Bok Bok Mafia – Chicken Italiano

I was feeling a little mafioso so I decided to make this recipe adapted from a recipe in the Paleolithic Slowcooker cookbook.  It turned out pretty yummy!

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1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips

1 carrot, sliced

1 onion, sliced and popped into rings

1 zucchini, sliced

1 1/2 can of tomato sauce

1/4 can tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 spaghetti squash, baked and pulled into strings

IMG_1780Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.  Put the coconut oil in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the chicken strips, carrots, and zucchini into the slow cooker.  In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, paste, garlic, pepper flakes, and honey and mix together. Pour over the chicken and vegetables.  Turn the slow cooker down to low and cook for 8 to 9 hours.

IMG_1781I loved the spaghetti squash with this as an alternative to actual noodles.  It tasted awesome too.  This is a good one!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Remember those leeks? – Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks

A week or so ago I posted on my Facebook page that I had 5 leeks I was looking to do something with. Most people said to put them in soup but being the adventurer that I am I chose to try something different.  I put on in stir fry, but I found this recipe which suggested I use mashed potatoes for the leftover sauce.  I make a mashed cauliflower that is one of Rob’s favorite things and as luck would have it he’d just recently requested it so I had discovered the perfect meal option!  Mashed cauliflower is a great option for Paleo peeps who love mashed potatoes but can’t eat them on Paleo.

IMG_1662MASHED CAULIFLOWER

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup chicken broth

Steam the cauliflower in a steaming basket until very tender.  I put it on when I started prepping the chicken and once the chicken was done I took the cauliflower off the burner.  Once done steaming, put the cauliflower in a medium size bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until there are no more large chunks.  Add chicken broth and mix well.  This does not have the same consistency as mashed potatoes so there will be some chunkiness to it.

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CHICKEN AND LEEKS

4 medium leeks

2 cups chicken broth

3 garlic cloves, halved

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup canned coconut milk (you can use heavy cream as well)

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Trim roots and dark tops from leeks, leaving 5 to 6 inches of white and light green parts.  Cut the leeks in half lengthwise; rinse well.  Place the leeks in a single layer in a 9-b-13-inch baking dish, on their sides if necessary, nestling them together.  Pour in broth, submerge the garlic and thyme in the broth between the leeks.  Bake for 40  minutes.

IMG_1667After about 30 minutes, sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.  After 40 minutes remove the leeks from the oven and nestle the chicken into them.  You may need to add more broth at this point.  Add coconut milk and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the hot skillet (do not turn the burner back on).  Stir up any browned bits and let the coconut milk heat up from the warmth of the pan.  Pour the cream mixture over the leeks and chicken.  Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve chicken with the braised leeks and mashed cauliflower, spooning sauce over everything.

IMG_1668This was super yummy and very filling.  The  leeks are so tender!  Happy cooking!

 

 

The Main Event – Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs

This is the final post in my Valentine’s Day series.  I’ve only ever roasted a whole chicken one other time.  Mainly because I don’t have a good carving knife but also because a whole chicken is a lot of meat for one person! But with Rob to help consume I figured why not do it? It’s a special occasion right?  So here we go!

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1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus two whole lemons

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary springs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs)

IMG_1634Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash it inside and out with cold water, then let it drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  Place it breast side down in a medium roasting pan fitted with a rack and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out.  Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out.

Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three different places with a fork and place them deep inside the cavity.  Really stick the fork in.  I didn’t push it in far enough and there were barely any drippings for the sauce.  Chicken cavity sizes may vary, so  if one lemon is partly sticking out, that’s okay.

Put the chicken in the oven lower the temperature to 350 degrees, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven.  Using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn the chicken breast side up.  Insert a meat thermometer in the thigh, and return the chicken to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork.  Continue roasting if necessary.  Keep in mind that cooking times in different ovens vary, roasting a chicken at 350 degrees take about 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken.  Garnish with fresh herbs.

IMG_1640I’ll be honest, this chicken was really good but I think it could have been better.  I don’t think I cooked it long enough.  While it was really tender and tasty, there was no juice from the lemons inside to pour over the chicken.  I’m planning on trying this again to see if I can get it to come out right.  I really love lemon sauce so I was disappointed that there wasn’t any.  The little bit of drippings that I did get were really good so I know it would be a stellar dish!  Ladies, be careful who you serve this dish to.  It should be someone you love!  If you want to know why, send me a message on the Facebook page and I’ll tell you!  Let me know how yours turns out.  Happy cooking!