sunday dinner

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Milk Poached Chicken with Fennel on Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

I eat a lot of chicken. And I feel like I always make it the same way- as chicken cutlets or in stir fry. I decided to experiment and play with my chicken this week after reading about a few different techniques to get the most tender and delicious chicken around. When I was deciding what to serve it with, I wanted something besides pasta or bread, so I made polenta for the first time and mixed in my favorite cheese. I was a little scared to see if it would actually turn out, but after a lot of vigorous stirring and sweating over the stove, I had a creamy pot of goodness. Check out the recipes below!

Ingredients

For the Chicken:
Either a whole chicken or a few chicken breasts with rib meat
olive oil
salt + pepper
1 bulb of fennel
1 shallot
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
a few cups of milk
a few sprigs of thyme
a cinnamon stick
whole star anise
lemon zest

For the Polenta:
1 cup of cornmeal or polenta
4 cups of milk
goat cheese
parmesan rinds
salt + pepper

Instructions

Brown your chicken on all sides- it doesn’t have to cook the chicken significantly, it just has to turn it a nice golden brown. As you’re browning the chicken, start sauteing your shallots, garlic, and fennel in the bottom of a dutch oven (I diced my shallots, crushed my garlic, and sliced my fennel thinly). Once your chicken is done browning, add it to the dutch oven, and pour a few cups of milk over the top of the chicken- you can use part milk and part water as well if you do not have enough milk. Add your spices and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Cooking times will change depending on what type of chicken meat you go with- I used chicken breast and it was finished in 20-30 minutes. If you are using a whole chicken, you can finish by baking off in the oven. 

While your chicken is poaching, bring four cups of water to a boil. Begin to stir the water to create a whirlpool effect, and slowly add one cup of cornmeal/polenta, stirring vigorously. Once the polenta is combined with the water and you don’t see it separate when you stop stirring, you can take a break. Let it bubble for a few minutes, then stir for a few minutes- it’s almost like risotto! You’ll want to cook the polenta until it is very thick- about 25-30 minutes. Once it is thick, add as much or as little goat cheese as you’d like, a parmesan rind or fresh grated parmesan, and salt and pepper. Stir all of this in well, and let the polenta rest for a few minutes before serving.

To go along with this dish, I also sauteed up some spinach and mushrooms. When serving, I scooped the polenta into a bowl, added a layer of spinach, and topped with the chicken and some fennel.

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barbacoa burrito bowl

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after spending the week in new york, i felt the urge to get back into my kitchen ASAP. so, this morning i took a walk down to whole foods and grabbed some ingredients for crock pot Barbacoa, a recipe that my brother and his girlfriend had made for me in the past. the dish is pretty simple to make, and i was so happy with the results!

originally posted on paleomg and then on cave girl in the city, this barbacoa is paleo friendly, and Whole30 friendly! personally, i wanted to make this more like a burrito bowl so i also made spanish black beans and rice with a quick salsa.

Barbacoa:

For the first round of cooking

  • 1.5-2 lbs Grass Fed Beef Rump Roast, trimmed of extra fat (if you’d like)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-4 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1 container of chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the second round of cooking
  • 1 16oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 12-16oz can green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add to your crock pot: garlic cloves, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, broth, chopped onions, cumin, chipotle peppers and sauce, mushrooms, salt and pepper, and rump roast. Mix ingredients around to help coat the rump roast.
  2. Cover and let cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Run a fork along the rump roast at the end of cooking to make sure it is done and easily shreddable.
Once the roast is done cooking:
  1. Use a couple forks to shred the meat in your crockpot.
  2. Discard the bay leaves.
  3. Add in tomato sauce, green chiles, and spices. Mix thoroughly
  4. Let cook on high for 30 minutes-1 hour.

Black Beans:
Ingredients:

  • two cans of black beans
  • a packet of goya sazon seasoning
  • some garlic powder
  • some oregano

Instructions:

Add both cans of beans (and liquid) into a sauce pan. Mix in the packet of sazon, as well as a generous amount of garlic powder and a few shakes of oregano. Also add in a can full of water and bring to simmer. Cook the beans long enough for the liquid to start to thicken.

Quick Salsa

Ingredients:

  • A few tomatoes
  • Half a red onion
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Some lime juice
  • Fresh Cilantro

Instructions:

Dice your tomatoes and onion. Mince the garlic and throw in the rest of the ingredients to your liking. This was very quick and forgiving to make, and you can also add in chiles and jalapenos if you’d like!

I served this all on top of brown rice that was mixed with some butter, cilantro, and lime juice!

 

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