Because of the ease and quickness of posting directly to Facebook & Instagram, I haven’t been posting new things very often. The recipe from dinner tonight will make up for all that. At first I was skeptical because usually when I bake something that’s supposed to be deep fried it turns out mediocre at best. I found the recipe on Pinterest which led me to therecipecritic.com. Even Audrey ate it! You should make it, too. Or let me know when you want to come over for dinner and I’ll make it for you.
When we lived in Milwaukee, we’d sometimes have dinner at my mom’s. When it was time to eat, she’d start pulling out dish after dish from her kitchen. This was usually one of those dishes. When I cooked it for dinner tonight it smelled like her house. Mike really liked it and told me he didn’t think I’d made it before. I had notes on the recipe in my cookbook though, so I must have. I told him I probably left the Chinese mushrooms out if I had made it before since I don’t like them. He however, LOVES them! I always try ONE bite of mushroom to see if maybe, just maybe, this time I’ll like them. This time wasn’t it. I know I’ve used them cut up pretty small in other recipes, but in this one, they were left in larger pieces. They come dehydrated and you have to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes to make them usable again. I added this soaking liquid to the pan when the chicken was braising instead of plain water. I think that did the trick.
The dish is pretty easy to make: Soak 6-10 whole Chinese mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Brown 1 whole, cut-up chicken on all sides in a deep skillet with some oil, garlic and ginger. Add the Chinese mushrooms, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup (or so) water or liquid from rehydrating your dried Chinese mushrooms, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes. Mix together 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water and add to braising liquid along with 3-4 green onions cut into 2″ lengths. Stir sauce until slightly thickened and serve.
To continue with the tradition of not being completely Paleo here I served this with french bread to sop up the delicious sauce! For the chicken, I browned 5 boneless, skinless breasts in a pan with some olive oil for a few minutes on each side and then finished them off in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. The sauce started with sauteed garlic, onions & mushrooms and then I threw in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, some fresh basil and a diced yellow bell pepper and then simmered the whole thing for 20 minutes. I didn’t really miss the pasta. OH, and the carrots were tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper before roasting alongside the chicken. Sorry for the blurry picture.
I took a little break from eMeals because I wasn’t liking any of the recipes for the regular Family Plan meals. They started posting pictures of new recipes that really looked good in their new Paleo Plan so I figured I’d switch plans (which you can do every 3 weeks if you choose) and see what happened! The 1st recipe up was Mango Chicken with Cauliflower Rice…except Mike’s not a fan of the cauliflower so we used regular long-grain white rice instead. So I guess we’re only half Paleo. Anyway, it was really good, and really simple! Chopped onions, an orange bell pepper, boneless/skinless chicken thighs (note to self: buy boneless/skinless chicken thighs the next time you’re at a store that carries them so you don’t have to do it yourself), chopped mango and coconut milk. Hopefully the rest of the recipes for this week will be just as good, although I’m not sure how the Chicken Cacciatore is going to be without pasta. We may half to go Paleo halfsies on that meal, too.
Okay. MAJOR shortcuts with this recipe: frozen popcorn chicken, bottled sesame/ginger dressing, frozen garlic bread and chow mein noodles from a can. It’s about all I could handle cooking with the 90-degree temps outside. At least the lettuce from from a local CSA!
This was a more successful dinner than last night’s failed turkey & swiss monte cristo sandwiches (think of soggy french toast with warm cheese & meat inside) with sweet potato fries which apparently my husband does not like.
That’s what the recipe was for today: Chicken Spaghetti. The sauce started with sauteed onions & celery. Then I added a can of diced tomatoes with (mild) green chiles, 1/2 c. chicken broth and 8 oz. Velveeta. Once it was melty, 3 shredded chicken breasts were mixed in and it was all poured over spaghetti. Then I served it up with french bread and a spinach salad (again). Mike thought it was good but Audrey said it was a little too spicy for her. Apparently she hasn’t inherited the tolerance for spicy foods that I was handed down from my mom!
A few months ago I made these AWESOME “Crash Hot Potatoes” from the new Pioneer Woman cookbook for my cooking club dinner last month: Small potatoes boiled for 20 minutes, then “smashed” onto a sheet pan and roasted at 450-degrees for 20 more minutes. My favorite way to roast chicken is to rip its backbone out, crack its breastbone and lay it flat on a sheet pan sprinkled with olive oil, salt & pepper. After roasting the chicken for 25 minutes, I pulled the pan out of the oven to find a nice layer of fat had accumulated on the bottom. I put my boiled potatoes around the chicken, smashed them into place and finished roasted them along with the chicken. I didn’t think the potatoes could have gotten any better BUT THEY DID! It’s no surprise the chicken fat made them even more delicious and crispy than before!