Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken & Dark Chocolate

Chicken & Dark Chocolate.
No, not together. But delicious. And a two-fer. One whole chicken, one basic recipe & two completely different tasting dinners.

Ready? GO!

Start with a whole chicken, about 3-4 pounds. Bake or grill your chicken before hand -- rinse &  pat dry, then cut down the backbone & separate in your pan or roaster. Season with salt & pepper & bake at 400-425 degrees until the juices run clear, about an hour. Cover the chicken & let it rest for about 30 minutes before dividing in half and refrigerating until ready to use. It helps to do this maybe over a weekend & later in the evening when its not so awful to turn on your oven.

Want an even easier batch of recipes? Pick up a roasted chicken from your local deli.

First, we have a quinoa salad, then a stir fry over rice.

Quinoa Salad:
Serves 2 with excellent lunch leftovers

1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1/3 cup feta
salt & pepper
1/2 cooked chicken, deboned in bite-sized pieces without skin

Cook quinoa with a pinch of salt & pepper in a rice cooker. This takes about 20-25 minutes. When the quinoa have just begun to pop -- there is a little ring inside the grain that comes out when they are about done -- add in the peas, beans & chicken & allow to cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are done. Remove pot from rice cooker & stir in feta. Serve & enjoy!

Chicken-Broccoli Stir Fry:
Serves 2 with excellent lunch leftovers

1 cup rice
1/2 + pound fresh broccoli
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/2 cooked chicken
salt & pepper

Cook rice according to directions. 

In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook onions with a pinch of salt until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut & trim broccoli into bite-sized pieces and debone the chicken, removing the skin. You can almost ignore the onions, but don't let them burn. The longer they go, the better they taste. 

When the chicken & broccoli are ready, add into the pan & saute until the broccoli is bright green & just tender, seasoning with a pinch more salt & plenty of fresh ground pepper. Serve over the rice & enjoy!

Now for the chocolate! This is what you've really been waiting for!
Chocolate Mint Sandwiches:
Mmmmm. This is only the beginning. Since Katie is now in Central Standard Time, we decided to celebrate with some ridiculously chocolatey cookies. Martha delivered & we made these cookies. 

Friends, when the recipe calls for parchment paper, be sure to use it. As you are rolling the cookies out, be sure to taste test the dough & add a bit more powdered sugar to sweeten them up as necessary. Buy your favorite dark chocolate bars to use for the ganache & glaze. I happen to love Ghirardelli's Twilight Delight -- 72% cocoa & perfect for me. 
These little sandwiches were a bit of work, but lots of fun. It helps to have excellent company!
Delicious, I tell you!


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