recipe is very versatile. This recipe is divided in 4 parts.
- 1 C. julienned carrots (1 large carrot will do)
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 Tblsp. olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 C. frozen peas (optional but I like them and the color as well)
- Sauté the above ingredients in the hot olive oil in a 10 to 12 inch oven proof skillet over medium high heat for about 5 to 8 minutes–till onions are soft and glossy.
- Remove to a bowl and set aside
- 1 lb. ground chicken, veal or lamb for this recipe
- 1/4 C. milk or cream
- 1/4 to 1/2 C. plain bread crumbs (start with 1/4 C.)
- 1/4 C. minced green onions
- 1/4 C. minced fresh parsley or 1 ½ Tsp. dried parsley
- 2 Tblsp. of 1 beaten egg ( I fork beat it in a cup)
- 1/4 Tsp. allspice for this recipe (the spice generally used for any meatball recipe can be varied according to what recipe you are making. It can be nothing or contain ground curry, cumin, chili powder, minced mint leaves, cinnamon, dill, etc.)
- S&P to taste
- 2 Tblsp. butter or olive oil
- In a medium sized bowl, let soak the bread crumbs with the milk or cream for 5 minutes. Start with 1/4 C. crumbs.
- When soaked, add the remaining of the ingredients, mix and then add your ground meat and mix well. If your meat looks too soupy, which ground chicken can be, add up to 1/4 C. more crumbs.
- Make 1 ½ inch in diameter balls (there will be around 20 to 24 of them).
- In the same oven proof skillet brown your meatballs on all sides in the 2 Tblsp. hot butter or olive oil over medium high heat for around 10 minutes. Watch that they don’t get too brown. For the chicken balls, make sure that they are not pink inside anymore. (You can also bake the balls in the same skillet in a 400 degree oven until done-15 minutes or so.)
- Remove the balls to a platter and place aside.
- For the stew’s delicious sauce
- 2 Tblsp. butter or olive oil
- 2 Tblsp. flour
- 1/4 C. white wine or vermouth
- 1 ½ C. chicken broth
- 1/4 Tsp. of the following spices: curry powder, S&P, ground cumin and ground ginger
- 1 C. plain yogurt-non-fat is fine
- Add the butter or olive oil to the same unwashed skillet over medium heat and stir in the flour till it’s well mixed (about a minute or two) and then over medium-high heat add the liquid ingredients and spices. Once again stir slowly till the ingredients are well melded into the sauce. At this point add your yogurt and once again stir till well combined and seems very smooth.
- Put the skillet aside while you make the biscuits. However, if you want to serve it without the biscuits, put the veggies in the sauce and top with the meatballs. Place in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.
- 1 C. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ½ Tsp. baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
- 4 tsp. cold butter—cut into small pieces
- 1/2 C. plain yogurt—non-fat is fine
- In a bowl whisk the flour, salt and powders till well mixed.
- Cut the butter with two knives in the dry ingredients. You can also use your blender at pulse to do this.
- When well blended use a large spoon to stir in the yogurt until the mixture forms a ball.
- Drop tablespoons of the dough on top of the stew.
- Now put your skillet in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes.
- Serve in the skillet with a pretty napkin tied around the handle.
- I serve it with a nice light green salad.