Tag Archives: dinner

hunter's chicken

Hunter’s Chicken

This is one of those childhood dishes that I remember eating my whole life, and is one of my favorites. I don’t know why it took me so long to get it on the blog! It’s one I pull out for company because it seems impressive while being really simple, so I’m not stressed out for my guests.

It starts out with 1 pound of chicken. I prefer to use thighs because they fall apart really nicely in the sauce, but you could use whatever chicken parts you want. I believe this dish originally called for a whole, cut-up chicken. You can make it that way too, but then the chicken parts stay whole instead of breaking up into the sauce. Still perfectly good, just a different variation!

So, take your chicken thighs, or whatever you’re using, and dredge them in tapioca flour or arrowroot flour.

hunter's chicken hunter's chicken

Then place the chicken in the bottom of a very hot pot coated with some oil. (coconut oil, palm shortening, lard, ghee, or olive oil.)

hunter's chicken

Sautee for a few minutes until browned and crispy, and then flip them over.

hunter's chicken

Add in some chopped onions and minced garlic.

hunter's chicken

And then add in 3/4 cup of white wine, 1 cup of chicken stock, 1 small can of tomato paste, and the spices: bay leaf, basil, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Stir it all together!

hunter's chicken

Simmer for 45 minutes, then add sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for another half hour. (If your family rebels at the suggestion of mushrooms, as mine does, you can leave them out. But they’re delicious!) At the end, if you’re using boneless chicken thighs you should take your spoon and break them apart.

hunter's chicken

Serve over pasta. We usually use a brown rice and quinoa spiral pasta from Trader Joes which is really good!

hunter's chicken

And that’s it. This is one of those good simple recipes to have in your everyday-recipe-that’s-good-enough-for-company arsenal!!

Hunter's Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
I use boneless thighs in this recipe, since they break up nicely in the sauce. However, you could use whatever chicken parts you wish, even whole, bone-in parts. The recipe will be slightly different in texture depending on what you choose, but will taste the same!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken parts (I prefer boneless thighs)
  • tapioca or arrowroot flour (enough to dredge the chicken in)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • oil for cooking
Instructions
  1. Dredge the chicken parts in arrowroot or tapioca flour until completely covered.
  2. Put enough oil to cover the bottom of a wide pot or dutch oven, and heat over medium-high until very hot. Place the chicken parts in the pot and sautee for a few minutes, then flip to the other side.
  3. Add in the onions, garlic, wine, chicken stock, tomato paste, and spices and stir.
  4. Turn heat down and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. After 45 minutes, add in the mushrooms and cook for another ½ hour.
  6. Serve over pasta.

 

pan-caramelized chicken breasts

Simple Pan-Caramelized Chicken Breasts

I want to share something with you that’s so simple it’s hardly even a recipe – more like a method. But it’s one of my go-to foods in my arsenal of keeping me away from simple carbs because it’s quick, easy, and delicious both hot and cold!

All it is is chicken breasts, sauteed in a cast iron pan until caramelized and crisp and flavorful. Here’s the best thing about this chicken: since it’s delicious cold, this is perfect for food on the go. If I’m going to be somewhere that I need to pack lunch, or on a trip and want to take easy protein along, I’ll cook up three or four chicken breasts this way, cut them into bite sized pieces, and store in a container. All I have to do is pop a few in my mouth whenever I feel peckish and they’re so good – so completely flavorful and satisfying. So if you’re stuck for what to do about lunch on the go without being able to eat sandwiches anymore, this is your answer!

A note about cookware: For this to really work, a cast iron skillet is really necessary. There’s no way you’ll ever get that beautiful brown, caramelized goodness from a nonstick pan. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can always do this anyway in whatever pan you have and it’ll taste fine – but it won’t come close to the fantastic goodness that a cast iron skillet will give it! (consider this your motivation to go get one. A 12 inch Lodge pan at Target is only like $20, so what are you waiting for?)

