Sunday, March 15, 2009

Berry and Rosemary Chicken Thighs

Back when I was living in a crappy studio apartment, working three jobs to barely get by but wanted to start cooking I made meals almost exclusively from Rachel Ray cookbooks. There was variety, it was easy, had cheap ingredients, and most importantly I could make an entire meal during the very brief times I wasn't at work. It was also a nice way to experiment in baby steps with ethnic cooking and buying a couple uncommon ingredients to build the palate up for the really crazy stuff I love now.

This was of course before her soul was removed, she developed the voice of a transsexual without the benefit of hormones, and decided to take over the world. Basically when she was still somewhat novel and much less annoying. I totally understand the notion most people have of her as less appealing than nails on a chalkboard while being force fed lima beans. Once she developed a dog food line even I knew she had outstayed her welcome.

However I remember the good ole days and continue to cook from her better recipes while thinking of the pre-plastic surgery evil diva Rachel Ray, once upon a time when she was cute and cooking decent food and I had a huge girl crush on her. Times change but I don't feel guilty putting her on the bookshelf next to Boloud, she had some good quick ideas that I still use. It's just a matter of taking what I like and leaving the ridiculous crap (using the abbreviation EVOO for extra virgin olive oil for example.)

This fabulous purple chicken is as good as it looks and comes from one of her recipes that is actually an all around winner. Orange-Balsamic Chicken Thighs with Pecans and Sage Butter Pasta is fabulous (though overly wordy) but there is no such thing as sugar free marmalade and pasta is taboo on high protein nights so I improvised and was happy with the results. I would suggest the original recipe if you ever have the inclination that simple saged pasta is to drool for.

My version of the recipe takes 10 minutes and you get to eat tender purple chicken. How is that possibly a bad thing?

Berry and Rosemary Chicken Thighs

2 tablespoons oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar-free black berry jam
3 cups arugula or baby spinach

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Sprinkle the rosemary on top and cook the chicken until crispy and brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Whisk the balsamic vinegar and jam together in a small bowl and add to the skillet, making sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute or until thickened. Return the chicken to the pan just long enough to coat with the sauce and warm. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the arugula, tossing it thoroughly in the sauce as well.

Original recipe from Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine.

1 comment:

Will said...

I bet you say "yum-o"> when no one is around.