Chickens, Eggs and Breakfast Meats

This little girl just loves animals! Cats, chickens, what have you, her little hands go out and she “calls” them to her, in the chicken’s case a little grain brings them running.

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The boys are excitedly locating nests that the chickens have tucked away here and there. Finding an egg is like finding treasure! If you are lucky, you’ll find one of Sunbeam’s eggs (the only chicken who lays blueish green eggs). Then, you just might have to cook it up immediately (!) lest anyone else eats it first. Supposedly they tastes better.  We’re still in the enjoying stage of having “lots” of eggs. Scrambled, poached, hard boiled…you’d be amazed how many eggs these guys go through, and at how good Noah and Ezra have gotten at cooking eggs!  We even made up a new way to cook an egg in a nest with out bread: make a circle out of sausage and add the egg in the middle.

   

While we’re on the subject of chicken and breakfast meats, if you haven’t tried  bacon wrapped chicken you need to… tonight.  We prefer smaller pieces of chicken which need about a 1/2 of a slice of bacon wrapped around it. Place in an oven safe dish and roast till done. Don’t be afraid to chop up some veggies and cook them up in the rendered bacon fat. Just don’t count on leftovers.

 

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Chicken Kiev

DSCN9992As far as chicken dinners go chicken kiev is one of my family’s favorites. It looks fancy but it’s pretty easy to make. This recipe was passed down from my mother-in-law when struggling_along and I married 10 years ago. I still remember the first time I made chicken kiev. Having never made it before, I did not realize that the chicken was supposed to be wrapped around the filling. I had simply rolled them up, allowing all the butter and herbs to melt right out into the bottom of the pan! It was still edible but it’s even better if you succeed in keeping the butter and herbs sealed in the center of the chicken.

The Recipe

First prepare 6 boneless, skinless, spilt chicken breasts by flattening them so that they are even in thickness and a bit larger, which makes them easier to roll up.Then combine the herbs in a small dish:

1/4 tsp dried tarragon

2 Tlb  dried parsley

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

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Then, using 1 Tlb butter for each piece of chicken, dip the butter into the herb mixture and coat well. Place the herbed butter in the middle of each piece of chicken.

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Roll the chicken up, around the butter, trying to tuck in the ends of the chicken. Secure with a tooth pick.

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Coat in a 1/3rd cup flour (or cornstarch if you want it gluten-free). Use the flour to help seal the ends of the chicken.

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Then dip the floured chicken into 1 egg beaten.

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Coat in 1-2 cups of bread crumbs (use gluten-free bread to make gf crumbs).

DSCN9959Place in a buttered baking dish. I like to use a Pyrex dish.

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Bake at 425 for 5 minutes then turn the oven down to 400 and bake for 40 minutes or till done. Baste with any butter that does melt into the pan.

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DSCN9982Serve and enjoy! Serves 4-6. This chicken goes well with a lot of different sides. For this particular dinner I made roasted potatoes and peas but any veggies, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf or what have you works well.

DSCN9991Here’s the recipe again, in short form:

Chicken Kiev

6 pieces chicken breast

1/4 tsp tarragon

2 Tlb parsley                   -Mix these herbs together

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

6 Tlb butter                   -Coat in above herb mixture

Roll up chicken around butter and secure with a toothpick. Dip chicken into (in order)

1/3 cup flour

1 egg beaten

1-2 cups bread crumbs

Place in a lightly buttered pan. bake at 425-5 minutes then at 400 – 40 minutes. Baste with any pan butter.

That’s it.

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Chèvre Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Chicken

I’m been meaning share more from Nourishing Traditions but lately most of the recipes I’ve been using from Nourishing Traditions have been simple and basic: sauté in butter, season to taste with salt and pepper and maybe a splash of lemon juice. Simple, good but not really enough for a post. But this chicken, stuffed with herbed chèvre, wrapped in bacon is definitely post worthy. I saw a similar recipe on Pinterest and later when it was time to get dinner going and I had some freshly made goat cheese and chicken on hand…well one thing lead to another.

First I pounded the chicken to make it uniformly flat and just a little bigger so it would be easier to roll up. Then I mixed up some of the goat cheese I made earlier with some oregano and rosemary I have growing in the kitchen and some salt and pepper. This time I made a simple goat cheese from some yogurt I made from our goats’ milk and strained until it was thick. It was a tad more soft and spreadable than the somewhat chalky bars of goat cheese sold at the supermarket. Store brought goat cheese will work too- just cut a few slices and season (or buy pre-seasoned). Then roll it up and wrap two pieces of bacon around each piece of chicken and secure with toothpicks. The bacon not only lends flavor but helps keep the goat cheese inside.