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scalloped ham and pasta

Scalloped Ham and Pasta

When you cook with good quality ingredients – especially grass-fed butter and raw milk – it gets kind of expensive. They’re treasures, and you start to understand why someone might, indeed, cry over a glass of spilt milk when it costs $8/gallon!!

Because of that reason, I’ve been terrified to try to thicken any of my sauces with something I’m unfamiliar with, like arrowroot or tapioca powder. I’ve been sticking to whole grain spelt, because the last thing I want is to waste an entire pot of sauce made with Kerrygold butter and $8 milk! I’ve been total chicken.

However…I’ve been having a LOT of problems with my sauces breaking (or curdling), and since I never used to have such a problem with it, I’m wondering if the whole grain spelt is to blame. And so I wanted to try something different. With much trepidation, therefore…I tried making a cheesy white sauce with arrowroot powder.

And…it worked! It worked just fine! The sauce was beautiful, without a weird texture or mouth feel, and – even better – didn’t break!

This recipe is something I’ve made for years and years – but this was the first time I’d tried it with arrowroot. It’s a great recipe because it uses up all that leftover ham that you loved so much when you made it, but three days later are starting to get really sick of eating cold from the fridge. And, it’s an all-in-one meal, which I always love!

So, this is my debut of my adventures into trusting arrowroot powder more often! (I think I’m going to have to go back to my macaroni and cheese recipe and make a note!)

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braised beef brisket

Braised Beef Brisket (with amazing sauce!!)

This is another one of those “set it and forget it” meat dishes that I love. Like the rest of them, it’s super easy, and just takes time. If you’re at home all day, just start it around noon and it’ll be ready for dinner. If you’re at work all day, stick it in the crock pot on low and it’ll be ready when you get home! Love those kinds of recipes!

About 10 years ago a friend showed me how to make beef brisket using a can of cranberry sauce, a packet of onion soup mix, and beef broth. It made an absolutely delicious sauce and turned out perfectly every time! Of course, I’m obviously not going to use either cranberry sauce (because of the sugar) or onion soup mix (because of…well…everything). So I came up with this version instead.

And it turns out that this makes an even more delectable, irresistible sauce that that old version! My son says that it’s “saucesome.” :) Real food never disappoints!!

Take your beef brisket (preferably from a grass-fed cow!), and season both sides with salt, pepper, turmeric, and marjoram.

braised beef brisket

Heat a large skillet until hot and put in some olive oil, then brown the brisket on both sides.

braised beef brisket

 

Pick up the brisket and slip some sliced onions into the pan, then place the brisket on top of them.

braised beef brisket

Then pour in 2 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup red wine, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 5 pitted dates.

Yes, I said dates! Even if you don’t like to eat dates, stick them in anyway – you don’t have to eat them. They serve the purpose that the cranberry sauce did in my old recipe: they sweeten up the sauce. As they simmer in the liquid, all their natural sweetness seeps out into the sauce and makes it super yummy!!

braised beef brisket

Pop a lid on it, turn the heat down to low so that the liquid is barely simmering, and leave it for 4-5 hours.

Then you end up with this!

braised beef brisket

If you’re bothered by the fact of the dates, you can remove them now. Otherwise, kind of mash them down to incorporate them into the rest of the sauce.

I always like to serve this with rice, because the sauce poured over top of the rice is absolutely delicious! And we’re really into turmeric rice lately because it’s pretty, and because turmeric is so healthy, so that’s why it’s yellow.

braised beef brisket

And that’s it!

(If you want to do this in a crock pot, you’d season and brown the brisket in the oil, then put all the other ingredients in the crock pot and put the brisket on top. Leave it on low all day, or on high for half a day.) 

