No, this isn't a backstage quote from the recent MTV Awards, nor was it uttered by a dresser at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. It's me talkin', desperate to cook after a long week of deadlines and busy-everything, as I lay my hand on a package of organic poultry.
"What do you want to do tonight?" My husband had innocently asked me hours before, as though he doesn't know what I'm going to say.
"I haven't cooked in a week. I just need to relax and make something. Can't we just stay home?"
"Why would I say no to that?" He says and kisses my neck. And off I go to the store to gather something for a quick, (I'm getting into my #fabin40 stuff) and healthy meal. The final act? Invite a girlfriend, of course. Then we lit a few candles, got out some nice china, and pretended all was right with the world.
Check out my Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs over Herbed Jasmine Rice and grab some thigh for yourself!
THIS SERVES 4 to 5 people.
6, boneless, skinless chicken thighs (buy organic or something without hormones. I deal with them enough every month, don't need them in my food and neither do you.)
1 C sliced Shitake mushrooms, discard stems after washing THOROUGHLY
1 T fresh thyme leaves
3 medium cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1/4 to 1/3 white onion diced finely
2 C fresh spinach leaves washed and dried
3/4 C Red Raspberry Preserves (I like a good high quality brand)
2 T Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Vinegar but a mild vinegar like fig or cherry; something sweet, will work.
1/4 t each cinnamon and coriander powder
1 C cooked white rice (I love Jasmine. Good flavor and very light tasting.)
1 to 1 1/2 C white wine. (I used a Chardonnay) you can use a good chicken stock instead if you prefer
4 T butter
3 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat oil in large saute pan til shimmering over medium high heat. Add thighs (make sure you've patted them dry.) Season with salt and pepper and the cinnamon and then the coriander. Sear on each side, about 3 minutes or so, and then remove from pan to another dish, cover and let sit. Loosen up bits of meat with 1/2 of the white wine, and reduce for 1 minute. Add the onion and stir for 1 minute or so. Add the mushrooms and let them sit as they sizzle, and then after about 3 minutes add the garlic and cook til onions are soft and mushrooms are browned. Then add the preserves which you have premixed with the balsamic vinegar (I use a whisk) and stir everything over medium heat for about 30 seconds until hot. Put the chicken back in the pan, and turn over and let them continue cooking until done, which if you're cooking them over med low heat, is about 5 to 6 minutes. Add 2 T butter and stir in and they're ready.
Now, in the meantime, cook the rice. I find it is FOOLPROOF to add the rice to the water, bring to a boil, cover and leave on LOW heat for 20 minutes. When done, remove lid and add the spinach. Quickly put lid back on so that spinach can wilt. When ready to plate, take lid off rice, stir in the now wilted spinach, add 2 T butter, about 3 T white wine, the thyme and salt and pepper.
Serve with the chardonnay. You'll be surprised at how yummy the dark fruit is with the dry wine. It brings out the flavor of the cinnamon, the deep sweet earthiness of the coriander and the mushrooms, and the lovely rich dark meat of the chicken.
Elegant and ready in less than 40 minutes.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.