The next step is to brown it on the stove top- and preheat your oven to 350F. I love my cast iron and it works well for the transfer to the oven. Otherwise brown the chicken and transfer to an oven-safe dish. Bake in the oven till done.

Then serve. I made wild rice and green beans. As you can see in the photo below the goat cheese and herb is absorbed and infuses the chicken with flavor but there isn’t a separate layer inside like when chicken is stuffed with ham and cheese. And if anyone doesn’t like goat cheese you can always skip the goat cheese and just wrap with bacon. Although, in my opinion, they’d be missing out.

Enjoy!

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Cooking from Nourishing Traditions :: Chicken with Cream Sauce

As you might know, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is more than just a cookbook. All too often I open up my copy of NT with the intent of perusing the recipes; instead I find myself reading the articles. I’ve learned a lot but I’ve found that I haven’t made that many of the recipes from Nourishing Traditions. So, starting with this post, I will (try to) regularly make a recipe from NT and post my results. Today’s  post will be from the poultry section (page 281): Chicken with Cream Sauce, a variation on Basic Baked Chicken.

Now the original recipe calls for one chicken cut in pieces, brushed with

  • 2 Tlb Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tlb melted butter (or oil)              – mix these three together
  • 1 Tlb dried tarragon

and baked. However, in an effort to speed things along and lessen the number of pans to wash I opted to use boneless chicken breasts, sliced then brushed and sauteed. This time around I also added in some chopped mushrooms to saute. Once the chicken is cooked either put it aside while making the sauce or cook the chicken a bit less and finish cooking it while the sauce reduces.

The sauce:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup piima cream or creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 Tlb gelatin (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Mix the above together, stirring to incorporate any drippings. Cook till the sauce has thickened. If you put the chicken aside add it back in and make sure it’s hot then serve. I think it goes well with egg noodles or over rice.

I’ve made this 2 or 3 times now. This last time I didn’t have any dry white wine on hand so I used the juice from the preserved lemons to taste and left out the additional salt.

I like this recipe more than I thought I would. It’s a delicate lightly creamy sauce, a touch sweet from the tarragon yet balanced just enough by the mustard. I love the sauce over rice. So creamy -almost risotto-y. I liked the addition of mushrooms as well. My 4 and 2 year olds like it but the husband not so much- he’s not really a light slightly sweet creamy sauce kind of guy.

I really recommend going stove top on this recipe. NT calls for a 2 hour baking time for the chicken before making the sauce, using sliced boneless breasts (and my pressure cooker to make the rice in 10 mins) this meal is an easy 30 min meal.

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Using Preserved Lemons

Ummm..opening a jar of preserved lemons….

I’ve been loving having these on hand! And, as soon as I can, I’m preserving some limes.  The fruit and the juice is so versatile and -added bonus-, as long as you don’t heat it, they are an easy way to incorporate  fermented goodness into your diet.

I’ve experimented a little since making the preserved lemons in this post. Most frequently I use some of the juice instead of fresh or bottled lemon juice- adjusting for salt. Some examples are salad dressing, dips, aioli, guacamole, really anytime the recipe calls for a little lemon juice. When preparing a dish where everything is getting blended smooth anyways- like hummus or baba ghanoush a small piece of lemon (peel and all) can be blended right in.

The peel is really just bursting with flavor. I used it several times in place of zest including twice while making muffins-once in the muffins; it worked out great. And I also tried it out in the sugar and zest topping. To replace the zest I minced up the peel very fine then mixed it in the sugar. This was baked on to form a crunchy lemony sweet top. It worked, however there was a slight hint saltiness occasionally. I’d say preserved lemons work great for baking but stick to using them where the recipe also calls for salt.

Use the peel, the juice or a paste (blend some preserved lemons smooth-watch out for seeds) to flavor veggies (potatoes, summer squash, spinach..), sauces, seafood (i.e. scallops sauteed with bits of lemon or baked with lemon juice, garlic etc ) or chicken- like in this marinade:

It’s a simple marinade: chopped preserved lemons in olive oil with a bit of garlic, a sprig of rosemary (chopped), a bit of black pepper.

Let sit for at least several hours, turning occasionally.

Then bake or grill till done.

5 minutes out of the oven and this is the only one left for a photo.

So there are some ways to use preserved lemons. I’m planning on using the limes similarly and especially with Mexican and Thai flavored meals.

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