Braised Beef Brisket
Author: 
Recipe type: dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
The dates in this recipe lend the sauce its wonderful slight sweetness, so even if you don't like dates leave them in! It's yummy!
Ingredients
  • 1 beef brisket (preferably from a grass-fed cow)
  • 1 onion sliced into rounds
  • turmeric, salt, pepper, and marjoram
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 5 pitted dates
Instructions
  1. Season the brisket with the spices.
  2. Heat a large skillet until very hot and drizzle in some olive oil. Add in the onions and then place the roast on top.
  3. Sear the brisket on both sides until browned.
  4. Pour in all the liquid and add in the dates.
  5. Turn down the heat to low and let the liquid barely simmer for 4-5 hours.
  6. If you don't want to eat the dates, remove them. Otherwise you can kind of mash them down to become more a part of the sauce.
  7. Serve with rice or something on which you can pour the yummy sauce!
  8. (To do this in a crock pot, season and sear the meat, then put the brisket in the crock pot on top of the sliced onions and add in the liquids and dates. Cook on high for half a work day or on low for a whole work day.

 

Shared on Real Food Wednesday

slow roasted pork shoulder

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Root Vegetables

I recently bought half a pastured pig from my nephew.

In case you didn’t know, half a pig is a whole lotta pig. Like, 60 pounds. So when I got home with a year’s worth of pork, I stuffed my chest freezer with it. There were three pork shoulders left from last year’s pig purchase, so I took them out to put them on top – so that I’d be sure to use those first.

Which would have been exactly the thing to do if I hadn’t forgotten to put them back in! Instead, they sat out on the floor of my basement the entire night. I didn’t remember them until the next morning. When I did remember them, I knew I’d have to cook them up since you can’t re-freeze meat. So that decided the issue of what to have for dinner that night! (and every other night for the next two weeks….)

Pork shoulder is great for pulled pork – like my Carolina Pork BBQ – but it’s also really good slow roasted. It comes out all melty and falling apart and delicious. And you can roast some root veggies right in the pan with the pork and have a whole meal out of it, so it’s an easy meal!

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creole bouillabaise

Creole Bouillabaisse

This is one of those recipes that brings me straight back to my childhood. My mother got the recipe from one of my father’s cousins while we lived in Arkansas, and nothing tastes or smells like it. As soon as I smell it I think, “Ah! Arkansas!” (And, yes, that’s a good thing!)

For some reason I always forget about this recipe, though. It’s not something I make often…though I don’t know why. Both of my kids love it, and even my fish-hating husband likes it! I think I need to get it into the rotation more often!

It’s also one of the simplest meals I make. It’s ready in half an hour, but tastes sophisticated enough to serve to company. So it’s a definite keeper of a recipe!

Bouillabaisse is the French name for fish stew – and that’s basically what this is. But if you don’t like fish, fear not. If even my husband – who detests fish in all forms – likes it, then anyone will. The buttery, winey, garlicky base to the broth is what really shines through in this!

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Moroccan Braised Chicken

Moroccan Braised Chicken

I don’t quite know what’s gotten into me, but I seem to be on a rather exotic food kick lately. I blame the never-ending winter. I live in Pennsylvania, and it’s been one storm after another, and it’s February, and there are fifteen inches of snow in my back yard that my kids can actually walk on. (My daughter is now almost as tall as the clothesline).

snow

See? Yeah, at first that’s all exciting to have that much snow, but by now I’m all, “Meh. Where’s spring?”

So, maybe I’m suffering from some sort of cabin fever that manifests itself in culinary adventursomeness (yes, that’s totally a word. Because I say so). Maybe my taste buds are just bored. I don’t know, but I’ve been all in my spice cabinet lately, using things that have been hanging around for years unused. I’ve already made that Chicken Tikka Masala three times (THREE TIMES!). And now I moved on to this Moroccan Chicken. Who knows what it’s going to be next?

The really great thing about this new spice kick I’m on though is that I’m using all those spices that you always hear about being so good for you. There’s so many great health benefits to these Eastern spices, and they’re anti-inflammatory to boot. (Knowing that helps me feel all virtuous about cooking lately, too.)

So, this chicken. It reminds me a lot of the Braised Lamb Shanks that I posted before – just without all the fuss of having to get rid of the icky sheep fat. And with slightly different spices. But the process is the same.

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