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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love Your Wife Chicken

While doing my 30-minutes of cardio exercise on the elliptical trainer at our health club, I was watching the Food Network on the integral TV.  The Neely’s were demonstrating several dishes, of which the main course looked very interesting.  I must say that I do not care for the name given to the dish: Get Yo’ Man Chicken.  As I made this recipe for my wife, I decided to change my title accordingly.

Yesterday morning was a nice sunny spring day, and I checked with my wife and we decided to have our larger meal of the day around noon.  After watching the TV program, I found and printed the recipe, then made sure I had some chicken thighs in the refrigerator.  I was fortunate the day I shopped at the grocery store as the chicken thighs were on sale, so I was able to purchase 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs discounted 30 percent.

If you compare my cooking steps to the original recipe, you will see that I made a number of changes based on the ingredients that I had on hand as well as how I thought the dish could be cooked.

The first thing I did was to get out the chicken thighs and patted them dry with paper towels.  I didn’t want another eruption of hot oil and water on our range top.  Then I heated our 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat on the range.  Once the pan was heated, I added about a tablespoon of olive oil and swirled it in the pan to heat.  I quickly added the unseasoned chicken thighs to the pan and then covered the pan with a splatter shield and let the thighs cook.

After about four minutes, the first side of the chicken thighs were browned, so I turned the thighs over and let the other side cook for about four minutes.  During the browning of the thighs, I quickly sliced a large white onion into larger pieces.  When the thighs were browned, I removed them from the pan and placed them on a plate for later.  If you only start with a little oil, there is no need to drain any excess after cooking the thighs.

I added a little (2 tablespoons) of the white wine into the pan and then added the chopped onion.  Using my silicon spatula I scraped the bits of chicken off the bottom and sides of the pan while sautéing the onions.  I remembered that I had finished the last bottle of white wine while making Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes and Basil, so I went to my storage area and grabbed the first bottle I found of white 3-buck chuck (Charles Shaw from Trader Joes).  Later I realized that I was fortunate to get the right wine as I had written “Dry” on the bottle of Pinot Grigio while at the store, so I would know to use it for cooking.

Sautéing the onions took about three minutes, then I added one-cup of chicken broth and an additional half cup of the wine.  As indicated in the recipe, I turned up the heat to reduce the volume of liquid by about one half.  When I went to get the can of crushed tomatoes, I found that we only had a can of stewed tomatoes.  OK, a little substitution should work fine.  The stewed tomatoes also have some celery and spices added that should enhance the flavor of the recipe.

Into the pan went the can of stewed tomatoes as well as 3/4-teaspoon of kosher salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper from the pepper mill, 1-teaspoon of dried thyme, and 1/2-teaspoon of Italian seasoning.  After turning the heat to low, I stirred all the ingredients in the pan together and tasted the seasoning - perfect!  I returned the chicken thighs to the pan, making sure to immerse them in the sauce, then covered the pan with a glass lid and stirring occasionally, simmered for 40 minutes.

While the chicken dish was cooking, I reheated some brown rice and cut some slices of thick bread that I had purchase for the Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes and Basil meal.

As most of the food in this meal is white or light brown, I remembered to use our new red plates for serving. 

We enjoyed a late lunch of chicken thighs over rice while sitting in the sunshine.  The stewed tomatoes along with the dried seasonings enhanced the flavor of the sauce.  The chicken was very moist and tender, cut like butter, and cooked to perfection.  My wife really enjoyed this meal and asked me to make it again in the future.

I strongly recommend this recipe to just about any skill level of cook.  I may make this recipe the next time we are camping, as it would be easy to make in my Dutch oven.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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