One of the many challenges I face as a blogger is that I have so many things I want to talk about some days. I sit down at the computer and start to type, and before I know it my entry is so long it’s overwhelming and I’m not even close to done yet. I end up saving it as a draft and it’s unlikely to ever see the light of day again. I have a lot I could talk about today – the kids, the knitting, life… tonight I’m going to force myself to just talk about dinner.
Dinner is simmering on the stove right now. I try to make something a little more involved on Sundays, something that takes too long or is too complicated for a week night. Tonight I’m making my dad’s yummy chicken recipe. I don’t make it during the week because the chicken and potatoes have to be fried and the spattering oil is too dangerous with the kids in the kitchen, and if I do it after Joe gets home then let it simmer for the additional 30 minutes called for, we’d be eating after Julie’s bedtime. Right now, Joe is watching the girls upstairs while I cook dinner, and I’m claiming that 30 minutes of “simmer time” as my own.
This dish was my favorite home cooked dinner growing up. I asked for it for my birthday. My dad won a cooking contest with it when I was tiny. It’s that good. I’m so glad that Julie can eat it, and she and Joe both like it almost as much as I do. I’m going to give you the recipe.
3 – 3.5 lbs bone-in chicken parts (I like to get just breasts, but a mix of everything is fine.)
1 lb small potatoes
2-3 T olive oil
1 T flour
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 cup red burgundy wine (I just use the cheap cooking wine from the grocery store
2 T ketchup
1/2 cup water
a jar of pimento-stuffed green olives
two cans of artichoke hearts, quartered
In a large dutch oven or deep skillet on medium heat, brown the chicken in hot oil till near done – 8-10 minutes per side, then set aside. While the chicken is cooking, wash and quarter the potatoes. Brown the potatoes in the same oil – they don’t have to be cooked through, just brown on the cut edges. While the chicken and/or potatoes are cooking, mix the sauce ingredients – wine, ketchup, water, thyme and have them ready to go. Set the potatoes aside, then whisk the flour into the hot oil and cook for a couple of minutes till it browns a bit. Then whisk in the sauce ingredients and salt and pepper. Put the chicken back in the pan and spoon some sauce over it, then toss in the potatoes, olives and artichokes. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes or till chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
Yum-yum-yummy! The combination of artichoke, olive and red wine flavors is amazing. I’m sure if I bothered to buy a real bottle of wine it would be even better. This makes enough that we usually have leftovers, and I make sure to debone and cut up the chicken before putting it in the fridge – it makes the reheating a breeze.
On the topic of dinners, I used the first few minutes of my “simmering time” to make a meal plan and grocery list for the week. This past week, I’ve been perusing two new cookbooks that I’d like to recommend and I picked new recipes from each of them to try. First, Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table by Leanne Ely. I first heard of this book through the FlyLady’s web site. Ely has a couple of other cookbooks and e-mail recipe newsletters, and I had tried a couple of the recipes she samples on the website. She tends to use whole foods ingredients, and is a nutritionist by training, so her recipes are pretty healthy, with few processed ingredients and are fairly easy to make. I borrowed this book from the library and found about 6 new recipes that I wanted to try (after cutting out all the fish recipes, which Joe won’t eat, ones that aren’t easily modified for Julie’s diet, and ones that didn’t sound super appealing to me – 6 is pretty impressive.) And that’s after the couple of recipes that I had already tried.
The second book is a new one that I just ordered from Amazon. The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family Okay, if you don’t have food allergies in your family, don’t bother. But I am incredibly excited about this book because EVERY recipe is free of the major allergens. That means Julie can eat all the recipes in this book, with the exception of a couple that include pineapple. Kids who have food allergies tend to have more than one allergy, and I’ve ranted before about how allergy cookbooks tend to focus on just one offending ingredient. The meals in this book sound like things that we can all eat and enjoy together, so I won’t have to make two seperate-but-equal meals like I often do at dinner time. She suggests an avocado-based substitute for mayonnaise and creamy salad dressings, and I am really looking forward to making chicken salad again – maybe even tomorrow. I’m also really looking forward to trying her biscuit recipe.
So I went a little farther and longer than just tonight’s dinner – maybe I’ll get back to the kids and/or the knitting in the next couple of days. I hope you had a good dinner tonight too!